Interview with Jay's Minor Leaguer Frank Gailey

Here is the third interview we've been able to get through contact with agent Michael Bonanno of  Oak Sports Management (www.oaksportsmanagement.com). You can find the first two here, with Brad McElroy and here, with Randy Schwartz.

Frank Gailey is left-handed reliever, currently pitching for Dunedin. He was drafted by the Jays in the 23rd round of the 2007 Amateur Draft, out of West Chester, PA. He's been moving up nicely in the Jays system and has a 1.96 ERA in the minors, averaging 6.9 hits, 2.1 walks and 8.9 per 9 innings.

Our questions are in bold. 

Growing up in Philadelphia, would I be wrong to take it for granted that you are a Phillies fan? Who was your favorite player growing up? My favorite Phillie was, of course, Mitch Williams. Do you have memories of the World Series between the Jays and Phillies?

Yes, you can say I'm a Phillies fan in the off-season. I always enjoyed watching the game and routing for the home team with my friends and family. When I think back, I can not remember having a favorite player on the Phillies, but I always admired Tom Glavine. As a left handed pitcher, I respect the way he kept control of the game and located his pitches, which is something I try to achieve everyday.

In regards to the World Series game between the Jays and Phillies, I was young and I don't remember much about the game, except for the gut-wrenching walk-off homerun by Joe Carter in the 9th inning. Now, that's something I will always remember.


You've had great success at each level that you've played. Now you are in Dunedin what are the differences between Dunedin and the levels below?

The difference for me between Advanced A and the other lower levels is there is less room for error. The hitters are more patient so they wait for their pitch, rather than chasing whatever I throw out there. So, if a pitcher doesn't make the right pitch at the right time, it can really hurt the pitcher in this league.


What are you goals for this season?

Every day and every time I pick up a baseball whether it's in the off-season or during the season, I try to make myself better mentally and physically. Mentally I try to control everything I do without getting mad and able to adjust my mechanics anytime there just not right which is affecting me to miss my spots. Physically, I try to make my body in better shape, my pitches that much better, velocity a little harder and consistent. In doing this I will hopefully keep my team in the game seasons to come.


You have a terrific strikeout to walk rate. 43 k and just 5 walks in 40 innings. What is your strikeout pitch? How do you set up batters?

I would have say my changeup is my strike out pitch, but when it comes to setting up batters I don't. I go out there with a set routine; I just try not to let the hitters set me up. What I mean by that is, if I don't hit my spots and hitters are laying off those pitches then I'm the one that has to put it right there or walk him. Either way it's in the batters favor. So I go out to throw strikes and use my pitches according to what the hitters tell me and my catcher by his swing or body language.


You've been a reliever in your professional career and have had great success, ERA under 2.00 each year. Any thoughts about starting? Did you start in College? What do you enjoy about being a reliever?

Honestly it was a little difficult to adjust from being a starter in college to reliever role in pro ball. The time you have to get ready to go in the game was significantly less but I do love the fact of being a reliever. The opportunity to go out on the mound to help your team multiple times week is a great feeling.


I don't know if you've read Bullpen Gospels by Dirk Hayhurst, but he tells great stories about hanging out in the bullpen. What do you do to pass the time out there?

I unfortunately haven't read Bullpen Gospels but there are only a few things we do to pass the time in our pen. There is a game called password a lot of guys enjoy. It's where your thinking of a certain person and the only way your teammate has a chance to guess it, is by the one word clue that you give that cannot rhyme or be his or her first or last name. So we are able to have games of 4 teams of 2 players each. But for the most part we sit and talk about the game and just anything new in our lives.


Just a personal question, I'm going to be in Philadelphia for the first time next week. What's the one thing I shouldn't miss while I'm there?

So the big question is: Pats or Genos? You should definitely make time to find out which cheese steak shop is the best in Philadelphia. If you're not into the cheese steak scene there is a lot to check out in the old city section of Philadelphia. There are many historical sites like the liberty bell and the Betsy Ross house.

 

Thanks for this Frank, I enjoyed your answers. We'll be rooting for you. 

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