GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It's only the first day of spring training, the first of 43 days in Arizona, followed by three days back home for the freeway series, then comes the 183-day regular season and - if you're lucky - the postseason. But on a day of several introductory interviews, both Andrew Friedman and Don Mattingly each had a telling quote about spring training evaluation.
Actions will truly speak louder than words, but for now file these two away for "things we like to hear," especially at the start of spring training.
Friedman, on temporarily replacing closer Kenley Jansen to start the season:
"In spring training as we're evaluating these guys it's not going to be that they got a save in a spring training game or they have a 1.40 ERA in spring training. It's going to be much more under the surface, in terms of a guy's stuff, their aptitude, how they fit in, how they complement other looks in our bullpen, giving Donnie and Rick different looks.
To say someone might win a job in spring training, it may not be because they have the lowest ERA. It's just who we want to bet on who we think will give us the best chance in April. We have a lot of ways to do that that go beyond just the stat sheet.
Mattingly on Joc Pederson, vying for the starting center field job as a rookie:
"We'll be evaluating Joc all spring. It's not just what his batting average is. It's his work ethic, how's he fitting in, all the factors that show us his value. We'll definitely have conversations about him like we would with anybody else, making sure he comes in here and plays baseball.
He doesn't have to prove to us he can play; we know he can play. We want him to relax and play. Give us the credit to say is he's getting good jumps, if he's having good at-bats and not getting hits we understand that those are good at-bats and that's going to work out.