Rob Scahill of Lombard impresses in major league debut for Colorado Rockies

Lombard, IL

Rob Scahill was an eighth-round draft pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2009 after pitching at Willowbrook High School and Bradley University. The 6-foot-2 right-hander has worked his way up through the organization during the past few seasons and was called up to the big league club during the first week of September after making 29 starts for Triple A Colorado Springs. The Lombard resident showed he belonged in the big leagues, allowing just one run in his six appearances.

How did you find out about being called up and what were your emotions in the moment?
They told me Sept. 3. I actually had started the last game of our season. The game ended and I was at my locker packing all of my stuff and the equipment manager came up and said that Stu Cole, who was our manager, needs to see you. I went in there and he said good job today and good job this season and that he wanted to let me know that I was going to the big leagues. To hear those words, you almost have so much emotion that there is none. You are just shocked. Getting there is something you have dreamed about for a long time.

Is the call-up something you expected or were surprised by?
It’s something you never really know will happen but obviously you want to (be called up). Looking at my situation, I probably didn’t think it was going to happen. I wasn’t on the 40-man roster. They would have to put me on the roster and take somebody off. But it turns out that they only had 39 players on the roster at the time so all they had to do was add me.

Where was your first MLB game and what was that experience like?
The first game was in Atlanta. It was kind of a whirlwind, the whole month was a whirlwind of emotions and excitement. It was definitely different to walk in there and see your name hanging on the back of a big league jersey in the locker.

Your first outing was Sept. 11 against the Giants in Denver. What do you remember from that?
You know, it’s a big blur. I remember sitting down there (in the bullpen) and the phone rang and the bullpen coach told me I’m in. So right there, I knew I was going into the game. I had a lot of butterflies and warming up, my only thought was starting the inning, to throw a first pitch strike. And I did that. I faced Marco Scutaro, Hector Sanchez, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. I actually faced them again in San Francisco. When I got Scutaro out, it was a little bit easier from there. My second outing was a little less nervous but then my third appearance was in San Francisco in front of 43,000 people. I was kind of nervous there a little bit.

Your parents (father Joe and mother Bonnie) and grandmother (Anna Mae) traveled from city to city to see your first outing. What was it like having them in the stands?
It was great. I am glad they could come out and share in the experience. I knew they would do anything they could to see me make my debut.

Having allowed just one run in 8-2/3 inning, were you happy with how you pitched?
Absolutely. You don’t really know what to expect being a September call-up. I was able to go out there and, even in limited exposure, show that I can have success up there.

What are your offseason plans?
I will start lifting and working out the middle of next week. I’ve had about two weeks off of not doing too much. I really won’t start throwing until December. At this point, I know what it takes to get my arm in shape and get ready for spring training.

Do you know if you will be a reliever or starter going forward or is that something that has yet to be determined?
That is something that will work itself out. Whatever the organization needs me to do to help us win games is what I will do.

What will your mentality be at spring training?
To try not to put too much pressure on myself. Just do what I am capable of, I only can control what I can control. And when the decisions are made, hopefully some go in my favor.

What was it like facing batters that you grew up watching?
I think the most surreal moment was when I pitched in L.A. The first guy I faced was Josh Beckett and then it was Mark Ellis, Shane Victorino, Andrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. It was a lot of fun. The most fun at-bat I had was with Adrian Gonzalez. I ended up walking him but it was a 13-pitch at-bat. I was coming after him with fastballs, it was a lot of fun.

What are the main differences between pitching at the minor league level and in the majors?
The strike zone is fairly similar, maybe a little tighter in the big leagues. The biggest difference is guys don’t chase. They have such an unbelievable approach. They are so patient and wait for their pitch. If they don’t get it, they battle. And if they do get it, if you make a mistake, they hit it a long way.

What is the moment that stood out the most from your stint in the majors to end the 2012 season?
The one thing that really sticks out was putting my jersey on for the first time. I walked by a mirror and I looked and thought, I’m in the big leagues, this is really cool.