|Waguespack in 2016, image- Jay Floyd|
It's Jay and I'm back on 1BJW with an exclusive interview. This time around, I talked with righty hurler Jacob Waguespack about how he kept the rust off during the Coronavirus hiatus, his time with the Blue Jays to date and more.
The 26-year-old was acquired in a deal at the 2018 trading deadline that sent Aaron Loup to the Phillies.
Last year "Wagz" made his big league debut for Toronto, posting a 5-5 record with a 4.38 ERA, a .249 batting average against along with a 7.3 K/9 mark. He was off to a strong start during the spring exhibition season this year, prior to the sport being halted. In five appearances, Waguespack did not allow an earned run.
Read ahead for the full interview...
-Can you share some feedback on your strong efforts this spring before the pandemic hiatus and can you still come back with momentum following the long break?
Overall, I think we as team created a good vibe in the clubhouse so we as team were feeling good coming out of spring, and I think that'll be the same this time around.
-How were you staying in shape and keeping the rust off during the hiatus? Who were you able to work with, if anyone?
Luckily, my next door neighbor is a catcher at my old high school, and him and I would throw, work out, do bullpens, etcetera. His name is Payton.
-That sounds awesome. What did it mean to him to be able to catch bullpens with a big leaguer? Or have you guys known one another so long that he doesn't see you that way?
We actually are recent neighbors so it hasn't been too long. But he's a pretty even keel guy, so it was normal from the start.
-Does throwing with a young guy like that bring back any of that younger, hungrier mindset for you?
Nah, it more so just made me appreciate the journey because I could see myself in him.
-How did you spend your down time during the break? Where you watching TV, playing games?
I watched a few shows like most did, and played video games as well. Enjoyed cutting my grass a lot.
-Has there been anyone in the Jays systems that's been a big help to you or that you've learned a lot from so far?
Not anyone in particular, but the Jays as a whole have incredible people in the organization who've helped me a good bit.
-Your MLB rookie card is out in this year's Topps Series 1 collection. Is that a big deal to you and your family and have you gotten any of them?
I have a couple that were given to me. My family and I were pretty excited about it. Something you dream of as a kid.
-What do you like most about Toronto?
Toronto is a big city with some of the nicest people. There's a good feel to it.
-Playing for the Blue Jays now, have you become a full-fledged Toronto sports fan, rooting for the Leafs and the Raptors as well?
I was pretty fired up when the Raptors won it all. The city of Toronto was buzzing big time. I'll definitely root for those teams.
-With the shortened season, do you think it can be more any team's year as opposed to the longer, more traditional season?
I think it'll provide some opportunities to a lot of teams. Like most, I think the short season is a sprint and any team can have success.