Recap: Jerry Manuel on Mejia, LOOGY and Competition

PhotoJerry Manuel took time during today’s game against the Braves to talk on air with SNY’s Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, and had the following to say regarding…

The competition in camp for the final spots on the roster:

“I don’t think there are that many as… We have that fifth spot where we think we’ll be OK.  Obviously center field is a big spot for us, obviously.  I think those two spots, and the eighth inning, those are spots we’re looking for at this time.”

Jerry Mejia, and whether he will start the season in the big-league bullpen:

“I think if we feel like he’s throwing strikes and has some command of the strike zone, with the stuff that he has, he can be a very big part of the bullpen.  But, that being said, going forward, we have to project that, possibly, he can be an eighth-inning guy at some point, but we wouldn’t start out in that fashion.  We would start out trying to get him confidence and some success and go from there.  But, he has a tremendous, tremendous arm, and what he has done so far is dominate hitters, but it’s spring training and we have to be careful with that as well.”

Pedro Feliciano, and whether he needs another left-handed specialist in the bullpen:

“Yes, I would.  I’d like to have three of them down there (laughing).  You’re right.  I have to be careful when using Feliciano.  With just one lefty, you’ve got to sense when the game is on the line.  if it’s on the line, and it’s the sixth inning, you’ve got to take your shot.  But, you’re right, I’d love to have a couple of reliable guys like that down there… I think Hisanori Takahashi can be that, because he’s a guy who historically saved some games during his career.”

To listen to audio of Manuel talking to Cohen and Hernandez, click play below:

File Attachment: JerrySNYMarch23.mp3 (2348 KB)