San Diego Padres: FoB Exclusive Interview With Matt Strahm

KANSAS CITY, MO -JUNE 20: Matt Strahm
KANSAS CITY, MO -JUNE 20: Matt Strahm /

I recently had the opportunity to interview San Diego Padres left-hander Matt Strahm.  My initial personal impressions on the new Friars hurler?  Humble, honest, hardworking, and affable!

FoB: San Diego Padres fans welcome you! Originally hailing from West Fargo, how do you feel playing in San Diego?

MS: “I mean, my dream has always been to play professional baseball.  I am absolutely thrilled to play in San Diego.  My first visit to San Diego was when I came with the Royals to play the Padres.

FoB: Describe Matt Strahm in twenty words?

MS: “Next question please (with a chuckle).”

FoB: What does Matt Strahm’s regular off-season schedule look like?

MS: “Eat clean but no outrageous diet plans, follow Padres’ off-season program.   I work out anywhere between two to four hours every day.”

FoB: Tell us more about your injury and how is the rehab coming along?

MS: “The injury is a torn patellar tendon in my left knee and I underwent a surgery to fix it.  I have been throwing in the bullpen for the last two weeks and absolutely ready to get started.  I will be close to 100 percent for the spring training.”

FoB: If called upon, are you ready to take the mound on Opening Day against the Brewers?

MS: “Most definitely, yes.”

FoB: Royals trade you to the Padres, talk us through your emotions?

MS: “I wouldn’t say I was overly excited or overly upset, you look at all the relationships that you have built since the time I was with the Royals in 2012 to 2017 last year.  You just pack up and leave all that, that would be the difficult part but the fact of looking ahead and the rebuild situation in San Diego, it’s right there and ready to compete.  I am excited to join them and see what the future holds.”

FoB: Andy Green and A.J.Preller have high regards for you. In one of the interviews, Andy Green said ‘People would look up sometime during the mid-season and say wow, that was a great pickup.’  Your thoughts on A.J.Preller, Andy Green, and the whole Padres’ organization, how do you live up to these lofty expectations?

MS: “The San Diego Padres’ system as a whole is well buttoned up and is well run from what I have experienced.  Playing for the Padres will be exciting.  With regard to expectations, I don’t know if that’s on my mind.  I want to do what I know I can do and that’s what A.J and Andy believe in.  If I do that, everything else will take care of itself.”

FoB: We hope that you would fit into this young Padres’ line-up beautifully!

MS: “Hope so too.”

FoB: Favorite park to pitch at?

MS: “Target Field (Minneapolis) since the Twins were the team I grew up watching.”

FoB: What are our thoughts on pitching at the Petco Park?

MS: “It’s a beautiful stadium.  I have pitched there before (2 IP).  Petco Park is known to be favorable at night to the pitchers, excited to get things going.”

FoB: Can you dwell on the adjustments that you would have to make to be successful at Petco Park?

MS:  “I haven’t pitched enough to comment.”

FoB: What are your goals coming into the 2018 season?

MS: “Stay healthy, do whatever is needed for the team as a starter or a reliever.  Put up good numbers but finishing the season healthy is of utmost importance.”

FoB: How many innings would Matt Strahm ideally like to pitch in all of 2018 season?

MS: “Whatever the Padres ask me to do, how many ever! Anything that would help the team win.  No hard count on the number of innings that I can pitch.”

FoB: Your idol growing up?

MS: “My baseball idol would probably have to be Darrin Erstad.  He was from Jamestown, a small town just west of my hometown.  I grew up watching him for the Angels and he had to be my idol as a kid.”

FoB: Any non-baseball idols (football, basketball)?

MS: “I have been baseball baseball baseball since I was five.”

FoB: Who is the most difficult hitter to pitch to?

MS: “That person for me in AL central has to be Miguel Cabrera.  I would throw him away and he would hit it away, I would throw in and he would pull it.  He is just a great hitter and probably one of the best I’ll ever face.  Unbelievable!  He made me think more on the mound than anyone else.”

FoB: What number would you be sporting for the Padres? Any reason for picking that number?

MS: “55, and no specific reason.”

FoB: What does Matt Strahm do when he’s not playing or thinking about baseball?

MS: “In the off-season, I enjoy hunting.  Spending time as much as I can with my family, I am obviously on the west coast now and family is back in North Dakota.”

FoB: Did you watch football? Also, who is your favorite football player?

MS: “I play fantasy football every year and I enjoy football. I will have to say, Carson Wentz.  A North Dakota native there.  He is fun to watch, isn’t he?”

FoB: Do you know Carson Wentz personally?

MS: “I played high school ball against Wentz.  When I was a senior, he would have been a junior but I never played football in high school and I don’t know him on a personal level.  I am happy for him.  Next time, I hope he gets his Super Bowl ring on the field.”

FoB: Any friends on the San Diego Padres?

MS: “I have been undergoing rehab in Arizona with Colin Rea, he is out here but again coming from an injury, you’re on your own and when the off-season comes around, everyone goes home to spend time with their families, so I haven’t got an opportunity yet but looking forward to meeting everyone once spring training starts.”

FoB: Your happiest moment yet?

MS: “When I got married to my wife!”

FoB: When you’re physically and/or mentally down, where do you draw strength from?

MS: “My wife, I can turn to her for anything and she is my best friend.”

FoB: Your thoughts on Eric Hosmer and do you see him play for San Diego Padres?

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MS: “If the Padres sign him, I would be more than ecstatic but that’s not my field and I would want to control what I can control but yeah Eric Hosmer on any team makes any team better. I would love for him to join San Diego Padres.  He is a great guy and I would love to play with him again”

FoB: Anything to say for all the San Diego Padres fans reading this?

MS: “I am excited to get going, I am excited to be in San Diego and just looking forward to the future and hoping to be a good part of it. It should be fun!”

FoB: Anything to say for kids who are taking up the game and looking up to you. Kids who would probably look up to you over the next ten years and thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a pitcher at the highest level?

MS: “You just got to love the game, love what you do.  Obviously, you would have to work hard, put the work in, and everything will figure itself out.”

Next: Chris Archer May Be In Play For Padres

Thanks for taking the time to talk to Friars On Base, Matt. We wish you and the San Diego Padres the very best for the upcoming season!