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Pitcher Michael Schlact,26, has re-signed with the Atlantic League Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. He spoke with Baseball Digest Tuesday night about the future, his off-season program, and what he loves most about playing for the Crabs.
On the Blue Crabs offer, major league possibilities:
– For me, this is a win win situation. I can still be signed by a MLB team, or I can go play ball with a fantastic coaching staff and the best group of guys I’ve ever played ball with. The Atlantic League is known for its caliber of play, so there are bound to be scouts there.
On whether keeping a positive attitude gets difficult:
– Honestly, no. What you see is what you get. I pride myself in being authentic. Sure, I’ll have times where I’m down, but I have such an amazing wife, family, and friends that are there for me. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. You’ve got to enjoy the journey!
On what he enjoys about the team and the league:
– The style of play that our manager Patrick Osborn demands is nothing short of intense. We are there to win. Sure, it’s fun. The group of guys on that team make it that way. But, when it’s time to work, we work. The league is notorious for having big name players come through and for its high level of play. Last year, I faced some of the best competition of my career in the Atlantic League.
On the power of social media/the brand of being well-known:
– I feel like social media has helped show that professional baseball players are normal dudes with cool opportunities. Personally, what you see is what you get. Ask anyone who knows me, the Twitter/Facebook me = real me. Being a pro athlete, you’re already a brand. Marketing is key, especially throughout free agency. So yes, I believe social media has helped me!
If he focuses on the indy leagues being a bride to the majors:
– I play the game because I love it. My ultimate goal is the big leagues. However, I’m enjoying every second of having the opportunity to wear a uniform. I work as hard as I can every single day. I’m confident that if I don’t make it, I can say I explored every avenue and gave it everything I had.
On the challenges ahead:
– The #1 challenge for me is proving my health. Shoulder surgery has a way of black listing guys sometimes, and I want to show everyone that I’m stronger than ever. Going through that surgery and rehab process actually made me stronger mentally and physically. All I can ask for is an opportunity!
On doing more long toss this off-season:
– My arm has been feeling fantastic so far this off-season. I have pitching conversations with CJ Wilson fairly often, and we talk a lot about building arm strength before getting on the mound. I decided to put that into play this off-season, and so far it’s been great. I’ll still get plenty of bullpens in before the season, but taking that extra few weeks to really make sure my arm is strong will be key!
On who the comedian of the team is:
–I have played with some awesome guys over the years. The comedians of my most recent crew are definitely Richard Giannotti and Christian Lopez. Those guys cracks me up daily. I could really go down last year’s roster of Blue Crabs and tell you why each guy is deserving of a mention for this question. That’s the great part about our team. We’re all like brothers. I’ve never seen such camaraderie like we have in that Blue Crab clubhouse.
In 2011 Schlact went 6-4 with a 4.31 ERA for the Crabs. You can follow him on Twitter @michael_schlact and read his blog The Schlact Stories
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