10/06/07 4:58 PM ET
Melvin pregame interview
D-backs manager talks about pitcher Owings
By / MLB.com
BOB MELVIN: That's safe to say. I think last year in Triple-A, winning a championship -- you know, Chris Young wasn't homegrown but he was with that team last year.
I think the fact that a group of them did win a championship in Triple-A last year, and did it in a decided fashion, probably goes a long way in that type of camaraderie that eases that transition coming into the big leagues as a group.
Bob, would you use Mike Owings as a pinch-itter on the night before he's supposed to start a game?
BOB MELVIN: No question. Every day before a game I ask him if he's got his spikes on. He expects -- he knows that's a little something we do before every game, so without a doubt. I mean, there is even -- you always run the risk of using a starting pitcher and potentially have an injury.
If I had to I'd probably even pinch run him. He's that good an athlete. So no hesitation at all the day before he pitches.
Is a team down 0-2 dangerous because they may feel they have nothing to lose?
BOB MELVIN: You know, I wouldn't argue that, but you know it's not going to change the way we look at things. There's a certain urgency obviously being down 0-2 knowing you can't lose again.
So, you know, there's a clearer direction in knowing that you can't lose. I wouldn't argue that, but that certainly isn't going to change how we go about our business, which is just day to day.
By the time you get into the postseason is there a great advantage to having home field advantage?
BOB MELVIN: A lot of it is based on how you've played on the road during the year, how you've played in certain places. When we get asked the question, What are your favorite ballparks? A lot of it has to do with the success you've had in parks so there definitely is a home field advantage, especially in a place like this. But I think that's more so for the home team than it is the visiting team.
You have played for Sparky Anderson and Roger Craig and Frank Robinson and a lot of really good baseball people. As you are embarking on your own career as a manager, is there anybody you partner yourself after or learn from?
BOB MELVIN: I try to take bits and pieces from everybody. I think Frank Robinson was best for me as a player. He made me grow up. He probably made me tougher as a player.
When I first came in and San Fransisco was kind of treated like a younger player and played like a younger player where Frank challenged me and forced me to grow up and be a leader, especially in the position I played behind the plate. So he was probably the best for me as far as managers go.
During my career I try to take bits and pieces from everybody to an extent, because I played for a lot of really, really good managers.
Bob, I know that Miguel Montero has caught Livan Hernandez for most of the year. Is there a particular reason those two work really well together in your opinion?
BOB MELVIN: One, early on it enabled Montero to know when he was going to play and get some regular time.
Two, matching him up with Livan Hernandez that is going to pitch his game enables him to learn from Livo, how he's going to pitch certain guys.
And obviously the more he catches them the more he understands how Livo wants the pitch and easier to get on the same page during the game. So it was a natural to play them today.
Even though I have a left hander on the mound, the fact that they worked together this long, to change it right now wouldn't be the right thing to do. Based on the matchup, and my angle has hit left handers well.
Q. (No microphone.)
BOB MELVIN: We obviously haven't seen him play on an everyday basis. We see him on days that he pitches sometimes. The reputation goes along with him. It's not like guys just lay fast pitch fastballs in there for him anymore. He's been pitched tougher. But until you actually go out there and do it similar to like Ankiel. When Ankiel was pitching he got your attention in a hurry too with how he swung a bat.
Had to make it all the way through as a position player and obviously can do it. Anybody that I've seen other than Ankiel, I would say Micah would be able to do that, but you never really know.
Would it be absurd to think that a guy could pitch and then twice between starts play several positions like a high school kid?
BOB MELVIN: That would be very difficult based on what you have to do leading into your starts and so forth. But, yeah, I don't think that's really ever happened, so difficult to do. There's a lot of preparation, a lot that goes into preparing for each and every start.
That could be taken away if you went out there and played a position a couple other days, but maybe we'll look into it.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.