Tag Archive | "Orioles"

Report: Orioles discussing Burnett trade with Phillies

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Report: Orioles discussing Burnett trade with Phillies

Posted on 20 July 2014 by Glenn Clark

With Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline less than two weeks away, the Baltimore Orioles are apparently pursuing help for their starting rotation. FoxSports.com/Fox Sports 1′s Jon Morosi reported the following Saturday…



The right hander is 6-9 this season with a 4.08 ERA and 1.361 WHIP over 21 starts in 2014-although he has shown durability by working 136.2 innings-over six innings per start. The 16 year veteran signed a deal with the Phils in the offseason after receiving interest from the Birds in free agency. Burnett’s contract is a bit complicated, as explained in a NJ.com report…

Burnett’s contract could scare off potential suitors if the Phillies don’t eat money in a complex one-year, $16 million contract that easily could turn into a two-year, $32.25 million deal by virtue of a 2015 player option and performance bonuses.

If Burnett stays healthy this season and doesn’t play in 2015, a team trading for him this month could end up paying as little as $5.25 million – $2.5 million in salary, $1.75 million in bonuses (if he makes 10 more starts) and a $1 million buyout.

But if Burnett opts to play in 2015 and he makes 32 starts this season – he’s 12 away – his club option jumps from $8.5 million to $12.75 million. He also can earn another $500,000 next season for making his 24th and 27th starts, and $750,000 for making his 30th start.

Burnett last pitched in the American League in 2011 with the New York Yankees (where he had won a World Series ring in 2009), going 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA. It was his second consecutive season with a five plus ERA for the Yanks, although he followed it up with consecutive sub four ERA seasons after moving to the National League and joining the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Phillies have been expected to be interested in moving a number of veterans, perhaps also including fellow pitchers Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels as well as second baseman Chase Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Philly improved to 43-54 Saturday after a 2-1 over the Atlanta Braves. They are 10 games back of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves in the NL East.

Burnett has a no-trade clause in his contract with Philly, but it is believed the O’s are not one of the 21 teams he could block a deal to as his family lives in Monkton. The starter had reportedly chosen the Phillies in part because he did not want to pitch in the AL.

A logjam already exists in the starting rotation in Charm City, as Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez will re-join Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen and Kevin Gausman this week. Ubaldo Jimenez (ankle) is slated to return closer to August and the Orioles have not ruled out returning to a six man rotation. Acquiring Burnett or another starter before July 31 would leave the Birds with difficult roster decisions to make. Gonzalez and Chen would seem to be the most likely candidates to be moved to the bullpen.

It is not known what the Phillies would be seeking in compensation for Burnett. Most reports have suggested the O’s would not be likely to part with Gausman or fellow former first round draft pick pitchers Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey. Other Orioles prospects who could potentially be interesting to the Phillies or another team looking to make a trade include pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez, Mike Wright and Tim Berry; outfielder Dariel Alvarez and first baseman Christian Walker.

Burnett was roughed up in his most recent start, allowing six earned runs on ten hits and a walk over five innings in a loss to the Braves.

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Baltimore PR expert Abel says relevant Orioles good for city throughout summer

Posted on 18 July 2014 by WNST Audio

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Orioles can prove to be beasts of East by surviving West Coast

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Orioles can prove to be beasts of East by surviving West Coast

Posted on 18 July 2014 by Luke Jones

Sitting in first place at the All-Star break for the first time since 1997 didn’t exactly earn the Orioles any favors as they started the second half of the season in Oakland on Friday night.

A 10-game West Coast trip against the two teams with the best records in the majors and the second wild card leader in the American League probably gave manager Buck Showalter a restless night or two over this week’s respite. Knowing the Orioles play their next 23 games against clubs with winning records — not to mention the six following that against teams with .500 marks at the break — likely made him lose even more sleep.

Of course, Showalter and the Orioles have every right to feel good about themselves after winning 25 of their last 40 to move to 10 games above .500 and turn a 4 1/2-game deficit into a four-game lead over that stretch. They’ve built themselves a small cushion in a division in which no one is without sizable warts and imperfections with Toronto and New York seemingly moving in the wrong direction and Boston and Tampa Bay being mostly bad all season.

No, the trip to the West Coast will neither break nor make the Orioles’ chances of winning their first American League East title since 1997, but those 10 games allow them an opportunity to flex their muscles as a man amongst boys in an underwhelming division. Holding their own in Oakland, Anaheim, and Seattle — even going 5-5 — would not only keep the Orioles in first place but allow them to return home in late July in prime position to continue their quest to a second postseason appearance in the last three years.

A strong showing against the imposing AL West over the next couple weeks could be the difference between a relatively comfortable journey to October and needing to scratch and claw over the final two months of the regular season. In the same way that the Orioles took advantage of the recent struggles of the Blue Jays, the rest of the AL East will be rooting for Baltimore to wilt before finally returning to Camden Yards on July 29.

A starting rotation that’s pitched to a 3.18 ERA over its last 33 games will now face the two highest-scoring offenses in baseball over the next six contests. It was a 1-6 run against the Athletics and the Angels earlier this month that saw the Blue Jays’ one-game lead in the division turn into a 2 1/2-game deficit by the time they left the West Coast.

Even with the daunting stretch staring them in the face, the Orioles couldn’t ask for better timing as they’ll feel more rested now than they will at any point over the rest of the season. Aside from the current ankle injury to starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez — which many critics would deem a blessing anyway — the Orioles are as healthy as they’ve been at any point during the first half of the season.

Showalter has set up his rotation to include the 23-year-old Kevin Gausman — who could finally be with the Orioles for good — and will be looking for his starting pitchers to pick up where they left off to close the first half. And he’ll hope the inconsistent offense — currently ranked seventh in the AL in runs scored — will finally hit its stride and struggling first baseman Chris Davis starts looking more like the force he was a year ago and less like the .199 hitter who was lost at the plate for the first 3 1/2 months of the season.

By no means was it a perfect first half for the first-place Orioles as they lost catcher Matt Wieters for the season and saw their $50 million investment in Jimenez lead the majors in walks, but Baltimore was the least flawed of anyone in the division and still appears that way beginning the most difficult road trip of the season.

The Orioles can use these next 10 games to flex their muscles as the clear favorite in the division and solidify their first-place standing or could see themselves fall back with the rest of the imperfect pack in the AL East.

They’ve grown accustomed to being the hunter over the last three seasons; it will be interesting to see how they start the second half as the hunted after four days off to think about it.

By no means is it do or die, but the West Coast trip will be an opportunity for the Orioles to stake their claim as the overwhelming favorite in the division while sampling what they could see again in October.

 

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Orioles celebrating 60th anniversary on Aug. 8

Posted on 18 July 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced plans on Thursday to celebrate their 60th Anniversary season in Baltimore with a series of events before, during and after their August 8 game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Orioles are welcoming back 23 Orioles Hall of Famers, who will take part in a spectacular post-game celebration. Expected to attend are Orioles Legends EDDIE MURRAY, CAL RIPKEN, JR., BROOKS ROBINSON, and FRANK ROBINSON, as well as the following Orioles Hall of Famers: BRADY ANDERSON, MIKE BORDICK, DON BUFORD, AL BUMBRY, DOUG DeCINCES, RICK DEMPSEY, DICK HALL, CHRIS HOILES, BILL HUNTER, DENNIS MARTINEZ, TIPPY MARTINEZ, SCOTT McGREGOR, RAY MILLER, GREGG OLSON, MILT PAPPAS, BOOG POWELL, KEN SINGLETON, B.J. SURHOFF, and EDDIE WATT.

During special pre-game ceremonies, the Orioles will honor long-time season plan holders who have been with the club since the inaugural season in 1954. The Orioles will also recognize the Oriole Advocates organization for hosting the sold-out 60th Anniversary luncheon, which will honor members of the Orioles Hall of Fame earlier in the day.

During the game, the Orioles will wear 1954 replica throwback uniforms that will later be autographed and auctioned off at www.orioles.com/auction to raise funds for the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation.

Following the game, the Orioles Hall of Famers will be introduced on the field during a laser light and fireworks display, which will feature highlights from the Orioles’ 60 years in Baltimore that will be displayed on the Oriole Park video boards and the side of the B&O Warehouse.

Tickets for the August 8 game vs. the St. Louis Cardinals are available at www.orioles.com/tickets or by calling 1-888-848-BIRD.

The Orioles have been celebrating the 60th Anniversary all year long, including several promotions and giveaways. Upcoming events, in addition to August 8, include a 60th Anniversary ¾ sleeve t-shirt giveaway (first 20,000 fans 15 & over) on August 1 vs. Seattle and a Wild Bill Cowboy Hat giveaway (first 20,000 fans 15 & over) on August 9 vs. St. Louis.

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Aiming high only way to go if Orioles want to add starting pitching

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Aiming high only way to go if Orioles want to add starting pitching

Posted on 16 July 2014 by Luke Jones

You can never have too much starting pitching, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has repeated that sentiment despite the Orioles enjoying a four-game lead in the American League East at the All-Star break.

The Orioles rank fifth in the American League in pitching and 11th in starting pitching, but unlike the last couple seasons in which they were often desperately looking for just a warm body or two to add to the mix, the starting rotation appears to be moving in the right direction. Even with the season-long struggles of the injured Ubaldo Jimenez, the starting pitching has posted a 3.18 ERA over the last 33 games spanning 198 innings, lowering the starting pitching ERA from 4.61 to 4.09 since June 9.

No one will mistake this rotation for the 1971 Orioles, but Duquette should be picky in any quest to add starting pitching between now and the trade deadline at the end of the month. Wondering whether the club has the quality to compete with the front end of other playoff rotations in October is fair, but the upside of Kevin Gausman and even the second-half track record of Jimenez — who has been dominant for stretches of his career when his mechanics are in order — will be worth monitoring down the stretch with an eye toward the postseason.

Even if the Orioles still lack top-half quality, they have more stability in their rotation than they’ve enjoyed in a long time.

Manager Buck Showalter has used just seven starting pitchers all year with one of them — lefty reliever T.J. McFarland — receiving only one start. In 2013, 14 different pitchers made starts and 10 made at least four starts. The year before that, 12 different hurlers made starts with 10 making at least four starts.

Stability — with relatively decent health — has afforded Duquette the luxury of not needing to look for the likes of Scott Feldman, Joe Saunders, Jair Jurrjens, and Freddy Garcia on this year’s market. That’s what made the recent news of the Orioles scouting Colorado lefty Jorge De La Rosa that much more perplexing as he doesn’t represent an apparent upgrade over anyone — including Jimenez — in the current rotation with his 4.56 ERA in 2014 and 4.69 career mark.

The Orioles have also been linked to San Diego’s Ian Kennedy, who has posted a 3.47 ERA in 20 starts, but he’s a career 3.94 ERA pitcher who’s spent most of his career in the National League. The Padres will likely be asking for a lot for the right-hander, and Duquette shouldn’t part ways with the precious few top prospects he has unless he’s positive he’s gaining a substantial upgrade. Kennedy may provide that, but his talent level should only be the baseline at which the Orioles are looking at this point.

More so than even in 2013 or 2012, the Orioles have plenty of quality when it comes to filling out the back of the rotation. They have an abundance of No. 4 and No. 5 starters.

An injury or two could obviously change that tune quickly, but Duquette must aim high if the Orioles are to add starting pitching between now and the end of the July. Jeff Samardzija has already been dealt to Oakland and David Price may not be traded at all — and they probably don’t have the freight to acquire the AL East pitcher, anyway — but those are the types of arms to be examining.

Anything less is just a waste of time and resources.

Standing pat at catcher

Many have asked about the possibility of the Orioles adding another catcher to the mix as Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley have handled the workload since Matt Wieters underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery, but Duquette has said on several occasions that they’re unlikely to make another move in that department.

Boston officially released A.J. Pierzynski on Wednesday, but the Orioles don’t view him as a significant upgrade offensively — the 37-year-old posted just a .633 on-base plus slugging percentage with the Red Sox — to compromise the rapport Joseph and Hundley have built with the pitching staff and the defensive work they’ve displayed over the better part of two months. And that’s not even mentioning Pierzynski’s outspoken personality that could potentially compromise a strong clubhouse.

Hundley has come on lately with the bat, raising his average to a respectable .250, while Joseph has posted a .690 OPS since the beginning of June and had a solid offensive track record in the minor leagues despite his current .187 average. Neither will fool you as quality offensive catchers, but trying to add an impact backstop while bringing him up to speed with the pitching staff will be extremely difficult.

If the Orioles are looking for an offensive boost, they could take another extended look at Steve Clevenger, but Showalter is going to value defensive work behind the plate and the current duo — particularly Joseph — has done an admirable job in that department.

Left-handed bat still needed

The emergence of Steve Pearce has been one of the great stories of the 2014 season, but the Orioles shouldn’t assume the 31-year-old will continue to perform at a rate that warrants everyday playing time with no questions asked.

His .316 average, 11 home runs, and 31 runs batted in are a major reason why Baltimore currently sits in first place, but it’s still a stretch to expect his current .300 average and .846 OPS against right-handed pitching to continue. For his career, Pearce is hitting just .237 with a .667 OPS against right-handers and that’s including his amazing numbers this season.

In other words, a left-handed hitting outfielder that feasts against right-handed pitching should be a priority to add for the stretch as the only left-handed bats to make real contributions this season are Nick Markakis and the struggling Chris Davis. The speedy Lough has been a major disappointment at the plate, and the Orioles must anticipate the possibility of needing to platoon Pearce if he reverts to his career form.

Even if Pearce continues to thrive as an everyday player, the Orioles would benefit from a left-handed version of Delmon Young to come off the bench in the late innings as Lough and utility player Ryan Flaherty just don’t provide formidable options at the plate. The Orioles had looked into the services of Padres outfielder Seth Smith, who feasts against right-handed pitching, before he signed a two-year extension with San Diego earlier this month.

A player of that ilk would make perfect sense for the roster.

Pondering futures of Cruz and Davis

It’s incredible to think how much can change in a year as Orioles fans were clamoring for the organization to sign Davis to a long-term contract as he entered the All-Star break with 37 home runs last year and would go on to hit a franchise record 53 in 2013. Meanwhile, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was a couple weeks away from beginning a 50-game suspension stemming from his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

A year later, Davis sits with a lowly .199 average at the break while Cruz has parlayed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Orioles into what looks like a pending lucrative payday as he’s second in the majors with 28 home runs and has often carried the Baltimore offense this year while Davis and others have struggled.

It’s interesting to see so many fans crushing Davis for his poor first half — that’s not to say criticism hasn’t been warranted — while screaming for the Orioles to sign the 34-year-old Cruz to a long-term contract when many of those same fans wanted to give Davis the keys to the city last offseason.

The Orioles will certainly make Cruz a qualifying offer after the season to at least recover a draft pick and should see if he’s willing to sign a short-term extension at a higher annual cost per year, but giving him more than two or three years at the most would be a mistake for an aging player coming off what looks to be his career year.

Davis’ future will be more interesting to figure out as he tries to rebound from a miserable first half and remains under team control through next season.

 

 

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Bovada improves Orioles’ World Series odds to 14/1

Posted on 16 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

Odds to win the 2014 World Series (Teams in red have longer odds, teams in blue have shorter odds, and teams in black stayed the same) 

Odds on 6/2/14             Current Odds   

Oakland Athletics                      9/1                                5/1

Detroit Tigers                            6/1                                6/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                8/1                                6/1

Los Angeles Angels                  16/1                              9/1

St. Louis Cardinals                    9/1                                10/1

Washington Nationals                14/1                              10/1

San Francisco Giants                7/1                                12/1

Atlanta Braves                           12/1                              14/1

Baltimore Orioles                       25/1                              14/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    16/1                              16/1

Toronto Blue Jays                     10/1                              18/1

New York Yankees                    16/1                              22/1

Seattle Mariners                        50/1                              25/1

Cincinnati Reds                         40/1                              28/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      75/1                              33/1

Kansas City Royals                   50/1                              40/1

Boston Red Sox                       16/1                              50/1

Cleveland Indians                      66/1                              66/1

Tampa Bay Rays                       50/1                              66/1

New York Mets                          100/1                            200/1

Miami Marlins                            75/1                              250/1

Chicago White Sox                    66/1                              300/1

Minnesota Twins                        200/1                            300/1

Philadelphia Phillies                   150/1                            300/1

Chicago Cubs                           250/1                            500/1

Colorado Rockies                     50/1                              750/1

Texas Rangers                          28/1                              750/1

Arizona Diamondbacks              500/1                            1000/1

Houston Astros                         500/1                            1000/1

San Diego Padres                     200/1                            1000/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL Pennant            

Oakland Athletics                                  13/5

Detroit Tigers                                        3/1

Los Angeles Angels                              9/2

Baltimore Orioles                                   7/1

Toronto Blue Jays                                 9/1

New York Yankees                                11/1

Seattle Mariners                                    12/1

Kansas City Royals                               18/1

Boston Red Sox                                   25/1

Cleveland Indians                                  33/1

Tampa Bay Rays                                   33/1

Chicago White Sox                                150/1

Minnesota Twins                                    150/1

Texas Rangers                                      400/1

Houston Astros                                     500/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL Pennant            

Los Angeles Dodgers                            13/5

St. Louis Cardinals                                4/1

Washington Nationals                            4/1

San Francisco Giants                            11/2

Atlanta Braves                                       7/1

Milwaukee Brewers                                7/1

Cincinnati Reds                                     14/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  16/1

Miami Marlins                                        100/1

New York Mets                                      100/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               150/1

Chicago Cubs                                       250/1

Colorado Rockies                                 400/1

San Diego Padres                                 400/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                          500/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL EAST   

Baltimore Orioles                                   6/5

Toronto Blue Jays                                 9/4

New York Yankees                                11/4

Boston Red Sox                                   14/1

Tampa Bay Rays                                   14/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL CENTRAL           

Detroit Tigers                                        1/7

Kansas City Royals                               5/1

Cleveland Indians                                  10/1

Chicago White Sox                                50/1

Minnesota Twins                                    50/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL WEST  

Oakland Athletics                                  5/11

Los Angeles Angels                              9/5

Seattle Mariners                                    12/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL EAST   

Washington Nationals                            1/2

Atlanta Braves                                       3/2

New York Mets                                      25/1

Miami Marlins                                        33/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               50/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL CENTRAL           

St. Louis Cardinals                                6/5

Milwaukee Brewers                                9/4

Cincinnati Reds                                     3/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  6/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL WEST  

Los Angeles Dodgers                            2/5

San Francisco Giants                            7/4

Arizona Diamondbacks                          250/1

San Diego Padres                                 250/1

Colorado Rockies                                 250/1

 

Awards and Stats Props

Odds to Win the 2014 AL Cy Young          

Felix Hernandez (SEA)                           3/2

Chris Sale (CWS)                                   5/1

Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)                         15/2

Scott Kazmir (OAK)                               15/2

Yu Darvish (TEX)                                   15/2

Sonny Gray (OAK)                                 12/1

Max Scherzer (DET)                               12/1

David Price (TB)                                    14/1

Garrett Richards (LAA)                           14/1

Mark Buehrle (TOR)                               33/1

Jon Lester (BOS)                                   33/1

Corey Kluber (CLE)                                33/1

Rick Porcello (DET)                               33/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 NL Cy Young          

Clayton Kershaw (LAD)                          5/7

Adam Wainwright (STL)                          8/5

Johnny Cueto (CIN)                               10/1

Zack Greinke (LAD)                               12/1

Stephen Strasburg (WAS)                      25/1

Madison Bumgarner (SF)                       25/1

Alfredo Simon (CIN)                              33/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 AL MVP   

Mike Trout (LAA)                                   2/3

Miguel Cabrera (DET)                            9/2

Josh Donaldson (OAK)                          9/1

Robinson Cano (SEA)                           12/1

Nelson Cruz (BAL)                                 12/1

Victor Martinez (DET)                             12/1

Jose Bautista (TOR)                              15/1

Jose Abreu (CHW)                                 20/1

Jose Altuve (HOU)                                 20/1

Michael Brantley (CLE)                           20/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 NL MVP  

Andrew McCutchen (PIT)                        2/1

Troy Tulowitzki (COL)                             9/4

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)                         4/1

Yasiel Puig (LAD)                                  6/1

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)                         15/2

Carlos Gomez (MIL)                               14/1

Clayton Kershaw (LAD)                          15/1

Adam Wainwright (STL)                          40/1

 

Who will hit the most HR’s in the 2014 Regular Season? 

Jose Abreu (CHW)                                 4/5

Nelson Cruz (BAL)                                 3/2

Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)                      7/1

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)                         12/1

Mike Trout (LAA)                                   25/1

Troy Tulowitzki (COL)                             33/1

Chris Carter (HOU)                                 33/1

Victor Martinez (DET)                             40/1

Brandon Moss (OAK)                            40/1

David Ortiz (BOS)                                  50/1

Albert Pujols (LAA)                                50/1

Josh Donaldson (OAK)                          50/1

Anthony Rizzo (CHC)                             50/1

Todd Frazier (CIN)                                 50/1

Jose Bautista (TOR)                              50/1

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 highs, lows of Orioles’ first half

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 highs, lows of Orioles’ first half

Posted on 15 July 2014 by Luke Jones

The Orioles entered the All-Star break in first place for the first time since the 1997, creating plenty of excitement as they try to advance to the postseason for the second time in the last three years.

In honor of this, The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 examined what things went right and what went wrong in the first half of the 2014 season. Luke Jones handled the positives while Drew Forrester took a look at the negatives as the Orioles own a four-game lead over second-place Toronto and are 52-42 on the season.

Luke Jones’ Top 7 Things That Went Right …

7. Kevin Gausman
KG

Even with the Orioles bouncing him back and forth between the majors and Triple-A Norfolk, the 23-year-old pitched to a 3.29 ERA in seven starts and will finally have a chance to remain in the rotation for good in the second half.

6. A 9-3 record in extra-inning games
NH

An incredible 16-2 record in extra innings was a trademark of the magical and surprising 2012 Orioles, but this year’s club has done almost as well in extra frames with one of the best bullpens in the American League.

5. The consistency of Adam Jones
Jones

For all the handwringing over his plate discipline and inability to draw walks, Jones overcame a rough April to post a .301 average with 16 home runs and 54 runs batted in while teammates such as Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy struggled in the first half.

4. Steve Pearce
Pearce

Most wouldn’t have expected the 31-year-old journeyman to have even made the team in spring training, but Pearce has become an everyday player with a .316 average, 11 homers, 31 RBIs, and a .383 on-base percentage in 209 plate appearances.

3. Zach Britton
Britton

The lefty entered the spring with no minor-league options remaining and no clear role, but he not only became a critical piece in the bullpen but eventually replaced closer Tommy Hunter to collect 15 saves and post a tiny 1.30 ERA.

2. Nelson Cruz
Cruz

A one-year, $8 million contract was all it took as Cruz is second in the majors with 28 homers and carried an up-and-down offense for large stretches of the first half while others battled injuries and inconsistency.

1. A 26-18 record in an underwhelming American League East
redsox

The Orioles deserve full credit for taking advantage, but the weakest AL East we’ve seen in years has Baltimore poised to win its first division crown in 17 years with just one other team above the .500 mark at the break.

CONTINUE TO NEXT PAGE FOR DREW FORRESTER’S TOP 7 >>>>>

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Jones bows out in second round of 2014 Home Run Derby

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Jones bows out in second round of 2014 Home Run Derby

Posted on 14 July 2014 by Luke Jones

Taking part in the first Home Run Derby of his career, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones advanced to the second round before bowing out in the 2014 competition at Target Field in Minnesota on Monday night.

The four-time All-Star selection hit four homers in the first round to advance in the new tournament format before falling short against Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who hit nine homers to advance to take on Toronto’s Jose Bautista in the third round. Jones hit three in the second round after Cespedes put up the impressive number, but two laser shots hooked foul, which didn’t help the Baltimore outfielder’s effort.

Cespedes would go on to win the competition for the second year in a row, besting Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier in the finals.

“The #HRDerby is legit,” Jones wrote on his official Twitter account after being eliminated. “Great experience and had a blast. All in the fun of the game.”

Teammate and injured catcher Matt Wieters brought a sports drink to Jones at one point during his second round at the plate, but the energy boost wasn’t enough to get him to the semifinals.

Orioles bullpen catcher Jett Ruiz pitched to Jones in the competition as the 28-year-old was trying to join Cal Ripken in 1991 and Miguel Tejada in 2004 as the only Baltimore players to win the Home Run Derby.

Jones is hitting .301 with 16 home runs and 54 runs batted in this season and will bat seventh behind Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz in the American League starting lineup for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

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Showalter reveals post-break rotation for start of challenging West Coast trip

Posted on 14 July 2014 by Luke Jones

Entering the All-Star break in first place for the first time since 1997, the Orioles won’t receive any breaks to start the second half with a 10-game West Coast trip and three clubs with winning records staring them in the face.

Manager Buck Showalter revealed his starting rotation to begin the second half with Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, and Kevin Gausman pitching in the three-game series against the Oakland Athletics next weekend. After that, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez are expected to be recalled from the minors to make starts against the Los Angeles Angels on July 21 and July 22 before Tillman starts the finale in Anaheim.

Injured starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez will not be activated during the road trip as he continues to work his way back from an injured ankle suffered last week. Showalter said the plan is for the struggling right-hander to make a minor-league rehab start on July 23, which would put him in line to be ready to be activated when the Orioles finally return home on July 29.

Jimenez was still favoring his ankle when he tried to work on Sunday.

“He was trying to protect it and we kind of shortened it up a little bit because it wasn’t getting any better and we didn’t want him to have a setback,” Showalter said. “They have X-rayed I’m pretty sure. He’s had a history and anybody who’s had that ankle, it gets a little weaker each time you do it or it’s more susceptible to it. Obviously, he’s got some [discomfort] in there that we’re going to have to clear up before we can pitch him.”

Catcher Steve Clevenger and relief pitcher Preston Guilmet are expected to accompany the Orioles to the West Coast and remain with the club until Norris and Gonzalez are recalled.

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Orioles prospect Harvey tosses scoreless frame to help US win Futures Game

Posted on 14 July 2014 by WNST Staff

By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer

Joey Gallo let loose his powerful left-handed swing on a too-good-to-pass-up pitch over the plate, producing a soaring two-run homer to give his team the lead for good.

The real damage was done during batting practice, though, before the All-Star Futures game. One of Gallo’s head-turning drives in warmups whacked the top of the windshield of a promotional pickup truck parked on the concourse beyond right field.

The glass was shattered.

Soon, if Gallo continues his trajectory toward the Texas Rangers, the 20-year-old third baseman will be able to make his mark on the majors.

Gallo was picked as the MVP of the annual showcase for baseball’s best minor leaguers, for his long ball in the sixth inning that sent the U.S. team to a 3-2 victory over the World squad on Sunday afternoon.

“This one’s definitely the most memorable,” said Gallo, the assumed successor for four-time All-Star Adrian Beltre with the Rangers.

Gallo, currently with Double-A Frisco, has 31 homers and 73 RBIs this season in 85 games. This one-out drive on a 2-0 pitch from Houston Astros right-hander Michael Feliz was estimated at 419 feet.

“Good pitch for him. This guy has really good power,” Feliz said.

That was evident before the game. Gallo, who grew up in Las Vegas, had his parents here to watch. His mother even sent him a picture, with her posing next to the damaged vehicle. He got an even better message after hitting the real home run, from offseason workout partner Troy Tulowitzki, the captain of the National League team in the home run derby Monday night.

“He was telling me I should hit for him,” Gallo said. “I was like, ‘Aw, I wish I could, man. That’d be a lot of fun.’ Obviously I can’t do that.”

Someday.

Gallo followed a two-run homer in the top of the sixth by Javier Baez against Washington Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito.

With so many bad teams in recent seasons, the Chicago Cubs have been collecting a tantalizing bunch of potential stars, with Baez and Kris Bryant at the top of the list. Baez, the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, and Bryant, the second selection in 2013, comprise the left side of the infield for Triple-A affiliate Iowa.

So when Baez rounded the bases, he jogged past his buddy Bryant.

“I just said, ‘You’ve got to save those for the season,’” Bryant said.

Baez pointed at his family members, seated near third base, as he headed for home.

“I feel good that I showed what I can do,” he said.

Bryant went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts while playing third base for the U.S team, which has won five straight Futures games and raised its record to 10-6 since the exhibition began in 1999.

Until the Baez-Gallo home run derby that broke out in the sixth, this was much more of a showcase of pitching prospects, mirroring the major league trend toward more dominance on the mound and shrinking slugging percentages.

The first five U.S. pitchers tossed scoreless innings, starting with Henry Owens, the Double-A lefty for the Boston Red Sox.

Minnesota Twins right-hander Alex Meyer, who could soon be pitching on the same mound for the big league team, needed only four pitches for the fourth. His fastball reached 97 mph.

Meyer, acquired from the Nationals in a trade for center fielder Denard Span, has 103 strikeouts in 89-plus innings for Triple-A Rochester.

World team starter Jose Berrios, another Twins prospect, taken with the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 draft, struck out center fielder Michael Taylor of the Nationals to start the game and pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

Julio Urias, a native of Sinaloa, Mexico, currently at Class A Rancho Cucamonga for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was the youngest player on display at age 17. He struck out Taylor with a 94 mph fastball in a perfect fifth inning.

New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who started the game last year at his future home, Citi Field, got the save.

Twins fans in attendance also had World team first baseman Kennys Vargas to cheer, the David Ortiz clone who hit a double in four at-bats in the cleanup spot.

The U.S. team was supervised by former Twins manager Tom Kelly, currently a special instructor for the organization. Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven, who played for Kelly on the 1987 World Series-winning club, managed the World team.

In an ode to his Dutch heritage and class-clown personality, Blyleven presented the lineups before the game while wearing an oversized pair of yellow wooden shoes.

(Former Orioles first round pick Hunter Harvey struck out two batters while allowing a walk and a hit in a scoreless fourth inning for the U.S. side. Bowie Baysox OF Dariel Alvarez went 0-2 for the World team.)

 

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