Catching up with Corey Madden (Baseball)

July 5, 2010
Corey Madden

With three out of the last four games being called off because of rain, Anchorage’s Corey Madden has had plenty of time of his hands.

So is the life of a minor league baseball player.

Madden, of East High fame, is a relief pitcher for the Jupiter Hammerheads, a Florida Marlins affiliate in the Class A Advanced Florida State League.

The 26-year-old right hander is enjoying a nice season, striking out 35 batters in 31 innings and recording a 1-2 record with four saves and a 3.48 ERA.

He has been nearly unhittable of late, allowing just one earned run over his last 12 innings.

The Alaskan is one of the lone bright spots for the last-place Hammerheads, who have lost 51 of 77 games.

Question: How do you enjoy personal success when the team is struggling?
Answer: No matter what the team’s situation is, you always want to do well. Having players perform well on a consistent basis even though the team may not be winning gives other guys a reason to compete and do better. We all know that performing well gives us a chance to move up, and that’s the ultimate goal.

Q: How does a closer stay focused when his team isn’t winning?
A: Well I didn’t start the season as the closer, but since our closer got moved up to AA I’ve filled that role. I feel like I have to keep myself relaxed to pitch well. When a team isn’t winning, I think it’s more important to approach every game as if you were in for a save. Nothing should change. You want to go right after them with your best stuff.

Q: What has worked for you in terms of pitches and why?
A: I use my fastball a lot. I have a 4-seam and a 2-seam fastball. My 4-seam is straighter and harder than my 2-seam, but my 2-seam has more sink and runs in on righties. Then I have a hard slider and a change-up. I guess my fastball is what has worked the best for me because I tend to strikeout more guys with that than any other pitch.

Q: How much are you digging on all your strikeouts?
A: Strikeouts don’t necessarily mean I’m a great pitcher, but they sure make you feel like it when you get them. If I didn’t strike many guys out I would be more concerned about the amount of guys that I walked. But I don’t really dwell on the amount of strikeouts I have. I think walks, ERA, and opponent’s batting average are much more significant stats.

Q: Are you getting batters mostly swinging or looking?
A: Definitely swinging. At times I’ve considered myself to be what people would call effectively wild. I get a lot of swings and misses at fastballs up in the zone which works in my favor because it generally puts me in a situation where I can expand the strike zone even more and try to get hitters to chase a breaking ball.

Q: Would you ever consider starting to get more innings?
A: At this point in my career I’ve pretty much settled in as a late one or two inning guy. Whether it be as a set-up man or a closer, I think my style of pitching gives me the best chance for success late in the game. It’s not really up to me to become a starter but if I was asked to I wouldn’t say no.

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