Tue 19 Apr 2011
Although Jeff Manship was optioned to Triple A Rochester on Sunday, there’s a good chance he’ll be back at Target Field sometime this summer. In parts of 2009 and 2010, the righthander made 24 appearances (including 6 starts) for the Twins, posting a 3-2 record with a 5.49 ERA. Like most of the team’s relievers Manship got off to a rocky start this season, giving up 3 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings leading to his demotion in favor of Jim Hoey.
Despite the disappointment, this spring marked the first time 26-year-old had gone north with the big club following spring training. For a players on the fringe of the major leagues however, success can be fleeting. Manship and I had a quick chat during the Kansas City series last week.
DZ: This year you made the opening day roster for the first time that had to have been pretty cool.
MANSHIP: Definitely. It’s something I’ve tried to do the past couple of years, for it to come true is awesome. I am definitely happy with how it went.
DZ: When exactly did you find out you made the team?
MANSHIP: I actually found out – it was the game before we played in Boston. I remember I was talking to Gardy and he had just asked me where I’d live the years before and I told him the hotel and then he asked if I had been looking for anything up in Minnesota and I said “Not really, I kinda need to make the team first.” He said, “Why don’t you commit to one of those places.”
DZ: When he started asking those questions did you kind of have an inkling about what was going on?
MANSHIP: Not really at first, but it was pretty funny how he told me.
DZ: When it gets down to those last couple of weeks and you’re kind of on the edge of making the team, what’s it like – do guys get more nervous?
MANSHIP: Umm…yeah, but I felt pretty calm this year compared to years before just because I had experienced the year before and had that other spring training under my belt. You get a little bit stressed – a slight bit – just because you know what’s at stake. You know everyone is competing for a job.
DZ: Are you more sensitive when you do make it that you are not celebrating in front of guys who maybe didn’t?
MANSHIP: You definitely can’t do anything like that. You have to keep it low key.
DZ: You come out opening day and have a rough outing and when you don’t pitch that many innings your ERA gets up there. Do you just try to not pay any attention to that?
MANSHIP: Yeah, you just try to bounce back and do the best that you can. My last outing didn’t go to well either, I am trying to rebound from that and just be a little more consistent out there. I think that’s the main deal right now.
DZ: Down in the bullpen with all of the new faces – guys like Crain and Guerrier who had been here forever are gone – is everybody just kind of feeling their way around finding their new roles?
MANSHIP: Yeah, there’s no real established roles yet other than Capps, Nathan and Mijares. We are just kinda feeling it out and trying to do the best we can with what we are given.
DZ: You were up here a little last year too and Joe Nathan wasn’t, how much different is it having his presence (in the bullpen)?
MANSHIP: It’ a huge boost just knowing what he’s done in his career and just how excited all of the fans get…it’s huge having him down there. It makes everyone a little calmer having him and Capps at the end.
DZ: I know you are a Notre Dame guy – their mens and womens basketball had pretty memorable seasons, any thoughts about that?
MANSHIP: I wish they could’ve gone further than they did, but it was fun to see all of the notoriety they were getting and everything. (I) wish it could’ve gone better for them, but hopefully next year – we’ll see.
DZ: Do you still follow (Notre Dame sports) pretty closely?
MANSHIP: Yeah, definitely. Mainly football and the baseball team, this year they are right around .500 I would say.
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