November 23, 2014

Joe Torre’s Pre-Game Comments

Following are some of Joe Torre’s pre-game comments from earlier this morning:

On John Ely:

“He doesn’t have an issue with taking the mound in any ballpark in any city…He’s in his own world out there.  Guys feed off the enthusiasm.”

On Ely facing the Diamondbacks for the second time:

“That’s important, because as I know as a hitter, sometimes you get familiar with a pitcher, you know what you want to hit.  When he’s able to throw as many different as pitches for strikes, it makes it a little tougher to do that.  He sort of puts you on your heels a bit as a hitter, because he works so quickly.  It’s really unlike a lot of the pitchers these days.”

On George Sherrill:

“I watched him throw the [simulated] game the other day and he threw the ball well.  He’s going to go tomorrow again with Padilla and then he’s ready to come off in probably five days or so.”

On giving so many starters the day off today:

“I think we’re better this year with the quality of the bench and A.J. [Ellis] has been remarkable because he hasn’t played for so long, and he had some good at bats this last game.  Defensively, he’s certainly not a concern at all.  I think you have to do what’s necessary, whether you have the quality on the bench or not.”

On Andre Ethier’s mechanics:

“It’s just timing right now.  I’m glad he got his base hit, but it’s still a matter of timing.  That’s the thing about hitting.  He doesn’t look inhibited in any way or trying to protect anything.  He’s pretty comfortable swinging the bat.  It’s just a matter of getting the rhythm back.”

On A.J. Ellis missing the birth of his child to stay with the club:

“It’s a throwback, that’s for sure.  Normally a player, when his wife is pregnant, will come in and say ‘My wife’s expecting in a month or five weeks.’  I always tell them, if you need to be there, take as long as you need.  Catcher’s a little different than other position players, unfortunately.  But he never came in and asked for any consideration.  He knows it’s an opportunity right now.  It’s an opportunity this kid has, and when you play this game, it’s a family commitment.  You spend so much time with your teammates than you do your family.  I’m sure it was tough.  He did say that he did watch it on the computer….but it’s not the same.”

On the team’s recent hitting struggles:

“I think our at-bats have been ok.  You go through those ups and downs.  Manny’s struggling a little bit, Ethier is just getting going and Matt [Kemp] seems to be getting comfortable again.  Those guys don’t hit, and then you’re asking the support guys to do the job.  Even Furcal is trying to find his stroke.  I think we’re just going through a little bit of a dry spell, that hopefully we can start coming out of.  Casey [Blake]’s been swinging the bat really well. James [Loney] is struggling again.  He can be as ugly as it gets, and then all of a sudden, three hits will come out of him.”

On Carlos Monasterios:

“Like Ely, he gets the ball and throws it.  It’s going to come down to throwing strikes early to keep him from trying to hard.  He falls into that too when he’s struggling a little bit.”

On Charlie Haeger:

“We can’t start him up again until the start of the week.  His foot is getting better.  The only thing he really hasn’t been tested on is touching the bag, but he’s been doing a lot of stuff.  He’s just about back to where he should be right now.”

On Russell Martin’s slide from last night:

“I thought it was hard, but I thought it was clean.”

On the benches clearing after the slide:

“I told Matt Williams: you’re mine.” (Torre was obviously joking here)

On Jason Hayward coming to town with the Atlanta Braves:

“I am curious.  He’s a pretty special young man.  Bobby [Cox] doesn’t throw compliments around as easily as you might think and when he started talking about him in the spring, that got my attention.  I hope we can deal with him.”