It’s spring training and the start of the season is near, emotions are running high and every player is anxious to get out on the field and play. Sadly, many players fall to injuries and keep them on the sidelines and unfortunately, that’s what happened to San Diego Relieve Pitcher Nick Vincent the past two seasons. The young 26-year-old pitcher is currently trying to get back in the groove of things as he helps his Triple A team down in Tucson. During a phone interview I held with Nick I asked him how his arm felt the last time he pitched.
Nick replied “Pretty good, the best its felt in a while.”
Pitchers know that the slightest injury can affect their pitching, and can effect anything from the speed and movement on the ball to the location of each pitch. Nick began to explain that although he is feeling better, his location still isn’t where he wants it to be. Nick has been pitching in Triple A since his injury, I also asked him what the difference was from pitching at the stadium in Tucson to pitching at Petco Park.
Nick answered “the wind it’s hot here, (in Tucson) the wind is thinner and the wind is blowing out to center/right field.” Nick goes on to say how the hitters like it in Tucson and as you’d guess the pitchers don’t like it very much due to the fact that balls fly in the thin Arizona air. We can all agree playing in the minor leagues and playing in the big leagues does not compare, but then you add in factors like the fans and the different stadiums, it is sure to be overwhelming at times. So, I asked Nick what his thoughts were when he first was called up to play at Petco as a Padre, his hometown team, and what it was like with so many friends and family there cheering him on.
Nick answered by saying it was great to have his family and friends there, but said ” I don’t hear anybody once I hear my name called to warm up, I’m pretty much in my own zone then… my dad always asks me if I hear him, I tell him I don’t hear anything. When it’s time for me to do my job I pretty much block everything out, it’s a different zone it just seems like I blackout out there.”
It’s apparent he takes his job seriously and is determined to produce good results for his hometown team. I asked him how it felt pitching at Petco Park, where the fans are cheering for him, and then having to pitch at a different stadium where fans there are cheering against him.
“I like it” said a confident Nick Vincent, “it gets me going I think it’s fun, they’re screaming trying to get in your head and it’s funny cause when you’re warming up in the bullpen the fans go ‘woop’ ‘wooooo’ “haha”, I’m just laughing because it’s apart of the game, but some guys can’t handle it and some guys can.
I then asked, “Do you like it when the pressure is on? having to come in the game and save it or give your team the best chance to win?”
Nick responded ” I told the manager, Buddy Black, I like going in as soon as the starters start to struggle, I like coming in and maintaining a lead or keeping the score as close as possible.” Nick wants to be in the position to help his team get the win and loves the pressure that comes with it.
The Poway native grew up watching his San Diego Padres and watching players like Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman play, now he’s representing the same name and is hoping to come back as soon as possible to help his team win games and even make it to the playoffs by the end of the year. But at this point he and his team can only take it one game at a time.
We would like to thank Nick Vincent, who is not only a great baseball player, but a great person for taking the time to do the interview and we hope his return is smooth and quick.
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