Trembley stresses patience at plate
Skipper believes Orioles' offense will heat up on road
BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Dave Trembley isn't too concerned that his team's batting average ranks 10th in the American League or that the Orioles are in the lower half in a number of statistical categories.
And, he won't blame it on the cold and rainy weather that's dogged the O's at home and in places like Chicago and Seattle. Trembley is more concerned about how his club hits in the clutch -- because that's what he feels will be the key for his team.
"I think it's more [about] timely hitting," Trembley said. "You need the two-out hit with guys on base. That's what you need. That seems to relax everybody and break the ice and open it up. And, obviously, we need to do a better job when there's a guy on third and less than two outs, and find a way to get the guy in. Those kind of things probably are areas that I'm more concerned with."
The Orioles had a .252 average in the first month of the season. They also ranked 11th in the league in runs scored, hits and RBIs.
But they were first in steals (27), fifth in homers (28) and sixth in doubles (49), triples (4) and total bases (375), often using extra-base hits to manufacture runs or big innings. This team won't be like the Earl Weaver-led Orioles, who loved the three-run homer, but it keeps guys on base on a regular basis.
That's why Trembley wants the Orioles to be more patient at the plate, to wait for their pitch and then do something with it. That hasn't happened as much as he'd like in April.
"You've got to get a good pitch and you've got to hit [it]," Trembley said. "From what I see, when we get our pitch, we don't hit."
Trembley is hoping that the Orioles will start to hit better on their upcoming 10-game road trip to Anaheim, Oakland and Kansas City that starts on Friday.
"I think the bats are going to start heating up on this road trip," Trembley said. "The weather's going to be tremendous, it's gong to be big crowds, nice ballparks. We're going to have some early hitting sessions on the road."
Trembley stressed that he wants balance and that the Orioles can get power from several different spots. Adam Jones hit a two-run game-tying homer in the fourth inning of Thursday's game -- his second of the season, and he bats in the bottom half of the order.
The Orioles likely won't have a 35-homer guy this season, but Trembley said he's got several guys who can give him at least 10 homers -- balance that can help the team.
"You really can't count on the same guy every day, every night," Trembley said. "I think when you do that, you're looking for trouble."
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.