Tim Cooney, a third round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, spoke to Redbird Rants two weeks ago.
Daniel Solzman: Tim, thanks for joining Redbird Rants today. How are things treating you during the offseason?
Tim Cooney: Things are going great. I’m actually down at Wake Forest. I’m just finishing up my degree, not like working out and getting ready for next season. Pretty relaxing and I’m just gonna let my body rest right now but everything’s going good so far.
Daniel Solzman: The Cardinals drafted you in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft. When did you get an idea that they would be interested in you?
Tim Cooney: it’s actually funny. I really had no idea going into the draft who was interested and who wasn’t. I talked to every team. I actually hadn’t talked to the Cardinals in a while. When they picked me, it was a little bit of shock. I hadn’t heard anything before I got picked so I just saw my name on the Draft Tracker and started jumping up and down. But I didn’t really have any idea where or who was gonna pick me.
Daniel Solzman: During your junior year at Wake Forest, you were the Friday night ace. How did coach Tom Walter help in getting you ready for the next level?
Tim Cooney: He helped a lot. The Wake coaches helped me a lot. When you’re pitching during the college season, you have to zone out all the draft stuff. You’re really there to help the team win, but at the same time, he was helping by talking to scouts and I know he gave some positive reports on me so I’m definitely thankful for that. Just being at Wake, I had the chance to pitch a lot. I had the chance to pitch in some big games. I think just the experience of playing some really good competition and getting a lot of experience by being the #1 guy really helped me transition to higher-level competition. I had the confidence I needed.
Daniel Solzman: You’re a left-handed pitcher. Who was your favorite pitcher growing up?
Tim Cooney: Probably Cliff Lee, actually. I was a Phillies fan—being from Philadelphia so I watched a lot of Phillies games growing up, especially in my high school days. I really liked watching Cliff Lee just because I feel like have a similar approach to him. He’s a strike thrower. He strikes guys out with good stuff. I try to model myself after a little bit. Cliff Lee’s really fun to watch and definitely one of my favorite pitchers.
Daniel Solzman: During the season, what is the typical day in the life like?
Tim Cooney: If we’re at home, probably wake up sometime around 11. Get something to eat. Get to the field really early just to relax. We would have PT and all the pitchers would throw. Then we would have some downtime when we might get in a lift and do some arm care or something like that. Then we would eat and go out to the game. If I was pitching, I’d get there a little bit later just to relax. I would start my warm up about an hour before and try to just go get it from there.
Daniel Solzman: What are you doing to prepare for next season?
Daniel Solzman: You have a December birthday. Do you get double the gifts or just one set?
Tim Cooney: No. Growing up, I definitely got a lot at once because I have two little sisters. They always believed in Santa so I all of Santa’s gifts and then I got my birthday presents. That was pretty cool. Now, it’s not quite like that any more (laughs).
But my sisters now are past that age so it’s a little different. They don’t take Christmas seriously with all that.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again for joining Redbird Rants and we look forward to seeing you pitching at Busch one day. Any words for the best fans in baseball?
Tim Cooney: Just thanks for all the support. I love playing for Cardinal Nation and hope to be up at Busch as soon as possible.