Pedro Viola just finished up his second season in the US playing for the Reds in their farm system. He has been nothing short of dominating for the most part. In two seasons he has an ERA of 3.01 and has struck out 25.4% of the batters he has faced. I had a chance to talk with Pedro and his agent for this interview and just wanted to thank both of them for their time and for doing this.
RML: Who did you look up to on the baseball field growing up?
PV: I liked Sammy Sosa. I liked the way he played and he did a lot for the people and kids in Dominica. My favorite pitcher was Randy Johnson.
RML: What was the toughest thing to get used to when you came to the US from the Dominican Republic in 2007?
PV: In the beginning it was the cold weather. We began the season in Dayton and it had snowed. It was the first I had seen snow. As the season went a long, I missed my family. I buy calling cards to speak with my family and girl friend. I get about 100 minutes for $5 on a cell phone calling card, so it is hard to stay in touch. I spend a lot of my pay on phone cards.
RML: What is your current pitch repertoire and how do you feel about each pitch?
PV: Fastball, Sinker, Curve, changeup.
RML: You have spent time in the bullpen and in the rotation over the course of your career. Which role do you prefer and why?
PV: I just like to pitch. Starting is good, but I will do whatever the team needs.
RML: Going with that question, it sounds like the Reds want to have you in the rotation next year. You had a good season in AA last year, do you think with a new role you will be back there at the start of the season?
PV: Right now, I think I will be a starter, but that could change depending on how I do and roles that are open at different levels.
RML: What kind of adjustments do you make in your preparations as a starter that you didn’t as a reliever?
PV: As a starter you know when you are going to pitch. As a reliever you always have to be ready.
RML: What do you feel are your biggest strengths and your biggest weaknesses on the mound?
PV: I want to improve my changeup. I have confidence in all my pitches, but that is one I want to make better.
RML: Which coach that you have worked with has been the most influential on you and why?
PV: All coaches have been good. In the Dominican I get to work with Mario Soto everyday.
RML: Do you have any individual goals for next season?
PV: I work hard hard everyday to get better. That is all I can control is to train hard today. My goal is to get better, more consistent, and pitch in the big leagues.
RML: During the offseason do you have any baseball related activities?
PV: I will play for Gigantes when I go home. After that I will take a short time off with my family. I then will start going to the complex to train for 5 days/week. Then in January I will go and live at the complex.
Thanks again to Pedro for doing this. He will be playing for the Gigantes along with Reds prospects Juan Francisco and Sam Lecure in the Dominican Winter League.