Monday, August 29, 2011

Notes From Mattingly's Pre-Game Media Session

Just got back from the Don Mattingly pre-game session. Here's the highlights:

  • I got there late to the conversation but obviously the big point of discussion was the Andre Ethier kerfuffle. Mattingly answered questions with a largely unfazed demeanor. Dylan Hernandez tried extract some other comments, but Mattingly didn't take the bait.
  • Mattingly did talk, however, about how he was pleased how the team was scoring more runs on their latest clip. "Juan Rivera and Matt Kemp give us some punch, Jamey Carroll and Justin Sellers are getting on...people are getting on base a lot, so it's no surprise that we're scoring more runs."
  • Mattingly also explained Eugenio Velez' AB yesterday (when the Dodgers were rallying in the sixth inning with none out and the bases loaded when he sent up Velez), as saying "I thought Velez wouldn't hit into a DP at the time." Mattingly did not go so far as to say that "it was a good matchup." Okay, so there's that.
  • Clayton Kershaw is obviously having a great year. Mattingly was asked a hypothetical question, if Kershaw were sitting on 19 wins, would he start Kershaw on short rest. "You mean on two days rest or something like that," Mattingly said. "Are you trying to get me fired?"
  • We're going with a six-pitcher rotation here, marked by Nathan Eovaldi's next (and final) start. I think as far as the schedule goes that the sixth batter would play that makeup game coming up for Pittsburgh. The Thursday start was kept mum, but Mattingly said it would not come from the bullpen. And, the unnamed starter is not playing first base. All Mattingly would divulge is that the coaches have talked about who that starter is...but he wasn't telling us.
  • Mattingly was asked about the MVP race, "numbers vs. value". Said Don, "I look at the guy's numbers Matt Kemp is having the best year in the league, that's the way I see it. How do you measure where we'd be without Matt. And even more impressive he's putting up numbers without protection in the lineup all the time. The statistics have to be a consideration; our game is statistically based. If you're the best person in the league...Kemp is my MVP."
  • Mattingly praised the veterans on the team like Jamey Carroll and Casey Blake, for their leadership. He alluded to the younger players on the team and said "they could really benefit from the veterans...if they pay attention." I know what he was saying...but he did say later on that he thought there was "a lot of respect in the game, so [one] has to respect the people who have been there.
  • Mattingly appreciated the whole September call-up thing. "Even for me," Mattingly said, "I went 2-for-12 but learned a lot from watching the games and letting me know I could play."
  • Mattingly also gave a quick injury report. Juan Uribe still trying to build up; there's a chance we might not see Uribe again this year. All he would say was that the injury was below the hip, leading one reporter to reference the Tony Abreu incident of years past. Jonathan Broxton was throwing from flat ground. Dee Gordon played last night and will play tonight, and will be activated for Wednesday or Thursday's game.


Alex Cora said...

Thanks sax. Great stuff.

Steve Sax said...

Not the same doing this (han) solo, AC. But definitely good times.