San Diego Padres’ rookie right-handed pitcher Cal Quantrill is having an impressive rookie campaign. Consistency is the key to his year, as the hurler tells East Village Times.
The 2019 season has been full of ups and downs for Cal Quantrill.
With the San Diego Padres depth at starting pitcher, the Canadian native struggled to get a foothold in the starting rotation to begin the season. Quantrill did not make the team out of the spring and was instead sent to El Paso to hone his craft. The former Stanford pitcher did not sulk, instead choosing to challenge himself.
Cal Quantrill eventually made it to the major leagues as he was recalled to pitch against the Atlanta Braves in his first start. In May, his first month in the big leagues, Quantrill was sent down twice by the team. When he was recalled in June, he spent four games pitching out of the bullpen initially. For the rookie pitcher, there was no difference in either aspect. “I went about doing my job as a reliever. And now I am going to do my job as a starter. Not much has changed. I just get my work done and get prepared to pitch,” Quantrill said informatively. He is methodical about his prep work, and this comes as no surprise.
The Canadian pitcher has been able to keep the ball down in his recent outings. He has a quality sinker in which he gets plenty of weak outs from while pounding the zone. “There is value in that pitch. It the kind of pitch that is not loved in the game today, but I think there is a spot for it. There is definitely a spot for it in my repertoire,” Quantrill said. Pounding the lower part of the strike zone is great, but the rookie is learning how to pitch. “I don’t throw all sinkers and two-seamers by any means, but I think there is a time and a place for them. I am trying to learn when is best to throw them and get those weak ground balls,” Quantrill said with a nod. He recognizes the quality unit of defenders behind him and wants to utilize their services instead of trying to do it all himself.
His first taste of major league life has been pleasant for the former #1 pick. He is soaking it all up. “It is all brand new to me. I feel like every road trip I learn something new- what I should be wearing, where I should be showing up. I am just trying to take in every second of it and enjoy my time,” Quantrill said with a smile. Though he has been in a professional locker room plenty growing up as a son of a major leaguer, this experience is different.
There are many things pitchers work on during a season. Mechanical and mental aspects of the game are always in need of fine-tuning. Quantrill is working on one specific thing while in the bullpen between starts. “Consistency. I want to look and feel the same every time I am on the mound. I take my bullpens very seriously. I am really trying to protect the craft which is pitching. I am trying to execute at a really high rate,” Quantrill tells East Village Times.
His slider and changeup combination can be a very lethal combination for the pitcher. He has learned when and how to use each pitch. “Just a good mix with those pitches. Both catchers have called really good games for me and had really good scouting reports. It all comes down to throwing the ball where you want it. Lately, I have been throwing the slider and change more effectively because I have been locating the fastball where I want to. They feel pretty good right now — both the offspeed pitches,” Quantrill said. In sharpening the spin and such on his offspeed pitches, the Rapsodo machine is still being used by the Canadian right-hander. “We use it (Rapsodo) mostly in spring but have done it a little bit this season too. You just make sure everything is where it needs to be. It allows me to maintain my consistency,” Quantrill said. The intellectual pitcher has no issues utilizing advanced metrics.
Though he had a rough start on Tuesday against the Dodgers, the young pitcher did not shy away from his responsibilities. He knows he should be better, and he will always strive for that desired consistency.