(1090 The Fan) — Seattle Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke knows exactly what it takes to be a big league outfielder. He spent 13 years in the majors, primarily with the Pittsburgh Pirates, earning five Gold Glove Awards along the way. Van Slyke told The Steve Sandmeyer Show Wednesday that it takes a lot of work to become a good outfielder.
“My philosophy in spring training and even during the season … is to try to practice at a high level,” Van Slyke said. “It’s really no more complicated than that. In spring training, a lot of the drills were about making plays that were hard to become easier and about plays that were impossible to become possible. And when you do that you build confidence. I’m a big drill guy and I really believe that outfielders have to be in shape.”
Van Slyke also said the team and the coaching staff has taken on the personality of skipper Lloyd McClendon and commented on the progress of rookie Stefen Romero, who is playing right field after spending most of his minor league career playing second base and third base.
“He’s a really good athlete ,” Van Slyke said of Romero, “and he’s a really nice worker.”
Catch the entire interview with Van Slyke, who also opined on the evolution of the running game in baseball — he was part of the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals team that swiped a record 314 bases, including 34 by Van Slyke himself.