Many thanks to Matt Kramer, Michael's rep from his website Barrett Baseball, for helping to make this interview possible. Thanks too to all the BCB readers who submitted questions for Michael, making this a true community interview.
BCB: In calling a game, how much work do you do with video to study batters and prepare a game plan for attacking opposing hitters and (2) do you do most of this or does Larry Rothschild help and (3) how much does the starting pitcher collaborate with you on a game plan? Finally, if the game starts and the starter's curve is hanging, or the fastball is flat, do you have multiple "what if..." plans?
The starting pitcher and I do collaborate quite a bit on a game plan, and it's my job to make sure that we have a strategy ready. There are always going to be "what if" plans associated with how a specific pitcher is throwing, but the pitcher - more times than not - is going to start out a game by throwing to his strengths, as opposed to a hitter's weakness.
As with any new pitcher, young or old, it takes a little while to get to know their stuff, but there is a lot of promise with our younger guys. Even a guy like Ted Lilly should be considered "young." He's just over 30 years old, and he's coming into a new league, so I see a lot of promise from him as well.
Watching some of the young catchers has been very enjoyable. Joe Mauer has really impressed me. I saw him last year when we played the Twins in Minnesota.