Winter Meetings Interview with Mike Redmond

Q. We don't know how the rest of the lineup's going to fill out, but with him there, what's that kind of doing for your guys?

MIKE REDMOND: Well, I think signing Stan going into the off season that was our number one priority was to get this guy signed, knowing that he'd be here in a Marlins uniform for hopefully his entire career, it was very important to us, and now we've got that done.

Now it's a matter of continuing to build and add some pieces. Hopefully we'll be able to do that, and continue to strengthen our lineup and our organization. We love not just Stan, but all of our young players, Yelich and Hechavarria, and Ozuna. I mean, these guys are exciting players and you got a chance to see that over the course of last season. And now we're trying to add and take that next step.

Q. What do you think will be the key as this team gets older? You grew up by 15 games. You probably need to get about 13 or some more to really get into the playoff picture. What is going to be the next step and how do you approach that?

MIKE REDMOND: Well, I think we still have a ton of young guys, so there is still going to be that experience factor, and the more games these guys play, the more innings they log and pitch, the better they're going to get.

I think one of the great things about last year was the fact that we were able to stay in the hunt late into September, so for us to be able to play some meaningful games late in the season after my first year losing a hundred games was very important. I think it was very important for our young players, including Giancarlo, to feel that pressure of, I guess, must win games, and we weren't able to do that my first year and really haven't done that for a while here in Miami. So it's nice for us to be able to accomplish that last year.

I think guys really thrived with the opportunity of those situations. So there is with our young guys, there is still that learning curve with them as they continue to progress and get better and get more comfortable, and not just position players but pitching wise.

But we have a great clubhouse. We have great leadership, and we have a team that doesn't quit, and I'll take those characters in a ballclub every day of the week.

Q. With the signing of Giancarlo, obviously his physical traits are what they are. But is there also a psychological aspect of his signing that gives the rest of the team a sense of moving forward?

MIKE REDMOND: Yeah, absolutely. This is a franchise player, I mean, this is a guy who brings so much to the team, so much to the organization, he's a home grown guy. I think it's very important for the Marlins to sign a guy like that, a guy that's come up through the organization, and to know that he's going to be here and be in a Marlins uniform for a long time, I think that was very important. It sends a great message to our players that we want this guy around and want him to be here for a long time. And at the end of the day, there wasn't a scenario out there where we were better without him. So it really was a no brainer.

But at the same time, you have to go through the process, and throughout the negotiations, Giancarlo asked some great questions, and he was plugged in and it worked out, and it was great for all of us.

Q. What about Jose? Can you update us on him?

MIKE REDMOND: Jose's great. All the conversations that I've had with Sean, our trainer, is that he's doing great, and he's progressing. He feels great, as we probably all thought would happen.

So the timeline for me is still the same. I mean, it's still June, July, but he's feeling good, and we'll just continue the process of getting himself healthy and ready to go. Spring Training will be at some point in Spring Training will be the first time where he's on the mound for a bullpen, I would assume, and we'll all anticipate that day. And when he comes and he's ready to go, he's going to pitch.

Q. Is he going to be with any I mean, you're going to have to be careful, I would assume, with him, but once he finally gets back to kind of not overdo it with him?

MIKE REDMOND: Yeah, I think those are conversations we'll have as he progresses, depending on how he feels. But I think the goal is to have him up and running and pitching and throwing pitches so that when he comes to us he's able to pitch. I mean, I think we've all been pretty consistent in the fact that we want him to be able to be ready to go to help us, because we're anticipating that we're in it and winning games.

Q. A new club developing like yours is, is there a way of looking at the standings of measuring tangibly the progress? Individual things you look for?

MIKE REDMOND: Well, no doubt you go from losing 100 games scoreboard wise, and improving by 15 games. I mean, if you look at the things that we did right, even though losing a hundred games the first year, we were able to allow Adeiny Hechavarria to play. We were able to bring up Ozuna and Yelich at times to give them some at bats which kind of prepared them for this last season.

I think we realize how special some of our young players are because we allowed them to go out and play. We knew that record wise it could be tough, but if we allow these guys to go out there and play and develop, then we'll really, truly see how good these guys are, and I think we did. I think we saw that.

So we're very encouraged going forward, and we know that the ceiling for these guys is high, including Giancarlo, who I feel still has his best years to come, and that's encouraging for us. You look at individual things. Things that are important to me are chemistry. We don't quit. We play nine innings. We have a lot of fight in us. Our guys are hungry. They're hungry to win. They're hungry to compete. They show up every day ready to go. Those are all characteristics of teams that I've been on that have had success, and we know we're headed in the right direction.

Q. Do you feel like the team is moving past the just improving stage and is there an urgency to really contend this year?

MIKE REDMOND: Well, I think there is always that urgency. I mean, I came here to win ballgames and to be a part of a winner and to build a winning team. No doubt the first year was rough, but last year we showed a huge amount of improvement, and we need to continue that. We feel like we have the right guys to be able to do that. And it's fun. Because you really never know how much guys are going to improve from year to year, and that is the fun part about young players is you never know when it's going to hit.

But we know our guys are made right and they get it, and it's fun to come to that ballpark every single day.

Q. How much do you think needs to be added to this group this off season to really make that jump?

MIKE REDMOND: Well, you ask any of these managers, they're going to tell you the same. We all want another bat. We all want another pitcher or two or three. We all say the same thing. But that's their job upstairs is to get those players, and I know they're working hard and trying to make something happen to improve our ballclub. I mean, that's what the off season is for is targeting areas that you need improvement and going out there and trying to get those guys to be able to do it.

We're all on the same page trying to make it to the playoffs. We feel like we have a great core group of young players and now we've just got to figure out some pieces that can help and help these guys develop and to win.

Q. There is word out here that the Marlins are interested in Wade Miley of the Diamondbacks. What makes him a factor?

MIKE REDMOND: Well, I've seen Miley just a little bit. But this guy has logged a lot of innings, and he's won games. So I think when you start talking about pitching staffs and you're always looking to it's one thing to have arms and quality arms, but at the end of the day you have to have guys that can win. And those are always things that we look at as a staff collectively going forward is which guys give us the best opportunity to win. I think we're always looking to improve. Whether that's Miley or whoever it ends up being, that is the goal is to try to target guys that win games.

Q. I read Jimmy Rollins is going to get traded to the Dodgers. You saw a lot of him as a player and managed too.

MIKE REDMOND: Yeah, I mean, Jimmy Rollins, it's hard to believe that he'll be playing in a different colored uniform than the Phillies. When you look at the Phillies, you always think of Jimmy Rollins. We came up really together as well, he's younger than me, but we played a lot of games together and against each other. Great player. He was in Philly forever through many great years. That's a big, big pick up for the Dodgers.

It will definitely be weird when you go to LA or they come to our place and see him in the white and blue as opposed to the red. Jimmy's still got a lot of game left.

Q. There's been so much innovation defensively with shifts and now you have pitching bullpens and everybody comes out 98 and 99. It seems everything's shifted toward running prevention to the point where the scoring is down the lowest in 40 years. Do you see any things team can do to boost offense? Maybe something different?

MIKE REDMOND: Yeah, I don't know. You can't whisper in a guy's ear and say, I'd really like you to hit a home run right now. But I mean, it is, it's transitioned into a different game, maybe centered more around speed, hit and runs, things like that, bunting. I hope not the bunting, but it is kind of transitioned to a smaller ball type of game.

I think that's what made Giancarlo sign for us so much of a no brainer because he's that guy. He's that rare home run hitter. He brings that dynamic that seems to be fading out of the game.

We do, we're in what seems like a transitional phase right now with the offense. Teams, as you can see with Kansas City, have broken up on bullpen arms. They've kind of seen that model work, whether or not that will continue or be a trend down the road, we'll see.

But at the end of the day, pitching is always the key. You've got to pitch to get to the playoffs and you've got to play defense.

Q. With Stanton and the security now with the contract and he knows he's going to be around, do you see his presence as even more of his leadership on this team moving forward kind of accepting of his role?

MIKE REDMOND: I do. I think we saw last year in Spring Training. I really believe that with some of the additions that we made last year with Casey McGehee and bringing in some of these guys, Reed Johnson, I think they kind of helped him in that role a little bit.

But I always say this when you talk about leadership. Leadership takes time. It takes time. It takes time for young players to feel confident and feel comfortable in the Big Leagues. Usually with that comfort level comes some dirt in your spikes which we used to say as players. Takes some time. Takes them a few years to get comfortable to where they feel like, hey, I can say something or I can step up because I've earned it. So a leadership role takes some time. Some guys it happens faster than others.

But, Geez, this guy is a huge part of our team and our clubhouse, and I think we all saw when he got hit in the face at the end of the year and he was out, how much that affected us. I think he realized that the impact that he has on our ballclub, not just on the field but in the clubhouse. He's special.

Q. How satisfied were you with your catching last year and how do you see the position going forward?

MIKE REDMOND: Well, I think if you asked Salty, he would probably say his defense could be better. I mean, he did make quite a few errors. So we could always be better defensively. But I think that overall Jeff Mathis, we have one of the best back up catchers in the game. Very underrated for what he does. A huge part of our team.

And Salty, hey, listen, this guy has been a part of a world championship team, and I think for whatever reason maybe the first year coming into a new organization and a new team it didn't exactly go probably how he wanted. And it would be fair to say that he would probably say the same thing. But we're looking for big things out of him and the catching is an important position. He needs to control a lot of things with our young pitchers, and it's not easy.

We know the kind of guy salty is, and Mathis too. These guys work hard and they work great together. I'm looking for these guys to continue to improve and be better. It's a huge and important position for us.