Rising Apple Goes One-On-One With Mets Minor Leaguer Chris Schwinden

By Unknown author

Throughout the season, Rising Apple has conducted interviews with several Mets players and minor leaguers, including Greg Peavey, Brad Emaus (remember him?) and Steve Matz.  These players have given some insight about their approaches to the game, life as a minor leaguer and their personal lives as well.  This time, we chat with Buffalo Bisons starting pitcher, Chris Schwinden.

The Mets triple-A rotation actually looked pretty good to start the season.  The combination of Jenrry Mejia, Boof Bonser, Pat Misch and Dillon Gee had a good mix of upside and big league experience.  However, both Bonser and Mejia wound up having Tommy John surgery, and an injury to Chris Young pressed Dillon Gee into service in the Majors, leaving the Bisons rotation a little thin.  Schwinden, who had made two relief appearances at Binghamton this season in addition to making fourteen starts their in 2010, was promoted and has not disappointed.  The twenty-four year old righty taken out of Fresno Pacific in the 22nd round in 2008 has posted a 7-6 record at Buffalo this season, along with a 3.76 ERA (3.84 FIP) and 1.239 WHIP in 22 starts (124.1 innings).  He’s also posted a very respectable 8.2 K/9, although his BB/9 of 3.1 is higher than his career mark of 2.0.  Schwinden was kind enough to answer a few questions about his approach to pitching, working his way through the minors, and social media.

Rising Apple: What would you say your approach is as a pitcher? What is your repertoire?
Chris Schwinden: I throw a fastball, cutter, curve and changeup, and i try to attack everyone.

RA: You’ve been able to steadily advance through the Mets organization? To what do you attribute your success thus far in the minor leagues?
CS: I owe so much to the pitching coaches as i came up through every level. I have been given opportunities and took them and ran with them as best as I could.

RA: How does it feel to be knocking at the door of the Majors?
CS: It’s overwhelming a little because you worked so hard and you have dreamed about this for so long and to be this close to reaching your goal its…amazing.

RA: Is there any minor league start that sticks out as particularly memorable?
CS: I think it would be my debut in triple-A. Just going out there, having no clue who the hitters were and just doing what I was meant to do-and that’s getting hitters out.

RA: What has been your favorite minor league city to pitch in so far?
CS: There are a lot of great citys to play in.  My top three would be Buffalo, Durham and Louisville.

RA: The Mets just signed many of their draft picks. What did it feel like to be drafted and then signed by the Mets?
CS: Well just to be drafted was an opportunity that a lot of college players don’t get.  But I’m glad the Mets saw something they liked in me because I wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for them. I have met some of my good friends and great knowledgeable and experienced coaching staff.

RA: You’re pretty active on Twitter (@CSchwinny). What do you like about it?
CS: Haha Twitter…it’s fun you get to meet some of the fans and interact in conversations, so i like it.

RA: What is your favorite thing to do when you have a day off?
CS: I just started golfing over the offseason and I like to round up some guys like [Mike] Nickeas and guys that are really good and go play.  I try and learn from Nickeas cause he’s an unreal golfer, but mostly to go have fun and take your mind away from baseball for a day.

RA: If you had to compare yourself to one pitcher, who would it be?
CS: Well everyone says I’m comparable to [Dillon] Gee so i guess ill pick him, haha.

RA: If you weren’t playing professional baseball, what would you be doing?
CS: I would probably be a highway patrolman. Or trying to coach somewhere.