Transcript of Lee Mazzilli's pregame news conference

May 03, 2004|By Staff

Question: What's the report on Javy [Lopez]?

Mazzilli: Javy's gonna go, Javy is playing. He took BP in the cage; he said he felt great. I think he's kind of chomping at the bit to get back.

Q: What was the thinking in sending [Matt] Riley to the bullpen?

Mazzilli: If we had stayed with our rotation as is, guys would have went out on seven days' [rest]. That's just not good, putting a whole five-man staff on seven days because we have those two off-days coming up. We can go probably at least two starts with [Riley] in the 'pen. And he can go long if need be, so we can stretch him out a little bit.

Q: Do you expect [having Riley in the bullpen] to be a temporary thing?

Mazzilli: Nothing's ever written in stone. You never know; this game changes all the time. That's the way I guess the rotation's set up. I think we'll go until around the 15th -- don't hold me to that, but it's right around the area.

Q: So, he's basically missing two starts.

Mazzilli: Yeah.

Q: How are you guys doing with all the rainouts?

Mazzilli: Not good. Don't like it. We've had too many, and we've probably had more than any other team. We've got two day-nighters that we have to make up, and we've got two on off-days that we have to come in and play. So, it's not good. I don't like it. But you know what, you've gotta deal with it. You've gotta make the best of it. And that's why we're gonna try to play tonight.

Q: When May 15 comes around, and it's time for Riley to [return to the rotation], let's say Rodrigo Lopez keeps doing what he's doing in the bullpen...

Mazzilli: You're asking me a question I can't answer.

Q: But you can't rule that out, right?

Mazzilli: Right now, the way I'm looking at it, Riley's going back in there. Something else may happen in those two weeks. Someone else may get hurt.

Q: All other things being equal, you've gotta like Rodrigo in that [bullpen] role, but do you like him in that role better that you would in a starting role?

Mazzilli: Well, he's done great job in the role that he's in now. He's very valuable that way. I know that he wants to start, I understand that. We've talked about that before -- there's nothing wrong with that. I want to continue that thought process if that's what he wants to do. What's going to happen down the line, I can't answer that because I don't know.

Q: Are you at the point where you need your starters to start getting you deeper [into games]?

Mazzilli: It'd be nice. The thing is on that, the pitch count is not high early, and it's not like we've used the bullpen with a lot of left/right situations. We haven't done that, facing one or two hitters. We've used the bullpen where we've played extra inning games, and they haven't been [just] 10-inning games [but] 10-, 12-, 13-inning games -- and the bullpen goes out and they pitch two or three innings, and you can't bring them back the next day. So, yeah, I'd like to stretch [the starters] out. I'd like them to get to the seventh inning. Obviously, everyone wants to, but somehow, someway we've gotta figure out a way for them to get it done, and they're well aware of it. They understand that. Some of them are young guys, and maybe doing more than they should be doing or trying a little too hard.

Originally published May 3, 2004, 5:57 PM EDT

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