RC Interview with Danny Christensen

Two full seasons removed from Tommy John surgery, Danny Christensen is looking to build upon an impressive minor league resume this season in Wichita. Christensen made his first start for the Wranglers on Saturday, earning a no decision after pitching four solid innings. On Sunday afternoon, RC caught up with Christensen to discuss his outing, his offseason regimen, and his goals for this season.

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Royals Corner: Danny, how'd you feel about your first start of the season?

Danny Christensen: It felt pretty good. I was on a 75 pitch count, so I only went four innings. It was cold and I knew guys didn't want to swing, so I threw a lot of fastballs. Since I was throwing strikes, it was kind of easy. I hung a curveball, and that was really the only thing that hurt me.

RC: You had five strikeouts last night, and you racked up a lot of strikeouts in the California League last year. Would you consider yourself a strikeout type pitcher?

DC: No, I try to get guys out as quick as possible and early in the count. If I can get ahead 0-2 or 1-2, where I have a chance to strike a guy out, I'll try to for maybe one pitch. But other than that, they get themselves out most of the time.


Christensen was pleased with his first outing

RC: The California League is known to be murder on pitchers, but you did a really respectable job there last year. Are you happy to be out of that environment?

DC: Oh yeah. I'm definitely happy to see the flags blowing in for a change, instead of out. I had a lot of starts on the road last year too, so it's not that bad – not as bad as everyone says.

RC: Talk a little bit about your offseason regimen. What did you do to prepare for this season?

DC: I have a personal trainer that I work out with at home, Stan Mills. We work out every day. I run on the treadmill and throw to my pitching coach from high school.

RC: Could you talk a little bit about your pitches, and what speeds you usually work at?

DC: My fastball, I guess on a good day I'll be 84 [mph], 85 to 90, and usually working around 86. My changeup is my favorite pitch. I like to throw that, and I have confidence in it where I can throw it in any count. My curveball is still developing. I didn't throw too many [Saturday]. I only threw two, and one was hit for a home run. When I have that curveball working, that's a good out pitch for me late in the count.


Christensen throws a fastball, curve, and change-up

RC: What pitches were you striking guys out with on [Saturday]?

DC: Yeah, it was mostly changeups swinging. When they took [strike three], it was a fastball because it seemed like they were kind of waiting for a changeup.

RC: With Dayton Moore taking over the club, did you notice any differences this year at spring training?

DC: The uniform policy is one thing that's different – we've got to wear our pants up to our knees. There wasn't much difference. Spring training is still spring training. It was my first Major League spring training, so that was a lot different for me. That was my first time experiencing that. But minor league camp was pretty much the same as it's always been.

RC: Could you talk a little more about the uniform policy?

DC: It's just something where they want us all to look like a team, and we're all going to wear our pants up. It's no big deal.

RC: What are your goals for the rest of the season?

DC: Just to stay healthy. Stay healthy and try to help this team win some games.

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