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Player Interview: Triple-A RHP Troy Scribner

Troy Scribner John Whinery/ Via


Player Interview: Triple-A RHP Troy Scribner

TSJ Sports had the opportunity to talk with Troy Scribner, of the Salt Lake Bees, a Triple-A affiliate, of the Los Angeles Angels.  Troy is a 2009 graduate of Shepaug Valley High School, in Washington, Connecticut.  He then went on to play Division I baseball, at Sacred Heart University, in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Troy Scribner: High School and College Standout

Scribner had a stellar career at Shepaug Valley HS.  In his senior season, he struck out 121, set the school record with 90 2/3 IP, posting a 24-7 record, and a 1.08 ERA.  Also, in his senior season, Scribner tossed a no-hitter, in the Class S state tournament quarterfinal.  His high school coach, according to Richard Gregory, called Scribner, “the smartest player I’ve ever coached.”

Troy did not miss a beat when he went on to play for Sacred Heart.  During his time there, he accumulated 261 strikeouts, 344 innings pitched, and 26 wins.  He currently sits in second place, in school history, in all three of those categories, behind only Rich Licursi.  Licursi would go on to pitch, for several seasons, in the minor leagues.

Minor League Career

Scribner spent three seasons, in the Houston Astros organization, after they signed him, as an undrafted free agent, in 2013.  In that span, he bounced back and forth, between the Rookie level, and Double-A.  His first season, he combined for a 4-4 record, and a 2.55 ERA, in Rookie and Low-A ball.

He would see even more success, in his second year, in 2014.  Pitching in the Low-A, A, and Double-A leagues, he put together a 10-3 record, with a 2.09 ERA.  Unfortunately, he would take a step back, in 2015.

He spent all of 2015, at the High-A level.  He pitched in 29 games, going just 2-6, with a 5.49, ERA.  However, the next season, 2016, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels.  He was able to bounce back, for Los Angeles.  Scribner pitched at the Double-A and, for the first time, Triple-A levels, in 2016.  He was able to collect 12 wins, and only five losses, that season, posting a respectable 3.68 ERA.

Troy has spent the entire 2017 season at the Triple-A level, with the Salt Lake Bees.  In 11 starts, he has a 7-2 record and a 5.12 ERA.  Though his ERA is not where he would like, he is striking out nine batters per nine innings.

Question and Answer Session with Troy Scribner

What was it like to go undrafted, and then sign with the Astros?

“Of course I was expecting to be drafted, that’s what everybody wants. I knew that there wasn’t a high chance that I would get picked, in the early rounds . . . so I was kind of waiting until the end, and my name just never got called. I didn’t know what to do at that point. My college coach had told me, ‘don’t give up hope, you might be a signed free agent, so keep working, and maybe something will happen in the next couple days, or the next couple weeks.’ So, I just stayed ready. I got a call, like a week and a half later, saying that the Astros wanted to sign me as a free agent, and I said, hell yeah.”

What is it like to be traded?

“That was an exciting morning. I was in Spring Training with the Astros, in Florida, and it was after a rough year, and I was kind of on the bubble, to even have a job, after Spring Training. And they told me that, they were very in house with me. I pitched well in Spring Training, so I was hoping that I could get shipped out, and get a chance to throw again that season. I came in one day, and, you know, what they do when they release guys, you go in, in the morning, and your stuff is usually out of your locker, and your locker is empty, and you have a note that says, ‘go see the Farm Director.’ So, I came in, and all my stuff was gone, just like that, so I thought, here we go. I was walking to the Farm Director’s office, thinking that I was going to be on a plane, in a couple hours, back to Connecticut. But, I walked in there, and he said, ‘hey, we got you traded, so don’t be too down on yourself. We got you traded to the Angels, and you’re leaving on a plane to Arizona in the morning,’ and I said, this is awesome. In the situation I was in, it was absolutely a relief. I was really happy about it and happy to get a second chance.”

What has your Minor-League experience been like?

“I love it. I love the lifestyle, and I love getting to play baseball every day. I’ve enjoyed every step of it, even though some parts were rough. In 2015, I had a pretty tough year, but I still had a blast playing. I love the lifestyle, but it’s been up and down, for sure.”

What have been some of your biggest obstacles?

“In the beginning, of my career as a pro, I did well. I had success, at the lower levels. And then, once I got to High-A, it caught up to me. That level is where you have to get really, really good, to perform, at that level. I think everything just caught up to me, and I stopped getting away with a lot of the things that I got away with, in the lower levels. It was kind of a wake up call, and I had to really work, all year, and I didn’t have the best resources, at hand, to get better. It was tough to make that adjustment. I’d make the adjustment, and do well for a couple starts, and then, I’d do bad again, and it was just back and forth. I could never just be consistent, all year, that year. That was probably the biggest obstacle. It wasn’t really anything specific, it was just being consistent.”

Can you see yourself on a big-league roster in the near future, what are some things you might need to work on to get there?

“I’m in Triple-A, so I’m about as close as you can get. It’s funny how, when you get here, you think you’re so close, but there’s still so many things that need to happen, for you to get called up. It becomes, not really as much about your performance, anymore. Most of these guys would attest to, that I play with, it has a lot more to do with situations and what the big-league team needs, as far as pitching, and who they’re willing to take off their roster, put on their roster, and there’s a lot of gray area that happens that I’m just now learning about, being here. But, for sure I see myself being able to go up, and help the Angels win. It depends on whenever they give me the call, and whenever they need me. We’ve had a lot of injuries, so there’s definitely a lot of opportunity. I want to say it’s tougher for someone like me, who’s not on the roster. You not only have to [work harder], everything else has to work out, above you. Things have to open up above you, to even be a possibility. It’s just tough, but it’s for sure a possibility. There’s still things I need to work on, to have success, in the big-leagues. I have quite a bit of walks, and that number could always go down. There’s always stuff to work on, and always stuff to get better.”

How important is it to have guys like, Houston Street and Doug Fister, down there, to learn from?

“Those guys are great. I only spent a couple days, with Houston, he was here briefly, for a rehab stint, and then he left, so I didn’t really get to pick his brain much as Fister. Doug and I have been throwing together, in the outfield. He’s been really open to me asking for advice. It’s been great to talk to somebody with such a wealth of experience, and just hear the way that he thinks, and the way he had success, in the big leagues. How he perceives me, as well, is cool too, and how he watches me throw, and what he offers me. He’s been great. It’s been awesome having him here. It’s been a good resource for me.”

Does seeing the success that a lot of young pitchers are having at the Major-League level encourage you?

“Yeah, for sure. I have a bunch of teammates now, old teammates, that I used to play with, for the Astros, or guys that I played with in this organization, [that I’ve seen] get called up, and do well, and stick up there. It’s definitely great to hear, and gives me hope for the future.”

What is the best part of being a professional baseball player, aside from getting paid to play baseball?

“I think the best part, is the teammates that you get to play with, and the people you meet, along the way. That’s always been the best part for me, and what I’ve enjoyed the most. All the different kinds of teams I’ve been on, and all the different friends I’ve had, and all the connections you make, with all these awesome guys, that would’ve never happened, without baseball bringing us together. I think that’s the best part.”