Q&A: Bobby Dickerson

Bobby Dickerson is enjoying quite a successful season so far in his fourth year as manager of the Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, who are currently in first place in the Southern League East with the league's best record (41-21). Inside The Ivy recently spoke with Dickerson about this year's squad.

Inside the Ivy: Discuss what it was like having Carolina overtake your team for first place earlier this month.

Bobby Dickerson: We came to Carolina and faced some solid pitching throughout. Our guys battled and have been in every game since. Our starters matched them and did a good job.

Inside the Ivy: Is the Southern League a two-team race?

Bobby Dickerson: It's only June, but after the draft and in the second half, the teams could be totally different. There is no doubt that Carolina is the best team we have faced.

Inside the Ivy: Do you feel your offense has started to cool off over the last few weeks?

Bobby Dickerson: No doubt about it. Our bats have been a little quiet at producing runs, but all of these guys play the game the right way and they are focused on the team atmosphere.

Inside the Ivy: How do you rotate four outfielders with Felix Pie, Matt Murton, Dwaine Bacon and Adam Greenberg all on the roster?

Bobby Dickerson: Murton and Pie are two guys I play every day. When we play a DH team, I can use that to get everyone some at-bats. When you look at the at-bats, all of the guys are getting some opportunities.

Inside the Ivy: How do you explain the situation with Bacon? He was promoted to Triple-A earlier this year, but is back on your team and not playing every day.

Bobby Dickerson: He had been in the league last year. He's a fast guy that is still working on his left-handed swing. His experience from being in the league was what got him promoted. It's unfortunate for him that he was sent back down. Fortunately for us, we love having him here.

Inside the Ivy: Are you surprised at how well Ryan Theriot is playing this season?

Bobby Dickerson: From what we'd seen in the past, we had not seen these kind of offensive numbers from him. He's a nice little player and is doing a solid job for us right now.

Inside the Ivy: Are Buck Coats' fielding errors a big concern to you?

Bobby Dickerson: They are a concern. Skill-wise, Buck does not show a reason why he is making so many errors. Seventy-five percent of them are throwing errors; a lot of it is mental. I think he still needs time to mature as an infielder. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to rush throws.

Inside the Ivy: What is the plan for Dave Aardsma? Should we expect a promotion to Triple-A shortly?

Bobby Dickerson: I don't think there's a plan of movement for anybody right now; it's just based on need. We'll cross that bridge when it happens. He was just drafted in 2003 and may have been rushed to the big leagues a little bit. I know that we have not seen that 95 mph fastball yet. We have him in the 'pen, where he is comfortable. We'll see where he goes from here.

Inside the Ivy: Murton is new to the Cubs' organization after coming over from Boston last year. How impressed have you been with his production?

Bobby Dickerson: He's a quality baseball player by the way his at-bats and philosophies are. He gives you quality at-bats and is definitely a good hitter.

Inside the Ivy: Do you feel you will see Rich Hill again following his promotion to Triple-A?

Bobby Dickerson: I feel that I won't. The way he has been throwing the ball, he is definitely one of the better guys I've had.

Inside the Ivy: How do you manage when players from the big leagues and Triple-A are sent to West Tenn on either a demotion or a rehab stint?

Bobby Dickerson: That's the trickiest part: the "Richard Lewis factor." We are trying to find his swing again and mixing him in is the hardest on Richard. We're just trying to get him back on the track of development.

Inside the Ivy: How impressed have you been by Ricky Nolasco this season?

Bobby Dickerson: Very much so. He recently went out and faced one of the top guys (Josh Johnson) in the Marlins' organization. He made one mistake and gave up a solo home run. He is very impressive.

Inside the Ivy: Is becoming a major league manager a goal of yours?

Bobby Dickerson: Ultimately, everybody that does this business wants to be in the major leagues. For now, my goal is to be the best Double-A skipper I can be.

Inside the Ivy: What do you enjoy the most about being a minor league manager?

Bobby Dickerson: The most rewarding thing is when a kid I have has had success in the major leagues. The best call I ever got was when Junior Spivey made his major league debut with the Diamondbacks and called me afterward. It's more rewarding than championships ... seeing a kid get to the major leagues and knowing I played a hand in that.

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