06/30/09 8:56 PM ET
Trembley weighs in on All-Star picks
Skipper would like to see Sherrill, Johnson, Jones on AL squad
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
Orioles manager Dave Trembley weighed in Tuesday on who he thinks should represent his team at the All-Star Game, being held on July 14 in St. Louis, but he made sure to say that he has had no contact with and no advice to impart to American League manager Joe Maddon.
With that said, Trembley maintained that three Orioles have separated themselves from the pack. He would most like to see outfielder Adam Jones -- who was forced to exit Tuesday's game after crashing into the wall -- or relievers George Sherrill and Jim Johnson make the squad, singling out two players acquired from Seattle and one homegrown reliever.
Jones, who is in the middle of a breakout season, ranks 11th among outfielders in the AL All-Star balloting. As pitchers, neither Johnson nor Sherrill is involved in the fan vote, but they may be elected to the game through peer voting or a decision by Maddon, who will flesh out the AL's bench.
Trembley's mention of Johnson may be a surprise nationally, but it makes a lot of sense locally. The right-hander has been one of Baltimore's most consistent relievers over the last two seasons, slotting into the eighth inning right in front of Sherrill. So far this season, Johnson is 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA through 32 appearances.
"There's a lot of good players, a lot of good starting pitchers," said Trembley, speaking about why it may be tough for Johnson to earn All-Star acclaim. "I think that's what makes it difficult for middle relievers to make it."
The most likely All-Star candidate appears to be Sherrill, who has saved 16 games in 18 opportunities this season. Sherrill, who was Baltimore's lone All-Star last year, has posted a 2.05 ERA.
"I'd like to be able to get him out there a little bit more. I wish we had more save opportunities," said Trembley. "The rest has been good for him, and his ability to repeat his fastball has been tremendous."
Trembley credits Sherrill and pitching coach Rick Kranitz with turning around the southpaw's season. Earlier in the year, Trembley decided to take Sherrill out of his ninth-inning role, but after a few practice sessions and a few easy saves, the veteran was restored to his prior status. And ever since, he's been unhittable.
"I think his velocity has been about the same, maybe a little bit better. It certainly looks quicker," said Trembley. "The ball looks like it comes out of his hand with more life. We said this yesterday or the day before, but he's kept his pitches down. With the three-out stints that he's had, his pitches have been down."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.