3pm EST 1/17/12, Jim Bowden, Casey Stern hosting <strong>Inside Pitch</strong> on Sirius/XM. This is a stream-of-listening paraphrase of what I hear, in semi-real-time. Wasn't a lot of ground-breaking info.
Nice intro - Jim Powell highlight calls from games in 2011.
1. Busy day for you.... lots of signing/agreements. Last one JJ, done about 5 mins before the slary-figure-exchange deadline. Credits his staff for good work over the weekend.
2. Is avoiding arbitration advantageous? It's a right the players have; it doesn't typically have a lot of holdover effects. We try to avoid it, but are not afraid of the process.
3. Jim Bowden - argues that 'doing nothing' is a great off-season given the organization. "Thanks for giving me that, Jim!" We have a huge fanbase, hard for them to understand not doing much. We basically made the whole roster available if we could make the team better. Had several inquires on several players. We underperformed last year; hoping these guys will bounce back. We'll have some time to see if that happens. If there's something that's a clear winner for us, we'd do it, but not otherwise.
4. Where's the one spot in the field where you would want to upgrade? Well, that's the trouble -- no clear spot (went through all positions and explained). We need to be open-minded and such, but none of the discussions we had with other teams got very close.
5. How important was it to retain Prado (for sake of covering for Chipper) vs. getting a LF hitter? Great point Jim, because if we had traded Prado, it would mean multiple changes to our team.
Note: Mentioned Chipper in town hitting in the cage.
6. Depth of Rotation. Casey gets the sense that you like Minor as the lefty. How do you handle Delgado and Teheran. You're right - we prefer to have that lefty, but Teheran and Delgado are definitely "ready". If Hudson, Hanson, JJ, Beachy are ready, then there's probably not a spot for those guys yet. Left a hint that maybe Hanson and JJ might not be 100%
7. Do you see Medlen and Vizcaino in the bullpen? Yeah... Medlen has this swing-n-miss changeup - could pitch anywhere in the bullpen. Vizzy a little behind in maturity and pitching.... will be an interesting spring training (kinda curtailed discussion of Vizzy).
8. Fredi managing bullpen. He changed in the 2nd half, but the real problem in the bullpen was the offsense not swinging the bats well enough to allow the starters some room to go deeper in the games.
9. Fredi more: your assessment of Fredi - is he on the hotseat, or the long-term answer? "No, Fredi - we love Fredi". It's tough to follow Bobby, but Bobby's one of his greatest supporters and is there for advice. Handled the transition well.