Baseball Media Day: Quotes + Audio

Inside Carolina's Baseball Media Day coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Mike Fox, Matt Harvey, Ryan Graepel, Colin Bates and other players as the Tar Heels prepare for their season opener against George Washington on Friday.

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MIKE FOX

(15:32)

On his team's question marks:
"We do have some unknowns since half of the team is new. Probably the unknown for us is how we are going to be offensively more than anything else and who is going to come out of the bullpen because of the players that we lost and certainly our starting pitching with Alex [White] and Adam [Warren] - but we feel like we have some veterans that we will be able to throw out there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So probably the biggest unknown for us will be how we will swing the bat and who will come out of the bullpen for us."

On lowered expectations this season:
"We can not control any of that and we know how good our league is and we know how good our division is. Our players understand what has happened to our program. The bar has been set pretty high here so we have to be careful and go out and play hard and try to have the best team that we can. If it happens during the season I think that there is some value in looking at yourself as the underdog and that nobody thinks that we have any shot at all at reaching those goals again so lets prove them wrong. There is some value to that I don't know if the start of the season is the time to promote that. We will see if I pull that out sometime during the season.

On not coaching third base this year:
"I'm not going to coach third base this year starting off for the first time in my 27 years. That has nothing to do with this year's team but it was something that I have considered for the last year or two. Just I really can not give you one reason - I don't know how much I am going to try to manage our offense from the dugout - I trust Coach Jackson completely. I have had him coaching third in scrimmages before and I felt a little safer there last year with that helmet on but I am not as quick as I used to be but I don't know if I'll be any safer in the dugout or not. I will do my part in the dugout as I need to and it may change halfway through the year - I don't know. We talk about our offense all the time and what our philosophy is we watch every practice, every swing and Coach Jackson knows our team and our players just as much as I do and he will do a good job over there."

On Brian Goodwin:
"Brian Goodwin is a tremendous talent. One of the most talented players I think who has come in here with his baseball tools. Probably the things that has impressed me the most with Brian is his ball and strike recognition - a lot of young hitters get themselves out a lot against good pitching - swinging at a bad pitch and change the count. But, Brian looks at the ball good. He is a work in progress. People said he was raw when we recruited him but I don't think that is the case."

On the junior college transfers:
"Teddy was one of those we did not really know anything about and he kind of came in here on his own and he will be a reliever for us and he is probably going to struggle a little bit getting innings for us especially early. The other two are position players. Dylan will be on the field somewhere for us somewhere and probably to start the season at first base and Jesse behind the plate or at first base or DH. You can tell obviously that they are advanced baseball wise but still Chapel Hill and UNC is everything is new to them they so they in that freshman mode in that regard but baseball wise they a little more advanced and you can tell that. We knew that what we were losing we would need to get some transfers in and we don't do it very often but those two guys have been good for our program so far and two right handed hitters in there with all the lefties we have they are going to have to produce for us."

On Garrett Davis' progress:
"Garrett has been a work in progress for us after surgery. He has improved tremendously. His last two outings he has probably thrown the ball better than we have ever seen him here before his surgery. We are very encouraged about Garrett. I am happy for him - he has worked hard. We have used the term that sometime he would figure it out and I think he is starting to do that."


RYAN GRAEPEL

(3:44)

On leadership:
"It is going to be a key for us to have strong leadership this year. Being able to lead vocally and by example. The young guys on the team will look to us in times of adversity and that is one thing that I think will really show how good we are this year - how our leaders respond and I think this will filter down to our younger guys."

On sources of power on this years team...
"We do have some guys who have some pop. We definitely will be based around speed and small ball. But, there are a few guys who can hit the ball out of the ball park. Jesse Wierzbicki is a perfect example of that and Dylan Hazlett has a lot of power. Seth Baldwin and Tarron Robinson who can both really swing it too. If guys sort of find their rhythm and find their stroke we have a chance to put up some big numbers as well."

On Garrett Davis' progress on the mound...
"Garrett Davis has been absolutely incredible for us so far. He is going to be a real key for our team this year. When he is on he is lights out - no one can hit him. If he goes out there and throws strikes and throwing his breaking ball for a strike he will be almost impossible for other teams to hit. He will carry a big load for us this year. If he can go out and get us wins when he starts that will be huge."


MATT HARVEY

(3:20)

On his thoughts heading into the season:
"I am just going to try and go out there and every time I get the ball give my team the best chance to win the game. I know if me and the other starters and whoever else comes in and hold the other team to minimal runs - we are going to win a lot of games."

On Coach Forbes working with his mechanics since last season...
"We have watched a lot of video and really worked in the bullpen. Each time I pick up a ball I try to think about what I am doing and what I am not doing so when I get out on the mound it is just go time. He has been there every step of the way and giving him a lot of the credit is something that I thank him for almost every day when I had a good outing into the fall. Going into Friday the work I have done is done and it is time to let things out and start playing. Fastball command right now has been very good and my velocity has been right where I want it to be. Attacking the zone and giving the defense a chance to field as much as they can and trying to get quick outs is something I have worked on."


COLIN BATES

(7:27)

How's the transition going from reliever to starter?
"It's going. I'm excited about it. I'll see come next weekend, especially. It's not something I haven't done before. A couple of summers ago I started summer ball and it's something I've done my whole life. It's a little bit different resting so long and not having to worry about pitching on one day's rest. That's what I'm especially excited about – to hopefully be fresh every time I pitch."

In talking with you, it seems like the move is a bigger deal to the media than it is to you –
"I think so."


MIKE CAVASINNI

On getting back to the CWS:
"I have ended all four of my seasons in Omaha and I expect even with this bunch of newcomers I feel like we have guys here that have experienced this and can tell to the new guys what we expect and what it feels like to go to Omaha. Coming in the new guys do have that expectation and they have this desire and will - they want to make it to Omaha and they want to experience what we have experienced."

On the Diamond Heels strategy to win games...
"We are going to rely on pitching and defense. That is what we have always relied on and that is what we are going to do. With our phenomenal pitching staff and great defense - I think the hitting will come."

On how was feeling physically heading into this season...
"That was one of my main focuses this year talking with Coach Fox. Staying healthy and playing a big part of at least contributing to this team. I have felt healthy and I have felt great. My body feels the best since I have been here - I am excited."

On Tommy Coyle ...
"Tommy is a phenomenal infielder. Just talking with him - I used to play infield but not the level of expectations that he has been able to. It seems like he has been able to pick up on the way Graepel works. If they are going to be up the middle it seems like he has picked up and talked with Graepel about how he likes to play and if Levi makes the move to third and he ends up over there."


BEN BUNTING

On the 2010 season:
"We are a good group of young guys who are gelling together really good this fall and the short amount of time this spring. I think we are going to surprise a lot of people this year with our speed and our ability to get the job done. It is going to be very important to our game not having the Kyle [Shelton] and [Dustin] Ackley to hit the long ball - so we are going to have people like Brian Goodwin and Chaz Frank to cause a lot of havoc on the base paths - we can play some small ball and cause problems for the other team."

On getting the freshmen ready for the next level of competition...
"The pitchers are a lot better holding runners and quick to the plate. Catchers arms are really, really strong. They have done great this fall - we have had practice stealing multiple times and if you get thrown out you get to go back and work on it."


GREG HOLT

On his role this season:
"I expect to have one of the predominant roles coming out of the bullpen. I expect us offensively to be very strong. On the mound we should be very, very good on the weekend. We have a lot of guys - freshmen coming out of the bullpen who can contribute a lot. Defensively - one of our staples has been our defense and we will be very solid again up the middle and in the outfield we will have a lot of speed."

On expectations this season...
"We expect to make it to Omaha again and to compete for a National Championship. We really expect ourselves to be good this year - to host a regional and a super-regional and head back to Omaha."


JESSE WIERZBICKI

On getting acquainted with his teammates:
"They all welcomed me pretty well - it was a big adjustment as far as school goes -going to a school with 25,000 students. It was a big adjustment at first but they all welcomed me with their arms open coming in and made me feel welcome. That is one of the big reasons why I came here - the team unity is great here."

On the perks of the new Bosh:
"The facilities have been one thing that have helped my game. Being able to come in here when it is raining or snowing - always being able to come to the ball park and get something done is going to prepare me better for the season."


LEVI MICHAEL

On his sophomore season:
"Definitely having a season under my belt already will a big part of having confidence and feeling more prepared heading into the season. Obviously last year was obviously a little different. Kind of being thrown into the fire a little bit and did not really know what to expect. This year going through the fall and playing a whole season last year I feel a lot more comfortable and confident heading into the season."

On the fall and the preseason...
"We are all really excited coming into our first game on Friday. It has been a long fall and preseason and we have been through a lot of scrimmages and those as well get as long but we are finally fixing to start the season and everyone is getting excited."

On moving to third...
"We have a young guy in - Tommy Coyle who is going to be real solid for us at second base. I think it was our best fit for our infield moving me to third, keeping Graepel at short and putting Coyle at second."


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