Tag Archive | "Mike Gonzalez"

50 words or less .... Monday, May 2nd

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50 words or less …. Monday, May 2nd

Posted on 02 May 2011 by Rex Snider

Well, another weekend comes to an end, but not without some very telling observations:

The Ravens are looking better …..

The Orioles are certainly playing better …..

And, Americans wake up feeling better …..
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GREAT, GREAT NEWS
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By now, the world knows Osama Bin Laden has been killed by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan. It doesn’t take a situation such as this one to inspire words about patriotism and love of nation.

But, this operation absolutely serves as another reminder that U.S. NAVY SEALS ARE BAD ASS DUDES !!!!
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A Minor Adjustment ???
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If you’re down on Mike Gonzalez’s contributions to the Orioles bullpen, have a little faith, okay? The struggling reliever is changing his windup in an effort to overcome his disastrous struggles.

Gonzalez’s 13.50 ERA is about to be a figure of the past. By all accounts, it should be down to 9.00 by the All Star break.
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Welcome to Baltimore, Mr. & Mr. Smith
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On Saturday, the “Jimmy and Torrey Show” rolled into Owings Mills for the very first time. In a draft distinction, lets hope the newest Ravens will be tied together in a Ray Lewis/Jon Ogden, Joe Flacco/Ray Rice kinda way.

While these rookies will be on opposite sides of the ball, they share many similar characteristics in size and speed. When is the last time a pair of pure athletes were the first draft-day additions for the franchise?

Aside from all the analysis of what they can do on the field, it’s appearing Jimmy might be able to follow one of Torrey’s off-field strengths; the kid is a damn sharp dresser !!!!
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Yikes
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I’m certain this is an obvious revelation for the diehard fantasy baseball fans. But, for the remainder of the sports loving world, have you noticed the cache’ of formidable American League sticks that continue to struggle into May’s first week?

Alex Rios – .155 avg., 1 hr
Jorge Posada – .133 avg., 6 hr
Nick Markakis – .206 avg., 2 hr
Adam Dunn – .171 avg., 3 hr
Carl Crawford – .168 avg., 1 hr
Kevin Youkilis – .218 avg., 5 hr

Time to panic? Nope. Every single one of these guys has produced and will produce, again. This is the perfect time to BUY in fantasy leagues, and if you’re a fan just enjoy some upcoming hot streaks.
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Egg-cellent
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I’m not a proponent of fans assaulting each other, or even getting physical in any capacity. I also believe the idiots who run on a field of play should be issued some “Mike Curtis Justice”.

Quite frankly, I don’t like spectators affecting an outcome or disturbing another’s enjoyment of a performance …..

But, to the Australians who pelted Justin Bieber with eggs at his Saturday night concert, I’d like to say “THANK YOU” !!!!
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Five For Fighting
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In the waning days of Spring Training, I made a bold prediction:

The AL-East could feature 5 teams with .500 or better records. I honestly believe this is a possibility, especially given the improved potential with the Orioles and Blue Jays.

As May begins, the Yankees, Rays and Orioles are at .500 or better. The Red Sox and Blue Jays are within a few games of breaking even and it’s obvious to assume both clubs will play better as the season stretches toward summer.

Remember my prediction …. I’ll chat with you, this afternoon, at 2pm !!!!

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New Orioles coming up empty as losses continue to mount

Posted on 18 April 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Over the current losing streak, which grew to eight games with a 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Monday, the Orioles haven’t hit or pitched well. Whether talking about young players or veterans, mainstays or newcomers, the Orioles simply haven’t performed, transforming a harmonious 6-1 start into a 6-9 crisis in a matter of only nine days.

No one is absolved from the last eight games, but it’s hard to overlook the newest Orioles and their struggles to begin the season.

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President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail set out to improve a club that finished 34-23 under manager Buck Showalter by adding offensive pieces to provide protection for developing positional players and alleviate the pressure on a young starting rotation. He also looked to add a veteran to the back-end of the bullpen after the disastrous early-season results from Michael Gonzalez a season ago.

The architect was applauded for signing two former All-Stars, Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, to fill the third and fourth spots in the lineup. MacPhail traded for third baseman Mark Reynolds and shortstop J.J. Hardy in separate deals to complete the infield transformation.

Kevin Gregg — along with his 37 saves — was lured to Baltimore with a two-year, $10 million contract and a not-so-secret agreement to be the closer despite Koji Uehara’s success in the role last season.

After 15 games — yes, only 15 games — it’s not looking too hot.

Lee and Guerrero have looked the part of two aging sluggers with their best years long behind them. Lee’s average dipped to .204 after an 0-for-2 night in which he drew two walks. The first baseman’s plate discipline and defense are as good as ever, but his bat has looked slow, with only two extra base hits and struggling to get around on good fastballs.

The free-swinging Guerrero’s average fell to .242 after going 0 for 4 against the Twins. The slugger has yet to draw a walk in 62 at-bats this season and is slugging an anemic .306 with only two hits going for extra bases. Entering the night, his 2.97 pitches seen per plate appearance was the lowest among American League hitters with 50 or more at-bats.

Meanwhile, Guerrero’s occupation of the designated hitter’s spot has pushed Luke Scott to left field on an everyday basis, weakening the defense and putting more pressure on the inexperienced pitching staff.

It’s not exactly the return the Orioles had in mind after spending $15.25 million for the third and fourth spots in the order.

Reynolds has fared better than the latter two with a .692 OPS, but his .224 average isn’t going to make anyone forget his struggles from a season ago in Arizona. His defense has also been erratic, looking like a Gold Glover on one play but then struggling to make the simple throw on the next.

Of course, Hardy is currently rehabbing a strained oblique in Sarasota, leaving the Orioles with a giant hole in the No. 9 spot in the order currently occupied by the combination of Cesar Izturis and Robert Andino.

With an offense sputtering near the bottom of the American League in numerous statistical categories, the offseason discussion of the Orioles having one of the best lineups in the league seem downright preposterous.

“I’m still excited about [the lineup],” said center fielder Adam Jones, who hit his third home run of the season in the seventh inning. “You’ve never heard about anybody going in a slump? It’s [15 games] into the season or however many games. Not everybody is going to rake the entire season, so it’s a spell. Let’s get it all out of the way now and come back tomorrow ready to swing the bats.”

The Orioles hope the struggles of Gregg are also just a spell as he melted down again in the ninth inning on Monday, allowing two runs — one coming on a wild pitch — and walking two batters to transform a narrow 3-2 deficit into an insurmountable three-run hole. The right-hander left to a showering of boos reminiscent of Gonzalez’s early-season struggles last season.

The Orioles paid handsomely for Gregg’s 37 saves a year ago, ignoring his career 4.02 earned run average and 1.33 WHIP that suggest he’s a solid enough reliever, but not the guy you’re going to feel comfortable with in the ninth inning, night in and night out.

While shopping for inexpensive, short-term solutions in the lineup, MacPhail has  invested $22 million over the last two offseasons on middle-of-the-road closers in Gonzalez and Gregg. Regardless of how the duo fares the rest of the season, giving multi-year contracts to pedestrian relief pitchers just doesn’t pay off.

Of course, I realize it’s still early. The Orioles weren’t as good as their 6-1 start and aren’t as bad as the current 0-8 spell sparking nightmares of last season among the frustrated fan base.

Lee and Guerrero deserve — and will undoubtedly get — plenty of time to snap out of their early-season slumps. Their track records speak for themselves.

Perhaps Gregg will figure out his issues and rebound to become the closer the Orioles envisioned in the offseason.

But these were the guys brought to Baltimore to prevent these types of losing streaks and late-inning meltdowns from taking place as they did a season ago.

And so far, none of it has worked.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Buck Showalter, Chris Tillman, and Adam Jones following the 5-3 loss to the Twins on Monday night.

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Good Luck, Buck

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Jay Trucker

After Buck Showalter’s first night as the Orioles skipper resulted in a 6-3 win, everyone at Oriole Park smiles. Well, everyone but Rick Dempsey, who told The Sun’s Dan Connolly on the day of the Showalter-opening home stand that hiring Bucky instead of The Dipper is “the biggest mistake made here in a long time.”

Really, Dempsey? Really? Worse than Garrett Atkins? Worse than Rich Hill? Worse than Ryan Freel? Worse than…oh, you get the point. Rick, that is one helluva mistake we’re talking about.

Anyhow, the MASN curmudgeon and 1983 World Series MVP aside, Tuesday night was an encouraging one for The Birds and their new front man.

The crowd was loud. The players, spirited. The pitching, solid. Heck, even Mike Gonzalez looked good in 1.2 innings of work.
A baseball lifer like Buck Showalter won’t be carried away by a single performance, but it was nevertheless good to hear the crowd give him a long cheer when he came out of the dugout to chat with manager Jerry Lane.

I, for one, am happy to see Showalter slide Nick Markakis into the number two spot in the lineup. Markakis is an on base guy, not a power guy, and it seemed that Dave Trembley refused to move him out of sheer stubbornness. This is a small sign, to be sure, but it is a sign that Showalter is going to put the lineup out there that he thinks has the best chance to win.

And that’s good because it would be nothing short of a miracle if Showalter were able to coax a .500 finale out of a squad that has not been in the playoff hunt since the second week of the season. Traditionally, bad teams fall off the cliff as the second grinds towards its anti-climactic conclusion, and the Orioles have been no exception. Last year, the club went 6-20 in September.

Perhaps Buck’s pre-game “chat” with his new team inspired their gritty performance on Tuesday night. Maybe the guys can respect a manager who has played the game before, not to mention a guy who has won the game as a manager before. It breeds confidence.

Tuesday’s win breeds confidence, too. Omens are silly, but starting a manager’s tenure with a 6-3 victory is certainly better than starting with, say, a 30-3 loss.

It will take more than a few chats to get this team back on track. But if he can help bring this sad franchise back to respectability, Buck Showalter will be hailed as a hero in Baltimore. For Orioles fans optimism is foolish. But hope and optimism are two different things, and we’re all at least hoping that Buck Showalter’s tenure is the start of a new era for the once-proud Orioles.

Good luck, Buck.

Sincerely,

Everyone in Baltimore Except Rick Dempsey

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Orioles roster moves: Gonzalez back, Patton promoted (and demoted)

Posted on 21 July 2010 by Luke Jones

With the bullpen completely spent after extensive work in the last three games, the Orioles needed immediate relief help.

The Orioles announced a series of roster moves prior to Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez has been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list, left-handed pitcher Troy Patton has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, and third baseman Josh Bell has been optioned to the Tides. To make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, Jim Johnson has been moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

Gonzalez was placed on the disabled list on April 10 with a strained left shoulder. At the time of his injury, Gonzalez had recorded one save in three appearances, much to fans’ chagrin.

Patton was 6-9 with a 4.91 ERA in 18 starts for Norfolk this season. He posted a 3.44 ERA over his last nine outings for Norfolk. This will be Patton’s first stint in the big leagues since 2007. Patton’s stay with the Orioles could be brief, as Kevin Millwood is expected to return from the disabled list to make the start on Thursday night. Patton will wear uniform No. 54.

Bell batted .263 (6-19) in six games for the Orioles and had been rotting away on the bench in his latest stint with Baltimore.

Johnson has been on the disabled list since May 28 with right elbow inflammation. He was 1-1 with one save and a 6.52 ERA in 10 games for the Orioles.

UPDATE: As expected, the Orioles optioned Patton back to Norfolk following Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Rays. Kevin Millwood will be activated Thursday to make the start in the first of a four-game set against the Minnesota Twins.

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Orioles option Tillman to Norfolk

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Luke Jones

Chris Tillman is heading to the minors—again.

After being hammered for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings in Monday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the 22-year-old has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Tillman is 1-4 with a 7.92 ERA (25.0 IP, 22 ER) in six starts with the Orioles this season. He made two starts after being promoted for the second time this season on July 10, going 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA (10.0 IP, 8 ER), including a victory in which he pitched a career-high 7 1/3 innings on July 10 against the Texas Rangers.

A corresponding roster move will be announced prior to tomorrow’s game against Tampa Bay. The most likely candidates are veteran starting pitcher Kevin Millwood (on the 15-day DL) or reliever Mike Gonzalez (60-day DL). It was announced earlier Tuesday that Millwood would make his returning start on Thursday night.

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The Orioles 2010 All Star and Un-Star Representatives

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Jay Trucker

With the All Star game fast approaching, it is time for the obligatory speculative blog to determine who will and who should represent the Orioles. Despite their four game winning streak, it’s still safe to say a team with a record this pitiful does not deserve an All Star. However, since each team must have at least a single representative at the Midsummer Classic, someone wearing the O’s cap will make the exhibition club.

By the way, why didn’t anyone mention the “each team must have an All Star” rule to Adam Jones? He certainly doesn’t seem aware of this in his omnipresent MASN commercial, in which he talks proudly of “earning the title All Star” while squatting an unimpressive 235 lbs.

Someone on the horrendous 25 man roster had to “earn” the title All Star, Adam. It’s like being the smartest kid to repeat the eighth grade.

Anyway, I wouldn’t look for Jones to repeat as the O’s lone All Star this year. He is on an eight game hitting streak, but his defense has been suspect at times, and he spent most of April and May whiffing at breaking balls. Time to up your squats, Jonesy.

Ty Wigginton was an early season favorite, as he got off to a hot start that nearly makes up for his pitiful 2009. But he has leveled off recently, hitting .266 on the season with no homers in the past month.

A few local writers are pulling for Jason Berken, but he’s a little-known middle reliever on a bad team. He has about as much chance of making the All Star team as you or me.

Miguel Tejada could act like he’s been there before because he’s been there before. Tejada is hitting .287 while making the move to third base. I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see him get the nod, if only for his name recognition.

The Oriole truly deserving the All Star nod is Nick Markakis. When he’s not calling out his underachieving teammates or dining with Peter Angelos, Markakis has been hitting .306 while exhibiting his usual stellar defense in right field. With only 3 home runs on the year, Markakis has not rediscovered his power stroke, but he is walking at a higher ratio than last year, posting a .398 OBP on the season. Most criticism of Markakis is due to the fact that he is a natural number two hitter forced to hit in the number three spot for this undertalented team. Hopefully his fifth season in the bigs will bring him his first of many All Star nods. He’s been one of the only bright spots both on and off the field this season.

While Markakis is the clear choice for the All Star game, a doppleganger “Unstar” game would have several Baltimore Orioles candidates. Here’s a partial list of underachievers.

Garrett Atkins – Gone but not forgotten. Atkins told The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec, “Taking my [batting practice] and stuff the last month or so, it’s been pretty good. I’ve been driving the ball well. I just haven’t been able to transfer it over to the games.” You hear that, New York Yankees? Atkins is doing great in BP. Now if only he could hit in games.

Mike Gonzalez – An Andy MacPhail offseason pickup who may be the only Oriole to ever get booed in his Camden Yards debut. Last seen giving up home runs in short season A ball for Aberdeen. Seriously.

Brian Roberts – In year one of a four-year $40 million deal, Roberts had only 16 plate appearances in 2010 before going on the long-term DL. He can be seen giving video updates on MASN from local dog parks. Seriously.

Koji Uehara – another waste of money and roster space, Uehara’s most impressive achievement to date is his ability to hop on and off the disabled list. Enjoy ingthe humidity, Koji?

Matt Wieters – Nicknamed “switch-hitting Jesus,” Wieters is hitting .238 on the season.

Let’s hope that Nick Markakis’ name is called for the real All Star game. The real question is, who is your Orioles Unstar?

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

Posted on 22 June 2010 by 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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Live from Camden Yards: Roberts’ back “not really good,” more tests coming

Posted on 08 June 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Good afternoon from Oriole Park at Camden Yards as the Orioles (16-41) prepare to welcome the New York Yankees (35-22) for the first of a three-game set this evening at 7:05 p.m.

The biggest piece of news from Juan Samuel in his pre-game meeting with the media was an update on Brian Roberts described as “not really good.”

After previously being scheduled to play in an extended spring training game last Friday, Roberts continues to experience lower back pain and will undergo a battery of tests over the next few days. While all parties have downplayed the possibility of surgery ever since Roberts missed most of spring training with a herniated disc, Samuel did not seem optimistic over the second baseman’s prognosis and whether he might have to undergo surgery.

“We don’t know,” Samuel said. “Like I said, they’re going to run more tests here in the next two or three days, and we’ll see once the doctors evaluate his situation, we will know more on that.”

Roberts is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday, but his status for the remainder of the season remains very much in doubt at this point.

Mike Gonzalez threw an inning in an extended spring training game this afternoon, giving up a hit and showing velocity in the mid-80s, according to reports given to Samuel.

“His velocity is still down, but just to have him throwing an inning is an encouraging sign,” Samuel said.

The interim manager gave a more positive prognosis on reliever Alfredo Simon, describing him as the “closest guy” to coming off the disabled list as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury sustained in the series finale in Washington two weeks ago.

The Orioles still haven’t decided on a starting pitcher for Saturday, citing a need to see how the Yankees series plays out and whether the club will need Brad Bergesen to work out of the bullpen in long relief.

Triple-A starter Jake Arrieta would be the likely call-up to make Saturday’s start if the club needs to make a roster move for another starting pitcher to face the New York Mets.

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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5:00 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

New York
SS Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
DH Jorge Posada
CF Curtis Granderson
C Francisco Cervelli
LF Brett Gardner

SP Phil Hughes (7-1, 2.54 ERA)

Baltimore
2B Julio Lugo
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
DH Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
LF Lou Montanez
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Kevin Millwood (0-6, 4.29 ERA)

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2010 MLB Draft: MacPhail has already made a few mistakes before it has even started

Posted on 07 June 2010 by Jason Jubb

Build the farm system through the draft. Grow the arms, buy the bats. Sound familiar?

I am on board with all of that, but in order to do that you need draft picks and Andy MacPhail has made some poor moves that will now work against him. In MLB, you cannot deal draft picks as in the NFL, but you can have picks added or taken away based on free agents that you acquire or lose.

Free agents are broken up into two classes: Type A and Type B. The class is determined by the Elias Sports Bureau, which ranks each player by position. If a player is in the top 20% they are type A and if they are in the 21%-40% range they are type B.

Signing a type A free agent will cost a team their 1st round pick as long as it is not in the top 15 or it will be their 2nd round pick if it is in the top 15. The team that loses the free agent also gets a “sandwich” pick between rounds 1 and 2.

When it comes to a type B free agent, the team that loses them only gets a “sandwich” pick.

Also, tying into this is the fact that the team losing the free agent must offer arbitration to the departing free agent in order to receive compensation.

What did MacPhail do in the past year to affect this?

First, he dealt Gregg Zaun for Rhyne Hughes. I’m sorry, but Rhyne Hughes was not a prospect when he was acquired. He was a guy that started last year in AA, at age 25. At the time of the deal he had struck out 149 times in 440 AB’s between AA-AAA.

Sure, we didn’t have a spot for Zaun with Wieters, but he only logged 94 AB’s with the Rays before becoming a Type B free agent and declining arbitration from the Rays. This move netted the Rays the #42 pick in the 2010 Draft.

Basically, MacPhail chose Rhyne Hughes instead of the #42 pick. Do you really think Zaun would have accepted arbitration to stay on this horrible team?

Next, it was the signing of Mike Gonzalez. Let’s just forget the fact that Mike Gonzalez has been a disaster on the field. The Orioles had to give up their 2nd pick which was #53 overall (Gonz was a Type A FA) to acquire a closer for a team that wasn’t going to be in contention anyway.

Two moves that cost the team two picks they surely could have used. Was MacPhail thinking ahead? Or better yet, is he currently thinking ahead?

The Elias rankings do not come out until year end, but there are people who have “reverse engineered” their formula to get up to date rankings. What will he do with Kevin Millwood who could potentially be a type A player? If he chooses to deal him, he had better get something solid in return or he could keep him and offer arbitration which he would surely decline.

I want to give MacPhail the benefit of the doubt but his recent track record suggests he will make more short sighted mistakes in the near future.

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Saturday Orioles Notes: Bergesen to bullpen (at least temporarily)

Posted on 05 June 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — It’s another hot day at Camden Yards accompanied by little good news as the Orioles (15-40) prepare to face the Red Sox (32-24) in the second of a three-game set after Boston battered the Baltimore pitching staff in an 11-0 rout on Friday night.

Brad Bergesen has been moved to the bullpen—at least temporarily—to add another arm with the luxury of an off day on Monday. The rest of the staff will work on regular rest with the 24-year-old working in a relief role. Interim manager Juan Samuel said there are no defined plans to keep Bergesen in the bullpen long-term, but that could change as Jake Arrieta continues to dominate Triple-A batters.

“We don’t know how long he’s going to be down there,” the manager said.

Bergesen gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 9-1 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. His earned run average now stands at 6.75 after pitching to a 3.43 clip in his rookie season a year ago.

The club continues to point to an inconsistent arm slot as the main reason for Bergesen’s struggles in his sophomore campaign. The pitcher’s sinker continues to miss up in the strike zone, a dangerous place to be for a guy with underwhelming stuff.

Mike Gonzalez completed another bullpen session today, and the results were not good. The left-handed closer was “not hitting his spots” and displayed inconsistent velocity, according to Samuel.

The Orioles were targeting Gonzalez to return at some point during the West Coast trip to San Francisco and San Diego in a couple weeks, but that goal looks to be in serious doubt. Gonzalez will now take the next two days off and complete another session on Tuesday.

Staying on the topic of closers, Samuel was asked who he would go to in a save situation should the Orioles find themselves with a rare ninth-inning lead.

“Right now, if we need to, [Will] Ohman is going to be our guy.”

Samuel also said he envisions David Hernandez as a late-inning guy in the bullpen.

Brian Roberts failed again to play in an extended spring training game on Saturday, as he continues to experience lower back pain. While the soreness was labeled a “minor setback” by Samuel on Friday, he took a more cautious tone when asked about Roberts’ status.

“It’s obviously a concern.”

The possibility of surgery has been shot down repeatedly, but at some point, you have to question the merit of trying to rehabilitate a serious injury without at least considering surgery as a realistic option. After all, we’re talking about a team that’s already 16 1/2 games behind fourth place.

Is it worth it?

Here is tonight’s lineup:

Baltimore
LF Corey Patterson
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
C Matt Wieters
CF Adam Jones
DH Garrett Atkins
2B Julio Lugo
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Jeremy Guthrie (3-5, 3.84 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat tonight at 7:00 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss tonight’s action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about tonight’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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4:55 p.m. — With Matt Wieters continuing to struggle with a .236 average, Samuel professed the need to give the catcher a few more days off than he’s had through the first third of the season. The catcher is hitting just .198 (19-for-96) since May 1 and has struck out 26 times in that span.

Coupled with the responsibility of handling a young starting rotation, Samuel thinks “a break here and there” will help the young catcher to maintain a higher energy level at the plate.

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