Results tagged ‘ Ed Wade ’

Wade, Astros preparing for arduous managerial search

Don’t expect the Astros have a full-time manager in place before the end of the season.

Astros general manager Ed Wade said club officials have yet to sit down and have in-depth internal conversations with regard to candidate lists, and the process could drag into November, especially if one of the candidates is on a coaching staff that reaches the World Series.

The Astros on Monday dismissed manager Cecil Cooper after two years and named third base coach Dave Clark interim manager. Clark will be in the mix for the full-time job at season’s end.

“Don’t call me a liar if we end up interviewing somebody in the interim,” Wade said. “I just don’t think it’s going to flow at that pace. We’ll have our internal discussions and try to come up with a manageable list, and then we’ll begin the process at some point thereafter.”

Wade hired two managers while he was general manager of the Phillies – Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel, who led the Phillies to the World Series championship last year. Wade was an assistant general manager when Terry Francona was hired by the Phillies.

“I fired Terry, and I told him it was the biggest mistake I ever made in my baseball career,” Wade said.

Wade said he’d like to hire a manager that has managerial experience in the Major Leagues or Minor Leagues and coaching experience if the Majors. That would appear to eliminate Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, both of whom have had their names surface in the media.

“I think experience goes a long way,” Wade said. “I agree with people that say just about everyone interviews well. I don’t think you can be overwhelmed in an interview setting, so you have to look at the individual’s body of work and what they’ve accomplished and what other people have said about them, people that have worked with him.

“You try to take all that information and make the right decision. I’ve been fortunate in the time I’ve been in baseball to work with some outstanding managers. I’ve worked with guys who were excellent tacticians on the field; I’ve worked with guys who were great in dealing with players. If you find somebody who can bring all those attributes to the job, you probably have Bobby Cox.”

Wade likes stand-up guys, managers who will pat players on the back when they need it and kick them in the tail when they need it.

“We’re going to have some core veteran guys on the club, we’re going to have young guys on the club,” Wade said. “There will be a lot of dialogue with the candidates about the dynamics of our team, the dynamics of our roster. We’ve got to ask them for input how they feel working with a club that’s a mixture of veterans and younger guys.

“There are some managers who are more comfortable or only comfortable with a veteran club, and there are some mangers who are developmentally oriented and like to take young players and see them grow. The way we’re going to be comprised next year would indicate a manager has to be willing to do both – work with veteran guys and get their respect and maintain the respect of those players, while at the same time having a willingness to bring the younger kids along and help to build what will become a new core nucleus.”

 

Ed Wade on Paulino, Mier and another drug suspension

Felipe Paulino, the barrel-chested right-hander with the 98-mph fastball and little ability to throw it for strikes, is back with the Astros, and based on the comments made by general manager Ed Wade on Wednesday it appears Paulino better get things ironed out soon.

Paulino is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA this year at Triple-A Round Rock, but he’s been an enigma at the Major League level since he made his debut with six scoreless innings on the final day of the 2007 season. He’s 4-7 with a 7.24 ERA in 20 career Major League games (14 starts), including 2-6 with a 7.28 ERA this year.

“I think Felipe needs to take advantage of every opportunity he gets to stand 60, 6 inches away from Major League hitters,” Wade said. “He’s got to show that he’s prepared to take advantage of these opportunities. He needs to give us a clear signal going into Spring Training next year that he’s prepared to win a job and hold it for the entire season and help us win.

“He’s got the stuff to do it. It’s not too late, but he’s got to step up and take advantage of this. We see the stuff, but it’s got to come out in whatever role he’s given for the remainder of the season. Right now, it’s a bullpen role.”

When Paulino was sent down Aug. 8, the Astros told him to work on his fastball command. He’s been used in relief and as a starter, and Wade said when he hits Kissimmee next year he better be ready to win a spot. Wade said the careers of Paulino and Fernando Nieve with the Astros were at “high noon” at Spring Training this year, and Nieve was soon cut loose.

“Aside from being out of options, when you’re as big and physical and with the tools Felipe’s got, you want to see it manifest itself on a regular bases from the standpoint of success,” Wade said. “He certainly needs to understand this is the best opportunity he’s going to get for a while and to make the most out of it.”

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Astros general manager Ed Wade returned Monday from a tour of some of the Astros’ Minor League clubs, including short-season Tri-City, rookie-league Greeneville and the new Gulf Coast League team in Kissimmee, Fla.

Wade saw three games in Tri-City and was impressed with left-hander Dallas Keuchel, a seventh-round pick from Arkansas in this year’s Draft. At Greeneville, he lauded the left side of the infield – third baseman Jonathan Myer (third round pick in 2009) and shortstop Jiovanni Mier, the Astros’ No. 1 pick.

Mier is hitting .286 with five homers, 25 RBIs and a .394 on-base percentage in 39 games.

“All indications are this kid is everything we hoped he would be from standpoint of ability, instincts, athleticism, makeup and leadership qualities,” Wade. “One of our guys was having a conversation and trying to make a point to one of our Latin players down there that had minimal English-speaking ability, and Jiovanni stepped right in and took control of the conversation and interpreted for him. We’ve heard a lot of stories like that about him.”

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Left-hander Gabriel Garcia, who was playing for the Greeneville Astros of the Appalachian League (Rookie), was suspended 50 games Wednesday after testing positive in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone.

Garcia is the third Minor League player in the Astros’ system this year to receive a 50-game suspension, joining Mitch Einertson at Double-A Corpus Christi and pitcher Felix Ramirez of the Dominican Summer League. Einertson tested positive for a drug of abuse, and Ramirez for Boldenone.

MLB guidelines for “drugs of abuse” stipulate that a player’s first positive test is not subject to an announcement or penalty, while a second violation carries a 50-game ban. Performance-enhancing drug violations, however, carry a 50-game suspension for a first offense.

“I’m always concerned about it,” general manager Ed Wade said. “We try to educate the players as best as we can to avoid being put in those positions, and I think we’ve done a good job with that . Any player who tests positive is making a mistake, so I’m certainly not justifying what anybody has done or what other circumstances develop within our organization.

“That said, I think our numbers are below average for the 30 clubs. But again, as an industry we have to get to a point of zero players testing positive for any type of substances and having zero tolerance for it. If you see enough of your teammates missing 50 games, unless you’re a little dense, the message should be getting through.”

Astros expect quiet deadline

Astros general manager Ed Wade reiterated his stance Saturday that he doesn’t see his club making an impact trade before the July 31 deadline.

Wade said the Astros don’t want to give up prospects and aren’t in position to add salary. Also, Houston entered play Sunday three games out of first place in the NL Central.

“We’ll have conversations with clubs,” he said. “I just don’t want to raise undo expectations that we’re going to really be active at the trading deadline because that’s not going to be the case. We’re not going to be in a position to make a deal of significance.

“We’ve talked about where our payroll is at this point in time and we’re going to be very reluctant to give up a lot of young players. But we’ll continue to have conversations if there’s ways to improve.”

The kinds of things Wade anticipates doing are more along the lines of adding inexpensive pieces like Chris Coste, who was claimed off waivers July 10. Relievers Chris Sampson and Doug Brocail could also return from the disabled list soon.

“A year ago at this time we had a real pressing need for starting pitching and bullpen help and we went out and got [Randy] Wolf and [LaTroy] Hawkins,” Wade said. “The way Roy [Oswalt] and Wandy [Rodriguez] are pitching at the top of the rotation and the way the other three guys have gotten us deep enough into games, puts us in a position where we’re not in dire need to go out and add starting pitching.”

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