An interview with Mikey O'Brien, plus a small highlight reel from his April 25 start against Lakewood
Q: When you see guys like Gene Michael and Brian Cashman watching you pitch, does it give you butterflies?
A: No. I saw them walk through the clubhouse before the game, but once you get out on the mound you really don’t think about that kind of stuff. You don’t really notice anyone in the stands, you’re just kind of locked in.
Q: I know you have diabetes. What do you do to manage it on a long road trip like this? Has there ever been an incident where you’ve forgotten something important?
A: No, no. Knock on wood, but I hope that never happens. My trainer keeps the stuff with him in the bag that he has 24/7 so, God forbid if anything happens, he’s able to help me out. In between innings, I’m constantly checking my blood sugar, so I’ve been able to manage it pretty well.
Q: Is that something that was hereditary with you?
A: I picked it up my senior year of high school. It was a big surprise to me and my family. My grandmother had it in late in life, and other than that, that’s it. I got the flu, and then that happened. They said the flu triggered it in my immune system.
Q: There’s a kid Dylan Covey who went in the first round last year but declined signing because they discovered diabetes during the physical. Did the diagnosis make you re-think signing?
A: No, I pretty much had my mind set that I wanted to play baseball. It’s my dream, so I wanted to be able to do it.
Q: You’re the only kid out of your high school (Hidden Valley High, in Roanoke, Va.) to be drafted.
A: It’s a new high school. We just started, in 2000, I think, was our first year. I think there’s only been other guy from my area get drafted.
Q: That’s a pretty quick turnaround (for Hidden Valley). It must be an honor for you to be the first.
A: Yeah. It’s kind of a small town, so I love going back.