Results tagged ‘ Rich Dubee ’
Billmeyer might not have been the most high-profile coach on the big-league staff, but his presence loomed large in the clubhouse. Earlier this week, the Phillies announced pitching coach Rich Dubee will not return. It could lead to bullpen coach Rod Nichols being promoted to pitching coach, or the Phillies could go outside the organization to fill the spot.
Billmeyer joined the organization in 2000 as the Minor League catching coordinator before he joined former manager Larry Bowa’s staff as catching instructor in 2004. He served that role five seasons before he became bullpen coach in 2009. He held that position four seasons before the Phillies moved him into the dugout as catching coach this year.
Billmeyer, 49, was one of the most well-liked people in the clubhouse and organization because of his high-energy personality, positivity and sense of humor. It actually is why the Phillies moved him into the dugout this season.
Besides his regular duties, he simply had a knack for knowing when to keep things loose in the clubhouse. The Astros swept the Phillies in a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park in Aug. 2010 to drop them three games out of first place in the National League East. The Phillies then flew to San Diego to open a seven-game road trip. Billmeyer, sensing the team was down and tight, had players rolling on the ground before the series opener at PETCO Park, impersonating pitchers’ mannerisms on the mound.
The Phillies swept the series and finished the season 27-8.
Sure, it might have been coincidental, but he frequently brought levity to the clubhouse when it needed it.
Manager Ryne Sandberg must fill the coaching spots vacated by Dubee, Billmeyer and himself. He had been third base coach before the Phillies fired Charlie Manuel in August.
The Phillies announced this morning they will not renew his contract. Dubee had been pitching coach nine seasons, which is tied with Cy Perkins (1946-54) and Ray Rippelmeyer (1970-78) for the longest run in that position in franchise history.
The Phillies could make more coaching staff changes, although they said those announcements could come at a later date.
“Rich was a big part of a wonderful era here and in his nine years he served our organization very well,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “We believe it is time for change as we move forward. We thank Rich for his professionalism and contribution to the Phillies.”
Dubee’s fate seemed set the moment the organization fired Charlie Manuel on Aug. 16. He knows how the business works, and he probably figured new manager Ryne Sandberg wanted his own man in that spot.
“I’ve been fired [in the past],” Dubee said last month. “Life goes on, unfortunately. You don’t like to see it, but it’s been a heck of a run. Between watching Doc [Roy Halladay] pitch in a playoff game and Jamie Moyer win a World Series, 102 wins [in 2011] — there are a lot of highlights that Charlie’s had here that are very special, and we’ve spent them together. Those are special moments.”
Asked then about his future, he said, “I want to be in the big leagues, that’s for sure. I’d like to coach a few more years in the big leagues. I didn’t think I’d be here for eight-plus, so you never know what’s going to happen.”
The Phillies and Mets tied for sixth in the National League with a 4.06 ERA during Dubee’s nine-year run. He has worked with Cy Young winners, All-Stars, journeymen and no-namers.
“If you look at the players we’ve had pitching-wise, if we got them from somebody, how they were doing before they got here and how they pitched here,” Dubee said. “If we had them, how they pitched here and how they pitched when they went somewhere else, I think I’ve had a pretty good run of helping guys be successful. Part of that is having good talent. I’ve been very fortunate to have good talent, young and old.”
He handed Martin one of his baseball cards, which showed his 10.64 ERA in 2000 with the Blue Jays. It is the highest ERA for any pitcher in baseball history with 50 or more innings pitched in a single season.
“He wrote a little note on his card to Ethan, to remind this kid, that, you might be taking your lumps now, but there’s a lot of good that’s going to come down the road in the future if you continue to learn, continue to have the heart to go out there,” said Rich Dubee, who announced today Martin will finish the season in the bullpen. “Ethan definitely has the heart and the mound presence.”
Right-hander Tyler Cloyd will assume Martin’s spot in the rotation the remainder of the year.
“It doesn’t really click in until Halladay came over and said, ‘Hey, do you know holds the record for highest ERA with over 50 innings pitched in the big leagues in a year?’ I said no, and he said, ‘Well, I did,’” Martin said. “Then he came and handed me the card with a 10-point-something ERA and had it highlighted. When you look at that … I’m still upset with how I’ve done, but it makes you say, OK, there’s still a chance I can still be that starter or whatever I have to do. I’m just taking that in, and once I’m down there (in the bullpen) I’ll come in for an inning or whatever they want me to do and give it all I have.
“I was really stunned. Dubee told me to go look at (Greg) Maddux and (Tom) Glavine, and it was the same kind of situation. It’s crazy to think back and see what they did throughout their careers, and where Roy is now, and they had rough starts. I guess I learn from these last seven starts, and just build off of it.”
Martin went 2-4 with a 6.90 ERA in seven starts. It has been speculated Martin might end up in the bullpen because he has a big arm that could serve the Phillies well in the late innings.
Martin has been successful the first time through the lineup, but the longer he has pitched the less effective he has been. Opponents have hit just .200 (11-for-55) against him the first time they see him. He has walked just six, but struck out 23. But after the first time through the lineup, opponent have hit .324 (22-for-68) with 15 walks and 11 strikeouts.
“I think he’s a gem,” Dubee said. “I think he really is going to be a gem in this league. Right now he’s got a lot of innings. We’re just trying to protect him from the workload and also see what he looks like in the bullpen.
“I’m not afraid to put him in the eighth inning right now. Again, this is all trial and error. It will be interesting to see how he handles it. His stuff has played phenomenally well the first time through a lineup. I don’t know if it’s because of fatigue. I don’t know if it’s because he burns up too much energy, but his stuff shortens up the second and third time through. He will play some big role on a pitching staff. It will be a nice little change to take a different look at him.”
The Phillies bullpen had two encouraging months at the end of last season, which had nearly everybody in the organization optimistic about 2013.
It has not worked out that way.
The bullpen entered tonight’s series opener against the Padres at PETCO Park with a 4.67 ERA, which is the worst mark in baseball and the worst in Charlie Manuel’s nine-year tenure as manager. The Phillies will keep their fingers crossed regarding setup man Mike Adams, who signed a two-year, $12 million contract in December. He could require surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder. He will see Dodgers physician Neal ElAttrache tomorrow in Los Angeles after a recent MRI exam revealed changes in the labrum from a previous MRI.
“Our doctors are not recommending surgery right now, but we’ll see what ElAttrache says,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Rich Dubee said with Adams sidelined and little experience in the bullpen other than Jonathan Papelbon (494 career appearances) and Antonio Bastardo (192 career appearances), there will be no defined roles, although it appears Bastardo will be the team’s unofficial setup man. Justin De Fratus also could pitch in the eighth inning if there is a matchup of tough right-handed hitters.
Phillippe Aumont (34), De Fratus (37), Jake Diekman (37), J.C. Ramirez (one) and Joe Savery (28) have a combined 137 career appearances among them.
“We know who we have at the end,” said Dubee, referring to Papelbon. “We’ll pitch the rest to get to the end. We’ll see. We’ll mix and match probably as much as possible. If some guy gets on a hot roll, he may be closer to the end of the game. It’s an opportunity for all of these kids. A golden opportunity.”
Asked about the bullpen’s struggles, Dubee said, “It’s probably the youngest we’ve had. Even at the start it was young. Michael (Adams) was a question mark coming in after the (thoracic outlet syndrome) surgery. We felt good about the three guys at the back end. Chad (Durbin) was here to pick up some innings in the middle. That was an acquisition. (Jeremy) Horst got off to a bad start. (Raul) Valdes got off to a bad start. Those were two guys we got big years out of last year. That’s a crapshoot in baseball; trying to find the right bullpen pieces. After wear and tear, sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get.”
He said Roy Halladay‘s problems were a simple mechanical fix that Dubee simply could not find. He mentioned an encounter he had with Dubee in Spring Training, when Dubee yelled at him for trying to talk to his pitchers, although he claimed that did not make his criticism this morning personal. Williams, the former Phillies closer who currently is an analyst for MLB Network, also said he showed Kyle Kendrick his current change up grip, which has brought him great success. Kendrick denied that. It’s been well known Kendrick gives credit to former pitcher Justin Lehr, who learned the grip from Tim Hudson.
“He didn’t like the fact that I spoke with his pitchers at all about anything,” Williams told Angelo Cataldi. “It may be time for a new voice.”
Halladay answered back before tonight’s game at Citizens Bank Park.
“Coming from the mechanical wonder,” Halladay said. “Yeah, I strongly disagree. To come from a guy who’s not around, who’s not involved. He’s not involved in the conversations … honestly has no idea what’s going on. He really doesn’t. He has no idea what’s going on in the clubhouse, on the field between coaches and players. To make comments like that, it’s completely out of line. It really is. Rich Dubee, when I first came over, he taught me a change up. If I hadn’t had that coming over here I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had over here. Especially dealing with the injuries I’ve dealt with, if I didn’t have that pitch, if I didn’t have him working with me, I really would have been in a lot of trouble. In my opinion, it’s a statement that I feel like he needs to make amends for. I really do. There’s very few pitching coaches that I respect more than Rich Dubee. Watching Kyle Kendrick, the stuff that he’s learned, the way he’s grown, is because of Rich Dubee and it’s because of his work ethic and the way he goes about things. It really does upset me. It upsets me that guys outside of our group of guys that don’t understand what’s going on here make comments like that. Hopefully, it’s something he’ll learn from. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but he couldn’t be further from the truth. And I don’t think it’s the first time he’s been a little off base.”
Halladay was asked about the other times Williams has been off base.
“I’ve heard him criticize a lot of guys for mechanics,” Halladay said. “For a guy who’s never been a pitching coach, I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t go and look at any player in the Major Leagues and say, well, he should do it this way. I just don’t understand where that comes from. I really don’t. Former players, there were guys that had certain success doing it certain ways. There’s no one way to do things. To think that you know the one way to do it is a little bit arrogant. … What matters is your success and how guys get it done. It’s not mechanical. It’s a matter of confidence. There’s a lot of things that go into it. I really just feel he’s wrong on this one. I’m sure he’s not a bad guy. I’m sure he’s trying to do the best he can at his job, but I really feel like he was kind of off the mark on this one.”
Said Dubee: “That’s good. Maybe I hurt his feelings with the dust up, but I don’t know. Mitch has got a chance. He can apply to 30 teams (to be a pitching coach). You know? I’ve got no comment to that. Maybe he got upset because I spoke to him about getting involved in our pitching, where I don’t think he belongs. Maybe he’s upset at that. But I don’t think other people belong in our pitching. Again, like I said, he’s got a chance to submit a resume.”
It is no surprise he is as optimistic and upbeat as Halladay, Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro Jr.
Here is some of what he said:
Q: What do you make of the results and are you as optimistic as him?
A: What I make of the results is pretty much that whole game. They struck out 16 times and they put nine runs up on us. They hit a couple of mistakes and we paid for it. But as far as Doc’s stuff, I feel very good about it. I think he continues to build. Like I said his last two outings in spring training, he’s starting to build momentum. Is he there yet? No. But I thought his stuff continues to improve. The one thing he’s not doing, he’s not commanding it like he needs to.
Q: Is there an issue with Roy trusting his stuff?
A: I don’t know if it’s an issue of trusting his stuff as much as trying to get to where he understands what his stuff is and how it’s going to play and how he can work off that. It’s still a phase where he’s trying to find out what he’s going to have and what he’s going to be able to do.
You talk about he got nine out of 10 outs with strikeouts. They got six hits, two of them were home runs, the other four weren’t hit very good at all. Broken bat by (Freddie) Freeman in the first, a jam shot by (Juan) Francisco in the first, a jam shot by Freeman and then (Andrelton) Simmons’ base hit in the fourth. That’s all encouraging to me. He’s still got swing-and-miss stuff and he’s got to find a way and we have to find a way to be a little more aggressive and get quicker outs.
Q: He said he can let his fastball loose, but he then threw mostly offspeed stuff deep in the count. Why?
A: Hitters will dictate a lot of time, too. If they’re still charging fastballs and you’re getting some of the swings you’re getting off breaking balls and splits, why wouldn’t you throw it?
Q: So he’s not afraid to let sinker or cutter go?
A: I don’t think so, no.
Q: What’s taken so long for it all to click for him then?
A: Bad habits. Bad habits that he acquired when he was hurt. This was a guy who did something as consistently as you could possibly do it for years.
Roy Halladay’s start yesterday in a Minor League game at Carpenter Complex drew plenty of attention.
He has had a rough month, struggling in starts because of dead arm, lethargy and illness, respectively. Then 11 of the 18 batters he faced yesterday reached base. He got just three swings and misses, with Triple-A hitters from the Toronto Blue Jays hitting numerous balls hard. His fastball consistently hit 87-89 mph on the radar gun, hitting 90 mph once in the first inning. He officially allowed three runs, although he had the bases loaded with two outs when the first inning got cut short after he reached his pitch limit.
Halladay insisted he felt fine and will be ready to go April 3 in Atlanta.
“He was OK,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
“After what he’s gone through, he was fine,” Rich Dubee said. “I’m not looking for results right now. The good part was he threw 80 pitches, he felt strong and felt like he could have thrown more. The arm slot was fine. He’s a ways from repeating it. Do you see anybody at their level yet? He’s not where he’s going to be yet. But I thought the velocity for not having pitched was good. He sat 88 to 90 consistently and finished the game at 89 almost 80 pitches into it. So arm-strength wise, that was good and he feels like there is more there. I think the more we get it right, the more it will come out.”
Halladay lasted just one inning Sunday in a Grapefruit League game against the Orioles at Bright House Field because of a stomach virus. He lost eight to 10 pounds in a couple days, but after throwing a successful bullpen session yesterday, Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said today he is confident Halladay will be ready to go in 13 days.
Halladay is pitching in a Minor League Spring Training game Saturday at Carpenter Complex and March 28 in a Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field.
“Sure,” Dubee said, when asked if two starts are enough for Halladay. “What’s the risk? He threw 25 pitches last time out. Our other guys, their last game they’re only going to throw 50 probably. So that was his short haul.”
And why pitch Halladay in a Minor League game rather than face the Orioles in a game in Sarasota?
“He’s missed some time, but more important than that is I didn’t want to put him back on a bus,” Dubee said. “It’s contained germs. Contained germs. That’s what on a bus. It’s like flying. Why do people get sick on flights? Because there are germs on there. I don’t want to put him in a confined area.”
Dubee said he liked what he saw in Halladay’s bullpen session yesterday. He has said Halladay’s problems this spring are mechanical, and not health related.
Roy Halladay threw a bullpen session today in Clearwater.
It seemed to go OK.
“Roy threw very well,” Rich Dubee said through a team spokesman. “He lost almost 10 pounds, so he’s just got to gain some weight back and get his strength.”
Halladay lasted just one inning Sunday in a Grapefruit League game against the Orioles at Bright House Field because of a stomach virus. He said Tuesday he lost 10 pounds because of the illness, and still felt a little weak and jittery. He is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League spring training game Saturday at Carpenter Complex. He would get one more start before he is scheduled to pitch April 3 against the Braves in Atlanta.
Halladay has had a rough month. He looked fine in his first two Grapefruit League starts, throwing his fastball in the 89-91 mph range. But his velocity has dropped since then. In his third Grapefruit League start his velocity fell into the 86-88 mph range as he talked about experiencing “dead arm.” He got shelled in 2 2/3 innings in his fourth start March 12, saying he felt lethargic. Then he lasted just one inning in his fifth start Sunday because of the stomach virus.
The Phillies have said repeatedly that Halladay has no physical issues. They said some of his struggles stem from mechanical issues, which they have been working on.
Roy Halladay tried to fix some things with his delivery during his bullpen session this morning at Bright House Field.
“He looked wonderful,” Rich Dubee said. “He looked fine.”
Halladay struggled mightily in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday. He said he was lethargic because of a more intense workout routine and throwing two bullpen sessions before that start. Both Halladay and Dubee have said there are no health issues.
He is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Orioles.