And now for the interview...
-What differences do you anticipate going from a player and part-time spring training coach to coaching the best in the business everyday?
I think the time commitment will be much greater. Instead of being there for 10-14 days I will be there for 8 months. I like being able to continually work with the catchers on a daily basis. Will also have to deal with the everyday grind of being involved in a 162 game schedule
-The Twins have revamped their coaching staff by adding guys and switching roles of some. What will you be doing in your new role?
I am bench/catching coach. The catching coach part will consist of working with the catchers on the mechanical part of catching. Blocking, throwing and so on. Also the mental part of catching. Game calling to be specific. As bench coach goes, it is like being Gardy's assistant. He can bounce off game ideas and might ask for my opinion on game situations.
-The Twins have added a lot of pitching (especially young pitching). Now that you are coaching the catchers, what approach do you take in getting them acquainted with the new arms?
There is no substitute for catching the new pitchers. I will encourage our catchers to physically catch the pitchers and get to know them personally as best as they can. That way they can figure out what the guys have for pitches. Is their ball straight, does it sink or have movement, what is their breaking ball like and so on.
-The amount of knowledge (stats) available to teams now has been on a steady incline. How much has it changed since you were last in a clubhouse full time and is there any one stat you like?
The data is still the same. We got our data from our advanced scouts, now the data comes via the Internet and scouting businesses. I like to use tendencies of a hitter, where his strengths and weaknesses are. Does he swing early in the at bat, what does he do in RBI situations, how are his at bats early in the game compared to late in the game. Where does he hit the ball, dead pull hitter or dies he spray the ball around.