Post-season Q&A with Bobby Brownlie

Brownlie was 6-7, 4.74 ERA at Triple-A

A post-season Q&A with the Cubs pitching prospect on the year 2005, and what lies ahead.

Inside The Ivy: How would you sum up your first year at Triple-A? The numbers weren't where you'd have liked.

Bobby Brownlie: From an overall standpoint, it was a season full of ups and downs. I had spurts where I threw the ball well, and some where I wasn't as consistent as I would have liked. It was summed up probably in about 20 innings. I put up crooked numbers in those 20 innings. About 80 percent of my runs this year were given up in those innings, sometimes three or four in one inning. It's frustrating to throw 4-5 good innings and then allow so many in one inning. It goes from a good start to a downer all at once. When I had the confidence and let myself work, I was able to pick myself up. Once I got off the DL, I lowered my ERA a full run. I was happy about that, but it was still in the four's. That doesn't always tell you everything, though.

Inside The Ivy: You fared better as a reliever than as a starter. Are there plans to showcase you more in a bullpen role in the future?

Bobby Brownlie: They haven't really said anything to me. I know (Iowa manager) Mike Quade mentioned to me that he didn't think it was time yet because I still had the stuff to start. But it was great for me to be able to showcase that I can do both and am able to contribute whether I'm relieving or starting. Personally, I'd rather start, but I also realize the big leagues are the big leagues, and I want to get there and pitch a long time. I might just be able to get my feet wet as a reliever and then go to starting. Either way, the Cubs haven't mentioned anything to me based on where they see me. I'll probably get a better grasp of that in the upcoming season and in Spring Training once the rosters are settled. They know I can do both. Bottom line, I love having the ball.

Inside The Ivy: You say you'd rather start. Heading into next year, where do you see yourself?

Bobby Brownlie: I'd like to think that I have a shot to move up if I go in and pitch well in Spring Training. I know a lot things have to happen. It'll be a big off-season because of my protection year. If they protect me, they'll show me the commitment they have toward me. If they don't, there's a possibility I might have to go somewhere else. With this organization, they have a lot of players up for the Rule 5 Draft and only time will tell after their meetings in November. Hopefully, they'll put me on the 40-man roster and let me show them what I can do in big league camp. Even if I wind up in Triple-A and someone has to go on the DL in Chicago, maybe I'll be the first person to get called up.

Inside The Ivy: What does this off-season hold in store for you?

Bobby Brownlie: I actually asked the Cubs about winter ball at the end of the year, and they said they didn't want me to play. They liked my progress enough this year and saw me compete enough. Right now, I don't know if I'd be able to play anyway because I'm not in baseball shape. I'm working with a personal trainer and haven't picked up a baseball in a few weeks. Right now, I'm just trying to make a commitment toward next year.

Inside The Ivy: What are some of your goals for next season?

Bobby Brownlie: I'm working on having some more cardiovascular strength because baseball is about explosion and repetition pitch after pitch. I'm working on doing more circular work, one exercise to another with lighter weights and staying active for the entire one hour that I work out. I'm trying to do stuff like that because at times you get winded out during the summer because it's so hot. I'm also implementing some of the things the Cubs wanted, like mobilization of the shoulder, forearm stretching and just staying loose.

Inside The Ivy: You weren't too concerned with the drop in velocity when we last talked to you. As it turns out, your velocity was on the rise again late in the year. What are your thoughts?

Bobby Brownlie: Yeah, toward the end of the year, it crept back up. There were nights when I was throwing anywhere from 91 to 93 mph. It's all about building that velocity back up. It also has to do with mechanical things, like not staying behind the baseball. We worked on a lot of that stuff and toward the end of the year, my velocity was on the way up.

Inside The Ivy: What were some of the things you had to put more focus on once your velocity first began to tail off last year?

Bobby Brownlie: It (the velocity) could have been a great blessing in disguise, because when I didn't have my fastball, I was forced to pitch more and get guys out. For one, my changeup has been tremendous since then. I was starting to throw it just as much if not more than my curve. I feel I have three quality pitches now whereas at Daytona, I felt I had only two.

Inside The Ivy: The Pacific Coast League is well known as a heavy hitter's league. Do you feel your ERA this season was a bit misleading because of that?

Bobby Brownlie: You know, this was probably the most fun I've had playing baseball in the last 5-6 years because it was so challenging. You had to go out every time and battle your tail off even with your best stuff. In A-ball and Double-A, I knew that at worst I would let up a run and get out of it for the most part. The hitters up there (Pacific Coast League) were such a challenge that it was just fun to go out and compete every fifth day. It was the most fun I had playing baseball in a long time. That's one thing I'll take from this year. I wouldn't say anything was ballooned necessarily. A lot of it was because I made bad pitches. There were two or three times when I thought I'd make a good pitch and a guy would still hit a double.

Inside The Ivy: Lastly, how are your wedding plans coming along? When we last talked to you, you mentioned early January was the big date.

Bobby Brownlie: Everything is pretty much planned except for the video plans. That's the only thing we haven't been able to do. When I got home after the season, we took care of most everything. Now it looks on course. We just took care of the limo plans.

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