02/01/2008 4:40 PM
This week you ask Anthony Boughner what it was like with the change in catchers mid season and what it’s like playing away from home all summer.
To me it looked like one Arlis joined the team you started pitched a lot better. Did it have anything to do with the catcher, orr was it you finally getting healthy after your injury on opening day?
Ed – Kansas City, KS
I really enjoyed having Arlis behind the plate. He was very solid defensively and we were on the same page as far as pitch selection goes. He is one of my favorite catchers I have ever thrown to as well as being one of the hardest workers behind the plate. I actually wasn't healthy all season and later found that I actually had a torn my right quad tendon which I had repaired in October. I think the biggest thing for me was adjusting my mechanics to my injury. Since I had a torn quad tendon, I could not bend as low in my delivery which took me some time to adjust to. Once I got comfortable and was able to make that adjustment I was able to get back to throwing the ball where I wanted with confidence.
Also, as a pitcher, I know you like balls hit to a certain position because you know the player will and can always make the big play to help you out of an inning. Is there any one particular player you wanted opponents hitting the ball to?
I have always been a ground ball pitcher, so I always rely on my defense. I never look to a certain player to make a play. Obviously, I like the 6-4-3 or 4-6-3 double play (a pitcher's best friend), but I just try to stay low in the zone and get ground balls. After that, the defense better be ready! I do try to keep a fast pace so my defense stays on their toes. I know the worst thing for a fielder is a pitcher that takes forever between pitches. But I have all the confidence in the world in the guys behind me that they will make a play on any ball hit to them.
What has occupied your time in the off-season?
Ted – Olathe, KS
After my surgery in October, I have been spending most of my time rehabbing and giving pitching lessons here in Ohio. I rehab three days a week and will be 100% by March. I give the lessons at a local facility called Slugger's Baseball Academy. I work with some individual kids, groups, and even teams preparing them for their upcoming season. It has made me realize that I would really like to get into coaching when my playing days are over.
How determined are you to come back and have a healthy season in 2008?
Paul – Tonganoxie, KS
Very determined! I was so disappointed last year, not only by the way I played, but how we ended the season in general. We were all convinced we would be in the playoffs, so it left a really bad taste in our mouths when we came up short.
Was it hard to adjust to the Kansas City heat?
Aharon – Las Vegas, NV
It actually wasn't as bad as I had expected but I did notice I would have to change my undershirt when I pitched. I never had to do that in the middle of a game like I did last year. I kind of liked it when I would do my running outside the day after my start. I felt like I got a better flush after I would pitch and my arm actually felt better. The cooler it is, the tougher it is to get a sweat going.
Do you prefer to pitch in the hot weather, or when it’s a little cooler or cold?
Dan – Kansas City, KS
I really like to pitch in hot weather. I feel I can get really loose and stretched out when it is hot, but it seems so much harder in the cooler weather. I don't like rosin though, so it makes it tough to keep my fingers dry in warmer weather.
Being married, is it difficult to spend the entire summer away from your wife, how do you deal with that?
Sarah – Kansas City, MO
Actually, my wife is a teacher so she gets her summers off! We are apart for about a month until she gets out of school but then she gets to spend the entire summer with me. I know many guys who are married and do not get to see their wives that much so I feel very blessed to only be away for a month. Last year was great because Tom and Cathy Moreland was our host family and they let Kim (my wife) stay with me all summer. They really made us feel at home. Kim also came on many of our road trips so we really got to spend a lot of time together. Luckily, she is a huge baseball fan!!!
What is your favorite road trip to make, and what makes it so good?
Josh – Leawood, KS
My favorite road trip is probably Schaumburg. I know the city and we stayed in a really nice hotel. The mall is within walking distance and there is a Bally's Total Fitness right next to the hotel so we can go over there and get a good workout in.
What is the most comfortable stadium to pitch in?
Chris – Parkville, MO
Honestly, I really like pitching in Kansas City. The fans are great and the atmosphere is second to none. I really feel like that the fans are behind us. When someone makes a big play or gets a big hit, you can just feel the stadium's energy. I also feel comfortable in Schaumburg. I would guess it is because I played there for two years and am very familiar with the surroundings.
Was it nice having a bunch of familiar faces surrounding you even though you were playing in a new city?
Chad – Liberty, MO
It was awesome playing with former teammates from previous years. We pretty much knew what everyone brought to the table so we didn't have to spend much time trying to find an identity. Since I had played with most of the guys I was really anxious getting on the field and starting the season. I think that is why it was so disappointing last year. We had so many talented guys returning and had really high expectations. When we didn't reach our goals it was tough to swallow.
Submit you questions now for Matt Schweitzer. Questions can be sent to Tommy Thrall at firstname.lastname@example.org.