MadFriars' Interview: Adam Moore

EL PASO, TX - If you are a major league general manager the year is segregated into certain times when you really earn your money; the off-season in putting together a team, the trade deadline when you add or subtract and at the end of spring training when you build organizational depth.

At the end of spring training clubs sometimes have a surplus at one position and an enterprising GM can identify this and exploit it to his advantage.

At the end of March, Padres' GM Josh Byrnes was able to acquire catcher Adam Moore, 29, who was caught in a numbers squeeze with the Royals, for the ubiquitous "cash considerations" and in it the Padres got a strong defensive catcher to add to their already strong catching depth.

Moore has been very good with the Chihuahuas this season hitting .306/.368/.469 and has only made three errors in 61 games and could be a possible option on the big league club depending what happens at the trade deadline.

You have been hitting so well this year. When I did some research on you before the interview I thought it would be that something suddenly "clicked" but you have always hit well in the minor leagues.

What has been the problem with you staying in the major leagues?

Adam Moore: It's been a tough road. I've always been successful in the minor leagues. The last four years of my career going back to 2010 after my call-up in '09 I've had four season ending surgeries which has hurt me when I was trying to establish myself.

It seems like every time I make the team out of spring training, and I always start off slow in the big leagues, and start getting into a groove, something happens.

What happened in 2013?

Adam Moore: I got called up in May for a few weeks, played five games and did ok in limited playing time. I got sent back down and was in Albuquerque and hit a ball down the left field line and as soon as I hit the bag I felt a sharp jab in my lower stomach and I had a sports hernia.

It was another unfortunate season ending surgery. Things happen, but things happen for a reason too. I've had a great year so far and have really been blessed to be here.

Were you a little shocked when you came over to the Padres?

Adam Moore: I had a tough spring and didn't play that well. The Royals have a very good young catcher in Salvador Perez and Brett Hayes and I were battling for the backup job. Brett had a great spring and the Royals told me that they were looking out for my best interests and sent me over to San Diego.

I've always found that the way you treat people in this game can really benefit you. I always had a good relationship with the Kansas City front office and they knew I wasn't going to get to play that much in AAA so they found a good spot for me.

I've been really thankful with the chances that the Padres have given me. You couldn't ask for a better place in AAA than El Paso. The fans here have been great.

You are hitting real well, but what is interesting is the trade was kind of seen as San Diego was acquiring a defense first catcher.

Could you tell us a little what goes into being a minor league catcher because it is a brutal schedule.

Adam Moore: It is a grind in the minors. You have to prepare yourself each and every day and that you are going to be out on the field for a longer period of time than you are in the big leagues with the bullpens and the other extra work.

But then again, you are here for a reason; you need to get better.

It's a fun job being a catcher. When I was in Seattle I had a great roving instructor in Roger Hanson who established that defense was a priority. In the Instructional Leagues when I first came up in 2006 every time that I was on deck he would yank me out and take me out on the back fields for some more defensive work.

The point was that as a catcher, defense has to be your priority. Taking care of the pitching staff and understanding what the opposition is trying to do is really important.

You take so much pride in what you do. That is the beauty of catching is because there is so much going on back there and so many ways you can make a difference in a game.

I always think that what you described is one of the biggest contradictions of catching. I agree with everything you said but if you are doing all of the above and hitting .200, then its time to make a change.

Adam Moore: You are exactly right its defense first but at the same time if you are not producing at the plate then it's time to make a change. But when a pitcher doesn't do well nearly all of the catchers that I know take it like they failed, no matter what you did at the plate.

You can go 0-4, but if a pitcher throws a great game you feel like you have done what you are supposed to do. There is room for improvement, but you did what you were supposed to do.

When both happen, then it's a really ugly time.

In your contract you have an opt-out clause in your contract, which means that if another major league club wants to sign you to their squad you can leave on your own. Is that true?

Adam Moore: I'm new to the option thing and the way that it is structured. On May 15 I could have taken my option and left to another club. But I thought it was pointless to go to another AAA club when I am playing here everyday.

I love playing for Murph [Pat Murphy, the manager of the Chihuahuas], the staff, teammates and the organization. So it was a no-brainer when there was no other major league opportunity to go somewhere else.

So the way that it is set up now if there is an opening at the major league level I can take my option and go there. But I really like it in San Diego and hope something pops up here. I appreciate everything this front office has done for me.

I've played for both of the hitting coaches up there [Phil Plantier and Alonzo Powell] in the Seattle organization. I know those guys well and they know my approach, so it would be an easy transition for me.

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