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July 15, 2007 at 9:59 PM

Q&A with Spinners Broadcaster Mike Demos

Lowell Spinners broadcaster Mike Demos has agreed to do a series of Question and Answer segments with SoxProspects.com moderator Jonathan Singer. Here is the first installment:

JS: Ryan Kalish has tore the cover off the ball at Lowell. How would you describe his overall game and do you think he is too advanced for this level?

MD: Kalish continues to amaze me everyday. The most impressive thing to me about him is his overall maturity for someone who's only 19. At this level, as it is often documented, the mental part of the game is as important as the talent itself. You have to be even keel and have a short memory if you make a bad play or strikeout. That's the greatest thing about Kalish. He really does get it for his age. He looks to be a prototypical lead off man in the majors, great speed, especially a great first step on pitchers. He has decent pop as well, could project to a 20-25 homer guy in the bigs. His speed helps him alot in the outfield and his arm is strong, fairly accurate, although he is still a bit raw in situations and from time to time will make ill advised throws. He compares himself to Grady Sizemore and I would agree with that wholeheartedly. Despite his speed and range I think he'd be a great fit in right field at Fenway someday as he will remind people alot of Trot Nixon the way he plays the field and hits, the only difference being he will steal alot more bases.......As far as being too advanced for this level goes, I don't really think any 19 year old fresh out of high school is too advanced for short-season A ball. Yes, hes putting up ridiculous numbers and it's clear he has the talent and is going places, but he only played in 17 games in the pros entering the season. He will move up fast AFTER the year and could very well be one of those guys like Masterson who is in Lowell one year and by the end of the next ends the season with Portland.

JS: Much has been said that Ty Weeden potentially may have to move to first base in the future. What is your assessment of Ty Weeden's skills as a catcher and as a hitter?

MD: I can see why some would make that assessment on Weeden, he does have a bigger, Mike Piazza-like frame for a catcher (6'2" 200) but handles the position well. As happens often at this level, you get alot of pitchers who get wild where there are alot of pass balls and wild pitches. So far, Weeden has been up to the task behind the plate, he calls a good game, and while teams have not run much on Lowell this year, he has shown no deficiencies getting the ball down quickly and accurately to second.....As far as hitting goes, I haven't yet see him not punish a fastball thrown by anyone. He has hit in something like 17 of his first 18 games, so he has been extremely consistent. He has good pop for a catcher, although like most hitters at this level, continues to struggle a bit with off-speed pitches. Most of the others lay off them all together, but Weeden attacks and once he gets his timing down on the off-speed stuff he will be an extremely difficult out.

JS: Caleb Clay was a 2006 first round supplemental pick that did not pitch of of last year and was in extended spring training for all of 2007 until coming to Lowell. What can you tell us about the way he has pitched this year after not pitching in a competitive game in almost a year?

MD: Caleb has continued to improve with every start. Like Kalish, he is only 19 and still learning, and perhaps more to learn than Kalish as in high school he was primarily an outfielder and didn't really pitch full time until his senior year. So basically, he still hasn't thrown 200 innings of live game action yet from high school to Lowell. The one misnomer about him was that he was touted as a big strikeout guy, so far that has not been the case. He throws strikes, but is still looking to get his out pitch working for him. Other than that he is a cool competitor on the mound and seems to live for the big moments. He is at his best when in pitching jams and seems to live for the moment and so far has been excellent in those situations.

JS: How would you say Gary DiSarcina has done as the manager of the Spinners so far given this is his first managers job and do the players enjoy playing for him?

MD: I have heard nothing but great things about "DiSar" as everyone refers to him around the clubhouse. Honestly, you would think he had been doing this for decades. He really seems to understand how things work at this level with player development and everything that goes with it. He shows the same respect to the #1 draft picks as he does to the undrafted free agents. Nobody gets special attention, they are all treated the same and I think that means alot to the guys. So far he has shown that he likes to put guys in motion on the bases alot (something he credits Mike Scioscia of the Angels for). All my interactions with him have been great, he has gotten rave reviews and I think it may only be a matter of time before you see him managing on a big league diamond. He has the perfect makeup for it.

JS: Who is the most exciting/best player you have seen this past month (friend or foe)?

MD: I would have to go with Ryan Kalish. Every time he is at bat, you sit a bit more upright in your seat in anticipation of him doing something big. He has that kind of appeal about him though and you can sense the ballpark get anxious as well when he steps up to the plate or a ball is hit his way to the outfield. Then when he gets on base, he is everyone's main concern from the players to the fans to the opposing team. Everyone knows he's going and no matter what the opponents do they can't stop him. He is by far the most exciting player I've seen so far this year......As far as best goes, Kalish is definitely up there as well. On the Spinners there is alot of talent this year and this list is continuous, you'd have to start another page for me to name them all, but one that I'll briefly mention is Jose Capellan, a lefty starter. Big kid, reminds me of C.C. Sabathia out there on the mound in regards to his presence, his look and his pitch style. When he's on the mound he is in control and has a DEVASTATING slurve that he throws down and in to righthander's that has been unhittable. As far as personality goes, he reminds me of Pedro. Perhaps the funniest guy on the team, he keeps everyone's spirits up at all time, but like Pedro when that fifth day comes around and it's time to pitch he's locked in and ready to go. This kid is going places.

JS: You won a contest to become Lowell's play by play guy. What was that experience like?

MD: Well it was definitely not your typical job interview that's for sure. I'm used to sending a resume, cover letter and tape in and this was set up similarly to ESPN's Dream Job contest they had on TV a few years ago. It was definitely exciting to say the least, sitting in front of judges watching you and critiquing you as we did highlights of the 2nd inning of Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS (1st round of competition) and the final inning of Game 4 of the World Series (Final competition). I am extremely excited though for this opportunity. Having been born and raised in the heart of Red Sox nation, to get a chance to work for the organization I have loved my entire life, this is definitely a thrill and a tremendous opportunity that I will never forget and always be thankful for.