Wedge pushing his vets and rookies
Sep 3, 2011, 12:54 PM
All season long we have seen Eric Wedge try to take as much pressure of his hitters as he possibly could and give them the freedom to go out there and swing the bat. If there is one thing he doesn’t want it is for them to be undecided or in between once they step into the batter’s box. They should know that they get more points so to speak for swinging and missing at the right pitch than they do taking it. Again, from what I have seen this year Wedge has tried to give them the freedom to swing.
I asked Wedge today how he can give that freedom to perform to the pitchers. It is not as clear cut as just letting it go out on the mound when they release the ball. Wedge said we saw a big example last night with Jason Vargas who struggled to get through five innings. There was a reason he was left out there as long as he was.
“It would have been real easy to go get him early on in that fifth inning,” Wedge said. “He was already up there at 100 pitches, hell I let him throw 115-116 in five and you know me, I don’t do that but I did that for him for the rest of this year, for next year, to give him every opportunity to do what he needed to do to fight through it. To find it.”
After the fifth Wedge had a long talk with Vargas on the bench that left Vargas wanting to go back out for the sixth. That wasn’t going to happen after the number of pitches he threw but it was an example of the manager sticking in there with a struggling player trying to get everything out of him. The game was lost but there was the next game to look forward to.
“The point is we are trying to do something here so I have got to have the discipline and the guts to allow that to happen.” Wedge said.
“When everybody in the world is calling for me to go get somebody, if I leave him out there you better be damn sure there is a reason I am leaving him out there and you can use that with so many other situations too. There is a method in the madness because it is all going to come back to us. Why are you playing Casper Wells when he is 0 for whatever? Because you want him to have a day like he had yesterday to figure it out. Otherwise what are you doing? Just keep spinning. We cant keep spinning. We have been doing that here too long.”
Rookies, veterans who could be a part of the future, it doesn’t matter. In Wedge’s mind there is still plenty to be gained in the final month of the season. An example would be with Miguel Olivo who is on pace to set a career high in games caught. I asked Wedge if he planned on perhaps giving him a few extra days off the rest of the way. Turns out that is not the plan.
“I want to push him. I do.” Wedge said. “I think he has earned it, he takes care of himself, I think it is going to come back to us next year too. It’s part of the big puzzle. I have got a thought process there too. (laughs). When I tell him, I will tell you.”