This is a brief Q&A I did with Atlanta Braves bullpen candidate Jeff Lyman. He is a second-round pick from 2005 who has taken some time to come into his own. In recent years he's proven his flexibility by moving back and forth between the bullpen and the starting rotation multiple times, doing whatever the organization asks him to do.
I first talked with Jeff during Camp Roger back in February, and I knew then that he was a very relaxed and engaging person -- one of the true nice guys that the Atlanta system is known for. He's done well this spring, allowing only one run in three innings, while striking out four and not walking anybody. He is still around after surviving the first round of spring cuts. I caught up to him before Tuesday's game.
Q: Do you think you've got a shot at one of the last bullpen spots?
A: I don't know. I mean, the competition is real sick. We'll see, going into this I was just hoping to make a good impression and start in Gwinnett, pitch a little there and see what happens, but anything more than that is a blessing.
Q: Were you victimized by the rainouts recently?
A: I was supposed to thrown the Thursday game against Tampa, then I was supposed to throw the next day on Friday, then I backed up on Saturday, then Sunday I get a whole new schedule, I'm just glad I got a chance to pitch yesterday. Feels good though.
Q: Has anyone helped you out or taken you under their wing this spring?
A: Not necessarily just one person. Proctor has helped me a lot, Hudson, Wagner, a lot of the veteran guys almost go out of their way to help, and you don't necessarily even have to go up to them and ask them. A guy like Scott, who has helped me out a lot in terms of he's a right handed power reliever in kind of the same mold. Anytime you can get Billy Wagner, that's great. Huddy, and all those guys have been amazing so far, so it's been great.
Q: Are you going to be pitching in relief again this year?
A: I think that's the plan, that's what I've been told the last two years, but after last season I ended up starting at a couple of different points. I'm not really sure, we'll just have to wait and see how things kind of play out. That's the plan as of this week.
As I said, it was brief interview, but I wanted to pass it along nonetheless. More coming later.