Live from Camden Yards: Jake Fox to O’s, Tillman optioned to Norfolk

June 22, 2010 | Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — As reported earlier today, the Orioles have acquired infielder/outfielder Jake Fox from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league pitcher Ross Wolf and cash considerations. It’s a move that’s sure to excite few but isn’t a bad gamble if you take a look at Fox’s career minor league numbers. And, oh yeah, he’s a former Cub, which Andy MacPhail seems to like for some reason.

Interim manager Juan Samuel intends to use the 27-year-old Fox in a utility role off the bench and as a third catcher to help spell Matt Wieters—who could then be the designated hitter on occasion—and backup Craig Tatum. That’s fine for now, but Fox needs to receive regular opportunities at some point. Regardless of whose playing time suffers as a result, there’s no such thing as “stepping on anyone’s toes” when the club is 19-50.

“He’s an added bat,” Samuel said. “We’re going to do everything we can to get him in there and get some offense. That’s just an extra guy to help us off the bench, to pinch hit if we need to throw him in against a left-hander. … I’m going to try to play as many guys as I can here.”

Fox will wear No. 47.

To make room on the 25-man roster for Fox, the Orioles have optioned struggling pitcher Chris Tillman to Triple-A Norfolk and have designated Cla Meredith for assignment. With Tillman now with the Tides and ineligible to return for 10 days (except in the case of an injury), we can safely assume Brad Bergesen will be recalled to make Saturday’s start against the Washington Nationals.

Meredith was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA (15 innings pitched) in 21 games for the Orioles this season and 1-0 with a 13.50 ERA in five games for Norfolk.

In other news, Felix Pie was the designated hitter for the Gulf Coast League Orioles today and experienced no problems, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. Mike Gonzalez threw 19 pitches for the Gulf Coast team and struck out three while displaying consistent velocity at 90 to 91 miles per hour.

Koji Uehara threw a side session of 30 pitches in Sarasota with no setbacks.

When asked about Garrett Atkins’ lack of playing time, Samuel said he called the first baseman into his office during the San Diego series to chat with him. Atkins is a strong candidate to be released on Saturday when the Orioles will need to clear room for a starting pitcher, presumably Bergesen.

“I told him I haven’t forgotten about him,” Samuel said.

At least someone hasn’t.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Florida
LF Chris Coghlan
1B Gaby Sanchez
SS Hanley Ramirez
DH Jorge Cantu
2B Dan Uggla
CF Cody Ross
RF Mike Stanton
3B Wes Helms
C Ronny Paulino

SP Anibal Sanchez (6-4, 3.22 ERA)

Baltimore
LF Corey Patterson
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
DH Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
2B Scott Moore
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Jeremy Guthrie (3-8, 3.97 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat this evening at 7:30 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss the action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about today’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 7:05 p.m.
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5:55 p.m. — Head to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear Jake Fox’s comments about his new home and what he hopes to bring to the Orioles.

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