Batters Box caught up with Dick Scott on Saturday as he was watching a GCL game in Florida. Dick told us some bad news about Brad Mills and Kyle Ginley; had some promising news for Brian Dopirak; and talked about the year so far for Brad Emaus, JP Arencibia and David Cooper, among others.
BB: Travis Snider hasn't played in a few days, is his back still hurting him?
DS: No, he hurt his knee sliding into home plate, the catcher blocked the plate and he banged his knee up. He is day-to-day.
BB: I see Brad Mills is on the DL, is it a rib problem or an oblique strain?
DS: It's either an oblique strain or he has a little bit of a fracture of his rib. It is "to be determined" but it will probably be four weeks before he is back.
BB: JP Arencibia is on the DL but he has not been able to handle AAA pitching yet. Is he going to be able to develop an approach, and patience, that will work for him?
DS: I think so. He will develop patience with time. He got to AAA after only one full season in the minor leagues under his belt and there are a lot of pitchers in AAA who have pitched in the big leagues or who pitched earlier this season in the big leagues so it's a good level for him and he has to make some adjustments and we would prefer for him to undergo adversity in the minor leagues rather than in the major leagues. He is making adjustments, he will be fine.
BB: Fabio Castro started off very well in AA and initially in AAA but has struggled a bit more recently. Is it just getting used to pitching in AAA or him working on his stuff?
DS: You have to give him credit, he has had only about two bad outings this year and they have come in the last couple of starts. He has had a real good year and we actually have had teams call and ask about him. I think he has a chance to pitch for us in the major leagues and he has had a couple of bad outings but I don't see any more than that.
BB: How hard does he throw?
DS: He is 86-88.
BB: Is there any chance of Bobby Ray coming back anytime soon?
DS: Well it's going to be a while. He is on a throwing program here in Florida, I don't know what the timetable is.
BB: Brad Emaus had a great start to the season but has struggled in June. What has been the difference?
DS: I just think pitchers are making adjustments to him and, again, he has one full season under his belt in the FSL, and it's a pretty fast pace we have him on. I think he is doing OK, he definitely needs to make the adjustments at home plate, he is a little too aggressive right now, he is not being patient. I think the league knows he is being more aggressive than he should be and they are not throwing him many strikes. That's something he has to figure out and he has the capability of it, but there are a couple of changes he needs to make in his swing. His approach has changed a little bit but it is all part of the learning curve and I think he will be fine.
BB: On the other hand David Cooper started slowly but has been playing well since coming off the DL. Did anything happen or is it experience?
DS: It's experience, he hadn't played any in the minor leagues except for half a season prior to this so to throw him into the AA fire was pretty aggressive on our part. He has had to learn on the job, he is working hard on his defense and base running and trying to be a better overall player for a guy known for his bat. he has had a lot of stuff thrown at him this year but he has made adjustments but the guy is going to be a good hitter.
BB: Brian Dopirak has been your best hitter in AA, are there any thoughts of sending him to AAA or is he blocked there?
DS: We have talked about that and it may happen sooner rather than later. He has had a good half there so let's see what he can do in AAA.
BB: When we spoke last year about the young guys who are now in Dunedin you told me you just have to let them play. Now that they are in their age 20 season is it still "you just have to let them play"?
DS: well I think with the second half of the season starting now the expectations are increasing a little bit. Overall they have all hung in there and it's a very difficult league to play in at 20 years old. They are talented guys, they have improved, but they need to make adjustments, they need to stop doing the same things over and over. They are making strides, it is tough when you get overwhelmed with things. They will probably all repeat there next year.
BB: One young guy who has had an impact is Moises Sierra. Do you leave him in Dunedin because of his age or move him to AA?
DS: He is probably going to stay there for now. He has done a great job and he is leading the league in hitting.
BB: Eric Thames has been on the DL a few times, is that all related to his quad issues?
DS: It has been different injuries, he just had his knee scoped for a meniscus tear, he is likely out four weeks at least.
BB: Kyle Ginley is in the bullpen now, is that a permanent move?
DS: He came off the DL about two weeks ago and now he has hurt his elbow again so we have to shut him down again.
BB: Tyler Pastornicky has done well this season, what does he need to do to move up.
DS: He just needs to keep playing for now, he has been hitting well, he has around 40 stolen bases, his defense is a lot better than we anticipated. He is a young guy who just needs to keep playing. we are not going to move him, he is fine right where he is. He has done a nice job, made a lot of adjustments and to it like that for a young kid is quite impressive.
Thanks to Dick Scott for his time. Also yours truly will be in beautiful Manchester, New Hamsphire next weekend if any bauxites would like to say hi.