Friday, January 14, 2011
Beyeler ready for next challenge
By Joe McDonald
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Arnie Beyeler is no stranger to the Boston Red Sox organization.
He’s worked as both a coach and a manager during two different stints (2000-2002 and 2007 to present) in the organization, and he was recently named manager of Triple-A affiliate Pawtucket Red Sox.
Beyeler, 46, was formally introduced at McCoy Stadium on Friday afternoon, as he replaces Torey Lovullo, who is the new first-base coach for the Toronto Blue Jays under manager and former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell.
Beyeler has managed at Double-A Portland for the past four seasons and was instrumental in the development of numerous Red Sox prospects, including Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Josh Reddick, Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava, Lars Anderson and Mark Wagner. Beyeler takes pride in the fact that he’s helped each player prepare in accordance with the Red Sox philosophy and he feels a sense of accomplishment when these types of players reach the big leagues and help the Red Sox win.
He’s not about to take credit for the players’ accomplishments, and he’s quick to recognize the many scouts and the player development staff for the organization’s success with all of its minor league affiliates.
Beyeler, along with pitching coach Rich Sauveur and hitting coach Chili Davis, will guide the 2011 PawSox. They all know that it’s not about wins and losses at the minor league level because development comes first.
“Winning is part of development, there’s not doubt about it,” Beyeler said. “Learning how to win is important. We all know we don’t get paid for wins and losses in the minor leagues. We need to get guys ready for their roles at the next level, and sometimes there are some sacrifices along the way.”
Beyeler’s philosophy has always been if young players work hard and play hard, the wins will come. As much as every minor league player, manager and coach wants to win, development -- especially in the Red Sox organization -- is first and foremost.
After spending the past four season as the Sea Dogs’ manager, Beyeler will now deal with veteran minor leaguers at the Triple-A level, but the goal of preparing players to be successful and contribute at the big league level remains the same.
The lines of communication within the Red Sox organization are clearly defined and open from top to bottom. Everyone knows their role, and Beyeler will continue to develop the organization’s top prospects while also helping veteran players prepare accordingly.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Red Sox roster is pretty much set for a long time. It must be a challenge for any minor league manger or coach in the organization to keep young players focused because even they see the log jam and possible road blocks en route to a major league career.
If anything, the 2010 Red Sox season should serve as perfect example -- even a motivational factor -- for young players that you never know what can happen. Boston suffered a slew of major injuries to key players and there were plenty of transactions needed to help the Red Sox.
“It is a communication thing, and you have to talk with guys,” Beyeler said. “The players know what’s going on, too.”
From a minor league prospective, it was a solid learning tool that certain players were called up to Boston and contributed when the Red Sox needed them to last summer. Even though each position on the Red Sox roster is filled, Beyeler is confident the younger players will go about their business in a professional manner so when the time comes, and if Boston needs reinforcements, PawSox players will be ready.
“Hopefully they’ll come back down here and realize what they need to do in order to succeed up there, and just hit the ground running this year,” Beyeler said.
Players come and players go, and it’s quite obvious Beyeler has his finger on the pulse of the type of player who can succeed at the big league level. Whether it’s Kalish or shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias or catcher Luis Exposito or pitcher Felix Doubront, based on experience, Beyeler knows one of these guys could get the call from the Red Sox at some point during the 2011 season.
“It could be a lot of guys,” Beyeler said. “I’m not going to single anybody out but with this roster we have here, it could be a number of guys or it could be some pitchers. We also challenge the guys because every year it’s going to be somebody.”
Because the Red Sox’s player development system does a solid job at preparing these young players, general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona are not afraid to rely on younger players, if needed.
“I think that’s important because it keeps everyone else driven,” Beyeler said. “Everybody kind of feels like, ‘Hey, I’ve got a chance. I still have a uniform on, I’ve got a chance to play hard and work hard and get an opportunity to play in the big leagues.’ That’s what’s it’s all about.
“Hopefully we can continue to do what we’ve been doing, keep things rolling and stay consistent with what we do and, I think, the players respect that.”