First and foremost… I’ve always called you Andrew, but I keep seeing you referred to as “Drew” Carpenter around the net. Which is it…Drew or Andrew?
I know from talking with you earlier that you said you’ve been in Clearwater working out since January to try to be in better shape this year than you were last year. What sort of goals have you set for yourself in 2008?
I think everyone’s goal each year is to get to Philly because I know mine is. Other than that they are to win another championship, to keep my team in every ball game to give them a chance to win, to keep progressing on my changeup and making that better, and now in AA maybe get a couple of hits this year.
You had a great year in 2007 at Clearwater. You set an all-time Clearwater record for wins in a season with 17 regular season wins plus two more in the post season. Was that a breakout type of season for you, or how will you look back on the accomplishments of 2007?
I would consider that a breakout year for me. I think having the year I did last year made people look at me a little more and give me a little more respect out there on the field. After your success this year I saw at least one Ebay auction for one of your baseball cards go for over $300. How does that make you feel? Pressure…motivation…? It makes me feel good that someone thinks that highly of me. I think it motivates me to become that much better.What pitches were you working with in 2007, and what was your strongest pitch or pitches? The pitch I was working on was my change up because I didn’t really have a change when I was drafted and it’s really good to have one when you move up in the system. My strongest pitches were my fastball, split-finger, and my slider. What (if anything) new is the organization working with you on developing for the future? Nothing new per se, just that my change up is a work in progress, and I’ll continue to work on that.You’ve had great success as a starter. Do you feel that will continue to be your future role for the club, or may we see you transition to the bullpen at some point in the future? I think my role in this organization is a starter for a long time to come. If I am asked to become a reliever to better my chances to get to the bigs or it is best for my team I will do it in a heart beat. The Threshers 2007 manager Dave Huppert was also the Champion in 2006 at Lakewood, and back-to-back championships have earned him a promotion to AAA this year. I’m not sure how much you get to work with him as a pitcher, but I’ve heard other players say “there’s just something about the way he motivates the team.” How much of most team’s success can be attributed to the manager in normal situations, and how much of the 2007 success do you think was manager driven vs “team chemistry” driven? Hupp was a great coach and motivator for us. I don’t really know what he did but he would just say the right things to motivate us to win and eventually we won the championship.What coaches, minor league instructors, peers or players within the Phillies organization have you felt like you have been able to look to as a mentor, and what have they helped contribute to your success?
Steve Schrenk was a big part of my success last year. When something was off just a little bit he let me know and we would just talk about the games and stuff. I learned a lot from him.
Thanks Andrew, best of luck this season!
As a closing note…the members of the Clearwater Threshers 2007 FSL Championship squad (including Andrew) will be presented with their championship rings prior to the March 12th night game versus the Cincinatti Reds. Any of you down in Clearwater for ST this year need to try to make it a point to get to the park early and support the guys during this pre-game ceremony.