RC Interview with Gabe DeHoyos

In 61.2 innings between High Desert and Wichita last year, Gabe DeHoyos saved 20 games with a stellar 2.04 ERA. The 27-year old righty returned to Wichita this season, and in 7.2 innings, DeHoyos has yet to allow a run. On Monday, RC's Kevin Agee caught up with DeHoyos in Springfield to talk about his season, what he's working on, and what he gained from his time in independent league baseball.

Royals Corner: How do you feel the season is going so far?

Gabe DeHoyos: I think it's going really well. I think we've had our ups and downs, but team-wise, I think we're hanging in there and doing really well right now. Sometimes when we're hitting we're not pitching, and pitching we're not hitting, so hopefully it will come together and we can start on a roll here.

RC: Given the drastic roster turnover from last season to this season, do you feel that there is a different dynamic to this team?

GDH: Well, I think it's the same thing at the beginning of every season, because you've got new guys playing with new guys all the time. I mean, there's nothing really to say about the elite group we had last year. But these guys here, they're doing a really good job. We've got some young guys, and I'm one of the older guys. The young guys, the position players, are doing really well. They're adjusting to the league a little bit, and I think they'll take off from here.

RC: How have you taken what you learned in Double-A last year and applied it to the current season?

GDH: Not so much, really. I think at any level, pitching-wise, you've got to continue to keep the ball down, throw lots of strikes, have fastball command, and be able to get a second and third pitch over for a strike. I think pitching's pitching at every level.

RC: What have you been working on to improve?

GDH: Yeah, actually, I'd like to get my curveball over and my changeup over for a strike more often. I kind of have a tendency to stick with my fastball even though I don't throw that hard. I have pretty good control over it right now. I had a cup of coffee in Triple-A a couple of years ago. I learned then you have to have a second pitch that you can get over for a strike consistently. I think right now, that's more what I'm looking for to get me to the next level, getting an offspeed pitch for a strike consistently.

RC: Finally, you started your pro career in the Northern League. How did the independent league experience help you? Looking back, was it humbling?

GDH: I've gotta be honest. The ballparks I played in in the Northern League were actually a lot better than some of the [other] ballparks I've played in. Winnipeg, Canada; Lincoln, Neb., I mean, those are beautiful fields. Playing-wise, I'm actually glad I went to independent ball. I got to play with a lot of older players first. You know, I was actually the youngest player ever to throw for the Schaumburg Flyers. I was 22, and I learned a lot from the older guys who'd been in Triple-A and had big-league experience, you know, guys like Kirk Pierce, Brant Brown, and Matt Nokes. Those are guys I learned a lot from, so I'm glad I got that experience first.

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