PEORIA - Long before he was slated to be the Tucson Padres closer, long before he reached Triple-A, Evan Scribner was a college walk-on.
He said he didn't draw interest from Division I schools other than nearby Central Connecticut State. Scribner began there as a walk-on before earning a scholarship, and even played briefly as a shortstop.
Unlike many professional players, he played baseball in college for four years. As a pitcher, he was drafted in a low round - 28th - by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007.
"I was just happy to get picked in the draft," Scribner recalled during Padres spring training last month in Peoria.
Scribner's career has picked up since the slow start. He earned All-Star recognition in both Single-A and Double-A. The D-backs traded him to the Padres in 2008 for major-league first baseman Tony Clark. Then, after the 2010 season, the Padres placed him on their 40-man roster, preventing another team from taking him in the Rule 5 draft.
Now, after a successful season in Double-A, Scribner will tackle Triple-A hitters for the first time.
In his own words, Scribner, 25, discussed his background, which pitches he throws, and his expectations for this season.
• "I throw fastball, curveball pretty much. I've been working on a change-up for a while. Back in college, I was a starter, so I threw it more, but once I got drafted I was a bullpen guy, so it was fastball-curveball all the way up until I got to Double-A. I needed a third one to work on, and I've been working on it ever since.
• "I threw one (change-up) last year the whole year. I threw it straight in the dirt, so I didn't want to throw it anymore. I'll throw it mostly to lefties, depending on certain situations, if I'm trying to get a groundball or something.
• "I came from the cold. Not a lot of (baseball) guys come from the cold. It's been a long road, for sure. (The college is) an hour from where I live. They had recruited me, but they didn't give me a scholarship or anything. They sent me a letter and I thought I'd try there.
•"Expectations would be just to play, stay healthy, help the team win the best I can."