I caught up with Salty about a month ago at the Braves spring training facility. He was real busy and a tough one to snag for a few words, but I finally got a chance between some workouts, so it was a brief interview. But I think it reveals that Saltalamacchia is a serious player who likes playing the game, and as far as I can tell, Salty likes to have a "good time," as I'm sure you'll discover in the interview. I know a lot of fans in Atlanta hope to see Salty in Atlanta someday; we just hope it's not because of injury. That means an inevitable shift to another position, but as you'll see that has not yet come on to Jarrod's radar.
Martin Gandy: How was the AFL this year?
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: It was good, we had a good team, we had a good time. You know, I got to go out there and swing the bat a little bit which was what I needed to do; get myself back on track, so we had a good time.
MG: You were injured for part of it, weren't you?
JS: Yeah, about three weeks in I got injured, and then ended up sending me home.
MG: What was the injury?
JS: Hamstring and groin, but everything feels good this spring.
MG: How's your stroke?
JS: It feels good, man. Everything is there where it needs to be, and just have a good season.
MG: You working out at first base some?
MG: Exclusively at catcher?
JS: Yep, just catching.
MG: Do you get tired of hearing that first base thing?
JS: Yeah, you know because it's people who aren't in the organization saying, "oh, you're moving to first." As sure as the organization says something I'm sure everyone else is going to know; no secret.
MG: Do you pattern yourself after any particular player?
JS: No, just be myself.
MG: What level do you see yourself starting at this year?
JS: I don't know, they don't even tell me.
MG: What level do you want to start at?
JS: It doesn't matter either way - double-A, triple-A - you can get called up from either one so it doesn't matter.
MG: Are you working on anything in particular this spring?
JS: Hitting, catching, really everything.
MG: What does it mean to be around the big league guys in spring training?
JS: It's fun, we have a good time. You get to know those guys, and watching them play the game - that's pretty cool. Everyone's real nice, and it's just a real good learning experience.
MG: Of the places you've played, which is your favorite?
JS: I'd say Mobile. The fans there were great, the facility was awesome, the short porch to left, we had a good time.