Q&A - SP - Chris Schwinden

Mack:  -    Hey folks. We're here this morning with the 22nd round pick in the 2008 draft, starting pitcher Chris Schwinden. Hey Chris, thanks for spending a few minutes with us. First up, are you home or down in Ft. Myers in Instruction Camp? .

Schwinden:  -  Thanks for having me. I'm back home here in Visalia, CA.

Mack: - I have to ask you the same question I ask all of you... take us back to that classic day you found out you were drafted... what was that all about? .

Schwinden:  - I was just sitting at home watching TV, Fish-eyeing my computer every round. Then I saw my name popped up under the Mets. I kind of double-taked for a second and I knew it was for real. and I was really excited. 

Mack: - Chris, you signed and went straight to Brooklyn, where you went 4-1, 2.01, in 14 games, eight starts. More importantly, you had 70-Ks in only 62.2-IP, with only 12-BB. The new grind of rotating every five days didn't seem to affect you at all....

Schwinden: - Well...Its the same game where ever you go.You have to throw the ball over for strikes and try and get guys out. I was fortunate enough to have a season like Brooklyn. Pitching every five days was some getting use to, but its what you do with those extra days to try and get yourself better for the next outing.

Mack: - You said it perfectly. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked "how do I get to the majors"... if they're a pitcher, I tell them "well, you first have to throw strikes..."
Anyway, it was on to Savannah in 2009 (9-6, 3.28) and then finishing up with St. Lucie (1-0, 3.97), where you continued to shine in 2010 at (3-0, 1.83)...

Had you added anything new to your repertoire during this period? .

Schwinden: - This past off season I really wanted to work on my curve. It wasn't that great in 09. So I really wanted to bring that back into play. This year mark brewer taught me how to throw a cutter and had lots of success with it. So I have another pitch that is going to be fun throwing.

Mack:  - Last question...

Chris, you're at that place I call "the point of no return". Minor league players really have two steps they must take to get to the Bigs.... one, they have to get to the AA level... and two, they have to get past it.

A coach told me once that there are no bad baseball players in AA.

You've already had a taste of that this past season. Is it true and what are your off-season plans to get ready for your next step? .

Schwinden:  -  Well... I would say that there are guys that have experience where they have found success in what they have learned and there are some that haven't found it yet. But they have done something great to get themselves where they are. I'm going to work on the cutter and try to establish that to the best I can get it. Also work on little mechanical problems that I endured over the season and go from there.

Mack:  -  Great ideas. The cutter turned out to be the difference for Mike Pelfrey. It's a killer pitch with no predictable outcome. I always called it a fast-knuckler...

Thanks much, Chris and I'll see you at Lucy in March.

Old Schwinden stuff...

Selected by New York Mets in 22nd Round (674th overall) of 2008 amateur entry draft.

From: http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080513/SPORTS/805130322/1006

"Chris Schwinden, Fresno Pacific baseball: The Golden West graduate ended the season with a 6-1 record on the mound and a 2.48 ERA. He had 96 strikeouts in 90 2-3 innings."

In 2008, Schwinden went 4-1, 2.01, 14 games, 8 starts, 70Ks, 62.2 IP, only 12 BBs, for Brooklyn.

From: www.dembrooklynbums.com: - Drafted by the Mets in the 22nd round of this year’s draft, many baseball insiders didn’t know what to expect from right-handed pitcher Chris Schwinden. Despite having great numbers in his last year at Fresno Pacific, going 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA, the Clones staff was so full of talent before the season started that it was impossible to know what the 21-year-old was capable of doing once he reached the pros. Regardless of that notion however, Schwinden has managed to thrive out of the Brooklyn bullpen so far this season, going 0-1 with a 1.88 ERA in four appearances and a start, after a college career that saw him mostly as a starter.

September 2008: Brooklyn pitching coach Hector Berrios on: Scott Shaw and Chris Schwinden: “These guys are both tacticians on the mound and they rely on spotting the ball. Their game is being able to locate their pitches and change speeds. They did an impressive job of that this season. I think Shaw was one of our most underrated pitchers and if you take two or three bad innings away from him, he was the best pitcher in the league this season.”

In September, Patrick Hickey wrote on: Chris Schwinden- Every season in Brooklyn, there’s a player who relies on command and ends up having a monster year. In 2006, it was Eric Brown. In 2007, it was Dylan Owen and Dillon Gee. Simply put, Schwinden is a sleeper prospect with a great attitude that I see rising through the organization. Is he the next Brian Bannister, Joe Smith or promising prospect to get to the Mets in a year or so? Probably not, but he’s still going to fun to watch develop. Final Grade- A

In 2009, Schwinden became one of the “Savannah 5”, posting a 9-6, 3.28, 1.22 record in 21 games, 17 starts. He also went 1-0, 3.97 for Lucy in the last week of the season.

1-1-10 Forecast: Everybody spent the entire 2009 season bragging on Jeurys Familiar and Robert Carson, while Schwinden stayed under the radar. Hey, this is a guy with a lifetime 1.17 WHIP! So far, in two seasons, he’s 14-7, 2.90, 1.17. I’ll take that at any level. We may have ourselves another pitching prospect here.

5-22-10: - AA- Chris Schwinden: The B-Mets have been stuck in their worst stretch so far this season, losing nine in a row going into Saturday night’s game. And no one has played worse than the rotation, who was 0-7, 8.79 during that stretch. They turned to Chris Schwinden, who was pitching the best at St. Lucie and he gave them six excellent innings: 6.0-IP, 1-ER, 5-K, 0-BB.

6-20-10: - Schwinden decided to show the people in Binghamton why he was promoted from m St. Lucie. Chris threw 6.1 innings, giving up zero runs, seven hits, while striking out five and walking one. His AA ERA was lowered to 5.63. Game wise, Chris got help from three B-Mets relievers and wound up on the plus side of a 1-0 victory. His combined stats for Lucy/Bing are: 5-4, 3.66, in 13 games, eight starts. I’m sure he’s not going anywhere else this season and will finish the year as a 24-year old. Look for him to possibly open next season in the Buffalo rotation.

7-3-10 from: - http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100702&content_id=11844328&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp -

Chris Schwinden fell three outs short of a perfect game Friday, settling for the first shutout of his three-year career as Binghamton pounded the Portland Sea Dogs, 10-0, in the first game of a doubleheader. The 23-year-old right-hander retired the first 18 batters before Che-Hsuan Lin led off the seventh and final inning with a line drive single up the middle. Schwinden ended up striking out five and did not walk a batter for the second straight start. He's been streaky since his promotion to Double-A in mid-May. After holding last-place New Britain to one run over six innings to win his Eastern League debut, he dropped his next four starts. The California native tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings against Trenton on June 18, then lasted only 2 1/3 frames against New Britain five days later.

7-3-10: - Schwinden has had a hard time solidifying himself within the Binghamton rotation, but that might be all in the past after last night’s first game of the doubleheader. Schwinden had a no-hitter after six innings and finished up the 7-inning game with a two hitter. He also struck out five and did not give up a walk.

2011 Forecast: - Chris started off the 2010 season on fire. . He looked like the real deal in June and July at the AA level, but that was before he went around the league once. He finished the AA season with 14 starts (in 17 games) and a 5.56 ERA, before landing on the DL (strained left oblique), where he remained until the season ended. Schwinden probably is just going through the bumps that most lower level starters go through as they progress. I expect they’ll start him over in Binghamton for the 2011 season.


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