Ronny Paulino Q&A

Pirates' catcher Ronny Paulino batted .310 last season, highest average for any rookie catcher with 100 or more at-bats since Mike Piazza in 1993. He threw out 32 percent of runners attempting to steal, his total of 38 caught stealings leading the National League.'s George Von Benko had this Q&A with Paulino.

GVB-- What was the off-season like for you?

RP-- Pretty good, I spent time with my family and and relaxed in my house.

GVB-- What about off-season workouts?

RP-- Yes, I worked out and put in work leading up to spring training.

GVB-- You have said you still have some things to work on defensively.

RP-- Yes. always as a catcher that's the main point for us.I'm sure I'll be better behind the plate this year - way better.

GVB-- Were you surprised by how well you did at the plate last season?

RP-- Yes, but now that I know what I can do - I'm working harder to see if I can get better this year.

GVB-- The pitchers will probably make adjustments for you this season - then you will have to adjust.

RP-- I know it's a big challenge for me, but I think I'll be okay with it.

GVB-- Are you concerned with producing more power numbers at the plate?

RP-- I'm not worried about power or the average. I was seventh or eighth in the order most of the time, so I knew we just needed a hit, not a home run. And the average ... I don't think about .350 or .320. I just want to make sure I'm getting that hit when we need it, when it makes a difference.

GVB-- Were you pleased with the way the pitching staff responded to you?

RP-- Well, you know we have a young staff and we're working really hard and I think it's going to be a good challenge for us because I know the hitters are going to make a big adjustment and we're going to have to do it too. That's just how I've always thought about the game. The biggest part of the game is the pitching, and the biggest part of my job is handling the pitchers.

GVB-- You are penciled in behind the plate - that has to make you feel good?

RP-- Not at all. I have to win the job again. I have to get better. We all do. I look back at the team we had in the first half of last season and what happened in the second half and I just - I look at myself to keep getting better the way we all did."

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