2005-07-15 / Sports

Rengel Learns The Game Under Wilson

By Everett Fell


Brooklyn Cyclones’ starting pitcher, Orlando Rengel has learned a hard truth about pitching at the Class A level: the future is more important than the present. The 22 year-old righty from Venezuela threw six shutout-innings last Thursday against the Staten Island Yankess at KeySpan Park. 

But with a 2-0 lead manager Mookie Wilson ended Rengel’s day after 87 pitches. “It’s a difficult decision for [the coaches] to make but it’s above our heads,” Wilson said. 

“We’re not going to risk a young kid’s future just to win a ball game.”

The Cyclones (13-8 at press time) scored two in the fourth and added another run in the seventh before the Yankees evened the game up in the eighth.  The Yankees would eventually win the game in the 11th as an RBI groundout by Joe Burke gave them the 4-3 victory. Rengel settled for his third no decision in as many starts despite giving up six runs and striking out 19 in 18 innings of work on the season. “I don’t care if I get the win,” Rengel said. “I believe in our team and wins are going to happen.” Rengel seemed to gain confidence in his pitches as the game went along.  He allowed the first two batters of the game to reach on singles but escaped unscathed.

He ran into more trouble in the second but was bailed out by a sensational diving grab by his leftfielder, Jonel Pacheco. The catch saved two runs.  Rengel allowed only two more base runners over the next four innings. 

“Our pitching has been phenomenal this year,” Wilson said. “We’re just waiting on our bats to come around.”

As for the players’ careers after the Cyclones, Wilson understands that he does not have much time sculpting

them into potential major leaguers.

“You don’t worry about building long lasting relationships with the players,” Wilson said. “You just try and develop a rapport with them and let them know what you expect from them while they’re here.”

Wilson approaches his job with a casual ease and tries to be as empathetic as possible while conversing with his players - especially his pitchers.

“You take the mound and sometimes it just doesn’t work out and it’s tough sitting on the bench with everybody telling you that you did a good job,” Wilson said. “But you have to feel good about yourself whether you were able to execute or not. I know everybody wants that ‘W’ but the game doesn’t revolve around that. It’s just like a batter’s average - it’s not the beginning and end.” With a clear-headed perspective and a flexible outlook it appears as though Wilson’s tutelage has Rengel and his teammates prioritizing for the future.

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