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With the minor league season entering the final two weeks it was a good time to catch up with Omar Malave, the manager of the Dunedin Blue Jays. Malave is a long time Blue Jay having been signed in 1980 as a free agent out of Venezuela. Malave played in the Jays minor league system until 1989 when he ended his minor league career hitting .220 between Knoxville and Syracuse. In 1990 Malave joined the Jays team in Medicine Hat as a coach and he has been a manager at all levels of the Blue Jay system since 1991. This is Malaveís second year managing the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Florida State League.

On Ricky Romero's first few starts: We expected him to pitch as he has, he is still making the adjustment to professional baseball. He pitched better last night than the numbers show, he threw the ball well, itís just that in a couple of innings he fell behind the hitters a little. But he is a special player, he has the three pitches he can throw for strikes and right now he is working on his changeup getting better location and better depth with it. He is going to be all right. Ricky has three major league pitches, the key for him is location. Right now his fastball is good, his curveball is getting better and his changeup is too hard at times and needs some adjustments. Last night his pitch limit was 70 pitches.

On Davis Romero and consistency: In the first half of the year he really struggled, he was inconsistent and often would only pitch 2 or 3 innings and he was 0-6, now he is 6-7 and at one point he won six straight decisions. He started hitting his location and working ahead of the hitters, and we changed his arm slot to be a little lower to get more movement on his pitches. He was inconsistent and that might still be there, he is still a young kid, but he found his groove here in the second half, no question. His changeup is his strikeout pitch, he is still working on his curveball.

A scouting report on Kyle Yates: He is not an overpowering guy, he needs to hit his spots. He will throw strikes, his best pitch is his curveball, when itís on he keeps the hitters off balance. He doesnít throw hard but he throws strikes and is around the plate

On Kurt Isenbergís success in 2005 versus 2004: Kurt hasnít changed anything this year. This is his second year around the league and he has more confidence and he is another young kid who we need be patient with. He has won ten games for us this year. He has two pitches he throws for strikes, the fastball and the breaking ball, he needs to work on his change up, and when he gets it to work he will be all right.

On David Purceyís control issues: We didnít do much with him, he and Ricky Romero are first year guys and you just need to let them pitch, they have to find a way to work through it and then if we have to make an adjustment we will. If they really struggle we jump in, but they need to find consistency. Most of these guys from college arrive already polished. I know he walked a lot, but he also had a lot of strikeouts, but we didnít make a lot of changes

On Zach Jackson and Casey Janssen: When we saw those guys here we know they really needed to be challenged at a higher level. We sit with them and go over how we approach the hitters and game plans, and then they went out and threw the ball well.

On Adam Lind: When he came over here in spring training there was a lot of talk over what kind of hitter he was, but he has shown he is a special hitter, he doesnít miss the pitches he is looking for, and I know he could handle AA now. Defensively Lind was a first baseman in college and when he came here first but he has worked so hard and now he is average defensively.

On how Lind compares to Vernon Wells, who Omar managed in the minor leagues: As a hitter I think Adam Lind has the edge over Vernon at the same age. Lind is more patient and more polished than Vernon was at the same age. Defensively its no contest, Vernon was at the top of his game, Lind needs help defensively. Lind compares well with Vernon, Orlando Hudson and other major league hitters.

On Ryan Roberts in 2005 versus 2004: Roberts did better in 2005 because it was his second time around, he didnít really change anything, he dropped his hands a little bit and shortened his swing some. Roberts was a good hitter last year and I knew he could do better this year but his power surprised me a little. Ryan is a good fastball hitter, he has a short, sharp, swing, it doesnít matter how hard it is pitched, he can hit it.

On Robinzon Diazís offense and defense: His offense has been better than his defense this year, he started slow but now he is up to .285 and he has always been a .300 hitter. Defensively he needs a lot of help and he has gotten better in the second half, calling a game, blocking balls, but he is a young kid and we have to bring him along. He has an average arm.

On Chip Cannon: Chip is a fastball hitter too, when I first saw him I thought he might be a breaking ball hitter but I was wrong. He would sit on a fastball and react to the other pitches and thatís why he has done so well.

Batters Box thanks Omar Malave for spending some time with us here in DaBox.

Catching up with Omar Malave | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mylegacy - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#126269) #
Good work. Interesting info.
TamRa - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#126277) #
I be lovin me some "behind the scense" info.

Keep 'em coming.
Some call me Tim - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#126304) #
Thanks Gerry and Omar. Interesting interview.
Catching up with Omar Malave | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.