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June 21, 2008 at 3:08 PM

Q&A with Kyle Weiland & Lance McClain

Kyle Weiland and Lance McClain began their professional careers this week with the Lowell Spinners. Weiland, a 21-year-old righthander, was drafted by the Red Sox in the third round out of Notre Dame. McClain, a 21-year-old lefthander, was a 12th-round pick out of Cumberland University. Each talked about that experience prior to the Spinners opener on Tuesday night.

David Laurila: Your professional career gets underway tonight. What does it feel like to be here?

Kyle Weiland: It’s exciting, obviously; it’s what everybody dreams of doing. For all of us, with this being our first game, there’s nothing much like it, especially playing in an environment like the Spinners have here with 5,000-plus fans every game. This is the kind of place you really want to play at.

Lance McClain: It’s really just a dream come true; it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was little. And what a place to begin a professional career -- this place is always sold out. It just means a lot.

DL: What was the signing process like for you?

KW: It wasn’t too difficult; we got it taken care of pretty quickly, They wanted me out here playing and getting developed right away, so we agreed on a couple of things and made it work. It was pretty easy, and I’m glad to be here.

LM: It was great. I was talking to a bunch of teams a week or two before the draft, and you don’t really know what’s going to happen, but it was very interesting and a very enjoyable time for my family, just soaking it in.

DL: The time between the draft and the start of the season is quite short. Have you had much of an opportunity to talk to the coaches yet?

KW: Just a little bit here and there, mainly getting to know them. I know they have a grace period here where they want to get a feel for who we are as players; they don’t do too much as far as mechanical adjustments right away. That will come, though.

LM: I haven’t too much, but I will. I’ve talked to Walter (Miranda) a little bit about pitching and stuff like that, but as far as expectations, not really. We haven’t got that far yet.

DL: How would you describe yourself as a pitcher?

KW: I’m a righty who throws a fastball, curveball and changeup. I was a closer in college, but I think they want to see me sort of develop into a starter role. We’ll see down the line where that ends up going, if I end up being a starter or reliever. I didn’t get too many innings in college, because I was a closer, so the main focus right now will be getting innings and working on specific things like locating my fastball and developing better command of my secondary pitches.

LM: I’m a guy who needs to locate his fastball and work off his fastball. My changeup is my best pitch. I’m not overpowering or anything like that; I have to locate to be successful. And I know that I still have a lot of learning to do. It’s a lot different here than in college, and I think there’s a lot more that I can learn about pitching.

DL: What do you think it will feel like to stand on the mound for the first time as a professional baseball player?

KW: I think it will definitely feel a little bit better than the first time I pitched in college, and that was outstanding. I’ll be in a whole new ballpark, in front of a whole new group of people, so it will be really exciting. It will be a great experience.

LM: I don’t really know. I’ve kind of been thinking about it, how I’m going to react, and I know that first pitch is going to be fun. It really hasn’t even hit me yet that it’s happening, but it’s really great to be here. I’m definitely ready for the season to get started so I can see what this is all about.