Following Friday's night's 8-0 loss by the Reading Fightins at the division rival Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate), I spoke with several players. Righty starter Brody Colvin, who took the loss in the contest after being charged with eight earned runs over two innings, offered his thoughts on a discouraging season, catcher Tommy Joseph spoke about dealing with and recovering from his third career concussion, outfielder Kelly Dugan shared his thoughts on making his Double-A debut as well as his 2013 success and outfielder Zach Collier gave some feedback on his 3-for-34 (.088 avg) slump in his last nine contests.
Read ahead for all the quotes from these Phillies prospects...
- I wanted to get your thoughts on what would probably be the exact opposite of what you would find to be an ideal outing for you...
The best thing to say is, (stuff) like that happens. You know, I've been pretty inconsistent lately. Up and down. I guess that's why I'm in Double-A, you know. I've just got to be more consistent.
- You seem like the focus is right. You know what the deal is. Clearly, you've gone back and forth, spending time as a reliever and starting in each of the past two years. I want to get your thoughts on if maybe that has messed with you at all.
Um, I mean, I can't really say that's what it is. Just, I really wish I knew what it was that contributed to why I'm so inconsistent and things like that. Everybody would want to figure out what it is. I guess you could say that, but, um, I really don't think so. It's just, I gotta keep a cooler head out there and try to make pitches. I can't be up in the zone, like I was today.
- You don't want to point a finger at the switch in roles being an issue and that's understandable. Would you assert that there's any level of frustration with going back and forth (between starting and relieving) though?
No, not frustration. Obviously, I want to be a starter. That's why they drafted me. That's what they want me to be. You know, and I want to keep starting and just hopefully, figure it out and be more consistent, because really that's what it comes down to and how you hopefully make the big leagues.
- There was a bit of disappointment in your voice when you said, "this is why I'm still in Double-A". Would you have expected to be further along with your progress by now?
You know, of course I would like to be further along. Definitely, who wouldn't want to be? Basically, I just need to work on keeping my cool while I'm in the game, you know, not try to blow a fastball by everybody. Just settle down.
- After an outing like this that some people might refer to as a disaster type outing, and your season ERA being over 7, is there any concern in your mind about a possible demotion at some point?
I mean, who knows? You know, I mean, if that's what they want to do, that's what happens. That's out of my control.
- You don't worry about it though?
You can't. You, really, you can't.
- I know you dealt with a concussion, then a subsequent shin issue, while you were recovering. What can you tell me about that whole recovery process?
It was long. It took a lot longer than anybody expected, including myself. But, I mean, the good thing is now that I'm healthy and I'm getting back to where I need to be as a ball player and I'm excited about that.
- You come back here to Reading, where you spent time last year. Any kind of thoughts on being here instead of being assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where you began the season?
No, I'm not worried about that right now. I'm worried about getting back to being the ball player that I once was and being healthy, which is what I am now, and I'm very happy about that and I'm excited that I get to play with a lot of good guys here on this ball club and play for Dusty (Wathan), who's one of the best guys to be around in all of baseball.
- What can you share about dealing with the concussion. Have you dealt with that before, what was all of that like and was it different than you thought it might be?
It was my third one, so I've had a few before. But, I mean, obviously, now, with today's medical science and everything like that, they're very worried about it and cautious and know things that can happen, if they're not handled in the right way, so I'm very happy with the way everybody handled the situation and how I've been treated. And, so, it's something you never want to experience, but unfortunately, I had to go through it, but I'm happy it's coming to an end.
- You've done a really solid job, posted great stats (.318 avg, 10 HR, 36 RBI in 56 games) down in Clearwater and earned a promotion to Double-A. What are your thoughts on your 2013, thus far?
Just trying to keep it going, you know. No matter where I am. Now I'm in a different place and I'm just going to try to keep doing what I've done since the beginning of spring training.
- You broke the news on Thursday night on Facebook and Twitter that you were promoted. What was the excitement level for you to get that news (on Thursday) night?
I mean, really excited. Any time you get a call up, it's an honor to be with a different club and I just wish everybody in Clearwater the best of luck for the rest of the season, 'cause they're good guys over there and I'm just excited to be joining this team.
- People looking at your stats and taking a look at what you were doing in the Florida State League might have felt for a while that you were ready for a promotion. Did you feel like you were ready and, if so, for how long did you feel ready?
It doesn't matter, for me. It just doesn't matter. And it's up to (the Phillies) to decide, whenever they feel like my skills are ready for the next level. You know, they've been doing this for a long time and they're the ones who are able to judge it. And a lot of it, maybe, has to do with rosters and stuff, so I felt ready for whatever challenges they want to throw at me.
- I talked to Mario Hollands last week, and he's down there on that Clearwater team pretty much running that league and dominating. I asked him if he felt like he had anything left to prove there, in the FSL, and he told me he's always got something to prove...even if he goes back to Williamsport, he'd have something to prove. Do you feel that way?
Yeah, of course. You're always going to try to, you know, for me, I always want to try to swing at strikes, no matter who's throwing. I want to try to do my best and not chase. And when I'm ahead in the count, make sure I'm swinging at the pitches I want to swing at and just battle all the time. No matter what situation, whether down or up, it really doesn't matter.
- I took a look at your Clearwater splits and noticed you do really well with runners on base...with a .346 average and a 1.057 OPS. Do you feel like you thrive more in clutch situations?
I try to take my at bats the same. You know, I try take what's given to me and I'm not going to try to change what I'm doing just because there's somebody on base. I'm gonna try to get a good pitch to hit and try to do damage with it, no matter what.
- You're going through a rough stretch right now. I don't know if you're familiar with the stats, but how much thought do you give to a slump and what are you dealing with right now?
As of right now, I'm not really paying attention at all. I just gotta have quality at bats, that's my goal right now, every single day, just get something on the barrel. And there's been a couple games, where that has happened, but just no luck. So, my approach, at times, has felt pretty good, but at other times, my approach has not worked in my favor, so, you know, I'm just trying to stay positive and kind of visualize those balls getting through and falling in. So, I just gotta continue to grind it out.
- It seems like at times this year, you go through these cold stretches and then you get it together, average goes above .200, it looks like you're straightening things out and then it falls back down. Any thoughts on that?
I'm just working on my consistency. It's definitely, you know, obviously, part of the game, but when it gets good I just gotta keep those things going and keep it rolling out. Just, it's kind of hard to put into words, but, I feel like I'm handling it well this year, versus me when I was 19, in Lakewood, you know I was a hot mess, so, you know it's just me trying to continue to have fun and keep things simple. Take things day by day, go at bat by at bat and pitch by pitch and, hopefully, good things will happen as long as my mental is still there.