Sports » Sports + Recreation

Q&A: Indy Indians shortshop Chase D'Arnaud


D'Arnaud takes a hack during a game at Victory Field. - BILL GENTRY
  • Bill Gentry
  • D'Arnaud takes a hack during a game at Victory Field.

NUVO spent time before a recent Indianapolis Indians game talking with shortstop Chase d'Arnaud, a top prospect in the organization who's back in the lineup after battling several injuries. d'Arnaud, who made his MLB debut in 2011 with Pittsburgh (he played in 48 games that season, starting 33 of them), also happens to play guitar and violin; he closed out our interview by playing a few verses of "Blackbird." The Indians embark on 11-day home stand beginning Friday (or 12 days if you count a July 4 game).

NUVO: You are coming back from several injuries. How challenging has that been for you?

Chase D'Arnaud: It's really frustrating, you think about how hard you train. This off season I put a lot of time and effort into baseball because I wanted to have a strong season this year and improve. I was having a good spring training, and then in the beginning of March I had my injury to my thumb. They told me I was going to be out 6 to 8 weeks, and that was crushing.

NUVO: Can you describe what hitting a home run at Victory Field feels like?

D'Arnaud: It feels good on your hand. The vibration is subtle. A lot of times the more vibration you feel, it's because you didn't hit the sweet spot. When you hit the sweet spot there is a good feeling, and you see the ball get off on this trajectory, and it's soaring through the air and you're just watching it as you near first base and to see if it clears, and then you just hear the fans erupt. Hitting home runs gets me hyped up and brings a smile to my face. I used to feel like it was just my job and I want to do well, and I wasn't embracing the happiness of it all. I was very serious. This year I'm just looking at baseball as a game, it's fun again. Yes, it's my career - but I just embrace it. Yesterday, when I hit my home run, I was all smiles. It's more fun. I think it brings more positivity and more production, so I'm embracing it.

NUVO: How much do you use social media?

D'Arnaud: It's hard for me to have a Twitter account for personal use because its not very personal. Especially when I first got called up - and I instantly had twenty thousand followers and all of them from Pittsburgh - and I didn't want to say anything inappropriate. I couldn't really let all of my personality flow out because there were so many people looking over it. I ended up getting rid of it because I didn't feel like I had a voice. I created a personal one that I just use with my friends.

NUVO: What about video games, are you a gamer?

D'Arnaud: I have a PS3. I played a lot of video games growing up with my brother Travis; he plays Major League ball for the New York Mets. He and I have always been PlayStation kids. We play online Call of Duty or NBA 2K13. Girls like to call each other on the phone and talk a long time; Travis and I talk and play video games. I play with my high school friends too.

NUVO: How competitive are you and your brother?

D'Arnaud: We are competitive, but always wanted each other to do well. There was that sibling rivalry but right now we are on the cusp; he is really close to making his major league debut. I really want him to do well and he wants me to do well, we help each other out. It's matured.

NUVO: Where are you are you hanging out during your free time here in Indy?

D'Arnaud: I think Indy is an awesome town. Last year I discovered many different places and my favorite being the Mass Ave. area. I just got an apartment there a couple days ago. I like Mesh on Mass and the Chatterbox has a really interesting feel; I always like the atmosphere there. I go there and hope there is a jazz band playing; it's just a great place to hang out.

NUVO: What types of music are you into?

D'Arnaud: I just go through phases to be honest. Sometimes I'll be obsessed with a certain song. Lately I've been listing to "Lightning Crashes" by Live and guys are giving me a hard time because I've been singing it everyday. I put in on when I was stretching earlier today. I really like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains; in middle school I really liked Blink-182 as poppy as they were and Taking Back Sunday. I also listen to hip-hop; I really like Atmosphere and Drake has some good stuff.

NUVO: What are your ultimate conditions for playing a baseball game?

Chase: 72 degrees and not humid. The humidity gets me sometimes because I'm from Long Beach, California and it's hardly every humid out there. Sunny - and I really like 1 o'clock games.


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