AZSP: Looking back to spring training, things didn't work out the way you thought, with things like the struggles of Ian Kennedy. Do you think we were able to adjust okay?
KT: We've still got 21 games left, so I'm still hoping it's going to be a positive end-result. I haven't given up yet. A lot of people want us to say, "Well, what went wrong?" It hasn't been entirely great, but a lot can still go well over the next three weeks, and if they do... I've seen stranger things happen, as in 2007, when the Rockies caught my Padres club, with about a similar gap. Baseball's a strange game, and it could happen.
For us, it's a host of things. We still have yet to have our everyday projected line-up out there, in rotation, because of all the injuries. We lost a lot of guys to significant injuries - not just a two-week stint, [like] Cody for the rest of the season. He didn't even have a spring training, he missed a great deal of time, and missed the first two months of the season and now the last two months. Willie Bloomquist, who was probably going to be one of our everyday shortstops, he has less than 100 at-bats. Chavez has missed two months, Cahill has missed two months, McCarthy has missed two months, Eaton missed two months.
That's not the main reason, but not having that club together, it's been tough to get these guys to click and gel. When we pitch, we don't hit. When we hit we don't pitch! A lot of extra-inning games, and the residual effect of 75 extra innings has taken its toll, on the bullpen and the entire club.
AZSP: What do you think has to happen the next three weeks, to get this team there?
KT: We're going to have both pitching and hitting in sync. Hopefully, our starters can pitch us a little bit deeper into games. The expanded roster helps, having the extra bodies is going to allow us to give guys ample rest in the pen. With all the extra-inning games, they're tired, they're worn out. If we could have pitching performances where our starters can get us into the sixth and seventh, we swing the bats and keep moving the line, get a little confidence going. Sometimes you win four or five games and all of a sudden, you start expecting to win each and every night. We just haven't had that big streak all year long. My hope is that it happens in September, this is the start of it. If we could win about six or seven in a row, we could start to make it interesting.
AZSP: Are you expecting to bring many more guys up from Triple-A?
KT: I doubt it. I guess there's a chance - everyone keeps asking about Archie Bradley. He had a nice pitching performance last night, won a game for Double-A Mobile. I think a lot will depend on whether we are still in the race. If we are still in the race, and decide we want to go to a six-man rotation, give a little extra time for Miley, Corbin, Delgado, some of these guys that are in areas where they're not used to, in the way of innings, then we might call up another arm.
ASZP: I know you're not really looking there yet, but what are you thinking about in terms of off-season moves?
KT: It's pitching, pitching, pitching. You win with pitching. You look at all the teams that are at the top of the divisions now, they're all the teams that are in the top five of pitching. You win with it, you have to have it. I think we've got a lot of young pitching, but it doesn't hurt to have more. I'd imagine try to strengthen our pen, but we've got some young kids like Jake Barrett, Matt Stites, we're excited about them coming to camp. Hopefully Tyler Skaggs, Archie Bradley, David Holmberg will be guys that will vie for a spot in our rotation as well.