Results tagged ‘ Juan Samuel ’

Bergesen's day

Brad Bergesen had a rough outing in his first start back since being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk for the second time this season.  When asked after the Orioles 6-5 win if Bergesen would get to make his next start interim manager Juan Samuel said, at this point, yes.

“He only gave us 4 innings,” Samuel said. “He needs to throw his bullpen. As it is now, yes, he is going to get his next start. You hope he can relax and give us some innings next time.”

After throwing 36 pitches through the first two frames, Bergesen tossed 29 in the third, allowing four runs and putting the Orioles in an early hole for the second time in less than 24 hours.

He issued a leadoff walk to No. 9 batter Ian Desmond, and plunked Cristian Guzman one out later. Ryan Zimmerman’s ball found a hole on the left side of the infield, with Cesar Izturis making a great back-handed stop but couldn’t throw to third in time. Izturis’ play was one of several just-misses for the Orioles, who weren’t charged with any errors but had several chances to get out of the inning.

Bergesen allowed another run in the fourth inning and hasn’t allowed less than four earned runs in a start since he held Kansas City to three runs over 6 2/3 on May 17.

“We still didn’t see a whole lot of sink, and we know he needs that,” Samuel said.  “He needs to sink the ball. We saw some earlier in the game, but as the game went on his pitches started staying up. He needs to get his sinker back. That’s how he’s going to have success.”
Bergesen said he felt like he had a decent sinker for most of the game, but had a few mistakes that proved costly.

“I felt like I had all my pitches, I felt like my arm angle was good,” Bergesen said. “But really that leadoff walk in the third inning and then that pitch to Dunn were really my two big mistakes.”

“He didn’t have it all the time [on Saturday], but he showed signs of the old Bergy sinker,” catcher Matt Wieters said.  “Especially when we’d go away from left-handers. We’ve got to get back to where we can throw it into right-handers as well. It will come.”

Bergesen is 3-4 with a 6.83 ERA in 13 games and has had two separate stints in Triple-A Norfolk to work on reestablishing his sinker. While Samuel said Bergesen is in line to make his next start, it’s something to keep an eye on. He is next scheduled to pitch against Boston at Fenway Park, and if he’s not right that could be an ugly game, damaging to the Orioles and to Bergesen’s confidence.

A true rebuild & Samuel's thoughts’s Tim Kurkjian writes what most Orioles fans have been thinking most of the season: this could be the worst of 13 straight years of losing.

Last night Brian Matusz took the loss, his eighth of the year, and you have to wonder how long the Orioles will continue to flail about before a permanent successor to Dave Trembley is put in place. I don’t pretend to know when that will be. Heck, I don’t even know if Andy MacPhail knows. (He said yesterday it all depends on the process).

But I think we can all agree that at this point in the season it’s becoming damaging for these young guys to be marred in the losing culture that has swamped the Orioles.

My question is, how do you turn this around? Do you wait this season out, or do you make a move at the midseason mark and forget about the first 81 games? Do you get rid of everyone who isn’t a part of the Orioles’ future (ie. make a flurry of trades)?


I recently sat down with Juan Samuel for a little Q & A when I was in San Diego. It was going to be an off day story, but sometimes you have to let other news dictate what goes up. So, before this all gets stale, I wanted to share a few of his more interesting comments on what’s going on here and what he reasonably expects going forward…(Note: that this was done before Wednesday’s failed bunt attempt with Matt Wieters. So please spare me the emails about Samuel’s bunting strategy) When you took over the team was already 15-39. How much of a challenge is it to managing a team that far in the hole, and how much can you, as a first-time manager feasibly expect to turn things around?
Samuel:  Honestly, I’ve taken the approach that anything that I can do to improve the attitude, to change the philosophy and mentality of some guys, is a plus for whoever might take over. Or whatever the decision might be.
To me, it’s a no- lose situation because we were already in the situation that we were in, and I’m using this as a learning experience. I’m enjoying it. I don’t think you know you can do something until you start doing it.  You see things that you could do and things that are working and you say, ‘Wait a minute, I think I can do this.’ But until you are put into this situation you aren’t sure how close you are.

That’s what I’m using this for. For me, its keeping those guys positive, continuing to push and encourage them and have them play a little better. Given the Orioles injuries and lack of depth, you have a bench that’s short on big-league experience and productivity. Does it make you think twice to call on guys like Scott Moore, who is 1-for-19 with 10 strikeouts as a pinch-hitter, or Lou Montanez -who is batting .140 — in critical situations?

Samuel: Not at all. Because, to me, this is what I have. This is the right guy; a righty [pitcher] up there, Scotty is the left-handed guy we have right now. It’s not an easy job to come off the bench, but I’m going to do it.

Those guys are here. Yes, you’d rather have better choices, but this is what we have. And I’m going to use them in situations probably where they haven’t been used before. But I’m not afraid to throw guys out there. I’m really not. With that being said, this team has yet to win a series since you took over. Have you seen any improvements, be it in the team’s fundamentals or the general attitude?

Samuel: One thing that I’ve noticed is we’ve been able to run a little bit, we’ve been able to sacrifice [bunt] a little bit.

I remind them, ‘Hey don’t just anticipate or think I’m not going to do certain things. Just be prepared because I do anything at any moment. Be looking for something. I always remind them, we need to stay the course, continue to do what we do and be ready to run. I’ve seen some of those things and some of those guys run the bases the way I think you should run it. [They do need] to take advantage of the mistakes; take the extra base a little more. When you were named interim manager you talked about accountability and holding players responsible by calling them out. Has there been any of those situations with you as interim manager?

Samuel: Not yet. A lot of guys are passionate, a lot of guys are emotional. And sometimes when guys miss pitches down the middle, they show some passion, some frustration. And I played. I understand. But if you see certain things, repeating itself too much you have ways to get the message across. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has made it no secret that he values experience for the next Orioles manager. Given that this is your first shot at the helm, do you view this as a job interview, not just for the Orioles, but for the rest of baseball?

Samuel: Exactly. And if it doesn’t work out [in Baltimore] at least I know, ‘OK I could have done this differently. Next time I get a job I will do this’. You find out where things don’t work and you say ‘OK, I needed to do this’.

I got an opportunity from Andy to basically show to the folks out there to take notice, maybe a Latino player could manage. Because there’s not a whole lot of us

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Samuel: "time to push them to the limit"

New interim manager Juan Samuel just addressed the media in a press conference. He is addressing the team as I type this, and I’ll have more up later. But first, I wanted to give you his opening statement. In case you missed it, Samuel has a reputation as a no-nonense guy around the Majors. You can read more about that here.

“As Andy [MacPhail] said, the manager can only do so much, at some point the players have to be accountable, and believe me those guys do not want to be playing the way they are playing. It’s going to be most of these guys cut down on the mistakes that we are making, running bases right. Going back to the fundamentals of baseball.

That’s something I took pride on as a player, it’s something we constantly work on at Spring Training in the four years I’ve been here now. But for some reason, guys still don’t seem to be paying to many attention to the details of the game and we are going to be addressing the issues and these guys know that I will command that of them because they are a professional. Run hard at all times. We all expect those kind of things.

Like I said, we did not want to meet under these circumstances, but the front office feels that a change needed to be made and hopefully I can inject a spark into these players. They all know me very well know the kind of guy that I am. I relate to those guys very well, I consider myself one of those guys.

So, it’s an opportunity that I’m not taking lightly. And opportunity comes in all different ways, this is the way the opportunity has come to me and I have full intention to take advantage of this opportunity and see how far we can push these guys. And turn the page.
Let these guys know that hey, the season starts today, the past is the past, what we do from now on is what we are going to be judged on, and I have full intention to push these guys as hard as I can. Push them to the limit.”

Cliff notes on a crazy day

The Orioles sent out the press release this morning confirming that manager Dave Trembley has been fired and third base coach Juan Samuel will take over the club on an interim basis.

Triple-A Norfolk manager Gary Allenson will coach third base on an interim basis,and Bobby Dickerson will move takes over the Tides in Allenson’s place. Dickerson has been serving as the Orioles’ minor league infield coordinator and Latin America field coordinator. 

Players around MLB talk Juan Samuel

Baltimore announced on Friday that Dave Trembley has been dismissed from his role as manager, tasking former third base coach Juan Samuel with the reins to an underperforming and injury-plagued Orioles team that is a Major League-worst 15-39.

Here are some reactions from guys around the League who have played under Samuel…

“The last time I played against the Orioles I went to him and say, ‘Hey, when are you finally going to be a big league manager?’,” said Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, who played for Samuel in the Minors. “I’m happy for him. He’s a good man.”

“I learned a lot [from Samuel],” Gomez said of the ’06 season in Binghamton which Samuel managed to a second-place finish in the Eastern League.  

“He had a good association with the players. He was an active guy. He fit in, like he was one of you. He was always pumping me up, always teaching me, saying, ‘Be ready, you’re going to be in The Show soon.’ He made me feel good.”

Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said Samuel’s no-nonsense approach is a big part of his coaching philosophy.

“His chore’s going to be how to back it off a little,” Inge said  “Because he’s very intense, very intense.”

“In all the years that I’ve been around him, he definitely knows the game. He just hasn’t had a chance to be out front. So it’ll be interesting to see how he handles it. Good for him. He’s stuck it out. He’s been around the game long enough; he deserves it.”

Added current Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson: ” “He was a great guy, very positive, worked hard with the outfielders–that was his role when I was [in Detroit].”

“Outside of the other stuff, he’s been around the game for a long time as a player and as different kinds of coaches. If need be, he can definitely step into that [managerial] role.”

The 49-year-old Samuel is a former three-time National League All-Star and played 16 years in the Majors with Philadelphia (1983-89), the New York Mets (1989), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1990-92), Kansas City (1992, 95), Cincinnati (1993), Detroit (1994-95) and Toronto (1996-98).

Following his retirement as a player, Samuel coached first base for the Tigers in 1999 and moved into the third-base role four games in the ’02 season. He spent a combined seven years coach in Detroit before moving on prior to the 2006 season, where he lead the Mets’ Double-A Binghamton squad to a 70-69 mark. This is his fourth year with the Orioles. 

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.”