CTL: Kap chats with Rick Hahn
We continued Chicago Tribune live on the road at spring training on the capital of the White Sox general manager. -- so you're now into your first. Spring training as the GM -- things -- developing here. It's been good it's been a nice knock on wood and nice quiet tranquil camp we've been able to sort of focus on the baseball without any. Outside distractions and it's a been a rather you know seamless transition for me for the most part is it's a different camp for you because your job titles differ there. Pretty much doing the same things it's. There is slightly different. You know having been to organizational thirteen years and and I was having worked with Kenny and Jerry and body but he dollars just since Yamon. A Major League staff -- its. Rather seamless. It's probably a little bit more time for me in terms of planning today airplane or meetings or. I'm doing media stuff such as this but other than that it hasn't been huge difference which is part of the reason. Staying here appealed to me it was I knew the personnel and you I would -- and I sort of new house where we were going. And being part that was pretty exciting and biggest questions you come into spring training is the health of John Danks is it's. You know just a different fields Robin's second what's the biggest question. I would say the things we need to answer the most in camp is -- -- that's. A big part of our rotation obviously so far everything has gone. According to plan he's hit every milestone and in fact I was told them I was the best -- you could be told in my position that is. -- challenged him to slow him down that he feels so strongly feel so good that we're gonna have to rein him back and I know here's where we need to be today. We got plenty of time especially in this long spring to get team where you need to be. So whenever you come to camp he is having everyone healthy here John -- the biggest. Probably coming from the furthest distance of of anyone into getting towards good health. We feel that dead in our rotation was -- on TV and John and and Gavin Floyd and -- a year deeper in his career. That one through five we can match up with anybody in the league. We just have to relive honorable obviously we've had some success of some young guys who have now been through those battles. And being able to add Matt Lindstrom to the mix and a healthy Jesse Crain who had a miserable time last year due to injury. We feel confident about one through twelve where we're at now we have we have a team that is coming off a year where we're fortunately it and scored. So I don't view us as strictly a pitching and defense team I do think it's probably going to be our strength as we -- the season. When you look at behind the -- this is Tyler flowers first real chance because every other year no matter how well he played it was -- Jays dish. Is that a big adjustment for the staff. I don't need to huge adjustment for the staff get in the Tyler was here all of last season and although he only. You know took them home 3040 times over the course of the year. He prepared himself as if he's going to be a guy every day we -- little stint where AJ was unavailable and Tyler sort of got to be the guys for a short stretch it. And the way this guy goes about his preparation. It's really -- huge change for Tyler. Having mark parent as the bench coach a former catcher who's been through this before having a veteran pitching staff that knows what they need to. To prepare for games analyst Don Cooper who knows the league extraordinarily well. I think -- makes any easier transition let's talk about Gordon Beckham because. After that huge rookie campaign he's never quite gotten back to that level -- you have him now in your mind will. Let's assume for the sake of argument that he's the same offensive player next year in thirteen days in the last couple years prior after being that fantastic rookie camp and given the defense he plays he has value on a championship club that being said. Given the level we saw from as a rookie. Given the tools that we see there but he flashes from time to time we know there's more offensively act Gordon waited on his own admission tell you he can be a better offensive player. -- thing we've been through this some recent offseason so I don't -- banging this drum to hard. But it started in the last August he made a couple mechanical adjustments with the help of Jeff mentor hitting coach and Robin involved too. And they were simple adjustments the one today Gordon felt comfortable with what it should he can help correct -- monitor which he's been doing this spring already. And which led to some success in the last two months of last season so I do feel there's reason for optimism for him to convert on that offensive ability again. The player he's been has value because a defense. The player we think he can be which we think -- on the doorstep -- -- unlocking its going to be a real valuable player that looks like when you look at your team you know the pitching is the strength. Is there one aspect eagle. That I need to feel better about than they do right -- -- I think it's probably always going to be that that element part of sit in this chair for me as I sit here today. We've made no secret that we're probably a little too right handed offensively. I did not want to go out and just acquire a left handed bat for the sake of being able to check that box and say hey look we got a left handed bat. If it wasn't going to be someone who could potentially have an impact and represented improvement over our right handed hitters who do hit right handed pitching fairly well. Now we've been able to win in recent years acquired -- Damaso Marte -- Matt Thornton in March so you are able to acquire quality players for a championship team in March. So we're still having some conversations but frankly it may well have to be situationally last year was as it was with Youkilis or Myers and match. It's a need to be addressed once the season underway Robin says Steve thanks -- -- -- interest and an extension right I did that surprise you. Is that yes and no it surprised me because. That's sort of the exception not the rule in this game. More often -- -- when guys offered a little additional security elite status. I've had conversations with guys about extensions where they wanted the additional years and hadn't even said her but the dollar figures are going to be before they settle and it. So it surprised me a little -- a typical conversation that scenario but it but it didn't surprise me in the pocket threw with Robin and hearing his reasoning and knowing. The type of guy he is he he'd essentially said. I wanna make sure that in 20:15 not only am I Robin fully committed. Being able to do this at the top level but also that you guys want me around and frankly right now I'm focused on 2013 not 2015 and we got plenty of time to work this out. I think it speaks to his character which is not a surprise and it probably speaks to be exact reason that you guys hired him that's exactly right it did -- that sort of and one of the strength of Robin and his staff last year was just his ability to tune out. Any outside distractions whether it be about his rookie -- campaign hitter who is replacing -- low expectations for team. -- just focus on winning and that night ball game and no matter what happened the previous day Robin is snapped and it it permeated through the clubhouse. Which is focused on winning that game that night and you know his focus on 2013 as opposed when he fifteenth consistent with that approach. -- let you go you're excited about what the twenty circulates acts could be. Even though something Detroit's investing little makes. Absolutely absolutely we fully intend to. And compete for a championship this year we felt. We feel we talked to the club the other day that. Based on our pitching and based on what the ups -- -- some of our offensive players are that we're going to be right this makes. From the start and as has been the case in our previous. Regular seasons if there's a need arises or need to become more apparent. Predicted he would be aggressive on those holes as they come.
David Kaplan sat down with White Sox general manager Rick Hahn to discuss the early happenings of spring training - 2/21