Transcript of Lee Mazzilli's pregame news conference

June 22, 2004|By Staff

Question: What do you like about Jason Grimsley?

Mazzilli: I had Jason with the Yankees for a couple years. He's a guy that gives you innings, and you can use him in a lot of roles. Right now, I'll probably use him late in the game. He's a veteran pitcher that's been through the playoffs and the World Series, so it's a good deal for us. We've been trying to do this for a while, and he's a guy that I looked at.

Question: Jose [Leon] goes down [to Triple-A Ottawa]...

Mazzilli: He handled that very well. He knew that situation, it was a tough one... He needs to get at-bats.

Question: How long do you go with an extra pitcher [on the major league roster]?

Mazzilli: Right now, that's what we've got.

Question: How does the acquisition of Grimsley effect Rodrigo [Lopez'] role?

Mazzilli: Rodrigo Lopez is in the rotation. We're going to switch him, and he's going to go back in there and stay in there. He's going to pitch Saturday against Atlanta. ...He's going to be in the bullpen for today and tomorrow, depending on where he's at with pitch count.

Question: [Yankees manager Joe Torre] used Grimsley as a spot starter a couple of times...

Mazzilli: I don't see that happening.

Question: On Lopez' return to the rotation...

Mazzilli: When you lose a starting pitcher, you have to find one, and we didn't have one in Triple-A I wanted to put in that role. It's tough bringing another young kid up in that spot.

Question: Does DeJean move into that [long relief] role?

Mazzilli: Yeah, he should. But I can also use him late. When he's come in in that sixth or seventh inning the last few times, he's done well. He's thrown the ball well the last week to ten days. I like what I'm seeing out of him right now.

Question: Denny Bautista was considered one of the top pitching prospects in the organization. Did something happen that soured the organization a little bit?

Mazzilli: No. I think [the trade] might be good for both organizations. When you want something, you've got to give up something.

Question: Was it tough to give him up?

Mazzilli: It's not something that was done overnight. It was something that we talked about. [Bautista]'s probably not ready [to pitch in the Major Leagues] next year either, so it was a move that you had to make.

Question: How much does this team need to beat the Yankees just to get that sense of confidence... 0-for-6 this year...

Mazzilli: Well, since you put it that way, I guess it's real important now, right? I mean I'm looking at one game. I know we're 0-for-6. In a few games we didn't play well against them, and in the other few we played real well against them. I came off Colorado with a good win. It was a win we needed very much, and I haven't thought about playing the Yankees until today. I have to take the Yankees as any other team. When you're in a little drought for that one week, it doesn't matter who you play. You've got to win the next game.

Question: Is it reassuring for you that [the front office] is making moves for '04, and not [for the future]?

Mazzilli: No question. We've been talking about this for the last month. They're very willing to do what it takes.

Question: Are you going to be looking for a starter too?

Mazzilli: As a ballclub, when you sit down and talk, you always look for something and anything that's going to improve the club. It could be a starter, outfielder, catcher, it doesn't matter.

Question: Grimsley throws the sinker... pretty simple?

Mazzilli: That's it. He can throw 93...he's not a guy that we have to pinpoint his control. He's a sinker pitcher, and he has to stay with that. That's his out pitch. He's durable, he can pitch three or four days in a row if you need him, he'll never refuse taking the ball. He's a guy that you need. I've also spoken to him about being with the young guys in the bullpen, talking about how to pitch and what it takes to win. So I think he's going to come in very handy.

June 22, 2004, 6:27 PM EDT

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