Pre-game thoughts from Joe Maddon

On Evan Longoria DHing again:
“His arm is a little bit sore, but he’s really fine, and normal circumstances with Pat [Burrell] available, we probably wouldn’t be doing it.  But with Pat not out there, we could move the DH spot around and give some guys rest, so I chose to do it this way with Longo.”

On Pat Burrell and his neck injury:
“He’s doing better.  He has much better range of motion, and we’re at the point now where he’ll start hitting on a more consistent basis this week.  By the beginning of next week, we’ll try and figure out a game plan to get him back.”

 On the state of the bullpen:
“It’s all matchups, and I’m not ready move it away from matchups right now.  We are always basing things on a high-leverage moment, so I don’t want to miss a moment in the sixth or seventh innings that may permit the game to get away from us trying to save somebody.  We are just not built that way right now.”

On the recent success of J.P. Howell:
“It looks like his velocity has come back up, and at the beginning of the season, he was working through some things, coming off last year and then going to the WBC.  Over the last maybe two weeks, I’m seeing a jump in his fastball velocity, which makes his other pitches more difficult.”

On Grant Balfour and his outing Saturday:
“If you think about last year, he started out in the minor leagues, then he came here and we gave him a softer roll and he built into it.  Maybe he’s just a slow starter.  I thought he looked better physically and mechanically on Saturday, and he was in control of his emotions better.  Maybe he’s just that guy who needs a little bit of time.”

On Scott Kazmir’s recovery:
“We sat down and really analyzed everything and looked at all the information we had.  His leg’s feeling better, and based on what we’ve seen, we can understand why his leg was bothering him.  We built a program for him to get back to pitching for us.  It’s starting with some real basic stuff to try and rebuild some muscle memory in some areas.  There were some mechanical issues that needed to be addressed, and we’re addressing them right now.”



This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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