Saturday, May 3, 2008
Last week, I had the pleasure of talking with new Angels GM Tony Reagins. Reagins has been with the Angels for a long time, and was interviewed for the job after Bill Stoneman stepped down as GM. I met Reagins down at the Winter Meetings last December and he told me he was willing to do an interview once the season got started. I want to thank him for doing this for me and I also want to thank everyone within the Angels organization who set this up for me, I really appreciate it.
ELI: When did you break into baseball? What were your day to day duties at that position?
TONY: I broke into baseball in the fall of 1991, so my first season was 1992. I was an intern out of college in the marketing department.
ELI: The Angels minor league system has been regarded by many as one of the best. What does that mean to you, having been the director of Player Development?
TONY: I means a lot to be recognized by your peers. We have scouted minor league free agents very well, so it definitely feels good to be recognized.
ELI: Nick Green and Nick Adenhart are coming along fast in Triple-A. What type of pitchers are they and where do you see them fitting into a rotation?
TONY: Both of them have three quality pitches. Nick [Adenhart] has an above average fastball, but has had some control issues. Nick [Green] has a good breaking ball. His fastball isn't as fast asAdenhart's, but still a very good pitcher.
ELI: Do you think the future in the Angels farm system favors pitching or hitting right now?
TONY: I think we have quality in both areas. We have some good pitchers in the lower levels: Jordan Walden, Sean O'Sullivan, Steve Marek. Our Triple-A staff is doing very well now too. We have some good bats though. Woody [Brandon Wood] is with us now, Hanley Staitia is good defensively, but is not hitting well. Matt Brown is doing well. I would say we are pretty even.
ELI: Ervin Santana was in a funk last season. What have you seen from him this season that differs from last?
TONY: His stuff was always good. He has a fastball in the mid-nineties. He can throw the change up when he needs to. Last year, he had trouble on the road. It seemed liked he would be pitching well, but then would have one bad inning. He has worked hard, he's pitching better -- he came into this season with a different mind set, and it is showing.
ELI: What about Joe Saunders, he has been terrific thus far.
TONY: Yeah, he's great. He has always done well for us though. I think he has just needed an opportunity.
ELI: What was the interview process like for the General Manager job?
TONY: It was a sit down meeting Art [Moreno] and Bill [Stoneman]. They just picked my brain, trying to find out my philosophy. They wanted to know where I saw the team in five years. I was recommended by Bill, so it wasn't too bad.
ELI: The Torii Hunter signing was worked out fast. Was their any urgency in getting that deal done or would you say both parties saw eye to eye?
TONY: I talked with Torii's agent down at the GM Meetings. He told me Torii wasn't ready to sign yet, so we made an offer we thought was fair. We thought if Torii was interested, he would come.
ELI: Personally, I thought you were big winners in the Jon Garland/Orlando Cabrera trade. Can you tell me why you pulled the trigger on that trade?
TONY: We have a lot of young players that have showed upside. We think you win with pitching and defense, so with Garland in the rotation and Macier [Izturis], [Erik] Aybar, and [Brandon] Wood, we would be in good shape.
ELI: Being in Player Development for so long, what would you say is the biggest different between High-A and Double-A?
TONY: In A-ball, there are a lot of players. There is Low-A and there is High-A. In Double-A, the funnel for talent starts to shrink -- the talent is better. Players start to figure out what adjustments need to be made. Pitchers start setting up hitters and hitters have more of an approach.
ELI: In 2007's draft, you drafted John Bachanov with your first pick. What do you like about him most?
TONY: His arm strength, that was important. He's been hurt this season though, so we have not been able to see him.
ELI: During your time with the Angels, is there a favorite game that sticks out in your mind?
TONY: Game six of the 2002 World Series. It was a great win which allowed us to get to Game seven and the championship.