InsidethePark.com: After today you have 200 at bats with Tacoma. What has the adjustment been like to Triple-A as a hitter?
Greg Dobbs: Nothing groundbreaking, nothing really different. Just being patient (is the main thing). When I got here I was being a little too aggressive trying to make things happen. Now I try and be a little more patient, and try to get my pitch and put a good swing on it. That has been the only real adjustment I've really had to make here.
ITP: Is there anything in particular that you have had to really focus on at the plate or has the transition been a natural one?
GD: I've had to be patient. Everything else just comes naturally. Because I work on my swing so much everything mechanically as far as a swing goes is just kind of natural. That's what I've worked on my whole life.
Now more what I work on is just being patient and being very selective in getting the pitch that I want—until I get two strikes of course, then I kind of have to battle and you can't be as selective. I'm trying to be very selective so that I don't get myself out, and I try not to be too aggressive early on in the count when I have count leverage.
ITP: What is the greatest difference between Double-A and Triple-A ball at the plate?
GD: (Pitchers) here don't miss as much. They throw a little more away and they don't come in as much. They come in maybe once or twice during an at-bat if you're lucky, and then they just go middle-away. I would say that that is probably the biggest difference, that and you're facing guys who have been in the big leagues who have been up and down, so that's kind of different also.
I mean you will see guys with (big league experience) once in awhile in Double-A, but for the most part you get the younger kids in Double-A who just kind of rip back and throw, and they have a good idea. But here in Triple-A guys have an even better idea and they have more control and know what they're doing—they're setting up hitters more here, so you have to be thinking along with them.
You just have to think a little bit more in Triple-A then you do in Double-A. In Double-A, you get away with some stuff (as a hitter). You might just go up there and swing and take a look at the plate and then take either half of the inside of the plate or half of the outside of the plate and just sit on (a pitch) and you'll get a pitch. But in Triple-A, you've got to be a little finer with your selection and when you do get your pitch you can't miss it. I mean you've got to hit it, because it could be the only pitch you get to hit of the whole at-bat that's decent.
ITP: Since your promotion what, if anything, have you worked on as far as your swing?
GD: Nothing really. It's the same swing I've had for a while. I just work on consistently staying back, seeing the ball, taking my head to the ball, and trying to hit every ball hard with backspin that's my main goal.
Those are the only things I work on. Mechanically there is not really much I work on any more, because I've got it pretty much to the point where I think I have got it down and I know what I'm doing and I know what my body is doing on certain pitches—like the inside pitch, the outside pitch, on breaking balls—I know what I have to do by now mechanically.
So it's just more focusing on staying back, seeing a pitch, and just hitting the ball really hard every time consistently. I know if I do that I'll be in good shape.
ITP: Ever since your arrival with Tacoma you have been flirting with a .300 average. Is that about where you would want to be right now?
GD: Oh yeah! I mean the best hitters in baseball are .300 hitters. Three out of ten! I mean you're going to fail a lot, but I'd rather be flirting with .300, than flirting with .250.
I feel like I'm just about there. Everything is kind of feeling good and I'm almost getting to the point where I feel like I'm just going to start really hitting balls hard. I mean really hitting them hard and having balls fall in for me, and using the whole field, and getting my home runs back.
It's been a learning year, after missing the whole season last year. I still kind of feel like some days I'm there and some days I'm not, and sometimes I do force it, but I really do feel that I'm just almost there, just a hair away from getting into a complete rhythm with my body and the game.
It feels good, because I know I expected nothing less than to be a .300 hitter. I know it's hard to do but that's a goal I set for myself, I think that's a goal for (pretty much) every guy here. I would love to finish the season hitting over .300, because I think every other season I've played I have finished over .300, so it would be nice, but I'm not betting the farm on it.
Like I said (before), if I can just stay consistent, have good productive at-bats, and if I'm helping the team win I'm satisfied with that. You know, if at the end of the year the numbers are there then the numbers are there. If not then hopefully I've been productive enough to where people could notice and I have been able to help the team win and not be a detriment.
ITP: Come September if you're still batting around .300 do you think the Mariners will give you a call?
GD: I don't know. I would hope. You always hope for it and it's always kind of in the back of your mind, and I'm not going to lie it would be awesome to be up with the big club. I mean, that's my dream. That's everyone's dream here obviously, and that is to get to the big club, and we're just a step away here in Triple-A.
I wouldn't say though that if I hit .300 I will get the call, I wouldn't say that. I would just say if I'm productive: if I play good defense, if I run the bases well, if I play the game smart, if I get bunts down and move runners over, if in RBI situations I get an RBI, I think those things matter more than just the numbers, mean more than just hitting .300 or having 40 home runs.
If you're a hard out and you make productive outs when you make an out, and you contribute to the team in any way you can defensively and offensively, then I think that would probably give me the best chance of having a call up.
And hopefully I do because it would be the time of my life.
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