The clubhouse is closed to the media again this morning because the players have a meeting - on media training.
Cue the scene from Bull Durham.
“I’m just happy to be here.”
“I want to help the team anyway I can.”
“I give 100 percent every time I’m out there.”
“I’ll just take it one game at a time.”
(Bonus Quote): “I’ll just take it one game at a time, and whatever happens happens.”
The games haven’t started yet, but Brandon Erbe has been one of the most impressive pitchers in camp. Manager Dave Trembley has brought up his name twice to reporters - and without using any clichÃƒÂ©s.
Trembley has noticed that Erbe refined his delivery, which used to cause the young right-hander to practically jump off the mound. He had more hang time than Kobe.
“I’ve kind of been working on it for the past couple years, really, but this offseason was the first time I was really able to convert it to being on the mound and not have to think about it constantly,” said Erbe, the 22-year-old McDonogh School grad who posted a 2.34 ERA and struck out 62 in 73 innings at Double-A Bowie.
“When I’ve done it in the past, I’ve been able to control it in the bullpen, but games is when the adrenaline starts taking over and I’d have trouble again. This past winter I spent a lot of time working on it getting to be muscle memory. It’s been kind of a long road from where I started mechanically, but I’m excited about the way I feel about it right now.”
Erbe, who’s had some health issues since the Orioles took him in the third round of the 2005 draft, described his old delivery as “pretty violent.” It wouldn’t steal your wallet, but it would rob you of innings once your shoulder started aching.
“I literally would jump both feet off the mound in some situations,” he said. “I’ve been trying to limit that and stay smoother toward the plate, especially with the way my delivery was. It would cause a lot of injuries and everything. I’m trying to smooth it out. So far it’s been going pretty well, but I think the true test will be once the games start and the adrenaline picks up a little bit. I have to keep it calm.”
Erbe probably will be assigned to Bowie again, though he’s hoping for a promotion to Triple-A Norfolk. He might have to wait on that one, but he certainly can force the issue - without using violence.