Q&A with Pat Roessler

Yankees Director of Player Development Pat Roessler sits down for a Q&A session to talk about what he saw during Spring Training; which prospects stood out, which of the EST players there we should watch out for later this season, to get an injury update on Jose Campos, and much, much more!

PinstripesPlus.com: First a general question about Spring Training -- which players stood out for you in camp this year?

Pat Roessler: Pitchers-wise, not including the guys that were in big league camp, Jeremy Bleich threw the ball well like he did a few years ago. Zach Nuding had a nice spring. He was in terrific shape, the slider improved greatly. Branden Pinder had a nice spring, threw the ball downhill and the breaking ball got sharper. Dan Camarena for Tampa threw the ball well and his offspeed stuff was very good. And [James] Pazos threw the ball very, very well and the slider is improving with him. [Giovanny] Gallegos, [Brady] Lail, and [Luis] Severino all threw the ball well for Charleston. Those pitchers stood out among the guys who weren't in big league camp. Position player-wise, Rob Segedin is healthy now and had a nice spring driving the ball to all fields. Ben Gamel and Mason Williams had nice springs. Eric Jagielo is playing much better defense, throwing the ball well across the infield, and he drove the ball well. Jake Cave had a nice spring as did Tyler Wade. [Aaron] Judge is healthy and ready to go, and drove the ball well to all fields. And Brandon Thomas made a lot of progress with our hitting guys on both sides of the plate.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned the pitchers that weren't in big league camp. Bryan Mitchell seemed to throw well over there and well once he got over to minor league camp too. The stuff has always been there -- do you see him making that turn in his development where he brings it all together a bit more?

Roessler: Well last year he added the cutter which really helped him. It helped him with his ability to throw strikes and I saw one of his better games in Trenton when he struck out ten-plus [batters]. It was all there, it's just a matter of him putting it all together on an every time out basis. The stuff's in there, it's just a matter of harnessing it.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Tyler Wade. I find his placement with Abiatal Avelino in Charleston together very intriguing. Conventional wisdom might suggest the two playing on different teams to get them more reps. Is the plan to have them alternate time between shortstop and designated hitter?

Roessler: They're both relatively young and the idea is they're both going to play shortstop but we're also getting Tyler some work at second base. But they're both going to be in the lineup everyday for the most part, of course watching their age and getting them some rest, but we felt they both deserved to go there.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about some of the injured guys. Obviously Greg Bird is starting the season on the disabled list. What's the status with his back right now and is it more precautionary at this point?

Roessler: He's starting to swing the bat. He's feeling better so he's on the road to coming back. He should be taking batting practice probably in a week to ten days. Obviously we're going to be careful with it and make sure he's ready to go when he's ready to crank it back up again. Were we a little overcautious with it? Yes, probably.

PinstripesPlus.com: Regarding Nik Turley, what is his injury and when are you expecting him back?

Roessler: He's playing catch this week. He just got shut down for a couple of weeks with just precautionary stuff. He had some tightness in his pitching arm so we just decided to shut him down for three weeks and now he's back playing catch this week.

PinstripesPlus.com: What's the status of Jose Ramirez and his oblique injury? How far away is he?

Roessler: Jose is throwing and throwing long distance, and I believe he's throwing a side [bullpen session] this week. He's throwing again. When he's going to be game ready that's yet to be determined.

PinstripesPlus.com: Jose Campos is on the disabled list. Is he hurt or is this more precautionary?

Roessler: He's not throwing at this point in time. We're still in a wait and see mode with him. He is shut down for the moment but it's more precautionary than anything at this point in time.

PinstripesPlus.com: Tyler Austin, how close is he to playing in games?

Roessler: He's playing games right now. We try to get a minimum of 30-35 at-bats for guys in Spring Training. We'd actually like to get closer to 50 and when we broke camp he had only about 18 plate appearances so he's down in Extended [Spring Training] getting some extra plate appearances and if all goes well he should be in Trenton fairly soon.

PinstripesPlus.com: How about Matt Snyder, what's his status right now?

Roessler: He's full workouts and I suspect he'll be playing in Extended [Spring Training] games next week. He's running the bases. He had the hamstring issue before but he should be playing Extended games next week.

PinstripesPlus.com: Anderson Feliz is another DL guy at the moment and one who seemingly can't stay healthy. What is his latest injury?

Roessler: Well we moved him to the outfield and he had a little issue with his throwing arm, and we just shut him down for a couple of weeks but he's back swinging a bat now. Hopefully he'll start playing in games in a week to ten days in Extended [Spring Training]. He'll mainly be in the outfield. We want to see if the move frees up the bat because the bat has some plus offensive tools. He's got an impact bat, he's got bat speed from both sides of the plate, and we just want to make sure his offensive tools come out and not have to worry about the defensive side of the ball.

PinstripesPlus.com: I see Jairo Heredia is back pitching and in Trenton. Is the plan to get him back starting games or is he being transitioned to the bullpen?

Roessler: Well he's going to be one of the long guys starting out but things always change and hopefully he gets enough innings to where we can challenge him, and let his stuff play out. Right now he's in an extended inning role in the bullpen and that may change over the course of time. He threw well [in spring]. Of course he's got the good breaking ball and the changeup really came along. With his fastball we started adding a two-seamer to him to try and get some movement with his fastball. That seemed to help.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Aaron Judge earlier. Obviously this Spring Training camp was the first time he got in games. He's a big guy with long limbs but his swing didn't seem too long for such a big guy. What were your impressions of him?

Roessler: No it was interesting. He drove the ball to all fields, it looks like he's got very good pitch recognition, strike zone discipline is there, he sees the ball well, and of course he's got power to all fields. He swung the bat well.

PinstripesPlus.com: Ian Clarkin obviously didn't make one of the long-season league teams but in my opinion I thought he threw the ball particularly well. The stuff was very, very good and he was showing a lot more command than he had last year. Do you like what you've seen so far?

Roessler: Yes he threw very well. I didn't mean to leave him off my list but he threw very well. The breaking ball, the command is much better, the stuff is all sharper. He's just starting off in Extended [Spring Training] right now but we suspect him moving very shortly. We just wanted to make sure he had enough innings under his belt that he felt comfortable.

PinstripesPlus.com: It seemed to me that you had a lot of guys playing in that Charleston work group this spring who didn't break camp with Charleston but had really good camps in my opinion; Kendall Coleman, Drew Bridges, etc. A lot of these young guys seem to have really good approaches at the plate. Are you pleased with what you've seen from them in the early going as they head into Extended Spring Training?

Roessler: Those are some young guys. Our scouting department did a tremendous job over the last couple of years getting some players and in particular some good young hitters -- Bridges, Coleman, Dusty Fowler, Wade, Katoh -- all of these guys seem to have a pretty good idea at the plate, all of them seem like they're going to be able to drive the baseball, but they're very hitter-ish and we're pleased with all of them. Our hitting guys did a nice job with Kendall Coleman shortening up that swing a little bit but all of these guys -- Bridges, Wade, Fowler, Katoh, etc, - they're all going to be fun to watch.

PinstripesPlus.com: It's not just domestic though. Last year you guys had an impressive International group with Severino, Luis Torrens, etc, who broke States-side, and it seems that you guys might have another group coming in right behind them with Simon De La Rosa, Domingo Acevedo, Juan Jimenez, Leonardo Molina, Jorge Mateo, etc.

Roessler: Absolutely, Acevedo, De La Rosa, Omar Luis is coming on, those guys are very impressive young Latin pitchers coming on along with Severino. Then you've got Mateo the shortstop, Andujar, Torrens, etc, it's going to be fun to watch.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Rob Segedin earlier. Is the plan for him to play third base this year?

Roessler: He's going to play mostly third base, yes. He's moving much better. He's moving on defense much better and the ball is jumping off of his bat, and he's getting it in the air to the pull side. We're expecting some good things out of Rob this year. I think he's going to have a heck of a year this year driving the baseball. He got off to a good start last year and then had the injury and had to be shut down. But he's healthy now, good to go, and he had a heck of a spring.

PinstripesPlus.com: Another Rob, Rob Refsnyder had a good year last season and reported to camp this year bigger and stronger. He obviously has great makeup too. Are you expecting him to make that next step in his development?

Roessler: He's a very good looking offensive player. Of course we made the move to second base and him and our minor league guys, our managers, have really worked their tails off, Rob in particular, trying to master that spot defensively and he's made tremendous strides there defensively. With the way he swings the bat and the kind of offense he brings to the table really plays well at second base.

PinstripesPlus.com: There's a couple of guys who didn't have great seasons last year that I want to ask you about. The first is Dante Bichette Jr. -- what progress have you seen from him this year versus last season?

Roessler: Dante got off to slow start in Spring Training but really made some strides in the last week and really swung the bat better. He's using the whole field a little bit more and driving the ball to all fields. His plate coverage is better and his pitch recognition is better when he uses the whole field. He had a pretty nice last week of Spring Training.

PinstripesPlus.com: The other is Angelo Gumbs. I thought Gumbs looked pretty terrific there in camp.

Roessler: Yeah he's really staying on the ball. Our hitting guys have done a tremendous job with him. He's staying on the ball and using the whole field, and hopefully covering the outer-half of the plate a lot better than last year. But you're right, he had a heck of a spring.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about Cito Culver. He gave up the switch-hitting about this time a year ago. Do you see him starting to flourish a bit more now that he's gained some experience batting just right-handed?

Roessler: Yeah we went through that with Eduardo Nunez. It took about a half of a year where they're comfortable right on right and if you look at Cito's numbers in the second half last year he kind of took off, and really performed well in a short stay in Tampa last year. He's driving the ball to all fields and really now is probably comfortable seeing the right on right breaking balls he was never used to seeing as a switch-hitter.

PinstripesPlus.com: Moving to Rafael DePaula, I thought he was very hittable up there in Tampa last year and the numbers sure show that, and in my opinion it was because he was so up in the zone all of the time. I thought he looked completely different in camp though, not only losing some weight but a lot more fluid with the delivery and throwing a lot of quality strikes in the lower half of the zone. He seems like he's ready to be more like the guy he was in the first half of the season last year, no?

Roessler: You've got a good eye Patrick. That was a point of emphasis not only for him but for a large majority of the pitchers to throw more strikes down in the strike zone. His breaking ball improved but it seems to be a common thing when players move from one level to the next, the ball elevates and when it does it gets hit a little bit harder at the next level than it did in the previous level.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about Brady Lail because he's a guy who seemingly never gets talked about but he just goes out there and gets the job done. What are your impressions of him as he gets set to begin his time in the long-season leagues?

Roessler: Brady's got pitch-ability and he's got stuff. He's able to throw his fastball down in the strike zone to both sides, he's got the plus breaking ball and the plus changeup, and he can throw those pitches in any count. Although his fastball doesn't wow you on the radar gun it's still up there and it's still enough to keep hitters honest. We think Brady is going to be a heck of a Major League pitcher.

PinstripesPlus.com: The Yankee farm system kind of gets a bad rap in my opinion especially in the New York media but it seems to me, and to scouts I talk to, that there's still a lot of talent. Do you see the farm system as a whole being a lot more successful this year?

Roessler: Yeah last year was a tough year not only with the Major League club but with the minor league clubs as well injury-wise. We pushed some guys up some levels but we're really excited about the young talent we have up and down the system. We've got some players coming people don't know about yet but we suspect pretty soon they're going to be talking about some of these players.

PinstripesPlus.com: On the heels of that though, Rookie Davis seems ready to emerge as one of those guys. He says he only lost five pounds but he looks 20 pounds thinner, he seems more fluid, more in control -- frankly, he looked like a pro out there. Are you expecting a big season from him this year?

Roessler: Yeah he stayed in Tampa during the winter for the most part and really dedicated himself, worked his tail off with our strength and conditioning coaches, and got his body in tip-top shape. Hopefully he's going to reap the benefits of that. He's throwing the ball downhill, they're trying to quicken up his breaking ball a little bit, but we're looking for good things out of him. He really worked his butt off this winter.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let me finish by asking about Austin Aune. He had such a rough go of it last year and it seemed like it shook his confidence, but he appeared to turn things around in camp this year. He was hitting a lot better, the confidence seemed to be growing, etc. Are you expecting a big turnaround from him this season?

Roessler: Yeah obviously he's made some adjustments and like you said he swung the bat really well in Spring Training. We're hoping that continues. We just have to make sure he's playing everyday and getting his at-bats, 20-30 at-bats each week and hopefully he takes off and forces us to move him up.

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 3 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

Become an annual subscriber today!


Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: First a general question about Spring Training -- which players stood out for you in camp this year?
\r\n
\r\nPat Roessler: Pitchers-wise, not including the guys that were in big league camp, Jeremy Bleich threw the ball well like he did a few years ago. Zach Nuding had a nice spring. He was in terrific shape, the slider improved greatly. Branden Pinder had a nice spring, threw the ball downhill and the breaking ball got sharper. Dan Camarena for Tampa threw the ball well and his offspeed stuff was very good. And [James] Pazos threw the ball very, very well and the slider is improving with him. [Giovanny] Gallegos, [Brady] Lail, and [Luis] Severino all threw the ball well for Charleston. Those pitchers stood out among the guys who weren't in big league camp. Position player-wise, Rob Segedin is healthy now and had a nice spring driving the ball to all fields. Ben Gamel and Mason Williams had nice springs. Eric Jagielo is playing much better defense, throwing the ball well across the infield, and he drove the ball well. Jake Cave had a nice spring as did Tyler Wade. [Aaron] Judge is healthy and ready to go, and drove the ball well to all fields. And Brandon Thomas made a lot of progress with our hitting guys on both sides of the plate.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned the pitchers that weren't in big league camp. Bryan Mitchell seemed to throw well over there and well once he got over to minor league camp too. The stuff has always been there -- do you see him making that turn in his development where he brings it all together a bit more?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Well last year he added the cutter which really helped him. It helped him with his ability to throw strikes and I saw one of his better games in Trenton when he struck out ten-plus [batters]. It was all there, it's just a matter of him putting it all together on an every time out basis. The stuff's in there, it's just a matter of harnessing it.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Tyler Wade. I find his placement with Abiatal Avelino in Charleston together very intriguing. Conventional wisdom might suggest the two playing on different teams to get them more reps. Is the plan to have them alternate time between shortstop and designated hitter?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: They're both relatively young and the idea is they're both going to play shortstop but we're also getting Tyler some work at second base. But they're both going to be in the lineup everyday for the most part, of course watching their age and getting them some rest, but we felt they both deserved to go there.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about some of the injured guys. Obviously Greg Bird is starting the season on the disabled list. What's the status with his back right now and is it more precautionary at this point?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: He's starting to swing the bat. He's feeling better so he's on the road to coming back. He should be taking batting practice probably in a week to ten days. Obviously we're going to be careful with it and make sure he's ready to go when he's ready to crank it back up again. Were we a little overcautious with it? Yes, probably.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Regarding Nik Turley, what is his injury and when are you expecting him back?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: He's playing catch this week. He just got shut down for a couple of weeks with just precautionary stuff. He had some tightness in his pitching arm so we just decided to shut him down for three weeks and now he's back playing catch this week.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What's the status of Jose Ramirez and his oblique injury? How far away is he?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Jose is throwing and throwing long distance, and I believe he's throwing a side [bullpen session] this week. He's throwing again. When he's going to be game ready that's yet to be determined.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Jose Campos is on the disabled list. Is he hurt or is this more precautionary?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: He's not throwing at this point in time. We're still in a wait and see mode with him. He is shut down for the moment but it's more precautionary than anything at this point in time.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Tyler Austin, how close is he to playing in games?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: He's playing games right now. We try to get a minimum of 30-35 at-bats for guys in Spring Training. We'd actually like to get closer to 50 and when we broke camp he had only about 18 plate appearances so he's down in Extended [Spring Training] getting some extra plate appearances and if all goes well he should be in Trenton fairly soon.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: How about Matt Snyder, what's his status right now?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: He's full workouts and I suspect he'll be playing in Extended [Spring Training] games next week. He's running the bases. He had the hamstring issue before but he should be playing Extended games next week.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Anderson Feliz is another DL guy at the moment and one who seemingly can't stay healthy. What is his latest injury?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Well we moved him to the outfield and he had a little issue with his throwing arm, and we just shut him down for a couple of weeks but he's back swinging a bat now. Hopefully he'll start playing in games in a week to ten days in Extended [Spring Training]. He'll mainly be in the outfield. We want to see if the move frees up the bat because the bat has some plus offensive tools. He's got an impact bat, he's got bat speed from both sides of the plate, and we just want to make sure his offensive tools come out and not have to worry about the defensive side of the ball.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I see Jairo Heredia is back pitching and in Trenton. Is the plan to get him back starting games or is he being transitioned to the bullpen?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Well he's going to be one of the long guys starting out but things always change and hopefully he gets enough innings to where we can challenge him, and let his stuff play out. Right now he's in an extended inning role in the bullpen and that may change over the course of time. He threw well [in spring]. Of course he's got the good breaking ball and the changeup really came along. With his fastball we started adding a two-seamer to him to try and get some movement with his fastball. That seemed to help.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Aaron Judge earlier. Obviously this Spring Training camp was the first time he got in games. He's a big guy with long limbs but his swing didn't seem too long for such a big guy. What were your impressions of him?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: No it was interesting. He drove the ball to all fields, it looks like he's got very good pitch recognition, strike zone discipline is there, he sees the ball well, and of course he's got power to all fields. He swung the bat well.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Ian Clarkin obviously didn't make one of the long-season league teams but in my opinion I thought he threw the ball particularly well. The stuff was very, very good and he was showing a lot more command than he had last year. Do you like what you've seen so far?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Yes he threw very well. I didn't mean to leave him off my list but he threw very well. The breaking ball, the command is much better, the stuff is all sharper. He's just starting off in Extended [Spring Training] right now but we suspect him moving very shortly. We just wanted to make sure he had enough innings under his belt that he felt comfortable.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: It seemed to me that you had a lot of guys playing in that Charleston work group this spring who didn't break camp with Charleston but had really good camps in my opinion; Kendall Coleman, Drew Bridges, etc. A lot of these young guys seem to have really good approaches at the plate. Are you pleased with what you've seen from them in the early going as they head into Extended Spring Training?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Those are some young guys. Our scouting department did a tremendous job over the last couple of years getting some players and in particular some good young hitters -- Bridges, Coleman, Dusty Fowler, Wade, Katoh -- all of these guys seem to have a pretty good idea at the plate, all of them seem like they're going to be able to drive the baseball, but they're very hitter-ish and we're pleased with all of them. Our hitting guys did a nice job with Kendall Coleman shortening up that swing a little bit but all of these guys -- Bridges, Wade, Fowler, Katoh, etc, - they're all going to be fun to watch.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: It's not just domestic though. Last year you guys had an impressive International group with Severino, Luis Torrens, etc, who broke States-side, and it seems that you guys might have another group coming in right behind them with Simon De La Rosa, Domingo Acevedo, Juan Jimenez, Leonardo Molina, Jorge Mateo, etc.
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Absolutely, Acevedo, De La Rosa, Omar Luis is coming on, those guys are very impressive young Latin pitchers coming on along with Severino. Then you've got Mateo the shortstop, Andujar, Torrens, etc, it's going to be fun to watch.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Rob Segedin earlier. Is the plan for him to play third base this year?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: He's going to play mostly third base, yes. He's moving much better. He's moving on defense much better and the ball is jumping off of his bat, and he's getting it in the air to the pull side. We're expecting some good things out of Rob this year. I think he's going to have a heck of a year this year driving the baseball. He got off to a good start last year and then had the injury and had to be shut down. But he's healthy now, good to go, and he had a heck of a spring.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Another Rob, Rob Refsnyder had a good year last season and reported to camp this year bigger and stronger. He obviously has great makeup too. Are you expecting him to make that next step in his development?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: He's a very good looking offensive player. Of course we made the move to second base and him and our minor league guys, our managers, have really worked their tails off, Rob in particular, trying to master that spot defensively and he's made tremendous strides there defensively. With the way he swings the bat and the kind of offense he brings to the table really plays well at second base.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: There's a couple of guys who didn't have great seasons last year that I want to ask you about. The first is Dante Bichette Jr. -- what progress have you seen from him this year versus last season?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Dante got off to slow start in Spring Training but really made some strides in the last week and really swung the bat better. He's using the whole field a little bit more and driving the ball to all fields. His plate coverage is better and his pitch recognition is better when he uses the whole field. He had a pretty nice last week of Spring Training.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: The other is Angelo Gumbs. I thought Gumbs looked pretty terrific there in camp.
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Yeah he's really staying on the ball. Our hitting guys have done a tremendous job with him. He's staying on the ball and using the whole field, and hopefully covering the outer-half of the plate a lot better than last year. But you're right, he had a heck of a spring.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about Cito Culver. He gave up the switch-hitting about this time a year ago. Do you see him starting to flourish a bit more now that he's gained some experience batting just right-handed?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Yeah we went through that with Eduardo Nunez. It took about a half of a year where they're comfortable right on right and if you look at Cito's numbers in the second half last year he kind of took off, and really performed well in a short stay in Tampa last year. He's driving the ball to all fields and really now is probably comfortable seeing the right on right breaking balls he was never used to seeing as a switch-hitter.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Moving to Rafael DePaula, I thought he was very hittable up there in Tampa last year and the numbers sure show that, and in my opinion it was because he was so up in the zone all of the time. I thought he looked completely different in camp though, not only losing some weight but a lot more fluid with the delivery and throwing a lot of quality strikes in the lower half of the zone. He seems like he's ready to be more like the guy he was in the first half of the season last year, no?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: You've got a good eye Patrick. That was a point of emphasis not only for him but for a large majority of the pitchers to throw more strikes down in the strike zone. His breaking ball improved but it seems to be a common thing when players move from one level to the next, the ball elevates and when it does it gets hit a little bit harder at the next level than it did in the previous level.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about Brady Lail because he's a guy who seemingly never gets talked about but he just goes out there and gets the job done. What are your impressions of him as he gets set to begin his time in the long-season leagues?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Brady's got pitch-ability and he's got stuff. He's able to throw his fastball down in the strike zone to both sides, he's got the plus breaking ball and the plus changeup, and he can throw those pitches in any count. Although his fastball doesn't wow you on the radar gun it's still up there and it's still enough to keep hitters honest. We think Brady is going to be a heck of a Major League pitcher.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: The Yankee farm system kind of gets a bad rap in my opinion especially in the New York media but it seems to me, and to scouts I talk to, that there's still a lot of talent. Do you see the farm system as a whole being a lot more successful this year?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Yeah last year was a tough year not only with the Major League club but with the minor league clubs as well injury-wise. We pushed some guys up some levels but we're really excited about the young talent we have up and down the system. We've got some players coming people don't know about yet but we suspect pretty soon they're going to be talking about some of these players.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: On the heels of that though, Rookie Davis seems ready to emerge as one of those guys. He says he only lost five pounds but he looks 20 pounds thinner, he seems more fluid, more in control -- frankly, he looked like a pro out there. Are you expecting a big season from him this year?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Yeah he stayed in Tampa during the winter for the most part and really dedicated himself, worked his tail off with our strength and conditioning coaches, and got his body in tip-top shape. Hopefully he's going to reap the benefits of that. He's throwing the ball downhill, they're trying to quicken up his breaking ball a little bit, but we're looking for good things out of him. He really worked his butt off this winter.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Let me finish by asking about Austin Aune. He had such a rough go of it last year and it seemed like it shook his confidence, but he appeared to turn things around in camp this year. He was hitting a lot better, the confidence seemed to be growing, etc. Are you expecting a big turnaround from him this season?
\r\n
\r\nRoessler: Yeah obviously he's made some adjustments and like you said he swung the bat really well in Spring Training. We're hoping that continues. We just have to make sure he's playing everyday and getting his at-bats, 20-30 at-bats each week and hopefully he takes off and forces us to move him up.
\r\n
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Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 3 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

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