Baseball Weekly Press Conference|
Feb. 9, 1998
"We're going to a key part of our schedule here in the next 13 days. We have 11 games- 8 of those 11 are on the road. When I set that schedule up, we had five starters and six relievers, it looked a like a pretty good thing to do. The fact that we lost Reynolds before the season started and Ginter wasn't able to pitch and Eric Cooper, our No. 4 guy hasn't been able to pitch yet, it doesn't look like such a good idea. We'll need five starters in this stretch. The first two are tomorrow at TCU and the last three against Long Beach at home. We've got 13 days here for our team to progress a lot. We'll be playing good competition with most of them on the road. I hope all these things will help us prepare for the opening week of conference play against Texas A&M. That's the reason why we did all of this. Pitching will be a big concern for us. I don't know how we'll match up with these teams. The weekend series has helped us with the fact that Ward, Cornejo and Wright did real well and did all the things we need in our pitchers and for us to get going in the right direction. The disappointing thing continuest to be our injuries. Ruiz pulled a hamstring and did not play yesterday and we really need him in the lineup from a defensive standpoint and not having Cooper start are the two biggest disappointments. All in all, it was a good weekend and we've got some guys starting to hit that ball and that will help us.
On starting situations at third and first base:
"Third base will still be a battle. I was real pleased with Brennan Burns with the way he took off on the first day. He had a couple key hits but yesterday, didn't do as well. Then we've got Jason Huth who has a lot of ability as an athlete. That's a pretty good battle right there. That will get more complicated when Keith Ginter gets back in the mix because Kevin Jordan's playing real well at second and could also play third. First base, that will be ongoing as well. I really like Mark Austry, the way he's playing. He did some things the first inning that you don't even notice. A bad throw, he picks it up. He made a couple other plays where he does the little things to help this club. He's not a power hitter or anything, but he does the little things over there to give us stability. That may be something we need to have."
On when Keith Ginter will be ready to play in the field:
"I can't ever get a read on Keith. He'll come up one day, really encourage me and say, 'boy, it feels good.' I was hoping that he'd sneak out there and take some infield the other day. That bothers me a little bit. I was hoping that in Arizona, we could play him every other day at second. We know what he can do at second once he gets him arm ready. I'd like to get Jordan some games in before conference begins. Nothing's working for this club as far as health goes. We cannot get a team out there two days in a row."
On Monty Ward's health:
"He's not 100 percent with his leg, but boy, he threw outstanding the other day. His fastball never went under 90 mph. That's pretty impressive for five innings. His slider was 76, 78 in there. That was one of the better fastballs, I've ever seen him have. From a throwing standpoint, he's okay, but if someone bunts on him or if he has to cover first, something like that, it's still a concern. He had to get it wrapped in the fourth inning, so it's still bothering him."