Q&A with Staten Island Pitcher, Steve Schroer

Steve Schroer, an undrafted free agent signing out of UC Irvine, has been quite a find for the Yankee organization. Pitching lights out baseball for Staten Island, Schroer is certainly making a name for himself. We sat down with Steve for an in depth Q&A session.

PinstripesPlus.com: Going into the 2005 draft, were you expecting to get drafted or was it no surprise to you to go unselected by any MLB organization?

Steve Schroer: Oh yeah. I think I was definitely expecting something to come out of it. I wasn't expecting to go real high or anything but I expected to get taken. So it definitely pretty disappointing when I found out no one picked me. But, after the draft, I got a call from the Yankee scout in the area, Jeff Patterson, and he offered me a job to come and pitch here. Obviously, I jumped at the chance.

PinstripesPlus.com: At UC Irvine, were you a starting pitcher or did you mostly work out of the bullpen in your time there?

Steve Schroer: No, I was in relief my first two years then we had some injuries come up and I went into the rotation for a while. One of our big guys went down so I stepped in and helped out. It was somewhat of an adjustment period I think but I settled in. At that point, I hadn't been a starter since I played in high school so it was different, for sure.

PinstripesPlus.com: Entering your first season in professional baseball, could you ever have expected to dominate as you have so far working out of the bullpen?

Steve Schroer: No, I could never have expected to do what I've done so far. It has been great to come out and pitch as well as I have though. I just wanted to come in here focused and hope this team win. And, I think I've done that, which is a good thing. I just have to keep making my pitches and locate my fastball. If I can do that, I should continue to be successful and help this team win a championship.

PinstripesPlus.com: What types of pitches do you have in your repertoire?

Steve Schroer: I throw a fastball, a changeup, and a slider.

PinstripesPlus.com: Out of those pitches, would you say that there is a distinct strikeout pitch that you throw?

Steve Schroer: Probably my strikeout pitch would be my slider. I like to throw it diving down and away from righties. Then, for lefties, I can back door it over the outside corner. It works pretty well for me from either side.

PinstripesPlus.com: Coming out a big college program and pitching against top college hitters, do you see much of a difference in these professional hitters?

Steve Schroer: Well, at the beginning of the season, a lot of these hitters were still adjusting to the wooden bats. So, I think they've adjusted and are very good hitters now. But, still, I make a good pitch now, and I get rewarded for it. So, I like it. But, the lineups are so much deeper here too. 7,8, and 9 hitters can all hit the ball really well if you make a mistake.

PinstripesPlus.com: Upon arriving in Staten Island, do you think you've made any major adjustments to how you pitch?

Steve Schroer: Well, no really. I think I have a good mentality and good approach. I have a great pitching coach here, Mike Thurman, to help me make minor adjustments. We work closely with the catchers and we have something real good going on. So, it's real nice.

PinstripesPlus.com: Going into next year and beyond, what kind of long term goals do you have for your career?

Steve Schroer: I always want to be making improvements, so yeah, it is something I'll look at in the future. One thing, when you look at the statistics, my right handed batting average against is actually higher than the righty average so that's something I'd like to work on. I just need to work on working right handed hitters better. Also, there's always stuff like working on getting stronger, adjusting mechanicals flaws and adding some velocity. I'd like to improve my changeup also.

PinstripesPlus.com: You have been a big part of a tremendous pitching staff. Which one of your fellow staff members has impressed you the most?

Steve Schroer: That's tough to say. You know, we have some really amazing arms we can bring out of the bullpen. I know that much. Guys like Cory Stuart stand out to me. And, I guess the obvious ones are our All-Stars, David Seccombe and Josh Schmidt. It is an amazing pitching staff to be part of.

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