With the MLB Draft over and his team on the road in Pittsburgh, Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is in Oklahoma City the next two nights.
Attending the RedHawks' Monday and Tuesday games against Memphis, Luhnow is scouting players, talking to coaches and enjoying a mini-vacation.
Hours before Monday night's game in Bricktown, Luhnow chatted about Oklahoma City, his organization and which RedHawks could be heading to Houston soon.
How often do you come here to watch a game?
“The last time I was in Oklahoma City was for the Triple-A national championship when the Memphis Redbirds were in it (2009), and I fell in love with the stadium, fell in love with the city. This is the first time I've been here as GM of the Astros, but I watch the games when I'm in Houston and it's something I really enjoy doing. First time I've been down here this year, but it won't be my last. I plan to come here regularly.”
What's the point of this trip? To see a specific player?
“It's really to see everyone. We have conference calls with the staff once a month, and we keep in daily contact. But it's a little different when you are here in person and get a chance to see the players. I have a scouting background and I've been doing it for nine years, so I wanted to see some of the players and talk to them.”
Brett Wallace is a guy constantly rumored to be on his way to Houston. He had a stint earlier this year and performed well. Recently, you had a Carlos Lee trade fall through that would have brought Wallace back. Are you trying to find a place for him?
“I think what I learned from Brett's last trip to the big leagues is that he is ready to come and stay. My belief is the next time he comes, he won't be coming back. Now, we don't want him to come up there and be a bat off the bench. We want him to come up there and have a regular position, whether it be third or first, and we want him to play every day. Right now, that doesn't exist, so whether it's later this month or later this summer, we have to be patient.”