Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon talked Roenis Elias, the up-and-down start to the season and his team's mental mistakes before Sunday's game against the Twins.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon talked Roenis Elias, the up-and-down start to the season and his team’s mental mistakes before Sunday’s game against the Twins:
- What have the reports been on Elias? “He’s getting better. Command was getting better. He’s not new to this so he won’t be overwhelmed. Hopefully he’s on his game. If he is, we should have a good chance of winning this ball game.”
- What were some of the problems when Elias was struggling in Tacoma? “Just command. Command of the fastball. Really that’s what probably did him in in spring training, just not having real good command. But he’s been working on it, and I think he’s better now.”
- McClendon said injured reliever Tom Wilhelmsen is “probably 10 or 12 days away” from returning, including time spent rehabbing in Class AAA Tacoma.
- How would you characterize the first month? “Ups and downs, really. I don’t know if there’s anything else you can say. We’ve had some good times, we’ve had some bad times. We’ve swung the bats, sometimes we haven’t. Sometimes we don’t catch the ball. Sometimes we don’t pitch. It’s still cold. I think we’re progressing. I think this club is real close to taking off. We’re not quite there.
- Is there something that needs to happen for the club takes off? “Pitching. You can talk to any manager in the majors, and they’ll tell you that. It’s a broken record…We had one of the worst offenses in baseball last year, but we pitched. We were 12 games over. There’s no secret. We’ve got to pitch and catch the ball.
- Have the errors and mental mistakes been concerning? “No, not really. I mean, listen, if this happened in June nobody would say a darn thing. But since it’s the first 15 or 16 games of the season, it’s all magnified.”