By JASON STELLA
Although just 26 years old, Gallagher has already spent portions of four years in the Major Leagues and is hoping his steady play over the last month continues, eventually earning him another shot on a big league pitching staff.
Jason Stella: You have earned a victory in three of your last four starts and have brought your ERA down over four points since the beginning of May. What do you think has been the key in your improvement over the past month?Â
Sean Gallagher: A big key for me is being able to consistently repeat my delivery, whether it is from the windup or the stretch. It helps me be a lot more consistent with all my pitches and being able to be in the strike zone or around it. Iâ€™ve been doing a really good job of keeping the ball down and letting the defense do the work behind me and keeping the team in the game.
J.S.: Over the course of your career, you have succeeded in both a bullpen role and as a starter. Describe the mind set of each and if your approach differs depending on your role.Â
S.G.: You definitely have a different approach. Starting, you know you are going to go back out there every fifth day. You have your routine in between starts, and you just have a schedule. Out of the bullpen, you find that you have to be ready every day. You can pitch three days in a row; you can go three days without pitching. You have to be ready and available to pitch every night. Itâ€™s also a different mentality as a starter. You arenâ€™t trying to blow it out in the first inning; you are trying to go as deep into the game as you can. Out of the bullpen, you may only throw one inning that night, and you have to come in and be a lot more aggressive around the plate.
J.S.: As you move into the summer months and get started on the middle third of the season, what parts of your game are you working on the most?Â
S.G.: Right now, at this point, itâ€™s all a work in progress. Iâ€™m trying to become a lot more consistent with my delivery and my mechanics. Just being able to give myself the chance to repeat my mechanics without even having to think about it in the games and have it become second nature so I can become more consistent.
J.S.: When you find yourself in a pressure-packed inning, whether that be a close game or runners in scoring position, do you find yourself focusing more on the mental aspect of the game or the physical side.Â
S.G.: Itâ€™s definitely more mental. When in a game like that, whether you notice it or not, you find yourself speeding up the game and making it harder on yourself. I find a lot of times when you get into a pressure situation, it does a lot of good to step back off the mound, take a deep breath and slow yourself down. It really gives yourself a chance to think about what you are doing, executing the pitch at hand and working out of that situation.
J.S.: You signed with the Reds in December, earning an invite to Spring Training. This is the fifth organization you have been a part of. Describe your experience with the Reds and playing in Louisville thus far?Â
S.G.: Itâ€™s been awesome. Itâ€™s been a tremendous experience. Like you said, this is my fifth organization, and Iâ€™ve been with a lot of good ones, some better than others. This is definitely right up there at the top with the coaching, teammates, everything from top to bottom is just first class, and itâ€™s a great place to be.
J.S.: You have had the opportunity to play professionally for over eight seasons, earning time with four different big league teams over the course of your career. Describe some of the memorable experiences you have enjoyed.Â
S.G.: When I was with the Cubs, we won the Central division and went to the playoffs, so that was a lot of fun to be around for that. The next year, I was involved in a big trade, so that was different, going from the National League to the American League. Itâ€™s been fun. The dream growing up is to get to play professional baseball, and I have been fortunate enough to be around for as long as I have and to keep being able to do it. My goal is to get back there again and perform well and be able stay there a lot longer.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.