Media Day: Tommy Phelps

On Christian Garcia: “He’s been healthy, he’s had a great spring.  It’s just a matter of him staying healthy and pitching a full year.  The kid’s got a big future.  If he stays healthy, a lot of big things can happen for him and our organization.  Some guys, they battle with injuries and it takes time.  This is the best I’ve seen him, health-wise, and I’ve been around him three years.  He’s throwing the ball great.”

On roles for his bullpen: “It’s a lot of guys that need to get innings.  Possibly, Duffer’s going to be in the position to finish games for us.  He’s got the experience and he’s got the arm strength to do it.  It’s just a matter of letting him experience that a little bit.  I don’t know if he’s ever experienced that, he’s always been a multiple inning guy.  But I think something like that suit him well.”

On pitchers who were with the Thunder that didn’t make the team, but stood out: “Heyer was here, sinkerball guy.  He’s a guy that could possibly be up here sometime this year.  He’s pitched in Tampa all of last year.  Bartleski came up here a little bit at the end of the year, Olbrychowski as well.”

On if Pat Venditte was ready for Double-A: “The hitters will tell Venditte (he was ready). We’ve got other guys…but he’s jumped up the chain pretty quick.  He did a nice job in spring training.”

On how he coaches a pitcher who throws from both sides: “When I go to shake his hand, I shake both hands (laughs).  You just treat him as right-handed pitcher, and then as a left-handed pitcher.  He’s different, he’s high three-quarter from the right side, and he’s sidearm from the left side.  It’s two different types.  But he has a pretty good idea of what he’s doing, and it’s pretty fun to watch him pitch.”

On D.J. Mitchell: “This was the first time I’ve seen him pitch this spring, and he’s got some really good tools to get guys out.  It’s a matter of him utilizing them and pitching at the sides of the plate and changing speeds and all that.”

Mike Ashmore, mashm0re98 AT gmail.com

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