Dodgers Minor Leagues Interview: Gerardo Carrillo Seizes Opportunities In Opening Day Start for Tulsa

Student of the Game Gerardo Castillo Plans to Continue to Train Hard

Gerardo Carrillo. Photo credit Gail Verderico, @1baseball_gail.

Last night, Gerardo Carrillo got the opening day start for the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate, the Tulsa Drillers. The Drillers lost their home opener 4-3 to the Amarillo Sod Poodles.

Carrillo gave up a run-scoring single in the second inning and put a runner on in the fourth before giving way to Aaron Ochsenbein, who then gave up a two-run home run. Carrillo threw 54 pitches over 3+ innings with one walk and four strikeouts for a good first start.

The Drillers managed three runs, but the Soddies scored the go-ahead run in the seventh and never relinquished the lead.

Other highlights of the game were home runs from Ryan Noda and top prospect Jacob Amaya.

The No. 18 prospect on MLB Pipeline’s 2021 Dodgers’ prospect rankings list, Carrillo spent the 2020 season at the Dodgers’ alternate training site. Prior to that, he spent 2019 in High-A Rancho Cucamonga after putting up great numbers in 2018 at Great Lakes. The Dodgers sent Carrillo to the Arizona Fall League in 2019 where he had a 2.22 ERA, which ended up being the last time he competitively pitched.

With no minor league season on the horizon in 2020, I spoke to Carrillo about where he had been and what he was working on during the pandemic.

Gail Verderico (GV): What is your best pitch?

Gerardo Carrillo (GC):  The two-seam fastball.

GV: What pitch are you still working on developing?

GC: I’m working on all my pitches, but mostly my changeup.

GV: I asked one of your teammates to describe you in two words. They said smart and humble. Do you consider yourself a student of the game?

GC: I do. I always pay attention to the game. I try to learn what the hitter’s weaknesses are.

GV: Who or what do you study or follow?

GC: I like Max Scherzer. I really admire his courage and bravery when he’s on the mound. I like the way he challenges the hitters.

GV: You had the opportunity to play in the Arizona Fall League. What did you enjoy most about the experience?

GC: The opportunity to meet and play with all those good players. But my favorite memory from the Fall League was when I threw 100 mph.

GV: I was there! What a great moment that was to see. What did you learn while you were there?

GC: I learned that it doesn’t matter how hard the season is going, there is always another opportunity to improve and get better.

GV: You put on a lot of muscle during the season last year and some more in the offseason. What are you working on in the gym?

GC: I’m not working on anything in particular, but weight training has helped me improve my fastball.

GV: What’s your workout routine right now as we wait to see when there will be baseball again?

GC: I’m still doing my throwing program and lifting weights.

GV: You were poised for a breakout year this year. How disappointing is the delay and uncertainty of the season?

GC: I’m taking advantage of the delay by working hard, and just keeping myself motivated.