I posted a profile on Nick Tropeano last week on The Futurists blog that focused on what others, including Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski, had to say about him. But unless you've talked to Nick himself, you won't understand what a big, vibrant personality he has. He is well-spoken, funny, good-natured, able to laugh at himself and very comfortable in his own skin. What did Nick have to say for himself? I'm glad you asked. Here's what he had to say during the short time we talked.
On his pitches: "My best pitch would probably be my change up. That would be my out pitch. I've got obviously a fastball. Fastball, change up, curveball, splitter. My fastball's been like 92-94, change up probably like 10-11 miles per hour difference and same thing with my curveball. Splitter comes in a little bit harder, like 83-84, but pretty much the same."
[Note: I followed up with Nick via email because all of the scouting reports I had read said that he was working on a slider. According to Nick, that isn't the case, and he's sticking with his current arsenal for now.]
On his success against lefties (who are only hitting .113 against him): I think just because my change up kind of fades a little bit away from lefties. I'd say that. I feel like I'm stronger, I can throw in to lefties. I can throw well to righties but later in the game if I try to go in to righties sometimes I miss arm side. I just like throwing against lefties."
On which Astros pitcher he would steal a pitch from given the chance: "I wouldn't say I would want to steal. Maybe someone who throws harder, like 98 miles an hour, like Cosart throws 97-98. I wouldn't mind borrowing a couple miles per hour."
On which Astros hitter he would least like to face: "I would probably say just for instructs [Jon] Singleton. He's a really good hitter."
On what he would do if he couldn't play baseball: "I really don't know. I went to school for physical therapy so maybe I would pursue that, but I really don't like to think about that at all."
On who on the team makes him laugh: "I would say [Matt] Duffy or [Jason] Chowning. Chowning is very funny. [After telling him that I'd heard he was pretty funny.] I'm one of those guys."
On something most people don't know about him: "I'd say that I'm a lover, not a fighter. [laughter] I'd go with that. No, I've got a niece and a nephew. One's seven, one just turned one. I'm pretty proud of that. I'm a pretty good uncle I'd like to say. That's about it."
Nick had been nominated to perform in a skit that night with Myron Noodleman between innings. As he walked back to the clubhouse, he told me, "Enjoy the game. Hopefully I don't screw up the skit!" He most assuredly didn't screw it up. He was, in fact, a hit.