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08/22/07 6:10 PM ET

Melvin says team can compete to win

Manager believes Webb is front-runner for NL Cy Young

Arizona manager Bob Melvin chatted with fans in a live Web chat on Wednesday. The third-year manager believes the team can compete to keep atop their tough division and ultimately win the title. He also praised the depth of their Minor League system and deemed Brandon Webb the best pitcher in the National League.

MELVIN: Hi, everyone. I'm looking forward to answering your questions today. Let's get started.

Navy3: As manager of the Orioles, the late Johnny Oates was asked which of his players would make a good manager. He replied, "Bob Melvin." Now that you're the manager, which player do you think would make a good managerial candidate?

MELVIN: I've mentioned Craig Counsell in years past and I stick with that. Another guy that would be well-suited to manage would be Tony Clark. There are others of course, but those are the two that come to mind first.

Navy3: What do you like to do when you're not around the game of baseball?

MELVIN: I'm an avid mountain biker. I like to golf and enjoy spending time with my family when I'm not at the ballpark.

Feenix: How much involvement did you have in the decision to bring up Justin Upton? What about other Minor Leaguers?

MELVIN: We rely heavily on our player development staff as well as our baseball operations staff who see these guys on a day-to-day basis. They've made very good decisions (i.e. Mark Reynolds which was a risk coming from Double-A and he's been instrumental in our success). And we feel that Justin Upton will do the same.

adefran22: Do you think the team has a chance to compete for a title? Do you think the team has a chance to win the World Series?

MELVIN: Based on the position we've put ourselves in to date, we think we have a very good chance to compete and potentially win the division. And if indeed we do reach the postseason, anything can happen.

thedesertsurfer: How do you avoid overworking the bullpen? In a perfect plan, does each reliever pitch only one inning?

MELVIN: Based on as many close games as we've played it's difficult at times to give [Tony] Pena, [Brandon] Lyon and [Jose] Valverde a break. Pena in particular is the guy that we've leaned on the hardest to pitch more than one inning. But on any successful team there is one guy that you usually go to for more than one inning like a Scot Shields in Anaheim. A lot of it is due to playing close games and having success and that's just part of it. We try not to use guys more than three days in a row and Bryan Price and I have never had a reliever in the top 10 in the league in appearances and we monitor that very closely.

smokisbb: I am also a "Melvin" and originally from Michigan and watched you play in Detroit. What did you like most and least about Tiger Stadium?

MELVIN: I loved the nostalgia and the history of Tiger Stadium, playing in a ballpark that some of the great players in history have played in. But I got tired of bumping my head on the ceiling in the dugout.

feistin: Why was Joe Kennedy released?

MELVIN: We took a chance on another left-hander with a pretty good track record when we claimed Joe and to [general manager] Josh Byrnes' credit he pulled the plug quickly when we felt like we weren't getting the results we needed.

34shaq34: What are your strategies as you enter the game vs. Milwaukee tonight?

MELVIN: Anytime Brandon Webb takes the mound for us we feel confident and strategies are at a minimum when he's on the mound.

got_milk: What do you think about [Justin] Upton's performance so far?

MELVIN: I think for a 19-year-old he is mature beyond his years, mentally and physically. I think he's done a nice job for us since he's been here and has an unlimited ceiling with a chance to be a star.

dbaxattack: Do you think Brandon Webb is a front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award?

MELVIN: I'm obviously biased, but I think Brandon Webb is the best pitcher in the National League over the course of the past two seasons. So therefore, yes, I think he's a front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award.

Navy3: Where are your favorite places (cities and ballparks) to play?

MELVIN: Typically my favorite ballparks are the ones that we have success in. As far as cities go, I like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. I like the older ballparks like Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium yet I like the amenities of the new parks like the clubhouse facilities and batting cages. It makes the games easier to prepare for and you don't bump your head on the dugout ceiling. Thanks for all the great questions. I'm sorry that I have to run right now, but I have to get ready for tonight's game. Hope to see you out here as Brandon [Webb] tries to keep his scoreless streak going.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.