Put me in Coach

March 13, Tucson – Six innings into a Spring Training battle, the scoreboard tallied: Ojeda/Burke/Salazar-6, Milwaukee Brewers-3. On a day that Stephen Drew, Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds enjoyed a deserved day off, Augie, Chris and Jeff made the most of their afternoons.

BenchBurke hit his third homer of the spring and Ojeda and Salazar each pitched in RBI doubles. It was just a few hours earlier that manager Bob Melvin was talking about his bench corps and how difficult it is to walk the line between holding on to the desire to play every day and embracing the role of team player.

Augie_ojeda"As a player you have to accept it and work accordingly. He (Salazar) and Augie know what they have to do to get ready," according to their skipper.

Melvin also proved to be a master last season in communicating with his role players and making sure that they received plenty of starting assignments to keep them fresh and more importantly, confident.

"And you have to get them a start when they have a chance to to have some success," shared Melvin, "I’ll try to look at the matchups and make sure that they can succeed, like if a guy is 6 for 10 off of a certain pitcher, I’ll do my best to get him in there. It wasn’t always that way when I was a bench player."

Jeff_salazar_catchIt is hard to imagine that Salazar played in just 38 games last year for the Dbacks, isn’t it? From the catch of th year to the game winning bomb in San Francisco, it felt like his impact was felt for much more than a month and a half worth of ballgames.

"For a guy who didn’t start with us, he had quite the impact. One play (the catch) can accentuate your importance to a team and make you feel more comfortable, but we saw plays like that one all the time from Jeff."

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Juan Gutierrez looked very sharp in twirling three scoreless innings in the game. The Venezuelan right hander acquired in the Valverde trade could be a candidate to step into that stuntman role that we talked about below. To me, the only way he can take that spot is to find consitency and if Edgar is moved in a trade. Juan still probably remains behind Yusmeiro Petit as well for that spot.

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Finally, I thought we could all take a trip down memory lane together, with some help from my good friends Tim and Willy (http://timandwilly.com/). Give this a listen from last fall: Download ANYBODY-ANYTIME-timandwilly-2007.mp3

5 Comments

Darrin…nice to hear you on the Brewers broadcast yesterday! The Valverde trade is the stuff of GM guts. H’es strung up like a pinyata if Ltons can’t hack the place kickewr stress of being a closer…and if no Pena or Lidge or Petit or Guitierrez or whoever is there to pick up the D-backs….the baseball bats are gonna start swinging for something sweet….and I’m not talking about Stephen Drew fan clubs.

That’s why i love the Valverde trade. It’s like you mentioned yesterday…The team wanted to get better, so they rocked the boat a bit.

I was there when Salazar hit the homer in SF. He put that one where Barry Bonds usually hits ‘em. Very much fun for someone rooting for the D’Backs in SF.

Daron, with M. Williams or Garagiola, you are interesting, and informative. With Mark G., the two of you act like 14 year olds some times. Talk like adults for heavens sake. Also, a nickname is earned or derived from some characteristic. Not invented and voted on. Jeez!

speaking of Pumkin Head, I say NO!, to the recent rumor on ESPN of the pursuit of BARRY BONDS. We don’t need no stinkin, bad attitude, prima donna veteran to come over and poison the future minds of our young players!

On the rumor of the pursuit of Barry Bonds by ESPN. We don’t need no stinkin bad attitude, prima donna veteran coming over to poison the future minds of our young players.

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