Last weekend we recorded two season wrap-up podcasts with BlueClaws manager Mickey Morandini and pitching coach Les Lancaster, talking about some of the players and performances we saw with the BlueClaws in 2012.
These are the final Gold Coast Cadillac Manager’s Reports of 2012. Gold Coast Cadillac is the #1 Cadillac dealer in the country. Visit them on Route 35 in Oakhurst or online by clicking here.
First, some snippets from the interviews.
On Maikel Franco – “Shorter to the ball. Starting to use all fields a bit more. He realizes he doesn’t have to swing for a home run every time and he’s done a great job laying off the curveball in the dirt to put himself in more hitters counts.”
On Kelly Dugan – “Once Duffy left, he didn’t lose anything…I think the thing that he’s gotten better at is hitting left-handed pitching, which is something he had to work on. If he can continue to hit lefties he’s going to be a force offensively. He hits the ball the other way as good as anybody and drives it that way, and once he gets better at recognizing off-speed stuff, he’s going to be a force offensively.”
What are you looking for, outside the numbers, do you look for – “How they’ve progressed. We told them at the All-Star Break, that it doesn’t matter what you did in April. It’s what you do in July and August that’s going to determine what you’re going to do this year. A lot of guys have been very consistent. How they’ve improved, is there anything else they need to learn in this league or are they ready for that next challenge?”
That’s just two snippets, but here are comments on Aaron Altherr, Tim Carver, Josh Ludy, Willie Carmona, Kyrell Hudson, and much more.
Noted that many of the bullpen guys from the start of the season have been moved up (including Ryan Duke, Mike Nesseth, Colton Murray, Kenny Giles)
Most important thing a player learns over a 140-game season – “They definitely have to stay strong through starts and relief appearances, the weight program, conditioning program. But they have to make adjustments on their own without having someone come out and tell them, and they’ve done that, within one or two pitches, plus trust their fastball and pitch inside.”
On Colin Kleven – “Believing in himself more and pitching more inside. We taught him a new slider grip during spring training and it’s been a big out pitch for him against righties and lefties. We finally found a change-up grip he’s had success with and he’s a better pitcher for it.”
On Ethan Stwart – “Pitching inside. He still shies away a little bit but he’s getting better. He’s always had a plus-curveball and the change-up is coming along a bit too.”
On Hoby Milner – “When he first got here, most of the time in college he was a reliever so it took a little bit to get the starting routine down, and he stopped trying to strike out everyone and make the perfect pitch, he just took off.”
On Kenny Giles – “I had him last year for the first time. The velocity and arm speed were there. He was wild, just rearing back and throwing, wherever it went it went. We slowed his delivery down, and smoothed it a bit and he can still get it with good angle without losing velocity. Middle part of the way, once he went back into the reliever role, we changed his grip on his slider and the slider became 86-89 and nobody could sit on.”
Again, there are comments in the interview on several more players than what we just covered here.
Listen to the interviews in the player or clicking here (Morandini, Lancaster).