Lone Star Dugout Q&A: Rick Adair (Part 1)

Rick Adair is currently in his third season as the Rangers' minor league pitching coordinator. The veteran pitching coach oversees all pitchers in the Rangers organization and travels to each affiliate throughout the year. Lone Star Dugout brings you part one of this two-part interview with the organization's pitching coordinator.

Cole: Doug Mathis has really broken out this year. How good do you think he can be?

Adair: I think Doug has a chance to pitch in the big leagues. I think he has a chance to be a starting pitcher. He has an assortment of pitches and he can locate them. He has a great awareness of how the game is played. He's very cognizant of situations. He's a thinker that takes a lot of pride in his work and competing. There's just a way about him when you look at this guy and the way he goes about his business. We feel like this guy is a complete pitcher.

Cole: Can you talk about Eric Hurley's development and how he has matured as a pitcher lately?

Adair: It started when he had a good year two years ago in Clinton. He kind of caught fire in the middle of May last year and his confidence has continued to grow. Obviously his command of his secondary pitches has gotten better. He still has a ways to go, but we feel like Eric is a big part of what we're trying to get accomplished.

Cole: Is Danny Ray Herrera a guy that could rise to the majors fairly quickly?

Adair: The odds are against Danny. We've all had this conversation before. This guy has a tremendous changeup and he locates well. Everybody knows about his size. Danny is just going to have to prove himself at each level and we all feel like Danny has a chance to pitch in the big leagues. The one thing Danny does as well as anybody is that he has great instinct and he has great feel to pitch. Hopefully it's enough for him to pitch in the big leagues.

Cole: A.J. Murray has worked as both a starting pitcher and a reliever through his career, but he's been a reliever all of this year. Is there any chance that he ever moves back into a starting role?

Adair: I think there's always a chance of something like that happening. We're trying to protect this guy from a health standpoint and he's fought injuries his entire career. We're trying to keep the workload of a starting pitcher off of him just to see if he can get through a year healthy.

Cole: Let's talk about Edinson Volquez. Would you say the decision to start Edinson Volquez in Bakersfield and move him up through the system again is going well to this point?

Adair: I think if you looked at it statistically you would have to say yes. But we're more pleased with the things you don't see. He's matured, he's learning how to process things, and he's learning how to think a lot more clearly in competition. We're real happy with the progress he's made.

Cole: Moving on to the Bakersfield team this year, can you talk about Glenn Swanson and his success this year? Do you think he can be a guy that rises through the minors fairly quickly?

Adair: Glenn is an older guy. He just turned 24 years old. He's a very polished pitcher and he does have the ability to move up quickly. He's got some maturity as well. We expect Glenn to have the opportunity to pitch in Double-A next year.

Cole: Can you talk about Michael Schlact and what he's done to develop his secondary pitches and add some weight to his 6-foot-8 frame?

Adair: He's still eating seven meals per day if that gives you any indication. [laughs] He's gotten a little stronger and his body is filling out. This is his third full year and he continues to meet the workload of a starting pitcher. He's done some mechanical things that have helped him. The bottom line is that he is maturing physically and emotionally. He's done ok.

Cole: One guy that there hasn't been a lot of information on is Kendy Batista, who was a Minor League Rule 5 pick last year. Can you talk about him as a pitcher and how much have you worked with him?

Adair: We haven't done a whole lot with him yet. The reason we haven't is because we don't know a whole lot about him. We've just kind of let him go. He's fighting a little shoulder fatigue right now, so we're having to back off with him. He has enough stuff to pitch in the big leagues and we like the way he goes about his business. His worth ethic is outstanding and he's a great competitor. We feel very good about him, but it's just a matter of us getting to know him and getting him to pitch and stay healthy.

Cole: What are some of the recent Latin American signees that we could hear about within the next year or two?

Adair: We have three or four guys that we're excited about. Wilmer Font, a big Venezuelan right hander is one of them. Geuris Grullon, Carlos Pimentel, and Miguel De Los Santos are three other guys. There's four guys right there that have ability. They have a long ways to go because they haven't pitched competitively yet and it's going to be awhile before they do. We like their arms, we like their bodies, and we like the progress that they're making.

Cole: Do you think we'll be seeing them with the Rookie League team in Arizona this year?

Adair: I think most of those guys will be in Arizona. At some point in time they might have the opportunity to advance this year. The bottom line is that we just need to have those guys pitching on a consistent basis. More than likely they'll be in Arizona.


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