Results tagged ‘ Dave Trembley ’

Around the horn

It rained all night, although the sun is coming through now, so the Orioles workout could be limited depending on field conditions.

Manager Dave Trembley might limit what kind of work gets done today, in preparation for Jeremy Guthrie’s start against the Rays right here at Ed Smith Stadium tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and the Orioles will face James Shields, with starter Matt Garza also expected to throw.

Brian Matusz will make his Grapefruit League debut Thursday against Rays right-hander Jeff Niemann.

The clubhouse was pretty quiet this morning which was to be expected. Not only is it the last day of practice before the games, but most of the team went to a party thrown for them by ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, who lives in nearby Bradenton.

Stay tuned for updates. 

More Intrasquad stuff

Orioles Intrasquad 008.jpg

That’s Chris Tillman warming up. He pitched the first inning for the orange team, struck out Robert Andino on four pitches and then allowed a double to Nick Markakis. Tillman said afterwards that he felt great, and that his back issue from earlier in camp, is a non issue.

“I’ve been 100 percent for the last two days,” Tillman said. “I was even allowed to lift today. I think that’s all in the rearview mirror, and we’re going forward from here.”

Tillman was opposed by Jake Arrieta, who was pleased to carry over some promising bullpen sessions out onto the mound. Arrieta threw only one breaking ball, to Miguel Tejada, and used the one-inning outing to keep the ball down in the zone.

[I'm] not too worried about being in and out right now, that will come later in Spring Training into the start of the season but really just working down at the knees, just trying to stay away from the letters,” Arrieta said. 

As for his breaking stuff and change-up, Arrieta said his goal this early in camp is just to make those pitches strikes.

“It’s hard to work on a lot of things in one inning of work,” he said. “What I really wanted to get comfortable with was my fastball with and I made some good pitches.”

Orioles Intrasquad 010.jpg

The above picture is Izturis warming up before the game.  Part of the orange team, Izzy started at shortstop with Tejada at third for the game’s first three innings.

The other notable pitcher in Monday’s game was Jim Johnson, who tossed a scoreless second inning. Johnson struck out Garrett Atkins on three pitches, and retired Lou Montanez on a pop-up to second.  Johnson said he used his offspeed more than he would during a regular game, throwing several to Justin Turner, who worked a walk.

Johnson didn’t allow a hit and threw seven of his 13 pitches for strikes.

“I was just trying to get a feel for things and get things progressing,” Johnson said. “It’s usually the last thing that come around in the spring is your feel. Your arm strength is usually the first to come and then you progress through your pitches.”

Given how early it is in Spring Training, Johnson said he “can’t complain” with how he’s throwing, so long as his arm feels good after Monday’s test.

“By throwing bullpens and stuff you really can’t gage because it’s not the same intensity of pitching in a game,” he said.  “So, [I'll] see how the body reacts, I’m sure I’ll be fine. Everything feels good.”

Miggi: Bring on the games

Manager Dave Trembley said today that he wants to keep the soon-to-be regular fixture of Miguel Tejada and Cesar Izturis together as often as possible this spring.

“The more times I can play them together in the spring, I think the better,” Trembley said.

Tejada, who has been taking extra early work with infield coach Juan Samuel told me  earlier this week that he is progressively feeling more comfortable at third base, and is eager to try things at game speed.

“I’m comfortable, now I can’t wait for the games to start,” Tejada said. “In practice now I’m fine, I don’t have a problem, I feel comfortable and I’m excited to be there. I’m waiting for the games to get started because it’s different.”

Tejada acknowledged that fielding the bunt will still be hard for him in the beginning, but there are other areas of the hot corner he feels he has pretty under control.

“It’s not difficult to see the ball coming, no matter how hard it’s coming, [and] going to the side is the same as shortstop,” Tejada said. “I think going forward for the bunt is the big [one], [and] something I’m going to start working on.”

Trembley said his plan for Tejada this spring is similar to that of the rest of the regular position players: balancing playing time with rest.

“[I]try to stay away as best I can from playing guys in back-to-back
games early,” Trembley said. “After that, start playing guys more innings and
working into playing back-to-back games. So, at the end of camp, guys
have played three in a row and are up to nine innings.”

Trembley said he wants to start Izturis and Tejada in the same Spring Training games so the pair can get familiar with each other. He also plans on keeping them back at the Orioles training complex together during certain road trips, so the pair can continue to work alongside each other.

On Sunday, Trembley said he wasn’t sure exactly how many starts he would give Tejada at third base this spring.

“I know he’s going to have to get game time at third, but I think you’re
going to have to balance it with being practical and realize that he’s a
veteran player and an older guy,” Trembley said. “These games don’t count. You want him
ready for the season.”

Catching up with Koji

Koji Uehara was pleased with his performance in today’s live batting practice session, saying through interpretor Jiwon Bang that he was able to command the ball better than his last outing.

Although manager Dave Trembley has previously raved about Uehara’s conditioning, Koji said it was “tough to tell” whether he was in better shape this spring than at the same time last year.

“One thing I can tell you is that the way I’m approaching it from last season, as a starter and as a bullpen guy, is different,” he said. “The number of pitches, stuff like that.”

A former closer in Japan, the Orioles will use Koji in a relief role this season, as their projected starting rotation includes Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman.

“Koji loooked good again,” Trembley said. “[His ball was] down, threw some good splits.”

Roberts takes first swings of spring

Brian Roberts took swings during the Orioles live batting practice on Sunday for the first time since being diagnosed with a small herniated disc in his lower back.The Orioles leadoff hitter, Roberts progressively swung with more authority as he rotated through the team’s five stations, taking some good hacks in particular off infield coach Juan Samuel.

“I always do BP fairly easy, I’ve tried to increase the intensity a little bit as I went, kind of every round,” Roberts said. “But most importantly [you] just try to get your body moving in that direction at a little higher rate than off the tee or flips or whatever.”

Roberts took cuts from both sides of the plate, and was encouraged with the results from Sunday’s workout.

“Anytime you are coming off of any type of injury that psychological part is as much as the
physical part,” he said.


“It got better. The physical confidence as well as the psychological part…the more you [take swings], the more confidence you get and the more effort you are able to put in.”

The 32-year-old Roberts began experiencing nagging back spasms during his offseason workouts at the Athletes’ Performance Institute in Arizona, and was originally misdiagnosed with kidney stones before doctors found the herniated disc a week later.

Roberts said on Tuesday that he had hoped to be able to swing a bat against live pitching within the next week.  Prior to Sunday’s workout, the Orioles second baseman had been a
regular fixture at fielding practice and in the cages, and was only limited in swinging the bat during BP.

“That’s the last phase, start hitting live,” manager Dave Trembley said of Roberts’ program. “So, it was good to get that started [on Sunday].”

With the Orioles set to play an intrasquad game on Monday and open Grapefruit League play against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, the timetable for Roberts’ return is still undecided.

 “I don’t know [when Roberts will get in games],” Trembley said “I will wait until I see what [head athletic trainer Richard Bancells] tells me, what [Roberts] tells me. I can’t put a time frame on it.”

For now Roberts said the plan is to slowly increase his work load and intensity, and try to
limit the stopping and starting action that often results from waiting around in between turns at the plate.

“I don’t think I’m going to start hacking off pitchers throwing 95 [miles per hour] yet ,” Roberts said. “But we will increase with the batting practice and the intensity and maybe a few more swings as well.”

Shields, Guthrie to face off

Jeremy Guthrie 
is tabbed to start Wednesday’s game
against the Rays and said he was informed of the decision about a week ago.

Tampa Bay will send RHP James Shields to the mound on March 3 (with starter Matt Garza also expected to throw) and Jeff Niemann will get the start on the 4th.

Trembley said last week that the team will use a mix of younger guys and veterans and try to stick with each pitchers’ individual schedule.

“Some
of the guys you will see pitch on the 1st will probably be ready to
pitch on the 6th,” Trembley said. “And there is some consideration early
here in camp that we may not want some of the guys to pitch against
division opponents if we can possibly avoid it.”

The Orioles have an intrasquad game on Monday– I
blogged the pitching lineups
for both teams yesterday– that will go seven innings and feature 14 different hurlers.

Updated: Bergesen Throws off the Mound

It’s downpouring and windy, but luckily I was the only reporter with the foresight to bring an umbrella.  The reporters watched from a small awning as Brad Bergesen threw to Matt Wieters amid backup catcher Chad Moeller announcing, “Ladies and gentleman, Brad Bergesen.”

Bergesen looked comfortable in his first mound session since injuring his shoulder. He tossed a normal length session under the watchful eye of pitching coach Rick Kranitz.

“It was like he didn’t miss a beat,” Kranitz said.”If you told me he hadn’t thrown in five months, I would have said, ‘You’re a liar.’ He was good.”

Bergersen threw 28 pitches, mostly fastballs, although Kranitz said he was pushing to throw more. The 24-year-old Bergesen estimated he was throwing at about 75 percent and was pleasantly surprised with his location and sink.

“I was a little surprised about it, didn’t know what to expect,” Bergesen said of his first mound toss since the fateful commercial in December. “I was just getting up there and getting the cobwebs out of there, but I was able to get the ball down and throw my two seamer.”

Added Wieters: “He had his sink back already, he was able to locate the fastball which is the biggest thing coming back [and] getting back on the mound.”

Manager Dave Trembley said Bergesen’s session made a “gray day sunny” for him, and for now the plan is for Bergesen to throw two more side sessions before a live batting practice.

“I think we all just wanted to get through this phase,” Trembley said, following Saturday’s session.  “I was confident he was going to be OK, but the questions weren’t going to be answered fully until he got up on the mound.”

Given Bergesen’s impressive first go-around, Wieters said he “definitely” thought the right-hander would be ready for the beginning of the season.

“He’s going to get his work in for sure,” Wieters said.”Bergy’s a guy who has his command and he will be ready to go Day 1 [of the season].”

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Koji's Conditioning & B-Rob's Back

Koji Uehara threw a bullpen session today that left manager Dave Trembley raving about how strong the right-hander looked.

“He looks quick with his arm,” Trembley said. “He
has late life on his pitches. That’s what he looked like at the
beginning of [last] season. We need him to continue that for us.”

Trembley also noted that Uehara seems better prepared to deal with the rigors of pitching in the American League East.

“He’s more integrated into what the
program is here,” Trembley said.  “And he must have done an awful lot of work in the
off-season because last year I think it was new for him and he didn’t
really know what to expect. This year it looks like he’s come in with a
whole lot better idea of what the routine is here.”

I guess Koji’s new trainer is paying off. Although, Koji has opted to workout with the team this year, and I’ve been told last spring that wasn’t always the case. Maybe there really is something to that strength in numbers expression…

 ****

When Trembley was asked about Brian Roberts’ timeline, he said he was going to check in with hitting coach Terry Crowley to see what the plan was. So, I sought out Crow with fellow reporter Roch Kubato, and Crowley’s plan right now isn’t concrete. Seems he’s playing things by ear, although Crowley sounded less optimistic than Roberts about when the second baseman would take live batting practice. Roberts had said on Tuesday that he had hoped to start taking BP within a week. It’s something that is possible, but I got the feeling from Crowley that that maybe too soon. In the meantime, he’s going to continue to soft toss, hit in the cage and take fielding practice.

 

March 1: Orioles break in Ed Smith Stadium

With manager Dave Trembley as proud commisioner, the Orioles will play their inaugral intrasquad game at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday, March 1 at 12:30 p.m. The game is open to the public with a small donation to the Boys & Girls club. The team will conduct a clinic for the local chapter of the club, as part of their ongoing effort to remain active in the
Sarasota community.
 
Gary Allenson and Richie Hebner will serve as managers and their will be a draft of sorts taking place sometime in the next few days. Trembley said pitching coach Rick Kranitz already has drawn up a first draft of what pitchers will be used, and he expects to go over that later tonight.

Since the team isn’t playing an intrasquad game on the 2nd, Trembley expected the arms to be a mix of younger guys and veterans and said the team will try to slot guys so they stay on four and five days rest.

“Some of the guys you will see pitch on the 1st will probably be ready to pitch on the 6th,” Trembley said. “And there is some consideration early here in camp that we may not want some of the guys to pitch against division opponents if we can possibly avoid it.”

The Orioles open up Spring Training play on March 3 versus Tampa Bay. After a pair of games with the Rays, they host Pittsburgh before traveling to Lakeland to play the Tigers on the 6th.

Back to Basics: Trembley Emphasizing Bunts

It’s not a usual sight to see Nick Markakis bunting in the batting cage, but that’s exactly what the Orioles right fielder was doing for a portion of Wednesday’s workout. Unlike Spring Trainings of the past, manager Dave Trembley has gone out of his way to emphasize bunting in the Orioles daily camp routine.  Trembley said the bunting station, which is done in the two netted cages, is one of five rotations the position players go to out on the field.

“I’m trying to add some things here that will be an emphasis on the team, and allowing us to be in a position to win more games,” Trembley said. “It’s the little things that obviously were prominent that might not have gotten done the way we wanted to get it done last year. So, let’s brush up on it in Spring Training, but lets also emphasize the importance of it.”

When a team is winning and fundamentally sound, you never hear about these little things. But, as Trembley pointed on Wednesday, when the fundamentals go by the wayside like the Orioles’ did at times last year, it becomes a sore spot.

“I take it real personal because I’ve made my bread and butter on being a guy that has taught fundamentals and been an instructor and a teacher and has emphasized that being a part of the game,” Trembley said. “And I think sometimes when you get to this level, it’s not done the way you want it to get done. 

“I told the ballclub [Tuesday], ‘I’ve got to do things better, I’ve got to make it better for them. And so I’m going to ask their cooperation.”

 *The Orioles also spent a good chunk of Wednesday’s workout defending the bunt, with all the pitchers and corner infielders getting in some work. Mark Hendrickson’s move got him a glowing recommendation from Trembley, who raved: “that’s how it’s done”.

*Half of the team’s staff, except for Chris Tillman  threw a short bullpen session before going out to throw live batting practice. Trembley said the rest of the pitchers will throw on Thursday, and Brad Bergesen will also throw the first of what’s expected to be his final two flat ground sessions.

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