Monday, July 6, 2009

Q&A with Matt Fox

I had the priviledge to do a Q&A with New Britain Rockcats starting pitcher Matt Fox. After talking with him I have a lot of respect what he has overcome to be a good pitching prospect for the Twins. There are not many guys that would keep going and fighting through what he has gone through. I really think you are going to enjoy this Q&A and i really want to get some comments on Matt and what you thought of the interview. So leave comments in the box or email me at

Travis Talks: As a kid did you have any favorite teams?

Matt Fox: I liked 2 teams, the Reds when I was real young, and then the Marlins when they came along.

Travis Talks: In High School did you just play baseball or did you play other sports too?

Matt Fox: I just played Baseball, but was really into golf, actually tried out for the golf team, but I'm pretty sure the golf coach knew I wasn't too serious about joining the team and that i just wanted to play free golf for the week of the tryouts.

Travis Talks: Tell me about your high school career?

Matt Fox: To start off i only played shortstop, didn't pitch and made Varsity as a Freshman. Basically was the starting shortstop only until half way threw my junior year when i jumped on mound for fun and realized how hard I was throwing and that I might have a future on the mound. Went to some showcases summer before my Senior year and was thought from there on that I would have more potential as a pitcher then hitter and the next levels, but still did both.

Travis Talks: In the 2001 draft you were selected in the 6th round by Arizona, but didn't sign did you consider signing and why didnt you sign?

Matt Fox: I was expecting from what scouts were telling me that I would go anywhere in the top 4 or 5 rounds. My family and I had a figure we were comforttable with and we just didn't get to that figure. I also played shortstop and at the time didnt feel like my time playing there was done, as I wanted to go to college and no only pitch, but also hit.

Travis Talks: After high school you went to Central Florida university what led you there?

Matt Fox: I went to UCF for a couple reasons. One was that my brother played there the 4 years before i went , and i had a relationship with the coaching staff that was really strong. another reason was, they were one of the few schools who wanted me to pitch and hit. While alot of other schools either wanted me to pitch only or hit only, not do both.

Travis Talks: Were you heavily recruited out of high school?

Matt Fox: I think i was recruited heavily all the florida schools and a lot of the ACC/SEC Schools were interested. Miami, LSU, Clemson wanted me as a pitcher only, while Tennessee, FAU, and others wanted me only as a hitter.

Travis Talks: You were selected in the 1st round in 2004 by the Twins had they been talking to you or were you surprised they drafted you?

Matt Fox: After going threw the whole draft process in HS, i knew how unpredictable the draft can be, so i didnt look too much into who was talking to me the most or who wasn't. I think I talked to the twins just as much as others, and wasnt overally surprised they took me.

Travis Talks: You started your career in E-town what was it like pitching that first year as a professional?

Matt Fox: My first year was a rough one, only had 3-4 starts before i started feeling shoulder pain, and then was shut down for the rest of the season, besides that i was excited to be there but wanted to be healthy more then anything.

Travis Talks: In 2005 you had shoulder surgery what was the injury and rehab consist of?

Matt Fox: I had a labrum repair and some small work done on my rotator cuff. I had surgery with DR. Andrews and headed to FOrt myers and rehabed there for a year to year and half

Travis Talks: How long did it take to gain confidence back in your arm?

Matt Fox: It's been a long process. At first my confidence wasnt' there and that held me back, then my arm felt good but I couldnt get my velocity above 84 or so. the last 2 years or so have been good, feeling strong and no pain at all. Just waiting and hoping i can get some more velocity.

Travis Talks: Have you had any problems with your arm since the surgery?

Matt Fox: Knock on wood but have had no problems, feeling great!

Travis Talks: Was there ever a time you wanted to call it quits and do something else?
Matt Fox: Coming back from surgey was a tough journey, but at no time did i ever think about doing anything else. Playing a game you love is the best job in the world, and I kept telling myself to just stick with it and one day hopefulyl my time will come.

Travis Talks: What pitches do you throw?

Matt Fox: Currently I throw a 4 seam fastball, Cutter, Curveball and Change-up, usually in that order.

Travis Talks: What would you call your strikeout pitch when you really need a strikeout?

Matt Fox: I'd say for a righty it'd be my cutter, for a lefty, it'd have to be my curveball.

Travis Talks: For someone who doesn't know what is gameday like when your pitching?

Matt Fox: For me personally, it starts when i get up, i just run over there hitters in my mind, try to visualize myself throwing and gettting good results, then it's just kind of sit aroudn and wait until it't stretch time and thats when you really have to focus in. During the game you just get into that tunnel vision where its you and the batter and thats it. Just try and compete and keep your team in the game.

Travis Talks: What was it like when you got your first professional paycheck?

Matt Fox: It was a great feeling, just getting paid to play a game you love is a great feeling!

Travis Talks: What do you think it will be like to pitch at Target Field?

Matt Fox: I'm not too sure, all i know is it's outdoors and MN gets really cold! So it'll be cold and very exciting.

Travis Talks: You have progressed through the system does it ever get frustrating when you dont get promoted when you think your ready?

Matt Fox: Sure, at times it can, but what i have learned is not to read too much into what happens with the moves. You can't control who moves and who doesn't. All you can control is how you pitch and hopefully one day you get your chance.

Travis Talks: If a high school player asked you what does it take to make it in pro ball what would you tell him?

Matt Fox: You have to be ready for a grind. At times the season gets long, long bus trips, crappy hotels, eating fast food. you really have to have a passion for it, and have your heart into it at all times. Other then that, just hard work and a positive attitude!

I would like to thank Matt Fox for taking the time to do this I really appreciate it and best of luck for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, July, 7th

Twins Talk

  • The Twins had yesterday off and prepare to begin a 3 game series with the hated New York Yankess as the Twins will send Scott Baker to the mound to get the series off on the right foot.

Rochester Wrap

Rochester 7 Buffalo 3

  • The finished their series with Buffalo on the right foot with a nice 7-3 victory over the Bisons. Armando Gabino made the spot start for the Red Wings and was very good in this one. Gabino went 4.1 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits along with a walk to lower his era on the year to 3.25 on the year. Gabino has been very solid this year and I would like to see Armando get a chance with the Twins, but I have a sinking suspicion that he is probably 4th in line behind Crain, Morillo, and Delaney. Jesse Crain then came on and had his best outing of his season with Rochester by going 2.2 hitless innings along with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts to lower his era to 3.72. If Jesse Crain can pitch like he did last night it won't be long till he is back with the Twins because they are begging for another reliever that can get guys out, but he hasn't shown that on a consistant basis yet so I need to see more out of him. Rob Delaney then came on and pitched the last 2 innings and was ok. Delaney went 2 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits along with 1 walk and 1 strikeout to raise his era to 5.00.

  • The Red Wings really had a big offensive night as they put on 7 runs on 16 hits and could of been even bigger if they had not left 9 guys on base. Jason Pridie led the offense by going 3-5 with his 4th homerun of the year along with his 15th double. He also drove in 3 runs to bring his season total up to 26 on the year and brought his average up to .252. Trevor Plouffe went 3-3 to raise his average on the year to .242. Alexi Casilla went 3-5 with 2 runs scored to raise his average to .343 on the year. Matt Macri went 3-4 to raise his average on the year to .230 on the year. Steve Tolleson went 2-4 with his 1st triple of the year and drove in his 9th and 10th runs of the year to bring his average up to .321. Justin Huber went 2-3 and his 45th rbi of the year and improved his average on the year to .283 on the year.
  • Tonight, the Red Wings begin a series with 2nd place Syracuse and with all the rainouts the Red Wings will have to have another bullpen game as Reid Santos is tentatively scheduled to pitch for Rochester.
  • Big News: Justin Huber replaced Anthony Swarzak on the International League All-Star team.

New Britain Business

New Britain 3 Trenton 1

  • The Rockcats continued their winning ways as they won their 2nd consecutive win with a tough hard fought 3-1 victory over Trenton last night. Yohan Pino got his first start for the Cats since his return to the Rockcats rotation and was very good. Pino went 5.1 innings and gave up only 1 run on 6 hits along with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts to lower his era on the year to 3.53 and improved his record on the year to 3-1. Yohan Pino has really stepped up after getting off to a rough start on the year. Pino realistically is not a huge prospect, but he has pitched some quality innings for the Cats and has developed into a solid starting pitcher for the Rockcats. Alex Burnett then came on and pitching 2.2 shutout innings along with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts to lower his era on the year to 2.25. Anthony Slama came on and pitched the last inning without giving up a run along with 1 strikeout to pick up his 17th save of the year to lower his era on the year to 2.64.

  • The Rockcats did not get alot of offense going in the game, but it was enough to get the win with only 6 hits. Juan Portes really supplied the only offense the Rockcats would need in this game as he went 3-4 and drove in 2 runs to bring his total up to 31 on the year and brought his average up to .312. Brian Dinkelman hit his 21st double of the year and improved his average to .303 on the year. Yancarlos Ortiz and Rene Tosoni added hits in the winning cause for the Rockcats.
  • Tonight, the Rockcats begin a 3 game series with first place Connecticut as Frank Mata is scheduled to pitch for New Britain.

Fort Myers Minutes

Palm Beach 4 Fort Myers 2

  • The Miracle had a tough loss last night to Palm Beach by a score of 4-2 in which they got good pitching just not enough hitting to pick up the win. Tyler Robertson got the start for the Miracle and was very solid. Robertson went 7 innings and gave up 3 runs on 6 hits along with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts to lower his era on the year to 3.43 on the year and dropped his record to 5-4. Tyler Robertson continued his strong go of it since a rough start even though he got the loss in this game he still put up a solid start that would be good enough to win in on most nights. Loek Van Mil then came in and gave up a run on no hits along with a walk and a strikeout to raise his very good era to 0.95 on the year. Loek Van Mil has been awesome since coming off the disabled list as he has only given up 2 runs in 19 innings of work on the year for Van Mil and has positioned himself into possibly getting a promotion sometime this summer to AA New Britain.

  • The Miracle really could not get it going last night as they were only able to muster 2 runs even though they had 10 hits. The reason they could not get more runs was they left 8 guys on base in the night. Rene Leveret led the offense by going 2-3 to raise his average on the year to .298. Nick Romero went 2-4 with his 5th double of the year to improve his average on the year to .272. Mark Dolenc went 2-4 with his 3rd triple of the year and drove in his 23rd run of the year to improve his average to .284. Esterlin De Los Santos went 1-4 with his 3rd triple of the year to improve his average to .288. Ben Revere went 1-5 at the plate to continue his worse slump of his career. Revere is only 3 for his last 28 a .107 average and not something he has ever experienced as a pro. I have no doubt that he will get it going, but I am sure he is plenty frustrated right now. Steve Singelton and Chris Parmalee each added a hit in the losing cause for the Miracle.
  • Tonight, the Miracle continue their series with Palm Beach as Mike Mccardell gets the start for Fort Myers.

Beloit Beat

Peoria 7 Beloit 2

  • The Snappers had their short 2 game winning streak stopped in a big way to Peoria last night as the Snappers went down 7-2 to the Chiefs. Dan Berlind got the start for the Snappers and actually was pretty good. Berlind went 4.2 innings and only gave up 2 runs on 7 hits along with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts to lower his era on the year to 4.33 on the year. Berlind has been solid all year long and has really kept the Snappers in the game most starts it is just that the Snappers could not score any runs for him and that continued last night. Thomas Wright then came on and lets just say he was awful on this night. Wright went 3 innings and gave up 5 runs on 5 hits along with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts to raise his era on the year to 12.00. Wright has really struggled since coming off the disabled list and it would not surprise me if he did not make it through the season. Bruce Pugh got the final out in the losing cause for the Snappers to lower his era on the year to 4.38.

  • The Snappers really couldn't get anything going on the night as they could only muster 2 runs on 6 hits. Michael Harrington led the offense by going 2-4 with his 23rd double of the year and his 26th rbi to raise his average on the year to .236. Ramon Santana went 1-3 with his 38th rbi of the year and improved his average up to .298. Aaron Hicks went 0-3 with his 13th walk of the year compared to only 11 strikeouts so he has a very good eye at the plate. Hicks is only hitting .217, but his 13 walks really helps him maintain a .383 obp which is very good considering he is only hitting .217. That discipline at the plate will come in handy and just imagine what it will be when he adjusts and starts hitting like we all know he will. Aaron is too talented of a player to be hitting .217 at A ball and it is just a matter of time until he explodes. James Beresford, Nathan Hanson, and Drew Thompson all contributed hits in the losing cause for the Snappers.
  • Tonight, the Snappers finish off their series with Peoria as Dan Osterbrock gets the start for Beloit.

E-town Entertainment

E-town 5 Princeton 2

Princeton 5 E-town 4

  • The E-town Twins split a doubleheader with Princeton to make up for the rainout on Sunday. The Twins won the first game by a score of 5-2 before dropping the second one by a score of 5-4. In game 1 Matire Garcia got the start and was ok. Garcia went 5 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits along with 5 walks and 4 strikeouts to pick up his 2nd win of the year and raise his era to 3.00 on the year. Garcia has really not gotten hit this year, but the walks are disconcerting as he has walked 14 batters in only 12 innings of work in 3 starts. There is nothing in his history to suggest a walk problem, but he needs to get this taken care of soon. Brad Stillings then came on and went 1/3 of an inning with 2 walks to lower his era to 3.00. Tony Davis then followed and went 2/3 of an inning with a strikeout to lower his era to 5.40. Billy Bulluck pitched the 7th to get his 2nd save of the year along with a strikeout to lower his era to 1.42. In game 2 Michael Munoz got the start and was ok. Munoz went 3.2 innings and gave up 4 runs on 4 hits along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts to raise his average up to 4.40 on the year. Munoz really has not had a good start to the season and will feel the pressure of Matt Bashore joining the staff as they decide who is the person to go to the bullpen and right now it might be Munoz. Matt Tone took the loss by going 2.1 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts to raise his era on the year to 2.70.

  • The Twins had their bats quieted down a little bit, but compared to what they were doing offensively it looks like they aren't hitting at all which is a stretch. In game 1 they scored 5 runs on 8 hits. The Twins were led by Derek Mccallum who went 2-3 with his first triple of the year and drove in 3 runs to bring his total up to 6 on the year and increase his average to .250. Josmil Pinto went 2-3 with his 2nd double of the year to raise his average up to .303. Anderson Hidalgo went 2-3 to raise his average up to .313. Michael Gonzalez and Tobias Streich each contributed a hit in the Twins win. Tyler Ladendorf went 0-4 at the plate to lower his average to .380 on the year. In game 2 the Twins put up 4 runs on only 5 hits. Michael Gonzalez went 1-2 with 2nd double of the year to bring his average up to .343. Danny Rams went 1-3 with his 5th double with his 21st rbi. Paul Klingsberg went 1-2 with his 2nd and 3rd rbi's of the year and brought his average up to .348. Chris Herman and Tyler Ladendorf added hits in the losing cause for the Twins.
  • Tonight, the Twins will continue their series with Princeton as Angelo Sanchez gets the start for Elizabethton.

Monday, July, 6th

Twins Talk
Tigers 11 Twins 9 16 innings Friday WP: Dolsi LP Dickey

Slowey 3 inn 6 runs 5 hits 4k Span 5-8 with triple and 2 rbi's

Twins 4 Tigers 3 Saturday WP: Guerrier LP: Lyon Save: Nathan (22)

Liriano 7 inn 3 runs 5 hits 2bb 8k Morneau 4-4 20th hr and 2 rbi's

Twins 6 Tigers 2 Sunday WP: Blackburn LP: Porcell0

Blackburn 9 inn 1 ER 7 hits 1bb 6k Morneau 2-4 21st hr and 2 rbi's

Rochester Wrap
Rochester 6 Buffalo 2 Friday WP: Manship LP: Perez Save: Delaney

Manship 7 inn 1 run 5 hits 4bb 2 k Huber 2-3 2 doubles 2rbi's and 2 walks

Buffalo 8 Rochester 3 Saturday WP: Figueroa LP: Mulvey

Mulvey 5.1 inn 6 runs 7 hits 5bb 4k Valencia 2-3 with a rbi

Rochester 9 Buffalo 5 Sunday WP: Humber LP: Stoner Save: Morillo

Humber 6 inn 5 runs 6 hits 1bb 5k Pridie 3-5 with double,triple homerun and 3 rbi's

Buffalo 5 Rochester 0 Sunday WP: Niese LP Jason Jones

Jones 7 inn 5 runs 9 hits 3k Christy 2-2 with a walk

New Britain Business
Portland 6 New Britain 4 Friday WP:Mills LP: Devries Save: Cox

Devries 4.1 6 runs 10 hits 1bb 5k era 3.13 Roberts 2-4 2 doubles and 3 rbi's

Portland 8 New Britain 5 Friday WP:Doubront LP: Fox Save: Large

Fox 3.2 inn 7 runs 6 hits 6bb 4k era 3.58 Gardenhire 3-4 with double and rbi

Trenton 7 New Britain 6 Saturday WP: Schmidt LP: Waldrop

Gutierrez 5 inn 1 run 1 hit 2bb 2k era 5.46 Lis 4-7 with a double

New Britain 5 Trenton 0 Sunday WP: Mullins LP: Bleich

Mullins 8 inn o runs 5 hits 8 strikeouts era 4.59 Portes 2-5 with double and 3 rbi's

Fort Myers Minutes

Fort Myers 2 Charlotte 1 Friday WP: Guerra LP: Downs Save: S. Arias

Guerra 7.1 inn 1 hit 1 run 1bb 6k Steve Singelton 2-4 with a double

Charlotte 9 Fort Myers 2 Saturday WP: Newmann LP: Hirschfeld Save: Mejias

Hirschfeld 3.1 inn 8runs 6 hits 2bb 2k era 2.86 Leveret 3-5 average .287

Fort Myers 8 Palm Beach 4 Sunday WP: Bromberg LP: Brown

Bromberg 5.2 inn 3earned runs 8 hits 2bb 4k Dolenc 2-3 with 2 rbi's

Beloit Beat
Cedar Rapids 5 Beloit 4 WP: Pugliesse LP: B. Martin Save: Taylor

Lanigan 5.2 inn 3 runs 6 hits 2 walks 5 strikeouts Hicks 2-4 double,triple,rbi,sb

Beloit 4 Peoria 1 WP: Tarsi LP: Shafer Save: M. Williams

Tarsi 7 inn 1 run 8 hits 3bb 3k Hicks 2-3 with 2 walks

Beloit 4 Peoria 2 WP: Tippett LP: Hatley Save: B. Martin

Tippett 7 inn 2 runs 6 hits 1 bb 5k Hicks 0-3 with a walk BA: ..233

E-town Entertainment

E-town 7 Greenville 5 Friday WP: Stuifbergen LP: Cruz Save: Bulluck

Stuifbergen 6 inn 4 runs 9 hits 1bb 6k Ladendorf 1-5 rbi ba:.429

E-town 13 Greenville 8 Saturday WP: Hendricks LP: Queved

Hendricks 5 inn 3 earned runs 8 hits 3k Ladendorf 1-4 hr,rbi and a walk

E-town 0 Princeton 0 Rained out Sunday