Lone Star Dugout Q&A: Rick Adair (Part 2)

Lone Star Dugout brings you part two of this two-part interview with Rangers minor league pitching coordinator Rick Adair. In this edition, we discuss the pitchers acquired at the trade deadline and the Spokane Indians pitching staff.

Jason Cole: Have you had a chance to work with Matt Harrison or Beau Jones yet?

Rick Adair: I knew Matt Harrison in Atlanta when I was there. The last year I was there was the year he signed in 2003. I knew him just briefly the year he signed. I do not know Beau Jones from Atlanta. Just the information I've gotten from Atlanta and obviously how he's done in Clinton from talking with [L-Kings pitching coach] Danny Clark. We're real happy with him also.

Cole: Is there a chance Matt Harrison pitches in a game again this season?

Adair: He's got the foot problem and we're still working to get that resolved. We basically have two weeks left, so it's going to be real difficult to get him back out competing. It depends on how fast the foot issue heals. We'll have to make the decision then.

Cole: At the time of the trade, there seemed to be some concerns about the health of Harrison's arm. Are there still any concerns there?

Adair: I don't think we have any concerns at all with his arm. It was mostly just a foot issue. It caused him some fatigue from an arm standpoint because he couldn't push off. That's why we're trying to get the foot resolved.

Cole: Switching gears to the rehabbers real quick, is Thomas Diamond able to throw off a mound yet?

Adair: He is still not on the mound. I think he's 22 weeks post surgery, so we've got a ways to go before we get him on the mound.

Cole: Is there a chance for Josh Rupe to return this season?

Adair: It's one of those things we've talked about. It's more like an instructional league time frame. We'll just see how he progresses.

Cole: Evan Reed is off to a fantastic start to his professional career with both Spokane and Clinton. Can you talk a little bit about his stuff?

Adair: Fastball, slider, changeup. He's got a great body. He was used as a closer this past year in college. He didn't accumulate a lot of innings. He did have a lot of appearances, but not innings. Our scouts felt he needed some time as a starter to develop. We brought him along slowly and he's up to five or six innings now and he is pitching well. He's very mature for a 21 year old.

Cole: As you mentioned, he was a reliever in college but is now starting. What is the plan for him?

Adair: What we do is, when the time is right, we try to have our best arms in the rotation and develop as many guys as we can as starters and go from there. Very few guys with real good arms will go straight to the bullpen. It depends on makeup, maturity, and those types of things. I would say 95 percent of our best arms are in our rotations.

Cole: Another high draftee from 2007 is Tommy Hunter from Alabama. He did a lot of starting in college, but is currently in the bullpen. Why is that?

Adair: We're protecting him from accumulating innings. He had 117 innings in college this year. If we put Tommy in the rotation in Spokane and added another 60 to 70 innings on him, we're getting close to 170 innings over a seven month period of time. That's a lot to put on a guy 21 years old.

Cole: Can you tell us about his repertoire?

Adair: Fastball, curveball, changeup. He's obviously a little tired coming out of college. He's got a plus fastball and I think he's going to have a plus curveball and changeup. He is a guy we feel was a great draft and we're just excited to have him.

Cole: At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, Hunter has a big body, but he is said to be very athletic. Is that true?

Adair: He is very athletic. You look at him in a uniform and your predisposed notions about what he can do will fool you. He is a very good athlete in that body.

Cole: Former draft-and-follow signee Derek Holland doesn't get much attention, but he has been outstanding this season. Can you talk a little bit about him?

Adair: Holland is a left-hander that came out of Wallace State in Alabama. His fastball is anywhere from 89-93 and it has got life. His breaking ball has gotten better this summer. I think his changeup is going to be an average pitch. He's a great competitor. You sit here and talk about all these guys, we had a great draft. Obviously with all these trades we're making, we've gotten a huge influx of talent over the last two months. There's not anybody you sit there and go, 'why do we have this guy?' All of these guys are talented and our scouts and front office have done a great job.

Cole: Another Spokane guy with great numbers is Ryan Falcon. What is he like as a pitcher?

Adair: He's a left-hander and his stuff is below average, but he throws quality strikes. He has shown a very durable arm. He's pitching about every third day for us up there. He has responded well and he's been a big part of this run Spokane has been on these last few weeks.

Cole: Does Falcon profile as more of a situational reliever down the line?

Adair: I don't know. He's one of those kinds of guys you're just going to pitch and let him pitch at the level he's at. We'll see if his stuff advances him to the next level. He's a great young man, a great competitor, and he has done a tremendous job this summer.

Cole: At just 18 years old, Fabio Castillo is one of the younger pitchers in the Northwest League. How do you feel he has handled that challenge this season?

Adair: I think he has handled it well. Fabio has matured a lot over the last calendar year. He has been challenged and has met a lot of challenges. Going to Spokane is a huge challenge for a guy his age. He has responded well.

Cole: Another youngster in the NWL is Jacob Brigham. How do you feel about his season?

Adair: Same thing. He pitched in Arizona last year, grinded it out in extended, and he has really become a leader on that club up there. He has pitched well for us.

Cole: Brigham has struggled with control at times this year. What do you feel is leading to those issues?

Adair: Probably the biggest reason is that his stuff has improved over the last year. He's throwing harder. With the changes and improvement of stuff, sometimes you lose command even though the stuff is better. That's just the maturing process.

Cole: How much harder is he throwing?

Adair: Probably on average 3 to 4 miles per hour. He was 88 last year and he's sitting 92 now.


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