Tag Archive | "Orioles"

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Orioles re-instate Jimenez, option Gonzalez to AAA Norfolk

Posted on 09 August 2014 by WNST Staff

Orioles Reinstate RHP Ubaldo Jimenez from the 15-Day DL; RHP Miguel Gonzalez Optioned to AAA Norfolk

The Orioles today announced that they have reinstated RHP UBALDO JIMENEZ from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP MIGUEL GONZALEZ to Triple-A Norfolk.

Jimenez, 30, was placed on the DL on July 8 with a sprained right ankle. He has gone 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA (99.2IP, 50ER) in 18 starts for the Orioles this season.

Gonzalez, 30, is 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA (113.2IP, 48ER) in 20 games (19 starts) for the Orioles this season.

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Hey you-help us rip off Mets fans and win some concert tickets!

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Hey you-help us rip off Mets fans and win some concert tickets!

Posted on 07 August 2014 by Glenn Clark

So I’ll just tell you flat out-the “Hunter Pence Signs” meme is the best I’ve seen from sports fans in, like, ever.

Are you not familiar? Perhaps it’s time to study up.

The concept is simple. You make fun of a player to get them going, but it’s only mildly insulting. It’s mostly just good comedy. I mean, even Hunter Pence himself got in on it Thursday.

The meme (like everything else that happens on the interwebs) has gone viral. In fact, it showed up Wednesday night in Toronto where the Baltimore Orioles were facing the Blue Jays. From Jays fan “Mr. Zach Palmer” on Twitter…

Classic all around.

“Chris Davis wears socks and sandals.” “Chris Davis puts mayo on fries.” Excellent.

The concept is that you’re not really making fun of the guy. In fact, it’s a bit endearing. It’s like a way of showing respect. “We don’t really have anything mean to say about you so instead we made some stuff up.”

So we’ve decided to have fun with it on “The Reality Check”. We want to continue the meme this weekend. The St. Louis Cardinals are coming to town, so we’ve decided to make outfielder Matt Holliday our “victim”.

The game is easy to play. All you have to do it be funny and clever in coming up with your insults. The best one will win a pair of tickets to The Hot August Music Festival (featuring Old Crow Medicine Show, Nickel Creek and Dr. Dog) next Saturday at Oregon Ridge.

I’ve already gotten a BUNCH. Some of the highlights…

Brad-”Matt Holliday doesn’t like Christmas”
Patrick-”Matt Holliday likes Hangover III”
Dean-”Matt Holliday changed his walk-up music to “Wrecking Ball”
Ed-”Matt Holliday dots his autograph with a smiley face”
Mark-”Matt Holliday cried during Marley and Me”
Steve-”Matt Holliday takes his fruitcake without walnuts”
Kerry-”Matt Holliday uses AOL”
Doug-”All of Matt Holliday’s albums are best of collections”
Greg-”Matt Holliday thinks Skip Bayless is always right”
Chris-”Matt Holliday stays out after 9pm on school nights”
Mark-”Matt Holliday thinks Michael Bay is underappreciated”
Lee-”Matt Holliday leans over the glass when ordering his burrito”
Syd-”Matt Holliday still uses payphones”
Joe-”Matt Holliday drafted Blaine Gabbert as his fantasy quarterback”
Jon-”Matt Holliday likes Nickelback”
GP-”Matt Holliday rooted for Apollo Creed”
Even our own Ryan Chell-”Matt Holliday thinks Andy Dalton is underpaid”

And Patrick is probably the leader in the clubhouse right now with “Matt Holliday still checks his MySpace”.

That’s just a sampling. We got hundreds during the show. I was going to include more but I’m writing this while sitting at the Ravens game and got bored. Blame the NFL.

We want yours. Be timely. Be clever. Be creative. Be MILDLY insulting without being cutting. Put it on an actual posterboard and you’ll get extra points!

You can email me-glenn@wnst.net or Tweet us @WNST with your best Matt Holliday insults. We hope you’ll take your signs to the stadium this weekend and share them with the masses.

“Matt Holliday enjoys preseason football” is off limits. That one is mine.

-G

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1397365405000-4-12-lough

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2nd Half X-Factor: David Lough?!

Posted on 03 August 2014 by Ethan Stewart

No, this is not a joke.  This is not a drill.  David Lough could be the key to the Orioles’ playoff push and success in the playoffs.  The much maligned left-fielder has been relegated to a role of starting once a week and coming on late into games as a defensive replacement.  Expectations of the 28 year old were high coming off of a 2013 season where he hit .286 with 5 home runs for the Kansas City Royals.

Coming into this season Lough was poised to take the place of left-fielder Nate McClouth who left for the Washington Nationals in the offseason, however, a concussion limited him early on in the season and he never seemed to get his timing right at the plate.  After scuffling terribly in April and May, Lough was left without confidence and without regular playing time.

Steve Pearce and Delmon Young have pleasantly surprised with their offensive production this season in left field.  For a month of the season Steve Pearce was the most productive hitter on a team full of powerful bats.  Delmon Young has been effective whenever he has been given the opportunity to play.

However, Pearce’s hot bat has cooled off significantly over the past month and it is unknown how effectively Young would be able to play if he were forced into an everyday role.  Also he’s a bit of a defensive liability in left field and Buck Showalter has clearly tried to limit Nelson Cruz’s playing time in left-field.

The Baltimore Orioles as a collective have been in a massive offensive slump since the All-Star break.  For as potent as the starting lineup can be they’ve disappointed massively since the pseudo halfway point.  Since the break the Orioles are 29th out of 30 teams in batting average (.203) and 21st out of 30 teams in runs (52).

Last year’s home run king Chris Davis has continued to scuffle at the plate all season long.  Nelson Cruz has seen a considerable drop off in production since his incredibly hot start to the season.  Both Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have seen their batting averages drop into the .280 range after carrying batting averages over .300 for much of the season.

The lone bright spot in the lineup has been Manny Machado as he has progressed back to the impressive form he had for the majority of the 2013 season.

The Orioles have still managed to hit home runs as they rank 4th in the MLB in hr’s since the All-Star break (16).  The run-scoring problems stem from their inability to get on base and drive in base runners in key situations.

This is where David Lough enters the situation.

The Orioles need a change.  They need a spark, something that can change the momentum.

Since June, though in fairly limited playing time, David Lough is hitting .316 with 2 home runs and 9 runs scored.

It’s tough to sell Orioles fans the idea that David Lough should be in the lineup.  Most have made up their mind that he has no value to the team and many have been clamoring for his release since the first month of the season.

Forget April and May.  That should have no impact on decisions being made in August during a push for the playoffs.

The Orioles have lacked a player like David Lough in their lineup all season.  A player who wreaks havoc on the base paths by his sheer presence on first base.  Lough is the best base-stealer on the team currently.  He knows how to advance extra bases when it’s needed.  He provides much needed energy and a short swing to a lineup filled with free-swingers aiming for the fences constantly.

If the Orioles are fortunate enough to make the playoffs David Lough is exactly the type of player who can make the difference in tight games in October.

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Orioles make room for Miller by sending Webb to Triple-A Norfolk

Posted on 01 August 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced Friday that left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller has reported to the club and right-handed pitcher Ryan Webb has been designated off of the 25-man roster.

Miller, 29, was acquired from Boston yesterday. He has posted a 2.34 ERA (42.1IP, 11ER) with 13 walks and 69 strikeouts in 50 appearances for Boston this season. He has held left-handed hitters to a .150/.203/.217 line in 65 plate appearances, while keeping righties to a .180/.279/.258 line in 105 plate appearances.

Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2012, Miller has pitched to a 2.78 ERA (113.1IP, 35ER) in 140 games, striking out 13.3 per 9.0 innings. He will wear jersey #48.

Webb, 28, is 3-2 with a 3.80 ERA (42.2IP, 18ER) in 42 appearances for the Orioles this season.

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With Saunders inked, would Orioles consider minor-league deal for Jim Johnson?

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With Saunders inked, would Orioles consider minor-league deal for Jim Johnson?

Posted on 01 August 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Orioles added to their organizational pitching depth Friday by signing left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders to a minor-league deal, leading many to wonder whether former All-Star closer Jim Johnson could be the next former Baltimore pitcher to return to the organization.

After beginning the season in the Rangers’ starting rotation, Saunders was released twice in the month of July and went 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA in eight starts for Texas this season. After being released by the Rangers on July 4, Saunders signed a minor-league deal with the Royals and was let go earlier this week after posting a 6.75 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Omaha.

Of course, Saunders was acquired by the Orioles late in the 2012 season and went 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA in seven starts spanning 44 2/3 innings and was the winning pitcher in the inaugural American League Wild Card Game to send the Orioles to their first American League Division Series appearance since 1997. The 33-year-old went 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA in 32 starts for Seattle last season.

Realistically speaking, Saunders provides little more than some injury insurance as well as an option to pitch in long relief if he can work out the issues that have plagued him all season and prompted two other organizations to give up on him in the last month alone.

The more interesting question presented Friday came after the Oakland Athletics officially released Johnson, who pitched to a disastrous 7.14 ERA in 38 appearances and lost his closer job with his new — and now former — club at the beginning of the season. After Johnson collected a combined 101 saves for the Orioles in 2012 and 2013, executive vice president of baseball operations dealt him to Oakland for infielder Jemile Weeks and catcher David Freitas last winter.

Needless to say, the deal was an utter failure for Oakland while the Orioles haven’t really benefited with their return beyond saving the $10 million the 2012 All-Star selection was set to earn through arbitration in 2014. It’s clear that Johnson needed a change of scenery and a mental break at the very least, but would the Orioles consider bringing back the 31-year-old on a minor-league deal?

Manager Buck Showalter tried to dodge the question on Friday, but it’s no secret that Johnson was one of his favorites in Baltimore.

“We like Jimmy. He pitched real well for us here.” Showalter said. “He’s on his way to Sarasota. I know [pitching rehabilitation coordinator] Scotty McGregor is real close to him. If he becomes completely available, I’m sure a lot of people would have interest in him — including us.”

Showalter mentioning Johnson going to Sarasota was interesting considering it’s the club’s spring training home and the pitcher lives there, making it a compelling landing spot for him to clear his head and figure out his woes to get his career back on track.

Of course, the Orioles just acquired left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to sure up the back end of the bullpen and don’t have a pressing need, but Johnson’s track record wouldn’t make it a terrible idea to see if the organization can fix his problems — he averaged 5.1 walks per nine innings and posted a 2.06 WHIP in Oakland — and make him a middle relief option later this year or even next. Prior to this season, Johnson had pitched to an ERA under 3.00 in three consecutive seasons and was an above-average reliever in the AL for a number of years.

Just like the Saunders signing, a potential move to ink Johnson to a minor-league deal should be viewed with very little consequence and no serious expectations, but the familiar surroundings of the Orioles organization would seem to be a good fit if the reliever is to get his career back on track. Johnson was quite fond of his time in Baltimore and was quite emotional upon learning he had been traded last December.

Above all, it’s the kind of reclamation project that has Duquette and the Orioles written all over it, which would make his return not the least bit surprising.

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Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish: What if the Red Sox had wanted Davis?

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Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish: What if the Red Sox had wanted Davis?

Posted on 01 August 2014 by Glenn Clark

Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish is brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford. It took me five days to feel comfortable saying that. I’ll just go ahead and retire it now.

I’ll keep this one short today (or I hope I will anyway). I’m sure plenty of Friday’s D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will include conversation about Ray Rice’s press conference Thursday-but I’ve written plenty about him this week.

Thursday’s Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline passed and the Baltimore Orioles were active. While the addition of reliever Andrew Miller seems minimal in comparison to the names that had been thrown around in connection to the O’s and the names that ultimately ended up being dealt elsewhere-Miller is a very solid part to add to the team’s bullpen.

Of course, the Detroit Tigers picked up David Price. And the St. Louis Cardinals nabbed John Lackey. Those teams probably did a bit more than the Birds to set themselves up for a run to a World Series. If the Orioles can continue to throw 12 shutout innings per game (like they did to start Thursday night’s game), they’ll probably be in good shape to win the American League themselves. They’ll also have to re-name every record book after the Orioles’ staff, which I imagine would be an arduous process.

The biggest story of Thursday’s trade deadline was the one that came down in the waning moments of Thursday morning’s show. Of course you already know the Boston Red Sox sent the one pitcher I had said I’d be willing to be overly bold in my pursuit of (Jon Lester) to the A’s along with Jonny Gomes in exchange for slugger Yoenis Cespedes.

It was a real “holy crap” moment in my life of following baseball. It was in that Ruben Sierra for Jose Canseco territory of truly stunning deals. It was bold, it is most certainly questionable and it solidifies what we already knew-that the Athletics are absolutely the team to beat when we get to October.

I had only a couple of seconds at the end of Thursday’s show to ponder what could have happened for Lester to have ended up in orange and black instead of green and yellow.

I posed a question on Twitter-if the Sox had told the O’s that instead of a package centered around Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy or Hunter Harvey (we’ll always wonder how the deadline could have been different without the injury) they wanted a package built around first baseman Chris Davis-would you have been willing to do it?

Much like Cespedes-Davis is a free agent at the end of next season and has provided quite the mixed bag at the plate this season. While he appeared to be establishing himself as one of the dominant power hitters in baseball in 2013, he’s struggled in just about every aspect of his game in 2014. He’s battled injuries, his batting average is atrocious and he hasn’t even gotten to the 20 home run mark for the season yet.

That said, where Cespedes has been better as an average hitter in 2014-Davis has actually maintained a better on-base percentage. Cespedes certainly provides a plus outfield arm, but Davis has been a solid defensive player.

I said on Thursday’s show I believed the O’s had established themselves as the second best team in the AL behind the A’s. For me, that changed when the Tigers added Price. The Orioles are a very good baseball team that has an opportunity to win a division and get to the postseason-but I can’t fathom how they could beat those other teams in a playoff series.

I would have felt differently had they added Jon Lester, even if it had cost them Chris Davis. I don’t know what the equivalent would have been for Jonny Gomes to add on to the deal, but I’d imagine they’d have to find a way to use Steve Pearce and Delmon Young regularly to try to make up for Davis’ production.

So would you have done it? Would you have parted ways with Chris Davis in order to add Jon Lester for two months? I would have and would have felt good about my chances of pursuing a World Series title.

We’ll talk about it Friday morning.

-G

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Orioles reinstate McFarland from bereavement list, option Guillmet back to Norfolk

Posted on 31 July 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced Thursday that they have reinstated left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland from the Bereavement List and optioned right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet to Triple-A Norfolk.

McFarland, 25, has gone 4-2 with a 3.07 ERA (41.0IP, 14ER) in 23 games (one start) for the Orioles this season.

Guilmet, 27, did not pitch after being recalled on Monday. He has posted a 5.23 ERA (10.1IP, 6ER) in 10 games with the Orioles this season, striking out 12 and walking two.

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I’ll Say ‘No Thanks’ to Brian Roberts Returning to Baltimore

Posted on 31 July 2014 by Luke Jones

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Orioles add “good piece” in Miller while Oakland, Detroit make colossal moves

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Orioles add “good piece” in Miller while Oakland, Detroit make colossal moves

Posted on 31 July 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Orioles bolstered their bullpen at the trade deadline with the acquisition of relief pitcher Andrew Miller from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez.

The trade appears to have improved Baltimore’s chances of winning the American League East, but a look ahead to October and the blockbuster deals pulled off by the Oakland Athletics and the Detroit Tigers created a more sobering tone as the deadline passed on Thursday afternoon. Make no mistake, the Orioles are better with the acquisition of one of the best lefty relievers in baseball, but Oakland landing Boston ace Jon Lester and Detroit securing 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price certainly hurt Baltimore’s chances of winning the pennant should they advance to the postseason.

The Orioles may have improved, but the Athletic and Tigers took colossal leaps in their quest to advance to the World Series. But it’s a reality in which manager Buck Showalter and his club can’t dwell with only a 2 1/2 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays entering Thursday’s series finale against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I’m not sure we had the wherewithal to land a top starter,” said executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who indicated teams kept bringing up 23-year-old Kevin Gausman in trade talks. “We have some other really attractive players, but some of them are helping our current club, right?

“You just have to weigh what you can do to strengthen your ball club, and I thought adding Miller really strengthens our club, particularly when we have a lead. And it allows some of those other relievers to come into the game and pitch earlier. It shortens up the game a little bit when you have relievers who can get out both righties and lefties. This kid has been dominant against both.”

Right or wrong, the Orioles remained steadfast in not dealing any of their top young pitchers with Gausman currently in the major league rotation and 21-year-old Dylan Bundy working his way back from last year’s Tommy John surgery. The recent elbow injury to 2013 first-round pick Hunter Harvey certainly didn’t make the Orioles any more eager to deal one of their few top pieces.

And there’s no telling how absurd the asking price might have still been to try to acquire Lester or Price from an AL East rival — even if the Orioles were willing to deal one of their young pitchers.

Miller posted a 2.34 ERA in 50 appearances spanning 42 1/3 innings for the Red Sox this season. He has held right-handed bats to a .180 average and lefties to a .150 clip. The 29-year-old is averaging 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, which is also significant considering the Orioles rank 14th in the American League in strikeouts this season.

It remains to be seen who will be sent out to make room for Miller in the current bullpen as right-hander Brad Brach and left-hander T.J. McFarland would be the logical possibilities since they both have minor-league options.

“He’s just another good piece,” said Showalter, who added that Miller is expected to be in uniform and available to pitch in Friday’s series opener against the Seattle Mariners. “He goes with some other good pieces down there. He gives us more depth down there [to] keep passing the load around. I think he’s a little more than just a left-handed arm. You look at left-handed relievers, the ideal ones are the guys that you’ve got left-right-left and you can leave them in there for the [right-handed hitter].”

Miller is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, making the price of giving up Rodriguez a costly one as the Venezuelan lefty was viewed as the organization’s fourth-best pitching prospect entering the 2014 season. Slowed by a knee injury earlier this season, the 21-year-old Rodriguez was 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA in 16 starts for Double-A Bowie this season.

Duquette acknowledged a preference not to give up Rodriguez in the trade for Miller that was in the works over the last couple weeks before picking up steam in recent days.

“It wasn’t our first choice to trade him. The kid has talent and he has youth, but again, our team is in the race,” Duquette said. “We want to continue what we started, and we needed to add to our club to be competitive with the other clubs — not just in our division, but the other clubs in the American League in the playoff situation.”

Of course, that argument suffers when witnessing what else transpired around the league.

Miller’s career follows a similar narrative to that of current Orioles reliever Brian Matusz in that he’s a former first-round draft pick to have failed as a starter in the major leagues before settling into a bullpen role. However, he is an imposing option against hitters on either side of the plate while Matusz continues to struggle against right-handed hitters this season, a major factor that prompted the Orioles to make the move.

Duquette said the Orioles would still consider making some offensive upgrades to their lineup but made a point to praise the current combination of pitching and defense to go with the club’s power. Players must now pass through waivers in order to be traded, but a number of key moves have been made in that capacity around baseball over the last few years.

“We’ve got some hitters at Triple A that are swinging the bats pretty well,” Duquette said. “We picked up (Jimmy) Paredes, Dariel Alvarez is doing a good job at Triple A, and there will be some other opportunities for some bats through the waiver process. There won’t be much going on now because everybody needs waivers to get traded, so that won’t happen right away. But some time in the next couple of weeks there will be some opportunities for us to address those needs.”

The Orioles certainly took a step forward in their division on Thursday, but Oakland and Detroit may have lapped them in the race for the Fall Classic. And even if Duquette made the right call in keeping his young pitching, there’s no changing that possibility.

 

 

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MLB Network Radio’s Stanton says O’s ddding Miller impactful move in AL East bid

Posted on 31 July 2014 by WNST Audio

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