Indian-born pitchers drawing interest

Article Date: 
20 Feb 2009

This is the story all about how my life got flipped turned upsidedown:

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The story of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel has made its way around. And around. And around again.

The two pitchers made international headlines in November when they became the first Indian-born players to sign professional baseball contracts in the United States. That type of story -- one that featured two young pitchers who had never picked up a baseball before 2008 -- obviously drew significant intrigue.

Their story immediately circulated in publications across the globe. It was the centerpiece of an ESPN show and a segment on CNN.

But, surprisingly, the novelty hasn't worn off....

The two pitchers have experienced a sort of learning curve already simply in adjusting to the throwing programs implemented by the Pirates. They both said it differs greatly from the program designed by University of Southern California pitching coach Tom House, who began training the two to pitch in May.

"Here, workout is different," Patel said. "Everything is different. We had done long toss [another] way. Everything is changed here. But we like [it] here. [It's] not so hard to change. We understand."

Despite Patel's and Singh's lack of game experience, Stark said he expects both to participate in Minor League Spring Training games. Because the two pitchers will be playing in the short-season Gulf Coast League this summer, there won't be the urgency to make sure they can get lots of innings in early. In other words, they will enjoy the benefit of an ease-in process.

As Patel and Singh anxiously wait for their first game opportunities, they continue to embrace American culture. They have their Netflix subscription so they can keep watching their movies. And they've become quite attached to the pool table in the activity area of the Pirate City dorm where they will be living.

They also keep a blog, which allows those back in India to follow their story.


Article Author: 
Jenifer Langosch
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