Tim Evearitt has covered the Lookouts for The Chattanoogan newspaper the past few years and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Tim is also the guy who takes a lot of the photo’s for the Chattanooga games.

Doug: Chattanooga leads the league in home runs right now with 6 more than the closest team. Which player has shown to have the most power of all the guys?

Tim:Shaun Cumberland has shown power but this was no surprise since he was with the Lookouts last season. Although B.J. Szymanski has cooled off recently he has show the most power. Those close to the Lookouts are surprised to find the team leading the Southern League in home runs. Coming out of Spring Training, no one expected this. He quotes manager Mike Goff in today’s (May 1) Times Free Press: “If you had told me that we’d be leading the league in home runs after the first month, I have said you’re crazy. These guys are picking each other up every night, and we’re getting the big home run when we need it.”

Doug: Daryl Thompson has no doubt been impressive this year, as he leads the league in ERA, IP, WHIP and Strikeouts. Is this the most impressive debut for a newcomer to Chattanooga, if not, who was it?

Tim: Homer Bailey was pretty impressive, although he came up with fanfare and press clippings. I believe his first 21 innings were scoreless. Thompson has been so good that, if he continues doing what he’s been doing, we expect to see him in Louisville or Cincinnati by mid-season.

Doug: The Lookouts bullpen features some big name prospects with Fisher, Roenicke, Lutz and Viola. Who has been the most impressive of the bunch so far through the first month of the season?

Tim: The most impressive member of the bullpen is gone — Danny Herrera. The four mentioned have been hot-and-cold. Roenicke seems to have the best stuff but he is still learning to pitch.

Doug: Which hitter has been the most pleasant surprise through April?

Tim: In early April, it was B.J. Szymanski; lately Sean Henry and Shaun Cumberland have been hot.

Doug: Jose Castro is currently the SS for the Lookouts but Chris Valaika is hitting incredibly well in Sarasota right now. One thing that Castro has on Valaika is his defense. How good has he looked so far in the field?

Tim: The consensus here is that Castro has been average in the field.

Doug: What was your favorite moment while covering the Lookouts?

Tim: Two things stand out in my mind and both occurred in the Carolina series where the Lookouts took 4-of-5 from the (then) first place Mudcats:

(1.) B.J. Szymanski’s two-homers
(2.) Mike Griffin’s sparkling big league defensive play. With two outs and runners on first and second, Griffin caught Manuel Mayorson’s grounder behind the bag at third, leaped in the air and made a perfect throw to first where Tonys Gutierrez stretched to catch the ball for the out.

Doug: The Reds got Danny Herrera in the Edinson Volquez trade and while he was promoted already, how was it watching him pitch with his high 50’s, low 60’s changeup and his screwball?

Tim: Herrera was special. The diminutive lefty has an incredible changeup.

Doug: In the past two season’s there were some huge prospects down in Sarasota that people were excited to see make it to Chattanooga with Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce. Is there anyone down there now that people in Chattanooga are hoping to get to see soon?

Tim: To be honest, except for those of us who cover the Lookouts, folks here aren’t paying much attention. I tried to prime the pump last year by drawing attention to Jay Bruce and wondering when he’d arrive in Chattanooga. Of course, then he played in only eight home games.

I amanxious to see Drew Stubbs and Chris Valaika.

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