August 30, 2011
Wakamatsu slides in seamlessly
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency
BALTIMORE - A week ago Don Wakamatsu could give a sympathetic ear to a player in his role as the Blue Jays bench coach, whether it was teaching or complaining. Now, as the interim manager for John Farrell, his role has changed.
He is making out the lineup.
“I still do what I’m doing, I speak to Alex Anthopoulos every day, speak to (Farrell) every day,” Wakamatsu said. “I filled in three games when Buck Showalter was suspended, it’s always tough feeling like a substitute teacher. We have a strong enough coaching staff that you don’t miss a beat here. There’s still some direction, players we are prepared to go into each game, with me as the quasi-manager.”
With the Rangers, Wakamatsu served on the staff of manager Showalter, who now guides the Baltimore Orioles.
“The good thing about Don is that he will tell a player the exact same thing he told them as a coach as he will tell them as a manager,” Showalter said. “It will be a seamless tradition from John to Don and back again due to Don’s loyalty factor. Don won’t put John in any bad spots when he returns.”
Farrell is suffering from pneumonia.
J.P. Arencibia tied the club home run record from home runs by a catcher when he slugged his 20th last Wednesday. “I thought if I hit four a month I’d get there,” Arencibia said. “Some months you will hit less, some months more. Last year I averaged six a month.” Last season while in triple-A at Las Vegas Arencibia hit 32. He has a month to remaining in the Jays season.
Reliever Jon Rauch threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session and will throw a simulated game Thursday. Rauch as been on the shelf since having an appendectomy in Seattle on Aug. 16.