03/15/12 3:00 PM ET
Mills chats with fans about Spring Training
By / MLB.com
Brad Mills: Early on, we addressed the need for a cohesive bond and a lot of times with these young players, they do just that. This particular group has bought into that way of thinking and they've done a very good job of coming together so far. We think they definitely will continue.
kvn_5201: What was the determing factor in naming Myers the closer? experience? stats? desire?
Brad Mills: All of the above, really. We had to make sure that he was as excited about it as we were. When he said he was excited, that was probably the most determining factor. There's been so many successful closers that have been starters in the past that have turned into really good closers. It helps that he has already been a closer and did well with it.
DTX3: How fired up is Bud Norris this year? What have been your thoughts on his pitching?
Brad Mills: He's throwing the ball really well. He has concentrated on a lot of his secondary pitches so far and is developing them quicker than maybe even expected.
CS86015: Will we see any major rotations or changes in the outfield or infield coming soon?
Brad Mills: There's going to be changes in the rotation, with Myers leaving and then needing a fifth starter. The infield, we're going to have a few changes, but nothing drastic yet. The competition we've had this spring has really opened our eyes to a lot of good things that have happened to our organization over the past year.
eddie_greentree: what did you see today that you liked?
Brad Mills: Livan stood out. He threw the ball absolutely outstanding. I'm knocking on wood that our defense continues to be very solid. And anytime you hit a walkoff home run, like Brian Bixler did, that's pretty significant.
shifty65tbird: Are a coaches decision or a Managers decision based on stats solely? Do you ever use your gut?
Brad Mills: I always use my gut, but ignoring stats is ignorant. You have to use everything.
jblackstone82: What is the daily routine of a ball player at Spring Training?
Brad Mills: The days are long once we start playing games. Players are usually at the ballpark by 7 in the morning. They have a routine of hitters hitting in the cage, they have their time slots between 7 and 9. Others have early work on the field starting at 8:30. The coaches meeting is at 8 and then we go through a full workout up until lunch. We take lunch and then play a game. That is a full day.
johnny14k_2: What is the team spirit like after a 6 and 4 start?
Brad Mills: It's very good right now after the last two wins. Last night's win and today were both outstanding games, very close games that we won at the end. Anytime we have those types of games it brings a little team bonding. The one thing about this group is they've handled themselves extremely well all spring. The effort in doing the things we can control has been very good. That's been one of the things we've emphasized the most.
johnny14k_2: Are you finding younger picthers recover quicker or about the same?
Brad Mills: Mostly, the same. The one thing veteran pitchers know is how to go about their workload so they are able to recover in a timely manner.
vvv_The_One_vvv: what will these players need to accomplish to make it to the playoffs?
Brad Mills: We have to continue to improve. They've shown good progression so far in a short time and we'll have to continue to do that. There's a lot of talent here and given those capabilities, that is our objective.
Brad Mills: Thanks for joining us! Talk to you next time and go Astros...see you at the ballpark!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.