Today the White Sox set-up a blogger conference call with two of the teams' fastest rising prospects, SS Marcus Semien and RHP Daniel Webb. The duo have been bright spots in what has been a somewhat dismal prospecting season. Due to technical difficulties (my recorder deciding to go Rutger Hauer on me), the first two questions didn't get recorded. But there are notes!
Mark Liptak asked something along the lines of if the roster shakeups on the big league team affected them to which both players gave fairly text book "Just keeping my eyes on what I'm doing down here" kind of answers.
Jim Margalus: I've seen your breaking ball described as both a slider and a curve. How would you describe it?
Daniel Webb: I would describe it more as a slider. Growing up, I threw a curveball but it's developed into more of a slider as I've gotten older and throw harder and my arm slot's changed over the years.
JM: How has your arm slot changed? Dropping down, less over the top?
DW: Just less over the top, not really dropping down. More of a high 3/4 arm slot.
Mark Liptak: Has anything surprised you about playing in the AAA level?
DW: Nothing we didn't really expect. I think that the difference is you've got guys coming up to the plate who were in the big leagues when we were in high school and college, just watching games on ESPN. Last night we played against Corey Patterson. You just see more former big leaguers and guys who are trying to get back up there and stay there.
ML: When Corey Patterson, or whomever it may be, steps up to the plate do you have a moment where you think "Oh wow! I saw this guy on TV!"?
DW: Sometimes, but when I'm out there on the mound I try to treat them just like if he was a guy my age trying to work his way up. I treat every guy that steps in with a bat as a threat and it's my job to try and get him out.
ML: When things are going good for you, is it more a matter of confidence or mechanics?
DW: It's confidence. When I'm out there pitching, that's the last thing on my mind, mechanics and what my body should be doing. I talked to our manager, Joel Skinner, the other day about whenever you're pitching well it's kind of like golf. It gets kind of boring, but you're just doing the same thing over and over again. Nothing's going through my mind but making a good pitch.
JM: Looking at your numbers, it seems like (I have no idea what Jim is saying here, it comes off very quietly as though he is fading into the ether)?
DW: Well last year I had a rough year and then went to the instructional league and a lot of things clicked for me mechanically. I came into spring training feeling good and throwing well. As the year's gone on, I've been in three different levels. I taken stuff from all three pitching coaches I've worked with. My mechanics are more sound and I'm able to repeat them. I've got a better grasp on the mental side of it as far as what the best pitch is to throw when.
JM: Has in the instruction been unified level to level, so far as what they're telling you?
DW: Yeah, it's all been the same. I've been working on the same stuff all year. They just give me it in different perspectives to help make it click.
ML: What would you say is your best pitch at this point in time?
DW: I'd have to say my fastball right now. I've gotten to the point where I can hit locations with it and make it into multiple pitches since I can hit so many locations with it.
Kristine Perteet: Growing up, who did you look up to for baseball?
A break in the action to link to a new interview club member's site.
DW: When I was growing up playing, I was always always a Cardinals fan. I remember one time Curt Schilling pitching against them and throwing a one hit shutout and after that I was always a Schilling fan and that's the kind of pitcher I wanted to be.