Tag Archive | "Jim Thome"

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Thome, Patton activated from disabled list

Posted on 21 September 2012 by WNST Staff

The Orioles announced Friday that they have reinstated designated hitter Jim Thome and left-handed pitcher Troy Patton from the 15-day disabled list.

Thome was placed on the DL on July 31 (retroactive to July 28) with a herniated disc in his neck. He has batted .261/.354/.391 in 18 games for the Orioles after being acquired from Philadelphia on June 30. Thome was batting .316/.409/.526 in his last 10 games before going on the DL.

Patton was placed on the DL on August 14 (retroactive to August 13) with a right ankle sprain. Patton is 1-0 with a 2.58 ERA (52.1IP, 15ER) and 48 strikeouts in 50 appearances this season. He currently owns a career-high 18-game scoreless streak (13.2IP) since July 6.

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My Orioles Trip to Cleveland

Posted on 24 July 2012 by scottzolotorow

 

 

I arrived home late last night from Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I took in Friday and Saturday night’s Oriole wins at Progressive Field and a game at the beautiful PNC Park Sunday afternoon. These were two more stadiums on my journey to see an official game at every MLB park, numbers 17 and 18 respectively. But Cleveland was all business, with my Orange gear on I was there to see the Orioles play. The second night we actually sat with 5 Orioles fans and were louder than the Indians fans in our section which was in the bleachers. The Indians have some interesting traditions, none more unique then the drum guy. This guy plays his little bass drum all night long when the Indians have a runner in scoring position and everyone in return claps along.

In my last blog, i deemed this series against the Indians as the most important series of the season up to this point. I was right with the Orioles taking 3 of 4 and the Yankees getting swept in Oakland. The O’s are now just 6.5 games back of the Yankees and tied for the Wildcard lead with a huge two week period ahead with Tampa, Oakland, and the Yankees. Its now or never and the two games I saw in Cleveland along with Sunday’s was the start! But back to the trip, I was pleasantly surprised that my party of three wasn’t the only Orioles fans at Progressive Field. The fans in Cleveland were also very welcoming towards us Orioles fans. I did make the classic mistake of asking the woman next to me who was more hated, Model or Lebron. She got over it!

The highlight of the two games in Cleveland besides the obvious two wins that I got to see on the road, was hearing the roar of the crowd when Jim Thome took his first steps towards the plate of his first at bat Friday night. He went on to double, Homer, and single that night! Thus they didn’t cheer for him very much the 2nd night! His home run in Friday nights game put him alone at 6th all-time, passing short time Oriole, Sammy Sosa. This was the first significant home run that I had seen in person since Manny Ramirez’s 500th which took place May 31st of 2008 off of the submariner, Chad Bradford, at Camden Yards. The Orioles lost that game 6-3. Thome of course homered in the 2nd game of the trip on a solo shot off Zach McAllister. His first two home runs as an Oriole, in my first two games seeing him play in an Oriole uniform.

The MVPs of the trip are Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez who shut down the Indians in front of two gigantic Cleveland crowds. Both nights after the games the Indians put on an incredible firework show called “Rock N Blast.” This is a once in a year extravangza sponsored by the the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was the only reason fans stuck around throughout the Orioles 10-2 beatdown of the Indians. Big round of applause to Ryan Flaherty as well for homering in back to back nights along with Thome. The Indians are getting ready to install a Jim Thome statue in center field already and he hasn’t even retired yet!  I’ll be back Cleveland for the Ravens-Browns game in November!

 

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Your Monday Reality Check-How about getting a good player next time?

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Your Monday Reality Check-How about getting a good player next time?

Posted on 09 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

I was in Paris when the Baltimore Orioles’ trade for veteran DH Jim Thome became official and didn’t get much of a chance to opine about it. My guess is that I would have politely said something along the lines of “sure, Jim Thome is better than no one, but is a part time DH with little left in the tank really going to make much of a difference?”

I’m glad I didn’t have the chance to say that. Boy would there be egg all over my face.

Thome has come to the plate in six of the Birds’ eight games since being acquired. He’s managed to collect five hits (all singles), score a run and drive in another. He’s also walked four times and struck out 11 times. He’s been far from terrible since arriving, but hasn’t really made much of a difference in the lineup either. The O’s have won three of the eight games they’ve played since acquiring Thome and enter the All-Star break without scoring a run over their last 21 innings.

The Birds finished the first half of the season with a 45-40 record, good enough for 2nd place in the AL East and currently holding what would be the second Wild Card spot in the American League. The troubling part is that over their last 19 games before the break, they compiled a 6-13 record and averaged scoring less than three runs per game during the stretch.

I don’t want to seem like I’m taking the Orioles’ pitchers off the hook during the stretch. The team allowed nearly 5.5 runs per game during the same stretch, demoting starting pitchers Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta to AAA Norfolk in the process.

I’ll stop short of labeling the stretch “a disaster” for the Birds, but I’ll admit that I went through about ten minutes of inner monologue before I decided the term would be unfair.

I’m not particularly mad at Thome for not lighting the world on fire during his first week with the Orioles. It would be unfair to expect any player to become a serious catalyst in just one week, but there was absolutely zero reason to expect a soon to be 42 year old who hasn’t put up particularly good offensive numbers since 2008 to be the one to do it.

The truth is that the Thome acquisition is going to bug me until the Orioles decide they want to acquire players who are actually good.

I know WNST.net’s Drew Forrester said Sunday the Birds “had better” make moves to upgrade the team before the July 31 trade deadline. My column today isn’t just an echo of Forrester’s sentiments. My column is much more particular.

I’ve said for some time that the Birds cannot view their start to the 2012 season as a sign that they’re on the cusp of turning the page. There simply is not enough evidence of that being the case. There is significantly more evidence of the Birds experiencing good fortune thanks to a couple of nice pieces (OF Adam Jones, C Matt Wieters and P’s Jason Hammel & Jim Johnson notably) and an element of luck via injuries to rival teams.

I’m certainly not backing off of those statements. The start of the 2012 season is in NO WAYS a sign that the Birds’ “rebuilding” plan has worked, or that former executive Andy MacPhail and current GM Dan Duquette have put together a group of players that are just a year away from reaching greatness. The reality is that there just aren’t enough good players either currently at the Major League level or set to reach the majors in the next year or two to suggest the team will be able to win for more than half a season.

The players I mentioned before (Jones, Wieters, Hammel, Johnson) are good players. Unfortunately, that’s about where the list ends.  OF Nick Markakis and SS JJ Hardy are supposed to be good players. SP Wei-Yin Chen and RP Pedro Strop have showed signs that they might be good players. P Dylan Bundy and SS Manny Machado are believed to be good players for the future. Thome and 2B Brian Roberts USED to be good players. 3B Mark Reynolds and 1B Chris Davis (or is that 1B Mark Reynolds and OF Chris Davis?) are players you want to believe are good but you know better.

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Big Trade Looming?

Posted on 07 July 2012 by Erich Hawbaker

The All-Star break is upon us. And, if the season ended today, the Orioles would be headed to the playoffs. Thursday’s disaster with the Angels notwithstanding, the Orioles have reached halftime without completely faceplanting as most of us expected they would. The bullpen has been the most pleasant surprise, with an ERA still close to the best in baseball. The offense (long balls in particular) has also been a big reason for the success, with Adam Jones on pace for 40 homeruns and several others flirting with 30.

However, just like last year, the most glaring weakness has been the defense. Unfortunately, the O’s also lead the league in errors, which has cost them at least three or four winnable games already this season. The other coin flip has been the starting pitching, which lately seems to always be either stellar or awful on any given night. Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen are aces more often than not, but the other three rotation spots have been consistently shaky with occasional flashes of brilliance.

The Orioles have already made a splash in the trade market this year by acquiring DH Jim Thome from the struggling Phillies for a pair of minor leaguers. For awhile now, I’d been wondering if they were really serious about being buyers this year like Dan Duquette said, and if, to that end, they would be looking to pick up another legitimate starting pitcher. Today when I checked my fantasy team (the Mercersburg Rebels, currently in 1st place), the news feed told me that the Orioles are trying to make a trade with the Brewers for RHP Zack Greinke. It also mentioned that the O’s have two highly-touted prospects in Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado that might be part of such a deal.

For the last few years, I’ve always made it a point to have Greinke on my fantasy team. He routinely goes deep into games, puts up lots of strikeouts, and has a very good ERA and WHIP. He won the 2009 AL Cy Young with the Royals, no easy feat when one considers that they’ve been about as bad as the Orioles over the last decade. This year, his record is 9-2, while his team is currently under .500 by five games.

So, all indications are that he would be an excellent pickup if the Orioles can pull this off. However, I would not part with Bundy or Machado to make it happen. Since Milwaukee lost Prince Fielder, they’re in need of a firstbaseman. Perhaps Mark Reynolds could be part of this trade? True, he’s not crushing the ball like he was last year, but Miller Park is definitely hitter-friendly. And now that the Orioles have Chris Davis, there isn’t a tremendous need for Reynolds here anymore. It would also make a big dent in that error rate.

Another thing to consider here is that the era of Brian Roberts is, regrettably, over. He’s given us some tremendous years, but unfortunately the Orioles simply cannot depend on him as an everyday player anymore. Therefore, letting go of Manny Machado would be unwise, because he will be coming of age right about the time when Roberts is officially finished. I don’t think I even need to elaborate on why trading Dylan Bundy would be a bad move, unless of course the Brewers are offering significantly more than just Greinke.

I have to admit, it’s a VERY nice thought that the Orioles’ rotation could eventually consist of Hammel, Chen, Greinke, Britton, and whoever gets their act together. That, coupled with Jones, Wieters, Davis, Markakis, Hardy, and our current bullpen would almost have to be a serious contender.

However, I must reiterate that even if this becomes reality, we are not yet free of Peter The Terrible, and I still remain unconvinced that the Orioles have truly turned the corner as long as he remains in the warehouse.

What do you think? Should the Orioles trade for Greinke? Is there someone else out there you’d like to see them pursue? Comments are always welcome.

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The Infamous Warehouse

Posted on 01 July 2012 by scottzolotorow

 

 

With Jim Thome rolling into Baltimore just a few years past his home run hitting prime and Chris Davis’s monstrous Eutaw Street home run in yesterday’s loss, the question still stands…Will anyone ever hit the old B&O Warehouse? Now I know everyone jumps at the chance to say that Griffey did it in the Derby. And that was an astonishing feat, where the ball traveled approximately 465 feet to the base of the renowned building. The Warehouse is Oriole Park at Camden Yards’ most distinguishing feature. At 1,116 feet long it is known as the longest brick building on the east coast. If you were to stand it up, the Warehouse would be the 7th tallest building in the United States. The six taller are located in either Chicago or New York. Chris Davis’s 437 foot home run yesterday was the 65th home run to reach Eutaw Street. It was the 28th hit by an Oriole and the 8th overall hit this season, which ties a record for most Eutaw bombs in a single season.

So would anyone care to take a guess at who has the third longest Eutaw Street home run? None other then new Oriole, Jim Thome. On July 26th, 1996 as a member of the Cleveland Indians, Thome hit a 440 foot shot of Mike Mussina, who was the Oriole’s ace at the time. Only Henry Rodriguez of the Expos in 1997 and Adam Dunn of the Nationals have hit further balls onto Eutaw Street then Thome’s blast in 1996. Theoretically Jay Gibbons has come the closest, hitting a ball only 4 feet short of the Warehouse back in 2003 against the Phillies, though his ball only traveled 420 feet, 23 feet short of Rodriguez’s longest shot in ’97.

Jim Thome has 609 career regular season home runs. His furthest homerun of his career was a 511 foot blast at then Jacobs Field in Cleveland back in his seventh major league season in 1997. Now by my predictions that would have hit the Warehouse without a doubt if he pulled it. Nobody has ever hit a further home run at Progressive Field. But will he be the first to do it, or maybe it will be the earlier mentioned, Chris Davis. But my guess is eventually, it will be done. If Adam Dunn was a member of the Orioles I think he would have done it. This season, of his 24 home runs, two of them would have been the longest home runs in Eutaw Street history, and who knows maybe his 450 foot blast on April 6th, may have been the first ball to make it to the still uncharted territory. But here’s to hoping that it’s Thome’s first blast as an Oriole that makes it there because wouldn’t that be a great story.

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Making Sense of Thome

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Making Sense of Thome

Posted on 01 July 2012 by Brett Dickinson

The Orioles made the first move in what looks to be a very close race in the AL East, proving they are buyers at the trade deadline for the first time since the Clinton administration. Though it does not look like a major move, it is significant to a young team making a playoff push for the first time. The O’s are not just adding a bat, they are making a change in the culture.

Thome’s addition will add left handed power to the middle of order, which is struggling to get in a rhythm as of late. His presence as a DH will set the lineup, moving everyone else in to their proper role. Adam Jones has been forced to bat clean up lately because of the lack of power on the everyday roster but with Thome in Baltimore, Jones can move to three hole, where his plate discipline and speed on the base path will have a larger impact. In turn, Nick Markakis moves up to the two hole (when he returns to the lineup), where his ability to hit spray doubles all over the field belongs. Finally, Matt Wieters and Chris Davis now move down in the lineup, alleviating some of the pressure they have to perform.

This move also allows the Orioles to make the move everyone has been clamoring for in Baltimore; keep Mark Reynolds out of the lineup. He has really frustrated the fan base with his inability to produce in the field and his inconsistency at the plate. If they could trade Reynolds away before the deadline, he will not bring back a major haul, but should be enough to replace what they sent to Philly.

The lineup with Thome in place and everyone back to full health looks as the following:

1. Brian Roberts (2B)
2. Nick Markakis (RF)
3. Adam Jones (CF)
4. Jim Thome (DH)
5. J.J. Hardy (SS)
6. Chris Davis (1B)
7. Matt Wieters (C)
8. Wilson Betemit (3B)
9. Xavier Avery (LF)

But this move is not just about the lineup, as Thome may have a larger impact in the locker room. This guy has been repeatedly touted as one of the nicest guys in the league, proving he will be helpful hand in the development of the Baby Birds. He is a winner and veteran presence this lineup sorely needs to weather the rigors of a 162 game season.

In this current starting lineup, only Hardy and Betemit have even taken an at bat in the playoffs with 43 combined; Thome has 217 postseason at bats by himself. His value is beyond his batting average and home run total; his experience adds much needed poise to the roster. But it also means Dan Duquette is prepared to make the necessary moves to keep the Orioles in the race through September.

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The Thome Acquisition: Analyzed

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The Thome Acquisition: Analyzed

Posted on 30 June 2012 by James Finn

He has been an Indian, a Phillie (twice), a White Sox, a Twin, a Dodger, and now, we can call Jim Thome a Oriole.  Thome was acquired this afternoon from Philadelphia.  In return, we send RHP Kyle Simon and C Gabriel Lino.  Thome has a hall-of-fame pedigree. 609 Home Runs ties him with (former Oriole) Sammy Sosa for 7th place all time.  He’s a 5 time All-Star, 2 time Man of the Year, and is the All time record holder (modern era) for Walk off Home Runs.

The Orioles have a propensity for adding aging talent to their roster.  We’ve seen before:  names like Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada, Jamie Moyer, Javy Lopez, Kevin Millar…and that’s just the last few years.  Thome is no different, as he turns 42 years young on August 27th.  Thome does indeed add a Veteran presence , and has a reputation for being a positive impact in the clubhouse.

The Phillies chose to part ways with Thome.  He wasn’t able to be their every day First Baseman, due to back issues.  He struggled this season as a pinch hitter, but during interleauge play, where he was able to be the DH for 9 consecutive games, his stats were fantastic for any power hitter .333/4/14 with a .722 slugging percentage.  The Orioles have completed inter league play, and would  only face a National League team should they advance to World Series play.  As an Oriole,  Thome is an every day player at DH, something the Orioles have lacked this season, with Showalter moving position  players in and out of that role on a day to day basis.

While this trade does not fix our fielding issues, this does add a man with a proven history to put Runs on the board.  The O’s had won many of games this season despite their sloppy defense, they haven’t won game where they couldn’t produce runs.

From the business side of the deal, the Orioles have a win.  While it’s too soon to tell if the a-ball talents Simon or Lino will develop into big name talents, we didn’t deal away any of our key developing prospects to trigger this trade (Bundy, Machado, Schoop, etc).  Financially, Thome has very little impact.  His contract this season is a mere $1.25M, half of which the Phillies will pay.  Comparatively, Mark Reynolds is set to earn $7.5M (and worth every penny, right?).  Perhaps adding a Left Handed Power Bat like Thome make it a bit easier to put Reynolds on the trade block, and not need as much in return.

Most importantly, the front office making a roster move that will seriously keep the club in contention, I see as a huge leap of faith to the fanbase.  Even if Thome doesn’t jump in and begin producing, that fact that the organization wasn’t satisfied to leave well enough alone, well, makes me hopeful that this won’t be the only roster addition before the trade deadline.

Thome is likely to be in the lineup on Sunday, as the Orioles try to split their 4 game series against Thome’s former club, the Cleveland Indians.

 

@JamesTFinn

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Orioles acquire Jim Thome

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Orioles acquire Jim Thome

Posted on 30 June 2012 by WNST Staff

FoxSports and CSNPhilly.com are reporting that the Orioles have acquired Jim Thome from the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday in exchange for Frederick Keys P Kyle Simon, the Orioles fourth-round pick in 2011 out of Arizona, and Delmarva Shorebirds catcher Gabriel Lino.

The Orioles confirmed the FoxSports report Saturday afternoon, and said that Thome will suit up as the Orioles’ full-time DH for the first time Sunday against his old team, the Cleveland Indians.

Thome,41, is currently hitting .242 with 62 ABs, 5 HRs, and 15 RBIs in 30 games of action.

In 2011 with the Minnesota Twins, Thome became only the eighth member of the 600-HR club.

The five-time All-Star has spent time with five other clubs in his major league career, including the Indians, Twins, White Sox, Dodgers, and Phillies.

Simon was 2-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 14 starts for the Keys.

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