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News » Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2008-04-21

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2008-04-21

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2008-04-21
The Orioles don't want to make a change at shortstop, where Luis Hernandez earned his starting job because of excellent defensive skills. Hernandez bringing a top glove was a key factor in the decision to trade Miguel Tejada during the offseason.

Hernandez did hit .290 after being called up late in the 2007 season, but that was something the Orioles had not seen previously so they weren't counting on his bat. But so far this season, Hernandez has been shaky in the field. His glove is what the Orioles were counting on.

"He hasn't been the same guy. I think he's in a fielding slump. I really do," said manager Dave Trembley, who pointed out that while Hernandez has made only two errors, he has done several fundamental things wrong while in the field.

"I'm convinced that it's more physical than it is nerves. I've watched him on tape ... you saw on a ground ball his feet were too close together catching the ball, he was throwing off the wrong foot and the ump called a guy safe on a steal because he tried to do a two-hand tag," explained Trembley as he tried hard to veil his frustration.

Trembley is in a quandary trying to decide how to handle Hernandez, who is currently hitting .226, which is a bit below the club's expectations. But it is the fielding mistakes that have Trembley more concerned.

"I don't see the same confidence we saw last year. It seems like he's thinking too much when he should be reacting," said infield instructor Juan Samuel. "He's thinking what he wants to do with the ball before he sees the ball there. We saw some of that in spring training. He started out very good, but we're starting to see some inconsistencies in some areas.

"I don't think you should ever have a slump on the field. You should never take that to the field. I think I've adequately explained to him and on record that whatever I get from him offensively is a bonus," continued the former major league infielder. "What I want from whoever's playing shortstop here is somebody who can consistently hold down the anchor at shortstop and make the routine play."

YANKEES 7, ORIOLES 1: Alex Rodriquez and Hideki Matsui doubled off starter Steve Trachsel in the fourth inning and Johnny Damon hit a two-run homer off reliever Chad Bradford in the seventh, while Andy Pettitte was baffling the Orioles' hitters. Derek Jeter hit a bases-loaded double to break the game wide open in the top of the ninth. The Orioles managed only six hits in the game that was twice delayed by rain in the late innings.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 21, 2008

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