GVB -- Talk about this past season at Triple A Indianapolis. The offensive numbers weren’t what you were looking for?
TS -- No you could say that. They were awful. But defensively that’s all that mattered to me. That I was catching well and getting guys through innings, and making sure I was putting myself in the right spot. I‘ve had my defensive struggles and they wanted me to go down there and work on those and that‘s all I really focused on was making sure I could take care of those.
GAB -- So the offense suffered because you were concentrating so much on defense?
TS -- You know I still wanted to hit, I still took pride in being the best guy in the lineup and I wanted to be that guy, but at the end of the day when I was 0-for-4, caught a great game, I was like whatever. I felt great behind the plate. It was hard for me to really lock in offensively, then I started to panic and doing different things with my swing and changing my stance and any time you do that you’re in trouble and I got in trouble down there offensively, but for the most part I was down there working on my defense.
GVB -- Were you happy with some of the things you did defensively?
TS -- Calling the game I’ve played against most of the guys in Triple A the last three years and knew everybody, I knew every hitter, so calling the game wasn’t really what I was focusing on, but it was throwing to each base and the accuracy and consistency. That was what I was most concerned about, and I went down there and did the job on what I needed to work on and getting all that done.
GVB -- You are playing winter ball and catching. A chance to work more on your defense. But you are going to tweak some things on offense right?
TS -- Oh definitely, this is as close to the big leagues as you are going to get. For me to get the experience and at bats I need. I need as many as bats as possible and continue working on what I need to behind the plate.
GVB -- How important is this playing time in winter ball looking ahead to spring training?
TS -- That’s the reason I wanted to play winter ball. I wanted to get in that environment and get out of my comfort zone. I’ve played with Pirates since I got drafted, but I’m comfortable with them all. It’s nice to play for some people who have never seen me before in a country where baseball is everything.
GVB -- You got out of whack offensively. Is it important to stay the course and believe in what you are doing at the plate?
TS -- It is most important and down in Triple A all I could do was tell myself how good I was in the big leagues. You have to believe in yourself, I kept believing in myself behind the plate, but it was at the plate where I was struggling the most.