Results tagged ‘ Rick Renteria ’
* One of the first players new Cubs manager Rick Renteria called after he got the job Nov. 7 was to Starlin Castro.
“People ask me about Starlin, and I watched him from the other side and I think, what a tremendously gifted athlete,” Renteria said. “I have to get to know him as a person. I have to figure out what moves him.”
Castro is coming off a season in which he batted a career-low .245, struck out a career-high 129 times, and finished with a sub .400 slugging percentage for the first time (.347).
“He’s willing to do anything we ask him to do,” Renteria said. “I know people talk about him losing focus and having bad at-bats, and I think we have to address those things. Sometimes you don’t have conversations thinking we don’t want to have confrontations or maybe we don’t like the answer we’re going to get, but the reality is you have to have dialogue.”
The emphasis on Renteria’s coaching staff was to find people who could be “teachers” and who can communicate.
“I think it takes a special personality as well as experience and having the technical knowledge,” Theo Epstein said about the coaches. “It takes a certain personality to be able to actually reach the modern player and to dig deep and engage and relate to them and not relate to a player on a perfunctory level but find out what makes him tick and impact him on and off the field in a positive way. That’s what we were looking for.”
(Note: For more on Renteria’s day at Wrigley Field, please see the story on Cubs.com)
* Renteria was formally introduced on Thursday at Wrigley Field. He’ll wear No. 16, which he says was his number in high school.
* Renteria is known for his even-keel demeanor. He was asked if he had a temper.
“I can get hot,” Renteria said Thursday. “I think any competitor can get hot. I think you’ve got to pick your spots. I don’t think players appreciate people just losing it for the sake of losing it.
“Will I do it for the sake of people watching me do it? No,” he said. “You probably won’t see me doing it at all, but I can’t guarantee that. When it happens, it’s got to be the right time, and I think those things have to take care of themselves.
“If you’re a guy who is even-keeled and you end up losing it, I think [the players] understand you mean business and it means a little bit more. For the most part, I think conversations need to be had behind closed doors.”
* The Cubs got encouraging reports about right-hander Arodys Vizcaino, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery in March 2012. Vizcaino made about six appearances in the Dominican instructional league, his fastball hit 98 mph and he showed good command. The pitcher, acquired from the Braves in July 2012, could be in the Cubs’ bullpen mix in 2014.
* Cubs pitchers and catchers will report Feb. 13 to Mesa, Ariz., for the start of Spring Training.
– Carrie Muskat
Eric Hinske was the Cubs’ 17th round pick in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft but never got to play for the team. In March 2001, he was dealt to the Athletics for Miguel Cairo. On Tuesday, Cubs manager Rick Renteria completed his coaching staff by naming Hinske as the first base coach.
This will be Hinske’s first coaching stint. He wrapped up a 12-year Major League career last season that included 2002 American League Rookie of the Year honors with the Blue Jays and three-straight World Series appearances, bookended by championships with the Red Sox in 2007 and the Yankees in 2009. Hinske, 36, played 1,387 Major League games with the Blue Jays (2002-06), Red Sox (2006-07), Rays (2008), Pirates (2009), Yankees (2009), Braves (2010-12) and Diamondbacks (2013). He finished his career with a .249 batting average.
Hinske joins pitching Chris Bosio, bench coach Brandon Hyde, third base coach Gary Jones, hitting coach Bill Mueller, bullpen coach Lester Strode, catching coach Mike Borzello, assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley and staff assistant Franklin Font on Renteria’s staff.
– Carrie Muskat
Bill Mueller hasn’t worn a Major League uniform since 2007 and he’s eager to get back on the field. Mueller was named to new Cubs manager Rick Renteria’s coaching staff on Friday. A former American League batting champion, the 42-year-old Mueller was an interim hitting coach for the Dodgers in the second half of 2007. After an 11-year playing career that included two seasons with the Cubs, Mueller joined the Dodgers’ front office. He has spent the last six seasons as a special assistant.
“It’s something that has always been inside me to be near the field again and be a part of a team and be with a Major League club,” Mueller said Friday. “You never know when that opportunity might come or if it does. I’ve always tried to be as well-rounded as possible and stay in the game and continue to be a student of the game so if an opportunity pops up, I could handle it and be ready to take it on. This was an opportunity that was hard to pass up and I’m very excited about it.”
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer asked the Dodgers for permission to talk to Mueller, who picked Mike Brumley, 51, as his assistant. Brumley has spent the last four seasons as first-base coach with the Mariners. He began his big league career with the Cubs in 1987.
Mueller compiled a career .291 average in his 11 seasons as a player, and batted .326 in ’03 with the Red Sox when he won the batting title. It wasn’t easy, which is something he’ll stress to the Cubs hitters.
“I had to work to get everything I achieved,” Mueller said. “Going through the process of understanding my swing and breaking it down and understanding the strengths and weaknesses and all that good stuff was a process that I had to go through. I feel it helps with the relationship and the communication with these guys. … I wasn’t the best bat on the team, it was something I had to work very hard at.”
The next step will be to study video of the Cubs batters, some of whom he has seen as a scout. He’ll then contact the players. Told that Theo Epstein wants the Cubs to lead the league in on-base percentage, Mueller laughed. That’ll be a tough assignment, but he’s up to it.
– Carrie Muskat
We could have news on Cubs manager Rick Renteria’s coaching staff Friday. Stay tuned.
– Carrie Muskat
The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune both quote sources as saying former third baseman Bill Mueller is a candidate to be the Cubs’ new hitting coach. GM Jed Hoyer has said the team hopes to name manager Rick Renteria’s staff soon. Mueller played 11 seasons in the big leagues, including 173 games with the Cubs from 2001-02. He signed with the Red Sox in 2003 when Theo Epstein was the GM, and won the AL batting title that year. Mueller has worked for the Dodgers as a special assistant to the GM and as a scout.
Also, the Sun-Times reported Minor League instructors Gary Jones of the Padres and Bruce Fields of the Tigers are candidates to become base coaches.
Cubs season ticket holders got a sneak peek at new manager Rick Renteria on Friday. At a presentation in downtown Chicago, an enthusiastic Renteria talked about how excited he was to take over the team.
“I feel we can win with young players,” Renteria said in the video, “because quite frankly the difference between an experienced Major League baseball club with veteran players is simply that [veterans] have the confidence level that’s been born over time and experience. I think what we’re trying to do is advance that confidence level as quickly as we can.”
Theo Epstein said one of the reasons Dale Sveum was dismissed as manager after the season is because the Cubs did not have that environment to develop young players.
“Frankly, that’s an area that I haven’t done a great job at, providing a Major League environment that’s supportive and allows our young players to continue to develop,” Epstein said. “That was really one of the major reasons for the managerial change, and one of the most important things we were looking for in a new manager. We wanted a new manager who had leadership experience and leadership traits. We wanted a new manager who had already impacted players positively at the Major League level, and impacted the Major League team.”
– Carrie Muskat
Rick Renteria got to work right away on Thursday, calling Cubs players to introduce himself.
“I had some responses, and they were extremely positive,” Renteria told MLB Network on Friday. “I’m looking forward to working with all of these guys.
“Hopefully, I’m not the one drawing the attention, and it will be the players,” he said. “If they genuinely believe we believe in them, we have a chance of putting together something special.”
Among the players Renteria spoke to was shortstop Starlin Castro.
“I know a lot has been made about some of the lapses he’s had and his play,” Renteria said in the interview. “This guy is a really good player and he’s a special player.”
Renteria said if he has to be firm with a player, he will be. But he didn’t think that was necessary with Castro.
“It seems like he has a lot of energy,” Renteria said. “He was ready to do whatever it takes. … I think everybody moves more confidently with positive information and positive reinforcement than you do with a heavy hand. That being said, I can bark and bark and bark just like a dog. In the end, players just shut you out. I think you have to build a relationship with players and have them understand when you raise the tone, when things are serious, that it’s for real.”
He recalled a conversation with a priest about raising children, and applies that. The priest said you should always love your children, but you don’t always have to like them.
“I think I take that approach on a daily basis,” Renteria said.
He also learned how to take a calm, but firm approach from Padres manager Buddy Black. Again, the new Cubs manager said he will treat the players like family. Renteria has four children, ranging in ages from 35 to 18. He’s got experience with the youth movement.
Why didn’t Renteria come to Chicago to interview? He had hip replacement surgery on his right hip, and can’t travel yet. The Cubs were expected to hold a press conference later when Renteria can travel.
The Cubs are coming off back to back seasons in which they lost more than 90 games but Renteria is optimistic.
“We feel the players who are coming and the players we have on the Major League roster now are the wave of the future,” Renteria said. “I say the future is now — me personally. Obviously, the ability to go out and get players is going to happen as the club continues to move forward but those are things that will be taken care of down the road. They are very confident in the ability of the players we have now.
“In that vein, I have to take [the front office's] vision, make it my vision and put it forward between the lines,” he said. “We see a club that will go out there hopefully and fight and scratch and claw their way through everything. I might be naive and people think I might be nuts about me believing this club can go out and do certain things but I feel that way and i truly believe it and we’re going to find out. In having some of the conversations I had with some of these kids yesterday, it might be a pretty fun season for us.”
If you look at Renteria’s bio, he was known as “Rich” early in his career. What happened? Renteria said when he came back from an injury, he was with the Marlins, and someone wrote a column about his return. The writer asked Renteria what he was called at home, and he said his family called him “Rickie.” The writer ended the story by saying, “Let’s be ‘Rickie’ people; let’s be like family,” Renteria said.
The next day, he was introduced to pinch-hit for the Marlins, and fans shouted “Rickie.”
“When people would call me ‘Rickie’ from the stands, I knew it was somebody I knew,” Renteria said. “I went to hit that day after the column came out, and as I stood out there warming up, I heard, ‘C’mon, Rickie.’”
He’s been Rick ever since.
– Carrie Muskat
According to MLB Network’s Peter Gammons, the Cubs will name Rick Renteria the new manager on Thursday. However, a Major League source told MLB.com Wednesday there was no announcement pending.
The Cubs have spent more than a month interviewing Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Brad Ausmus, former Mariners and Indians manager Eric Wedge, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, former Nationals and Indians manager Manny Acta, and former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch.
The Cubs also reportedly wanted to talk to Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo.
When Dale Sveum was dismissed on Sept. 30, Epstein said they would prioritize managerial experience in the next manager. Epstein wanted a “dynamic person” who could establish a winning culture after losing more than 90 games two years in a row. The emphasis also would be on a person’s ability to develop young talent. Renteria inherits a young core that includes first baseman Anthony Rizzo, shortstop Starlin Castro, and catcher Welington Castillo, and up and coming prospects in Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora.
– Carrie Muskat
Expect a new Cubs manager to be revealed this week. All that’s known so far is who it won’t be.
Brad Ausmus, who interviewed Friday with the Cubs, has reportedly been named the Tigers next manager. Ausmus was the sixth candidate to talk to Theo Epstein. On Tuesday, former Indians and Mariners manager Eric Wedge, 45, met with Epstein and the front office to discuss the vacant manager’s job. The Cubs also have interviewed Rick Renteria, A.J. Hinch, Dave Martinez and Manny Acta.
The Cubs also will talk to Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, 48. FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal reported Sunday that Lovullo will talk to Epstein and Co. early this week. That interview was delayed because Lovullo didn’t want to distract from the World Series. Epstein hired Lovullo to manage the Red Sox’s Triple-A Pawtucket team in 2010.
The only deadline Epstein has set is to have someone in place by Nov. 11 when the general manager meetings are held. Dale Sveum was dimissed on Sept. 30 after two seasons as the Cubs manager.
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer hired Ausmus as a special assistant with the Padres in November 2010 when Hoyer was the GM in San Diego, and he was the third person with a San Diego connection to interview for the Chicago job. Renteria, 51, who also interviewed with the Mariners and Tigers, is the Padres’ bench coach. Hinch, 39, is currently involved with player development in the Padres’ front office.
Epstein has said he wants someone with managerial experience, which Ausmus lacked. He played 18 seasons and his only time as a manager was with Team Israel in a qualifying tournament for the World Baseball Classic.
Renteria does not have any time in the big leagues as a manager but has worked in the Minor Leagues, beginning in 1998 as manager in the Marlins organization with the Brevard County team. He left the Marlins system after 2001, and was a hitting coach for the Padres’ Lake Elsinore Minor League team in 2003. In ’04, he took over Lake Elsinore as manager, and after three seasons, moved up to manage Triple-A Portland. Renteria joined the Padres Major League staff in 2008 and has been bench coach since ’11. He also managed Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic this year.
– Carrie Muskat
If Theo Epstein sticks to his schedule, he now has 10 days to name a new Cubs manager. Epstein said he wanted someone in place before the GM meetings, which begin Nov. 11. The Cubs have talked to Rick Renteria, Dave Martinez, Manny Acta and Eric Wedge. On Thursday, Renteria, 51, interviewed for the Tigers job. He’s also talked to the Mariners about their vacancy.
Epstein most likely is waiting for the Red Sox celebration to quiet down before contacting third base coach Torey Lovullo, whom Boston manager John Farrell has endorsed. The Tigers also reportedly want to talk to Lovullo.
The wild card candidate is Brad Ausmus, 44, who interviewed Monday with the Tigers. Ausmus played 18 seasons, and was currently a special assistant with the Padres. Epstein has said he preferred to hire someone with managerial experience, and Ausmus has only managed Team Israel in a qualifying tournament for the World Baseball Classic.
– Carrie Muskat