Tag Archive | "Jeremy Guthrie"

Orioles trade veteran pitcher Guthrie to Colorado

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Orioles trade veteran pitcher Guthrie to Colorado

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Luke Jones

With spring training approaching and an arbitration case pending, the Orioles have traded starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies.

After leading the Baltimore rotation for the last five seasons, Guthrie has been dealt for starting pitcher Jason Hammel and reliever Matt Lindstrom, according to multiple outlets. Guthrie will reportedly sign a one-year contract with the Rockies before becoming a free agent following the 2012 season.

Guthrie is 47-65 with a 4.12 earned run average in eight seasons and threw 200 or more innings in each of the last three seasons for the Orioles’ starting rotation. The 32-year-old made three Opening Day starts for the Orioles despite leading the league in losses in two of the last three seasons. The veteran starter was reportedly seeking $10.25 million while the Orioles were offering $7.25 million in an arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday.

Hammel is 29 years old and has posted a 34-45 record with a 4.99 ERA in six major league seasons. He made 87 starts in the last three seasons for the Rockies and pitched 170 or more innings in each of those seasons. He spent the first three years of his big-league career in Tampa Bay after being selected by the Rays in the 10th round of the 2002 amateur draft.

The 31-year-old Lindstrom has spent five seasons as a reliever with three different teams and has a career 3.81 ERA in 279 career innings. He has converted 45 saves in 59 opportunities, including 23 saves for the Houston Astros in 2010. He will likely find a late-inning role in the Orioles bullpen that includes Jim Johnson and Kevin Gregg as other end-of-game options.

Hammel will be under the organization’s control for two seasons before becoming eligible for free agency while the Orioles have a 2013 team option for Lindstrom.

To clear room on the 40-man roster for Hammel and Lindstrom, the Orioles will designate left-handed reliever Clay Rapada for assignment. Rapada had a 6.06 ERA in 32 appearances for the club in 2011.

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Trevor Cahill would have looked nice in Orioles gear

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Trevor Cahill would have looked nice in Orioles gear

Posted on 10 December 2011 by Drew Forrester

Trevor Cahill is no Roy Halladay, but he’s certainly better than just about anything the Orioles currently have on their roster.

So it made all the sense in the world for Dan Duquette to go chasing after Cahill, the middle-linebacker-looking young ace of the Oakland A’s staff.

Instead, the Diamondbacks went chasing after him.  And they got him.

Hey, we got Dana Eveland.  What more do you want?

Another December has arrived and the Orioles appear to have already stuffed themselves with cookies and milk — what other explanation can you give for their apparent lack of off-season energy?

You can only laugh when you read the off-season synopsis below:

Marlins acquire Reyes, Bell and Buehrle.

Angels get Pujols and Wilson.

Diamondbacks pick-up Cahill.

Phillies sign Papelbon.

Orioles get Beerer, Antonelli, Flaherty and Eveland.

If you’re not laughing, you’re crying.

I’m sure you’re asking “who the hell are those guys?”.  That’s what most folks are wondering, although anyone who has half-way followed baseball over the last half-dozen years knows Eveland.  He’s a guy with a career 5.55 ERA, but (wait for it…) he’s coming off of a helluva minor league run last season when he was in the Dodgers organization.  I guess the gang at Norfolk knows who their opening day starter will be next April.  So they got that going for them…which is nice.

Eveland is a journeyman, which also makes him a typical off-season target of the Orioles.  And, honestly, it doesn’t really matter who runs the team, for this is the exact type of signing the likes of Jim Duquette, Beattie, Flanagan, MacPhail and, now, Dan Duquette would make.

I almost spit out my Royal Farms coffee on Friday when I ventured over to the uber-intelligent MASN baseball blog of expert Steve Melewski who gave the Eveland deal the thumbs up because “the Orioles need pitching depth and this is exactly what that is…”

So let me get this straight — you can’t ADD depth by adding GOOD players?

In other words, “adding depth” is code-word for, “we’re going to add a few players that stink and pass that off as depth”.

Laughable.

There’s even a meltdown of epic proportions at Orioles Hangout, where their leader has challenged any of the website’s members to a cyber-fight over the Eveland acquisition.  The top man likes the Eveland acquisition (see next page, please)

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Now it’s time to say good bye..

Posted on 07 September 2011 by Keith Melchior

to one of the Orioles fam il eee…. B R I A N M….A T U S Zeeeeee.  (Sung to the tune of the Mickey Mouse club closing song)

Sad but true…

Brian Matusz, one of those fabled young arms that was going to lead the Orioles to the promised land in the 2010-2020 era, needs to be sent packing. Plain and simple. Thanks, but no thanks, clean out your locker, pack your bags,  and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.  Your time here is done, kid. We can’t afford to throw you out there every 5th day and watch you get lit up like a roman candle on the 4th of July.  Go fix yourself and if you can hook up with another team, best of luck to you.

The numbers speak for themselves. The pitcher, who led the charge of Buck Showalter’s 34-23 finish to 2010 and gave the team and fans so much promise to finally get over the top in 2011,  got himself hurt in spring training and lost it, all of it. He had 1 decent outing when he returned against a weak hitting Oakland A’s team. If you can call 5 1/3 innings, with 95 pitches decent. It seems like none of the Oriole starters can get into the 7th inning on a consistent basis, so 5 1/3 on this team is a quality start. Since then, Matusz has gone something like 0-8 with an ERA close to the cost of a beer at M&T Bank Stadium.

But he’s not the only one who needs a change of scenery….

Vladimir Guerrero -  Had the Orioles gotten him 8 years ago, they may have been able to make a few playoff runs. But that was when Vlad was a feared hitter and RBI machine. Now, he’s at the very end of his career and just hanging on for a paycheck. His lack of production proves it.

Jeremy Guthrie  – Yeah, the guy pitches his ass off. Yeah, he’s been on bad teams. Yeah, he’s not a true #1 starter.  BUT he  cannot win baseball games in Baltimore.  Jim Palmer was saying last night Guthrie will probably get to the 200 inning plateau within 4 more starts. That’s great Jim, but he is not even going to win 10 games this season.  So, he eats up innings, so did Russ Ortiz      (Ortiz probably ate BETWEEN innings)  but Guthrie’s not a winner. Don’t pass around that BS about lack of run support. He’s hurt this team early and often on numerous occasions and has given up an average of 29 HR per season. In 2011 he’s won 1 game a month. For the 2nd time in 3 years, he leads the league is losses (17 in 2009, 17 thus far in 2011)  He’s 32 years old has a career record of 44-65.  He has averaged barely 9 wins per season over his 5 years in Baltimore. He’s NOT going to get better.   Thanks, but no thanks.  Time to go.  Catch on to another team and win 20 games and a Cy Young award.  Best wishes.

Mark Reynolds -   This guy is the classic Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde type player.  Reynolds as a 3rd baseman STINKS.  He has an .897 fielding % to go along with his 26 errors and is the worst for 3rd basemen in team history. He is so bad at 3rd base he makes Craig Worthington, Rick Schu,  and Wayne Gross look like they were reincarnations of Brooks Robinson.  Now, Reynolds the 1st baseman is totally refreshing with no errors in 26 games and has made quite a few spectacular plays. The team really needs to make a decision on whether Reynolds is going to be their future 1st baseman. He is a major liability at 3rd. His HR production doesn’t offset the multi-strikeout games and the cast iron in his glove. First base or bust.

Luke Scott – a selfish baseball player if I ever saw one. Scott is nothing but a streaky hitter which means he is inconsistent at best. He felt the curse of being the Oriole MVP in 2010 by having issues with the  labrum in his right arm/shoulder area. He stupidly tried to play through the pain and shame on the organization for even allowing it.  His lack of production hurt a team fighting for mediocrity. It came at a time where they really needed to win baseball games to help build the confidence of their young pitching staff. Losing became  contagious and  Scott ends up on the DL.  Luke Scott is a liability in left field anyway, and was taking at-bats away from guys like Felix Pie (who never got it going, then was sent packing)  and Nolan Reimold (who has produced more with less chances) Scott should have been traded after last year’s success when he had value. Now they are stuck with him. Unless he is going to be the full time DH, there isn’t a spot for him on the team.

Kevin Gregg – Closers are a dime a dozen. Just ask Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara. They both did it and look what happened to them. If you pitch well and are any good , you might get traded to a team that can use your talents for a playoff run. If you aren’t any good, you become the Orioles’ closer.

Brian Roberts – The Orioles dumped Jerry Hairston Jr because he was “injury prone”  Brian Roberts happened to be the guy who replaced Hairston. Look what has happened to Roberts over the last 2 seasons… You’d like to see him return next season and repeat his 2008/2009 seasons. But wasn’t that about the time he admitted taking a PHD? Hmmmm…I think it’s time to start grooming a new 2nd baseman and quickly.

Andy MacPhail -  It was reported that MacPhail wouldn’t be returning as the Orioles GM or whatever lame title they gave him. I was not a MacPhail fan before and he surely hasn’t done anything with this club to make me a fan now.  Why people gave him a pass is beyond me. He was the GM in Minnesota from 1985-1994 and the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and again 1991 under his watch. He joined the Cubs as CEO/President in 1995 and was with them until 2006. He also served as the GM from 2000-2002.  The Cubs did nothing under MacPhail the  GM, but they did win the division in 2003 after he returned to his full time duties as President and CEO.   With MacPhail in control, his teams went to the playoffs a total of 4 times in 21 years with 2 World Series titles.  So, please  help me understand why this guy is supposed to walk on water?  He came to Baltimore with his BS rebuilding plan in 2007 and here it is 4 1/2 seasons later and the organization has gotten progressively worse averaging about 94 losses the last 5 seasons.   Whether his hands have been tied by the owner or not,  I say good riddance.

Last but not least…..

Two other guys who need to be sent packing as well;

Joe Angel and Fred Manfra – These two have to be the worst team of announcers in any sport, period.  Angel constantly using his phony accent trying to pronounce a Latin player’s name as well as his ending statement “the Orioles are in the ____ column” and Manfra saying a player’s name over and over and over and over and over again during a single at-bat makes for a pretty BAD radio broadcast. Angel has always been a Jon Miller wannabe. Manfra is a “I wish I was.”  These two have had to endure the stretch of losing seasons and it shows in their play by play. Their shtick is as old and crusty as they are and it’s time for them to retire. As much as I love the Orioles, I really hate listening to them on the radio while in the car.  It’s just plain bad.

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Reactions to Passing of Orioles Great Mike Flanagan

Posted on 24 August 2011 by WNST Staff

Orioles Owner Peter Angelos:

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan earlier this evening. In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field. His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him. On behalf of the club I extend my condolences to his wife, Alex; and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall.”

Former teammate/Hall of Fame SS Cal Ripken Jr.:

“I am so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. He was a good friend and teammate and our thoughts are with Alex and his family. Mike was an Oriole through and through and he’ll be sorely missed by family, friends and fans. This is a sad day.”

Former teammate/Hall of Fame P Jim Palmer (via MASN postgame show):
“I’m not real good at this … because he was one of us. I guess, the first thing I want to say to his three daughters and to Alex, my condolences. We were a family. I think anybody that played for the Orioles in the eras that we played understood how lucky we were. It wasn’t just about what happened on the field. He was one of a kind. I’m sorry for the people that knew him. It’s devastating.”

Longtime Orioles Public Relations Manager Bill Stetka (via Patch.com):

“He bled black and orange. He was one of the funniest guys I’ve ever known. Just a quick, dry sense of humor. He made in all the years I was traveling in PR, whether he was broadcasting or pitching coach or the general manager, he made it bearable with all the losses. He kept his sense of humor. He was very introspective. I’m going to miss him.”

Former teammate Rick Dempsey (via Baltimore Sun):

“It’s just shock right now. I know everybody that played with him loved him to death. He was the backbone of that pitching staff. He never quit — this guy never quit. He was there for the duration. We had so many great games and so many great times. I just can’t believe it.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter (via MASN postgame show):

“He’s just impacted so many lives, including myself. Sitting in my office, drinking coffee with him, it’s tough. He made great use of his time on this earth. We’ll miss him.”

Former Orioles PR Director John Maroon:

“I had the pleasure of working with Mike Flanagan for several years and was sad to hear of his passing. Mike was always friendly, funny and kind. We are so sorry for his family and they are in our thoughts and prayers tonight.”

Orioles CF Adam Jones (via Twitter):

“O’s family, fans, supporters lost a great man today in Mike Flanagan. Learned alot from Flanny in my 3+ years in Bmore. Ur missed ALOT #46″

Orioles Pitcher Jake Arrieta (via Twitter):

“Deeply saddened by the loss of Mike Flanagan, devastating time for the entire Oriole family…”

Orioles Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (via Twitter):

“From day I was given #46 as Oriole,the fans always reminded me of the legacy Mike Flanagan left behind.This is a sad day for Orioles family. Mike Flanagan was an important person to me & touched the lives of countless people in the baseball family & especially in Baltimore. RIP”

Former teammate Ken Singleton (via The Morning Reaction on WNST – listen here):

“Flanny was a great guy, a great teammate. Always could crack up a clubhouse.”

“I know he wasn’t happy with the way things were going with the team. I’m sure it bothered him like it bothered everyone else.”

“Flanny had a way of keeping things loose. Fans could see that on TV.”

“This was one of the best teammates I’ve ever had and to have it end this way is not good.”

Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver (via WNST):

“He was a great pitcher. It was a player-manager relationship. I didn’t know Mike that well.”

“But when I retired and got to know Mike as general manager, he was very friendly.”

Orioles Pitcher Chris Jakubauskus (via Twitter):

“The Orioles Family lost a great man today. My thoughts and prayers Go out to the Flanagan family. He will be missed.”

Orioles Pitching Prospect Matt Hobgood (via Twitter):

“So sad to hear about Mike Flanagan. No words can ease the pain of losing a father, son, brother, uncle… It’s the worst feeling ever… RIP”

Orioles 1B Prospect Brandon Snyder (via Twitter):

“Flanny will be dearly missed by everyone in the orioles family. A great man and a great Oriole. #46″

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Orioles owe Jeremy Guthrie the ultimate reward: a new team

Posted on 25 July 2011 by Drew Forrester

Rarely, if ever, does a professional athlete actually DESERVE to be traded.

Most times when a player is dealt, particularly in-season, it’s met with bitterness and frustration at the turn of events that led up to the deal.

In the case of Jeremy Guthrie, the Orioles owe it to him to move him on this week as the trade deadline fast approaches.  I’ve been around long enough to know the basic concepts of pro sports – the players are the employees and the team employs them, so in that regard the team doesn’t have any moral obligation to do anything except pay the man every other Friday.

I get it.

But this is a special circumstance, because the Birds have – as has become their summer custom – flatlined and wilted just as the race in the AL East started to heat up.  They’re not going anywhere.  And with their farm system relatively bare and devoid of any true major-league-ready talent, now is the time to take advantage of someone else’s desire to upgrade their team for the stretch run.

That means now is the best time to move Jeremy Guthrie to a new team and actually get something decent in return.

Depending on which national talking head you believe (and, frankly, they ALL could be wrong), as many as six teams are reportedly interested in Guthrie — Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, Reds, Cardinals and Tigers.

I don’t know the merits of what each team is offering in exchange for the right handed pitcher, but I do know this:  Guthrie deserves a fresh start somewhere.

As the late, great Lowell George of Little Feat sings in “Mercenary Territory” – “I did my time in your rodeo, it’s been so long and I’ve got nothing to show…”

Jeremy Guthrie has been here since 2007.  And he has nothing to show for it.

Guthrie has been one of the team’s most reliable performers over the last five years, which probably doesn’t say a whole lot when you consider the Orioles have stunk in each of those seasons.  With the exception of the 2009 campaign, when he staggered through a dismal 10-17 campaign with a 5.04 ERA and 1.420 WHIP, Guthrie hasn’t ever embarrassed himself.   That was also the occasion that Andy MacPhail provided Guthrie with an interesting gift just prior to the start of the season: MacPhail cut the pitcher’s salary by $120k.  Yep, two weeks before the season started, MacPhail trimmed Guthrie’s pay by $120k after a pro-rated signing bonus from Guthrie’s days in Cleveland expired and MacPhail took advantage of a clause in the contract that enabled him to reduce Guthrie’s salary by 15%.

Yes, the same guy – MacPhail – who gave Justin Duchscherer $700k just for showing up in Sarasota this past February and letting the team doctor feel his jewels was responsible for telling Guthrie he was going to reduce his salary by $120k.

In 2007, 2008 and 2010, Jeremy Guthrie posted a sub 4.00 ERA.  Check the records to see how many starters in the AL East have posted sub 4.00 ERAs three times in the last five years.  It’s a fairly short list.

Yes, Guthrie gives up a lot of home runs.  Yes, he’s lost more games in his career than he’s won.  But he’s also never pitched AGAINST the Orioles, either.  Unlike the Sabathia’s, Burnett’s, Price’s, Beckett’s, Shields’ and Halladay’s (when he was with Toronto) who have feasted on the Orioles over the years and beefed up their stats at the expense of our orange feathered friends, Guthrie hasn’t ever had that luxury.  Instead, he’s made 12 starts a year, at least, against the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Rays.  And in 3 of the last 5 years, his ERA has always been a half-run or so below the league average.

That brings us to the now.

Rumors are swirling that a bunch of teams are hot and heavy for Guthrie.

The ball is in Andy MacPhail’s court.

What should he do?

Well, if he has any heart at all, even a morsel of appreciation for what Guthrie has done in Baltimore, MacPhail will move him on this week and let him experience a pennant race for the first time in his career.

The club owes that much to him.

Along with Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis, Guthrie has sewn himself into the fabric of the Baltimore community, all the while waiting for the club to do him a solid by actually trying to win.

As we’ve seen over the last 40 games, there’s not going to be any winnin’ in Baltimore this season…that is, unless you’re the Yankees or Red Sox, who routinely win here when they make Camden Yards their home-away-from-home.

Guthrie has seen it all in Baltimore.

He watched Freddie Bynum try to play shortstop.

He was here while Ramon Hernandez was going through the motions behind the plate.

He watched the Yankees get Mark Teixeira.

He saw the ever-so-brief Garrett Atkins era up close and personal.

Like most of us, he’s marveled at the five tools of Felix Pie.

Perlozzo, Trembley, Samuel, Showalter.

He’s played for all of them.

Since 2007, Guthrie has hung around and fought like a champion, even though he knew in his heart-of-hearts it was a losing battle.  And when the Orioles cut his salary in 2009, he also figured out they weren’t good people too.

Jeremy Guthrie deserves better.

He deserves to go to a winning organization.

He’s not going to be anyone’s #1 or #2 starter, mind you.  He’s a decent pitcher, but certainly not a Cy Young candidate.   Sometimes he borders on being very good, in fact.  And in the right situation, with a team trying to win and a team that can spot him 3-4 runs, Guthrie could turn out to be a valuable asset for someone.

For sure, though, Guthrie’s no longer all that valuable here in Baltimore.  With him, the team stinks.  Without him?  They’ll probably still stink, I assume.

As I watch and listen to him after games, it seems like Guthrie is ripe for a trade.

He’s tired of the losing.

He’s sick of seeing pitchers forget to cover first base, balls squeeze through the 3rd baseman’s glove and hitter after hitter ground into a double play when just a seeing-eye single would change the whole game.

It’s the Oriole way…and, as Guthrie knows, the Orioles aren’t very good.

And Jeremy Guthrie has been part of “not very good” since 2007.

Yet he’s never really griped or bitched or stormed the office of the GM and demanded a trade, even though he had every right to do that on numerous occasions.

Guthrie is a class act.

Honestly?

He dresses too nice and smells too good to be in Baltimore anymore.

He’s better than this.

He’s better than what the Orioles have done for him.

He deserves to be traded this week.

For once, Jeremy  Guthrie would be happy.

And after five years in Baltimore, one moment of happiness is a fair trade, isn’t it?

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O’s fall to Angels 9-3: Is Guthrie done in Baltimore?

Posted on 24 July 2011 by Peter Dilutis

BALTIMORE – On Sunday, the Orioles fell to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 9-3 in what amounted to yet another series loss for the Birds.

Jeremy Guthrie started the game and pitched seven innings in what Buck Showalter called “tough conditions,” likely referring to the heat, lack of defense, and questionable umpiring that Guthrie had to battle through during the game.

Guthrie gave up six hits in his seven innings of work, allowing three earned runs and four walks while striking out one.

After the game, Jeremy Guthrie was very short with reporters, expressing frustration over his most recent outing that went much like numerous others over his 4 1/2 seasons in Birdland.

“My stuff was better than my mound presence, absolutely,” Guthrie said. “I showed a lack of mound presence on the mound; how one reacts, how one responds.”

Guthrie was asked if he was frustrated by the circumstances surrounding his start, especially considering his offense failed to get him a fair amount of runs in yet another decent start by the right-hander.

“I’m just frustrated with my own job,” Guthrie said. “Don’t worry about things you can’t control. The things I can’t control don’t frustrate me as much.”

Of course, the elephant in the O’s clubhouse is the fact that Guthrie may not be making the flight back to Baltimore when the Birds return home on August 5th. When asked if he was thinking that this could be his last start in Baltimore, Guthrie responded with frustration.

“I don’t think so, but if it were, it was kind of a perfect microcosm of my career in Baltimore, if it happened to be that.”

When asked to expand on his comment, Guthrie responded “next question.”

Asked if he’s heard the rumors, Guthrie pointed the finger at the media for bringing them up so often.

“I only hear it because you guys bring it up every 3 1/2 minutes. Most players don’t hear the rumors, most players don’t know. I guess it’s exciting for everyone else to talk about it, so we hear about it through those avenues. They don’t call us players. I never got a call from another GM saying I’m being discussed.”

Guthrie’s teammates were also asked about the possibility of losing their staff ace.

“He’s here right now,” Adam Jones said. “Until he’s gone, or if he even gets dealt, I’ll address that then.”

Matt Wieters also commented on Guthrie’s importance to the Orioles.

“Guthrie’s big for us, we’re not going to think about that,” Wieters said. “We still consider Guthrie a guy that’s going to go out there every five days and give us a good outing. Since I’ve been here, he’s been able to go out there and eat up innings every year, eat up quality innings, and he’s been what the staff has needed.”

As Guthrie quipped as he ended his brief chat with the media…

“Good talk guys.”

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Live from Camden Yards: O’s look to win series in what could be Guthrie’s last start in Baltimore

Posted on 24 July 2011 by Peter Dilutis

*Join us at 1:30PM in the WNST Orange Crush Chat as the O’s look to take the series against the visiting Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

BALTIMORE – Jeremy Guthrie will try to pitch the Orioles to a series win over the Angels in what very well could be his last start at Camden Yards as an Oriole.

We are exactly one week away from the trade deadline, and after Sunday’s game, the O’s will hit the road and not return to Baltimore until August 5th. By then, Jeremy Guthrie could be pitching for a contender.

“I don’t think it’s something that you constantly talk to him about everyday,” said Buck Showalter. “He’s handled it pretty well.”

Showalter was hesitant to delve into the specifics as to which way the organization is leaning regarding Guthrie.

“I’m not going to get into all the different scenarios, depends on what comes back, all that other stuff,” Showalter said. “That’s not my area of focus.”

Guthrie did not speak to the media prior to the game, following the longtime baseball ritual that the starting pitcher does not speak to the media before a game he is scheduled to start. However, it will be interesting to see how Guthrie pitches today, as well as what he has to say following the game.

From being around Jeremy, as much as he says he wants to block out all the trade talk, I have to believe the thought of pitching here for the last time has crossed his mind. Guthrie has been through some tough times as an Oriole, but it has seemingly always been his intention to see things through in Baltimore. In a week or less, that goal may no longer exist for Jeremy Guthrie.

“I like Jeremy on the club and I hope it works out,” Showalter said. “If something happens differently I have a lot of confidence that it will be in the best interest of everybody, including Jeremy.”

Hear more from Buck Showalter prior to today’s game

Here are today’s lineups:

BALTIMORE

SS: J.J. Hardy
RF: Nick Markakis
CF: Adam Jones
3B: Mark Reynolds
C: Matt Wieters
1B: Derrek Lee
LF: Nolan Reimold
DH: Josh Bell
2B: Robert Andino

SP: Jeremy Guthrie

LOS ANGELES

SS: Maicer Izturis
RF: Torii Hunter
DH: Bobby Abreu
LF: Vernon Wells
3B: Alberto Callaspo
2B: Howie Kendrick
1B: Mark Trumbo
CF: Mike Trout
C: Bobby Wilson

SP: Tyler Chatwood

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After Scott’s injury, Orioles should look even harder at trading Guthrie

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After Scott’s injury, Orioles should look even harder at trading Guthrie

Posted on 23 July 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — With the trade deadline only a week away, the Orioles have a very difficult decision to make when it comes to the future of Jeremy Guthrie, who could be making his final start with the club at Camden Yards on Sunday afternoon.

Do you trade your most consistent pitcher — even with an ugly 4-13 record — and further destroy a starting rotation sporting a 7.88 earned run average over its last 23 games entering Saturday’s action? Or do you retain your lone veteran presence on a club still hoping to develop the likes of Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, and Brian Matusz and forgo any potential return of younger players for the future?

The trade winds have whispered Guthrie’s name for a few seasons now, but the Orioles ultimately viewed their de facto ace as more valuable to them than any other team trying to pluck him at the deadline. Despite a 42-61 record in five seasons with the Orioles, Guthrie has a career 4.10 ERA over that span, including three seasons in which he finished with an ERA below 3.85.

By no means should the Orioles simply send Guthrie to the first taker, but perhaps a look at the unfortunate case of Luke Scott should make president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail think long and hard about trading the 32-year-old pitcher. Scott was once again placed on the disabled list Saturday with a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will miss the rest of the season as he opts to either undergo surgery or go through a lengthy rehabilitation program.

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A year ago at this time, Scott was in the midst of becoming the team’s most valuable player when he hit 27 home runs and posted a .902 OPS. Instead of trading Scott at last year’s deadline or moving him in the offseason, the Orioles abstained and now face the decision of what to do with the 33-year-old power hitter in his final year of arbitration and making $6.4 million this season. While a team-friendly offer is within reason this winter, it would be unwise to offer arbitration and to pay Scott upwards of $7 million with his health being such an uncertainty at age 34 in 2012.

Instead of moving Scott — who has a .826 OPS in his four seasons in Baltimore — when they had the chance to get younger value in return, the Orioles now face the prospect of allowing a declining Scott to walk for nothing.

“My heart’s desire is I’m going to be here when the organization makes that turn to get back to where we need to be,” Scott said. “But that’s out of my hands. All I can do is just get ready for this challenge that’s coming up to get myself ready for next spring training and to bring to the table what I bring to the table when I’m healthy. The rest is the Orioles’ decision. The good Lord has control of my future, and my hope is it will be here.”

The comments are unsurprising and echo the thoughts of Guthrie whenever the pitcher’s been asked about his desire to remain with the Orioles amid trade rumors the last few seasons. The Stanford product has done everything asked of him and has always said the right things during his time in Baltimore, with very little in return in the way of run support and accolades.

However, Guthrie will also enter his final year of arbitration this winter after making $5.75 million in 2011. He will be 33 years old next season and will likely seek a three-year contract and relatively substantial dollars. With the Orioles mired in last place with a 40-57 record, does Guthrie really fit the profile of a pitcher who will still be productive by the time the club might — and that’s a major hypothetical at this point — be ready to compete?

It’s not smart to offer multi-year deals to 33-year-old pitchers when you’re not close to contending, which is where the Orioles will likely find themselves a year from now.

As tempting as it is to simply maintain the status quo — you know what you’re getting from Guthrie every fifth day — perhaps it’s time to grant him his release from baseball purgatory. There’s little doubt the right-hander could be of great help to a contender looking for an effective third or fourth starter. In return, the Orioles will hopefully fetch a player or two close to being ready to contribute at the major league level.

While no real fault of his own, Guthrie hasn’t made the Orioles a winner, and it isn’t likely to change anytime soon as he approaches his mid-30s. Failing to get good returns for productive older players has happened far too often over the last 14 years, and it’s really no excuse if you’re trying to eventually contend and not just concern yourself with being a .500 team the following season.

Are the Orioles worse without Guthrie in the immediate future? Yes.

Will Guthrie put them over the top if the Orioles find themselves on the cusp of being a contender? Doubtful.

As brutal as it might be to the current starting rotation should Guthrie be dealt, it’s far more painful watching Scott limp away from his 2011 season with the Orioles knowing the possibility of getting something for him is all but gone.

If the right opportunity arises — a fair trade for the pitcher’s services — MacPhail and the Orioles need to make a deal.

If they decide not to, I hope we’re not thinking back to this conversation again next summer.

And wondering what might have been had they decided to pull the trigger.

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In a new half of baseball, same old Birds showed up

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Peter Dilutis

Last season when Dave Trembley was fired and Juan Samuel took over, I argued (an argument that was met with much criticism from our morning show hosts) that the O’s had a chance at a new beginning.

They were stuck in a rut. The trend couldn’t be bucked.

I’m a big believer in a changed variable being a potential spark that pushes a group of people or a team forward and out of their fixed ways. While I was wrong about the Samuel hire being much of a jolt, even though the team did play a tiny bit better under his leadership, that theory was proven right a little over a month later when Buck Showalter led one of the worst teams in baseball to a 34-23 clip to end the season.

In 2011, things seemed to be rolling along fairly okay during the first two months. The games were close, the team was respectable, and the fans still somewhat cared. Then came the annual June swoon and July tailspin, and now the Orioles are staring down the barrel of a totally lost season here in the middle of July.

The All-Star break came at a great time for the O’s. In the games leading up to the break, Buck Showalter talked often about just needing to get to the break for an opportunity to regroup.

With three games off, Showalter could have come back with a new something. New lineup, new rotation, new bullpen roles, new left fielder…anything. He changed the lineup a bit, but nothing too dramatic. (Vlad was hurt, so we’ll see if he hits cleanup when he comes back)

Even without any earth-shattering changes, the O’s had a chance for quick fresh start. It wouldn’t be out of the question for them to regroup and come out for the second half with renewed energy, confidence, and purpose. Jeremy Guthrie, the O’s best, most consistent pitcher over the past few seasons, was on the mound. They returned home for a long home-stand against a good but not unbeatable team.

If the O’s were going to make one final, last-ditch run, this was going to be the time to do it.

I wasn’t home in time for the first pitch Thursday night, but I have “ESPN ScoreCenter” on my iPhone. The game started at 7:05. By 7:11, the Orioles were down 3-0.

Same story. Bad pitching. Getting down early. Having to adjust how they hit because they are down in such a big hole.

Nothing changed. Nothing.

Three days off. No difference.

Any slight renewed interest that fans may have had after a three day relief from O’s baseball was crushed after six minutes. Seriously…six minutes.

It’s a new half of Orioles baseball, but the same old Birds showed up. The same Birds that have been showing up for 14 years.

Lucky Baltimore.

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Guthrie out of answers after suffering 13th loss of season

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Guthrie out of answers after suffering 13th loss of season

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Luke Jones

Jeremy Guthrie is one of the most standup guys you’ll find in the Orioles clubhouse.

Intelligent and analytical, the Stanford product is regularly willing to talk to the media, providing thoughtful insight after wins or losses.

Following Thursday’s 8-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians, in which an ineffective Guthrie suffered his major league-leading 13th defeat of the season, his frustration was clear.

Normally preferring to address the media in the auxiliary clubhouse (where manager Buck Showalter’s press conferences take place) after his starts, Guthrie instead held court at his locker, and his words were uncharacteristically brief after allowing six earned runs in five innings to drop his fourth decision in his last five starts (not counting last Sunday’s loss in relief to Boston).

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“I felt like I wasn’t able to throw the ball where I wanted to,” Guthrie said. “I wasn’t able to get ahead in the count, and when I fell behind, I had a really hard time throwing strikes and getting back into it.”

Eleven pitches and four batters into the game, the Indians held a 3-0 lead after Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo home run and Carlos Santana hit a two-run shot into the right-center bleachers before Guthrie could even get his feet under him. It didn’t get much better after that as the 32-year-old was lifted after facing two batters in the sixth, continuing a stretch in which Baltimore starters have completed six innings just twice in the last 17 games. Orioles starters have completed seven innings only once in their last 27 games (Guthrie on July 1).

Like anyone who’s watched the Orioles drop eight in a row, 13 of 14, and 22 of their last 28 games, what else is there to say at this point?

“It’s tough like other stretches we’ve had,” Guthrie said. “Each person needs to hopefully play better.”

Maybe the de facto ace was brooding over the 24 earned runs he’s allowed over his last five starts, spanning 29 innings (7.45 ERA). His earned run average now sits at 4.45 after beginning the month of June with an impressive 3.24 mark despite a 2-7 record.

He might not have been thrilled with pitching on three days rest after throwing 73 pitches in 3 1/3 relief innings against the Red Sox, saying he was “not sure” if it had an impact on Thursday’s poor outing.

The fifth-worst run support in the American League (3.45 runs per game) entering the night would weigh on the toughest of pitchers.

Or perhaps the effect of 27 losses in just over a season and a half since 2010 has the pitcher ready to be rescued with trade rumors circulating.

Whatever the case, Guthrie was unable to provide the shot in the arm the Orioles desperately needed to start the second half on a winning note.

Despite his recent poor stretch, the hard-luck Guthrie has deserved far better over the last two seasons and now sees another listless summer staring him in the face with the Orioles now 17 games under .500 and 18 1/2 games out of first place in the middle of July.

It’s not a pretty sight.

And, like the rest of us, he was in no mood to talk about it, either.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Guthrie, acting manager John Russell, and Adam Jones following the Orioles’ series opening loss to the Indians.

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