posted on February 13, 2013 07:26
Day Two of The Ryan Kelley Morning After at Spring Training
The Cat, Producer Joe, and Charlie Marlow brought it strong from Jupiter yesterday, and Doug Vaughn anchored the broadcast from St. Louis.
Appliance Discounters is presenting our week at Spring Training, and I’d like to think they got their money’s worth yesterday as the boys had all kinds of Cardinal guests on the show.
Courtesy of the outstanding transcription work of Zac Brune---aka Saaaccckkk---here’s a look at the highlights of each interview from Spring Training:
The Cat: One of the big stories this offseason is your transition to second base. I talked to Jose; he said you were farther than where he thought you would be. How is the transition so far?
Matt: I’m encouraged where we are at. I feel as if I’m getting more comfortable every day. The work I did over the winter was good and the work I’ve done with Jose here the last two weeks has helped. I still have a long way to go, but I’m happy with my progress and where I’m at.
The Cat: You have played the corner infield positions before, has that helped you with the transition at all?
Matt: Yes it has. That is the benefit of being an infielder. I don’t have to learn how to field a ground ball. I’ve done that my whole life. I’m just trying to get used to fielding it from a different spot on the field, and turn the double play and all those sorts of things. But, it’s going well, we’re going to take it a day at a time and hopefully improve a little bit each day.
Producer Joe: Did you talk with Skip Schumaker on the conversion to second base?
Matt: I did. Last year, I did log 18 innings over there last year. And, I could kind of foresee this happening, so Skip and I talked quite a bit about this actually. But, I did pick Skip’s brain to find out what he did to make himself more comfortable in certain situations.
Producer Joe: How has making this conversion changed your winter preparation, if at all?
Matt: Really, it didn’t change it a whole lot in the sense that I’m doing the things that I’ve always done to prepare for a season. I just added another position. I just took a lot of ground balls and watched some film on different situations and stuff like that. As far as lifting and hitting, that stuff didn’t change. I feel like I have a pretty good program in place during the offseason, so I stuck with that, and just added what I needed to do defensively at second base. And, it worked out well and balanced.
Producer Joe: You knew coming into camp that there would be a number of guys competing for a few spots in the rotation, now that Lance Lynn has taken one spot and with the loss of Carpenter another spot has opened, what has your preparation been coming into camp?
Trevor: Going into the offseason, I had a talk with Mike and I had an idea I was going to come into camp ready to be a starter, ready to be a long guy out of the bullpen, having the mindset that it is going to be a lot easier to make the transition to go short if that is the case. Some things have changed in the past few days that the coaches and front office will make decisions about on some guys getting some opportunities. But ultimately it is in their hands. We have a lot of great talent here with these young guys, we are all going to motivate each other to be the best and that is what is going to make this ball club to be successful.
Producer Joe: What do you pick up from the veterans? The guys that have been there? What are you picking up from those guys from last year and heading into spring this year.
Trevor: The biggest thing I’ve picked up from the veterans and Chris Carpenter, being able to spend some time with him this offseason, is having a consistent mindset, a consistent approach, there are going to be a lot of ups and downs, and just being able to go out and pitch and to not get distracted by too many things going on around you, success or failure, or things off the field. That’s something that I feel every baseball player needs to hone in on and have that mindset.
Bill DeWitt, Jr.
The Cat: As Spring Training gets underway for your ball club and you look at the makeup of your team, what are the questions you would like to see answered during Spring Training for your ball club?
DeWitt: We have our pitchers and catchers here which is always fun because we get to see some of the young pitchers in camp who are highly regarded and this is a very talented group. So, that’s a lot of fun to see some of the young guys make the club and we do have a fifth spot opening on that starting staff so that’ll be good competition. And we’ll wait and see when the other players get here.
The Cat: Adam Wainwright have a very good year last season considering he was coming back from surgery. I think the standard year wisdom is that the second year back coming off that procedure is when the pitcher really begins to regain his old form. How confident are you that we’re going to see Adam Wainwright be more consistently the Adam Wainwright that Cardinal fans are used to seeing.
DeWitt: Well, he did have an impress first year back after Tommy John Surgery. Pitched a bunch of innings, was effective, got off to a little bit of a slow, inconsistent start, which is to be expected, but very solid after that. And, I think he’ll be even better this year. So, we looked forward to seeing the Adam of old, which was very dominant.
The Cat: I’m curious how you look for Matt Carpenter going to second base. How do you size up that project? I know you guys have been through it before with Skip Schumaker making a successful transition. And, from the reports we are getting, the coaching staff is very impressed with Matt as well.
DeWitt: Well, Matt has been an infielder his whole life. So, going from third to second is as big of a switch as Skip was switching from the outfield. Matt’s been playing a position where he gets hard hit ground balls all the time at third base, and he has a little advantage on Schumaker in that regard because he was an infielder. I know he has worked hard this offseason, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
The Cat: As you go through the story lines, one of them is the Adam Wainwright contract situation. He said they were trying to get something done. And now he has put it on hold to focus on the season. From where you sit right now, is that something you believe will get done or are you optimistic? How do you look at it?
DeWitt: Well, we have had conversations with his representative, and Adam is aware that we would like to sign him long term. These deals are never easy when you get a premium player that becomes a free agent at this stage in his career. You have to look at what the market looks like, and doing it a year in advance is nice, but you never know what the market will be in the subsequent year. So, we are hopeful, but I never say optimistic because one never knows in these situations that involve long term and a lot of money.
You can listen to all of the interviews by clicking HERE.
I’ll be with the rest of the gentlemen on Thursday’s show. We plan to bring heat…and stuff.
Thank you to our title sponsor, Ryan Kelley, St. Louis’ Home Loan Expert, our presenting sponsor for Spring Training, Appliance Discounters, and thank you to Llywelyn’s Pub and Historic St. Charles for making this week in Florida possible.
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