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December 5, 2011
Q.¬† Davey, what do you feel is the team's biggest need during the Winter Meetings, do you think?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Well, I agree with Mike on all his assessments.¬† Right now we do have a big gap in our bench that will probably have to be filled.¬† If we don't do anything here with younger guys, which I prefer not to do.
As far as us making a big splash, we really try to do that to upgrade our club.¬† I'm pretty comfortable the way we finished up, and i think this young left‑hander is pretty close to getting up there.¬† I wouldn't want to make too big a major move and block it for him. But I think our ballclub is one or two players away from really being a heck of a ball team.
Q.¬† How comfortable would you feel if you went an open day (Indiscernible) as the centerfielder?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† I talked to Jayson last season.¬† He loves centerfield.¬† He feels more comfortable there for some reason.¬† But he's a heck of a right fielder.
Q.¬† With regard to the bench, what was your reaction to see that Laynce, somebody who kind of fit the profile of what you were looking for signed with a division on another team?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† I like Laynce and I talked to him over the winter.¬† The bigger blow, was Marrero, because Marrero, hopefully Adam is going to be a hundred percent recovered.¬† But also, too, while he's recovered I could have a right‑hander, too, over there.
His injury was kind of left us another man short, as far as I'm concerned.
Q.¬† Is there a sense of what the time is going to be?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† From what I gather, probably All‑Star break.¬† So the right‑handed bench player, utility player is I think very important.¬† I feel a hundred percent sure Adam is going to be fine.¬† But it would be nice to have a guy over there like we did last year.
Q.¬† It was reported that you that you spoke to Mark DeRosa, I was wondering what you said to him and what are the chances of you getting him?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Well, I looked at his last two years, they weren't too stellar.¬† And I know he has injured his left wrist or a tendon in his left wrist.¬† But I had him in the World Baseball Classic, really quality guy.¬† I really like him.¬† If he's healthy, he fits the role about as good as you can get.
Q.¬† Can he play all over?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Yeah, he can play just about anywhere.
Q.¬† Do you feel like ‑‑ you mentioned how it might be ideal for young guys to be on the bench.¬† Do you feel¬† (INAUDIBLE).
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† When you carry a young player that has at talent that must rose I does, I'd have to get him in a lot of games.¬† I can do that if it's just one young player.¬† He can play probably any position in the infield.¬† I could probably throw him in the outfield.¬† I kind of looked at him as ‑‑ like when I had Ben Zobrist, switch hitter, smart player, knows the game, can play just about anywhere.
Q.¬† What, if anything, would you need to see between now and opening day?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Well, I think it would be pretty obvious in the spring.¬† He had a really good spring last year, I think he had 390.¬† But I think that the main thing is that I think could he handle it mentally?¬† And I think in his mind he's already figuring to be starting on the club, if you ask him.¬† And I haven't talked to him, but I know that he's done everything in his whole life to succeed at a higher level and compete with the best.
And I think he's the kind of individual that probably puts Steve last year in Double‑A probably puts more pressure on himself to try to get to the big leagues.¬† I think he'll be much more relaxed if he's there and can compete.
But I just want ‑‑ it's kind of like I told Rizzo, I said, I had to fight for a young pitcher, who was 19 years old in New York, and just keep an open mind and let's see what he does in the spring.¬† And then evaluate whether he makes the club or not.¬† And after many conversations I finally got him to agree to that.¬† And the rest is history.
But I think he's pretty mature.¬† I don't look at him age‑wise as I probably should.¬† But I think he's definitely going ‑‑
Q.¬† He said he likes to have guys play at every level.¬† Do you think Mike has an open mind and how much have you and him discussed this?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† I have nothing wrong with that.¬† So he kind of went pretty quick, from A ball to the big leagues.¬† You know, it's ‑‑ is he the best candidate out there?¬† I mean, is he going to make our club stronger?¬† I'd like another left‑hander batting in the lineup.¬† Right fielder is probably going to hit 7th in the lineup.¬† I'd like to kind of have a more balanced lineup.
So I'm open for him competing for a spot.¬† Whether he can handle it or whether he makes it in June or July.¬† I said in the spring, guys were asking me, when do you think harper is going to get there, I said I think he's going to have to go back to the big leagues when he's 19.¬† So he's 19.
Q.¬† Could you have imagined last year at this time sitting here and talking to us?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† No, no.¬† I wasn't planning on it.¬† But like I said last year, I really like the organization.¬† I think the front office is great.¬† The ownership is great.¬† The talent level, there's a lot of guys that have their feet on the ground a little bit.¬† I think they're going to be a whole lot better next year.¬† And I'd like to have a team from the get go that has a chance to win.¬† And I believe we do.
Q.¬† When you took over the club last year, would you have done it, if you knew you weren't going to be here this year?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Yeah, I mean, I felt like I was the perfect guy, after Riggs resigned, to come in and kind of run the ship the rest of the year.¬† I felt like I'm pretty good with handling young players and helping them get their feet on the ground.
So I thought I was a good pick last year. And you know the story, I was consulted a month or so, or two months after, and my recommendation was to continue and they took it.
Q.¬† When you said you feel like you guys have a left‑hander that's pretty close to the big leagues, are you referring to Detwiler?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† No, a left‑hand hitter that's pretty close to the big leagues.¬† Ideally I would like to have at least two ‑‑ I mean three left‑handers in the lineup.¬† And that's Adam LaRoche, and looking for a guy every day that can drive in some runs.¬† (Indiscernible) is in that mix, too.
If we don't make a big splash with the front line centerfielder, he would get an opportunity to make it.
Q.¬† To the extent you can comment regarding outfielder, what do you know about the Japanese outfielder?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† I don't know a lot about him, I haven't seen him play.¬† I don't know how expensive he is.
Q.¬† How about two guys you managed against at the World Baseball Classic, Yu Darvish, what's your impression of him?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I like him.¬† Big, strong, hard thrower.¬† Actually throws a lot like Americans, you know, big, awful hard stuff.¬† He's got good command.¬† That's going to be an expensive deal, too, right there, but I do like him.
Q.¬† How about a guy that wouldn't be as expensive, Hisashi Iwakuma that you managed against, also?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† I think Japanese baseball turns out a lot of great players.¬† And even when I played back a long time ago, I said, man, there's a lot of guys in each club that could play on the big leagues, and then a few years after that they started making that move.
But I certainly like the fundamentals that they bring to the table.¬† We have scouts over there.¬† We have agents over there.¬† We're getting reports.¬† It's up to the GM.
Q.¬† Not to hammer you away with these, but what do you know about Tsuyoshi Wada?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† His name has come up in the meetings.¬† Again, nothing specific.¬† We're looking a lot of different directions.
Q.¬† Mike was talking about wanting to add, ideally, like a veteran type of pitcher.¬† What kind of effect would adding a guy like that have on your staff?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† You know, I really like my staff.¬† I like it as it is right now.¬† Anytime you can improve, go for it.¬† I haven't been pushing in that direction.¬† Mike's a smart guy.¬† I leave that up to him.
Q.¬† You talked at the end of the season about having at least one, if not two long men in the pen.¬† Would a guy like Detwiler, be a candidate for that or do you ‑‑
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† I like him in the rotation.¬† He showed me a lot last year.¬† I think he grew up quite a bit.¬† I like two starters in the bullpen.¬† Obviously Gorzelanny did a good job over there, but he really pitched great.¬† And I thought he had a little more tender arm.¬† He showed me that he can come back and throw the next day, and wanted to.¬† Maya, Stammen was really impressive at the end of the year.¬† Those guys, the starter types, in case there's a guy that couldn't post that day, I like to have somebody that starts.
And what happened was the first couple of months I was there I didn't have enough long innings out of my starters and my bullpen.¬† I ended up trying to get the starters to go longer, and in the pen I was stretching guys.¬† And a lot of guys were like that.¬† Rodriguez, another one.¬† That didn't like that second inning.¬† But Gorzelanny started getting better, and made it easier on everybody.¬† Me, too.¬† I'm always nervous about someone getting hurt in the first inning.
Q.¬† What is your thought about Papelbon being in the National League east?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† I was hoping it would stand pat.¬† Some people going out there and trying to make a big splash.¬† I like him.¬† I think American League east, National League east, two strong divisions in baseball.¬† It makes it more fun when you win.
Q.¬† What did you think about Randy Knorr coming on as a bench coach?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† I like Randy.¬† I thought he did a good job managing.¬† He's a younger version of Pat.¬† I mean I love Pat.¬† But he'll have better hearing than Pat.¬† It was kind of tough at times.¬† McCatty had a lot of trouble hearing out of his left ear, and Pat couldn't hear out of his right ear, so a lot of times I was reaching for him.¬† But I like Randy a lot.¬† I let him handle the catchers.
Q.¬† Was he a big help in September?¬† He had managed a lot of the young guys in the team.¬† Did he help you?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† He didn't come the first day.¬† And I squawked.¬† I said where is the guy that handles these guys?¬† I'd like to talk to him.¬† And get his take on them.¬† He's good, I like him.
Q.¬† What do you like in a bench coach?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Well, you know, I mean he's the guy that's going to cross‑check me, he makes the lineup for me.¬† He puts it in the computer and it punches out and then he hands it to me and then I double check them and I double check them.¬† I value all of their opinions about the way they think guys are going, and who needs rest and who doesn't.¬† And just a smart baseball man.¬† All five of them are very valuable.¬† I wouldn't say one is more valuable than the other, but they all know what I'm thinking.
As far as game time decisions, I don't ask a lot of people questions at that time.
Q.¬† They keep in their head who was available left and right, is that the kind of stuff they do, give you information?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† It's all in the lineup card.¬† I know who they have.¬† I know who's on their bench.¬† I know who they're going to pinch‑hit for, what they do.¬† That's my homework.¬† But I discuss the game plan, when the game starts I don't want to have to ask somebody on the bench what they think, because they may be thinking different than me, and then I've got a tie.
But all the moves and how he go about and who's going to be available for me, those things are discussed on a daily basis with the whole staff.¬† So pretty much everybody knows what's going on.
Q.¬† You've been around Spring Training with this team, but this is the first time you're going to be in charge of it.¬† Is there anything you want to implement, the tone?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† We don't have enough time to go over that right now.¬† The only thing that will change a little bit is I thought we were a little too spread out.¬† We got a lot of work in but we had too many little individual stations that guys had to go through.¬† And in doing so there's a lot of time wasted going to different fields.¬† I like them closer.
I like to be able to jump right over there and see what's going on.¬† And I like more team interaction than individual work.¬† Individual work is important, but I don't like to separate all the individual work.¬† I like to do more individual work with other guys watching, other teammates watching what's going on and seeing how they're performing.
It's just the way I've done it every spring.¬† I have a comfort zone in being able to pay attention to what's going on.
Q.¬† Is that something you start planning now, or do you wait until the first of the year?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Oh, you know, I have books and stuff everybody spring I have to put together.¬† I was always the guy that did the scheduling, how much time we did everything.¬† And I never had a camp coordinator.¬† But since I got that and he's done a good job since I've been here, I like him, I'll just go over the things I want with him and the things I'd like to spend more time on.¬† We can do all that stuff two or three days ahead of everybody else and have all that laid out.
Q.¬† Have you talked to LaRoche about how he's doing?¬† I know he was to be ready to go by spring?
A.The word I got is that he's a hundred percent right now.¬† He's feeling great.¬† So I'm sure he'll come down early.¬† He's been an every‑day player.¬† But I still want that right‑handed compliment to him so I can give him a little rest and make sure there's no setbacks.
Q.¬† Have you had a chance to talk to Wilson Ramos?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Yes.
Q.¬† How did that go?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† It's great.¬† He's a guy who can give me a blow by blow.¬† All our prayers were answered.¬† It was hard to deal with.¬† Nothing you could do.¬† But I'm glad ‑‑ they might make a movie out of it or something.¬† That was scary.
Q.¬† What was the scariest part?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Well, you know, the transportation.¬† When they took him out there and moved him around.¬† And he said the people in the house were actually pretty nice.¬† They fed him.¬† And then of course when he was scrambling to get on the bed or something, all the gun fire, life's just maybe seconds away.¬† But I haven't gotten any reports on how much he played.¬† But some of our scouts have said both our catchers look good.
Q.¬† Given his youth, what's the ideal number of games for him to play?¬† Did you see any fatigue at the end of the year?
DAVEY JOHNSON:¬† Not really.¬† Actually he got stronger, seemed like.¬† He went through spells.¬† When they actually first got there, the consensus was that after he caught two or three days he got tired.¬† And so I kind of stuck on that same plan.¬† But I'll just see how it goes.¬† When you have the depth we have right there in the ballclub, you know, there's no sense going to the whip real early, especially during hot weather, too.¬† It's awful demanding.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports