Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire sat upright in his swivel chair in his office Sunday morning surrounded by reporters. It was silent.
Gardenhire looked left and right and waited for someone to break the ice.
“Okay well I guess we’re good this morning,” he joked.
That was all the room needed. Even though the morning started off quiet, Gardenhire had plenty to say prior to the Tigers’ 12-2 home loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Here’s what Gardenhire said:
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Joe Jimenez needs to regain confidence
After being asked if he wanted to put reliever Joe Jimenez in more low leverage situations, Gardenhire said yes but that’s a tough task. He wants to rebuild the 24-year-old’s confidence.
“It seems easy when you say it, but when the games going on it’s not easy to find the right leverage situations,” Gardenhire said. “It’s going to be about getting him through an inning and confidence. So we’re gonna try to pick and choose our moments, but ultimately he’s gonna have to go get big league hitters out and get his confidence back.”
“He’s always gone out there with confidence and right now the kid’s shaken, I don’t care who you are.”
Jimenez pitched one scoreless inning and struck out Nelson Cruz in the Tigers loss on Sunday, lowering his ERA to 5.13 on the season.
Ryan Carpenter has done a better job of locating his pitches
Despite having a rough day on the mound later in the afternoon, Ryan Carpenter received some nice words on his behalf pregame.
“His mechanics have gotten a little better,” Gardenhire said. “He kind of changed his delivery and the pace of his game is going better now.”
But he did foreshadow Carpenter’s struggles against the Twins.
“It’s going to be a challenge today against a really really good hitting team,” he said. “Like these Twinkies, and I can say that now. I hated it when I managed them but now I like to say it.”
In 3⅔ innings, Carpenter gave up eight earned runs off 10 hits and only struck out one Twin.
Keep up the pace
Gardenhire had the room laughing when he told his reasoning on why he wants the Tigers to pitch with a quick pace. He doesn’t expect his pitchers to throw right when the batter steps into the box. But he recalled the dark days of slow pace.
“I know, when I played and I stood out there behind a guy like Ron Darling (former pitcher for the New York Mets), after three innings me and Wally Backman were screaming at him ‘get on the mound and throw the ball!’ ”
Slow pace can cause the infield to slip up, which is something he doesn’t want for the Tigers.
“When the pace is so slow, that’s when mistakes happen,” he said. “People miss balls, I know I missed them because of Ron Darling, he used to kill me.”
But don’t worry: Gardenhire and Darling are still friends to this day.
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Published at Mon, 10 Jun 2019 00:02:01 +0000