Howard Kellman’s Interview with Tribe Pitching Coach Tom Filer
HK: Tell us about spring training? What is it like?
Filer: To me, the initial stages of spring training are a time to get reacquainted with players..to ask them about their off season…..and then we get right down to business. Most of my time in spring training is in Major League camp..
Our guys are focused..everyone knows what is at stake. For me, being in Major League Camp is great….I am asked how I feel about the pitchers…it means a great deal to me that I am asked for my opinions.
HK: What are your thoughts when you look back at your first two years as pitching coach of the Indianapolis Indians?
Filer: I look back at the 2011 and 2012 seasons with great fondness. We did not get off to a good start two years ago…but we made great progress throughout the season.
Last year, every day coming to the ballpark was a pleasure. We had a terrific team and a great regular season.
HK: What is the difference working with young pitchers at the Triple-A Level as opposed to working with veterans?
Filer: The young guys don’t know what they are in store for when they get to this level!
The jump from Double-A to Triple-A is a big one. You must lead young pitchers and show them the way..you do not have to do that with veterans.You tend to work with young pitchers more on their mechanics.
HK: How much of pitching is mechanics and how much is the mental approach?
Filer:The mental approach becomes more important at the upper levels..there is more emphasis on mechanics at the lower levels…Each pitcher is different..with some you talk more about the mental approach to pitching…with others you discuss mechanics in depth.
HK: What is the most challenging thing about being a pitching coach?
Filer: Dealing with 12 different people as individuals…..at any one time..three may be doing very well…three may be struggling…and six are holding their own.
HK: What are your thoughts when you look back to your playing career?
Filer: I wish I could have stayed healthy …especially when I got to the Major Leagues..
I wish I had listened to my coaches…I heard them ..but I did not listen the way I should have….
Howard Kellman is the longtime “Voice of the Indians.” He can be reached at www.HowardKellman.com and @HowardKellman.