As most of you have heard by now, the Orioles have officially dismissed Dave Trembley as manager of the ballclub. I wish Dave well, he seems like a pretty decent guy and has said all the right things during this ever continuing downward spiral but this was way overdue. I didn’t like it when he was originally named the manager and his interim tag was removed, and then I really didn’t like it when he was given an extension. Trembley’s in-game strategy and tactics were awful. His management of the bullpen bordered on straight up insanity. He played matchups far too strictly and cemented pitchers into roles despite saying he didn’t want to do that. Cases in point: Jason Berken has been an effective reliever this season, one of our most effective. He was cast as a long man and would go long stretches of not pitching at all because he would only be used in early exits by the starter (which we haven’t had that many of this season). Matt Albers, Mark Hendrickson, and Cla Meredith have not been effective relievers this season. Matt Albers seems to have a spot on the roster cemented and he keeps being brought into high leverage situation despite continued failure. He leads the fucking team in appearances! Really?!?! Matt Albers is your relief ace Trembley. This organization needs to sack up and start converting some failed starters into relivers. We don’t have room on the big club for all the starting prospects that are on their way anyway. They did a good thing by finally moving Hernandez there as Jjaks pointed out. At first it looked like he was going to assume the splinter-ass role that Berken had been in until they did bring him into a tight situation against New York on Monday. He pitched well enough to get them out of the jam but Miguel Tejada pulled a Miguel Tejada and threw a routine ball into the dirt and Ty Wigginton did his best Ty Wigginton and couldn’t pick it. Prior to that he had barely been used and other less effective guys were getting more work. Hernandez has power stuff and he can be a dominant force in the pen, they need to take off the kid gloves and find out. I think they will like what happens. Despite that we are getting about league average innings pitched per start out of our our starters, Trembley was still leading the league in pitching changes last I checked, he continually found ways to find the reliever that was going to be ineffective that night. No matter how good a guy looked as soon as a guy came to the plate on the opposite side that pitcher was getting pulled. It became quite ridiculous. When you get 5 different pitchers into every game you are going to find at least one who just doesn’t have it that night. It is the nature of pitching, especially relief pitching.
Dave Trembley’s lineup tendencies have also been on the crazy side as well. Nick Markakis is a 2 hitter. His career numbers profile best as a top of the order hitter, not a middle of the order hitter. Granted, Trembley doesn’t have much as far as middle of the order threats this year since what was supposed to be our middle of the order hitters going forward (Wieters, Reimold) flopped big time. We do have two hitters that would be better suited than Nick in Wigginton and Scott. They are also opposite handed hitters which would make it easier to hit them 3 and 4 respectively. Trembley however finds it much more logical to bat them in the bottom half of the lineup most of the year and now has seen fit to bat Tejada at 2 instead of at 4 where he has been most of the year, despite that he is a double play machine and can’t get on base. Ideally, Tejada is at the bottom of the lineup or not playing for the Orioles at all (my preference since I blasted his and Atkins signing). In the end lineup order doesn’t make that much of a difference but it’s still mildly frustrating. what is really frustrating is having to watch Lugo and Izturis in the same lineup ever. Brian can’t get back soon enough, luckily it appears he is on track for a return in the middle of June. that will force out Atkins and Lugo. I hope it actually means the end of Atkins roster spot altogether, he is as horrible as everyone but Andy MacPhail expected. I don’t expect the team to fare much better under Samuel but they may just by getting guys back from injury in the coming days. At this point I’ll take Anthony Rendon in the 2011 draft, fuck it. Speaking of the draft, how awesome a time did the Nationals pick to be brutally bad? Getting two once in a lifetime type prospects in consecutive drafts? That has to feel pretty good right now.
With Trembley now gone I’m sure it will take me no time to start bitching about Juan Samuel, the good news is he probably won’t have the job long enough for any real outcry from me. That is my hope anyway, I also hope to see some urgency from the players, someone get a little pissed off that you got a decent human being fired and do something about it. I also hope that Terry Crowley’s position is really being looked at as well. This teams approach at the plate is beyond bad and has been for years. Is the cause that Crowley teaches an overly aggressive style or is it that the Orioles target overly aggressive hitters? I think it is probably a combination of both. Either way I think it time for a change in philosophy organization wide. You get on base, you score runs, it is a simple concept. The Orioles are last in the league in pitches per plate appearance, they are also last in runs per game…
What is most depressing about the team this year is it wasn’t just Orioles fans that were optimistic as in most past years. Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both had us taking big steps forward. Our recent prospects are getting national attention like never before, and we are failing worse than ever before. What the fuck is going on?