Talk about how the deal came together with the Padres:
Stephen Spragg: I got a letter from the Padres asking me to come to a tryout camp in Chicago. It was a two-day tryout camp and I got to show what I could do.
They signed me as a submarine pitcher and I have always been more of a straight thrower. I throw sidearm and every now and then will drop down sub.
What kind of velocity do you have on your fastball with the submarine style?
Stephen Spragg: Before the season started with the Washington Wild Things I was averaging 90-91. At the tryout camp, which was after the season – and I also had to drive through the night to get there – I was only throwing 84-86. When I dropped down sub I was averaging 88.
Do you have any other pitches?
Stephen Spragg: I always threw just fastballs but because I never used it as my arm angle – I used to throw a forkball from down there a little bit but at the tryout camp, the second day, I did throw a curveball and changeup and actually didn’t throw a forkball that day. They were pretty good pitches. I have to work on them but they were pretty good.
One of the problems with the submarine arm angle has been command. Very few pitchers can keep their delivery consistent. How do you feel?
Stephen Spragg: I actually feel like in submarine I have more control and I feel like I have more velocity as well.
What was the competition level like with Washington?
Stephen Spragg: The competition – we had a really good team. We had a bunch of guys who played Double-A – but the competition was much stronger in the eastern division we were in than the western side.
How come you don’t like hockey – having lived in Canada?
Stephen Spragg: When my family first moved over from England was when I was born and they weren’t into hockey so they just put me into baseball which is probably a good thing.
What are your expectations this year and where do you think you will play?
Stephen Spragg: In my contract it says I will start with the Fort Wayne Wizards. I am looking forward to that.
I don’t know a whole lot. I know they are a lot more aggressive in signing Independent League players and have done well with that.
This was a goal I have been working towards and now I have to go to camp and do the best that I can.
In what kind of role do you see yourself in and what do you prefer?
Stephen Spragg: I really like closing. I like being in that situation. I think it is more of a rush.