Craig Italiano: Former RHP AAA Padres



1. Could you tell us your story on dropping down?

 The pitching coordinator for the Oakland Athletics approached me with the idea of dropping down midway through the 2009 season in High A. I was (mostly) struggling as a starting pitcher who threw over the top and we started to play around with the sidearm angle.


2. What are some of the advantages you had from your arm angle?

 The most apparent and immediate advantage was the extra movement. I was generating sinking action that wasn't there before. Also hitters, especially right-handed hitters, seemed much more uncomfortable in the box.


3. If you didn't drop down, do you think you would have had the same success?

It is difficult to say. Shortly after dropping down, I was traded and switched roles from starter to reliever. I wish I could have tried closing earlier in my career; I loved it and was mostly successful as a closer.

4. What would you tell someone debating on changing their arm angle?

If you feel like you are stuck, or just not getting any better, I would give it a shot. I would also wait until you have some time in the bullpen to work out the kinks. It takes a lot of repetition. 

5. Are there any mechanical tips that you'd give to someone throwing sidearm/submarine?

Find an angle and style that is comfortable for you.

6. What pitches did you throw?

 Fastball Slider Changeup  

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

I loved to throw sinkers inside to righties then sliders away. Sinkers away to lefties. Mixed in a changeup every now and then. 

8. Lastly what was your favorite part about pitching from down there?

The increase in ground-outs.