Pregame Showalter

Here’s a sampler platter from manager Buck Showalter’s pregame session with the media. Napkins are optional. A cold beverage is recommended.

On the AL East standings:
“I see us three games out in the loss column. I think it’s the only division with four teams .500 or better. I think it’s that time of year where most teams start kind of seeking their level and separation starts happening one way or the other. I look at it from our perspective more than anything. I’d much rather be looking down in the other direction instead of looking up, but all things considered, we’re still in touch and we have potential there. I think it’s more about where you are day-to-day. You’re constantly watching and you know what the Yankees and Blue Jays and the Rays and the Red Sox are doing. I don’t think any of that would matter if we don’t take care of our business and stay focused on that.”

On whether he could talk about a pending roster move:
“No, but I know what you have to ask. We’ve got some options, but it could change. Felix (Pie) had some dental issues that we wanted to get our arms around today, but that seems not to be an issue, so I was able to get that lineup out. He went to the dentist and everything seems to be fine now. We just wanted to make sure we don’t go on a road trip and have it pop up out there. That’s why it’s a moving target. We won’t catch Matt (Wieters) tomorrow.”

On whether current roster would be more suited to carry a backup catcher:
“We’re getting there. I think part of it was some of the challenges that (Brian Roberts) had physically last year that we wanted to make sure we were covered there. I’m glad that we had what we had in reserve. It’s been moved around a little bit, shuffled here and there. But I think we’re getting closer with the exception of Robbie. When we get Derrek (Lee) back, and we hope Robbie is not too far behind that, and (Brian) Matusz. You always put it down on paper. It seems like the whole year, it’s just about time you’re ready to get into a roster that really gives you a lot of flexibility to do things. You just can’t seem to ever get there. I think we’re getting closer to that with the exception of Robbie. Let’s just hope Brian has a good outing and shows us what we need to see and Derrek in a day or two is taking some swings and feeling good. I know he’s eligible on the 1st, but this type of injury, I’m going to feel a lot better when he has a couple of days down there of swinging the bat where he doesn’t feel anything.”

On Roberts:
“We’re going to sit down and talk a little bit after batting practice. I think he’s frustrated, I’m sure, with everything. It’s expected. I’d much rather have him be that way. Believe me, Robbie’s not going to be real happy with it, I can tell you that. Plus, he probably wasn’t real happy with flying to Pittsburgh and back. He’d rather go with us when we play there.”

On whether Robert Andino’s frustration over popping up last night’s bunt is another sign of maturity:
“Robby’s been good. He’s got his priorities. I think as much as Willie (Randolph) and Kirb (Wayne Kirby) and I on the back end of it talk to him about what he needs to bring and really define it, exactly what’s expected, he knows that’s one of the things and he works on it. And they were out early again today, four or five of them on that. It’s not so much ... execution’s one thing, but execution wasn’t there because of the selectivity. It was bunt a strike, and I think that’s what he should be and was frustrated with. I think the good thing is he understands that’s what he’s supposed to bring, one of the things. We should be able to assume certain things. It’s not easy to go up there and the whole idea, a pitcher’s going to throw a high fastball there, especially throwing 94-96 like that guy, it’s hard to do. It’s also hard to hit. Maybe in years past, Robby would’ve felt differently. It’s been well-defined from Willie and everybody what he needs to bring, and for the most part he’s been bringing it. Last night was an exception.”

On whether he’d consider batting J.J. Hardy atop the order:
“If it gets to be a point where it isn’t working at all. Anything’s going to be a drop-off from Brian, but I’m not going to say we wouldn’t make an adjustment. But we kind of like having J.J. where he is right now. Talking to him and looking at some things, in a perfect world we kind of like having his bat down there, but we could move him up. The foot speed might be an issue compared to those other two guys, especially when you’ve got Jonesy (Adam Jones) then Nicky (Markakis) and Vladi (Guerrero) sitting there behind him. But our options aren’t vast.”

blog comments powered by Disqus