Posted on 12 May 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 11 May 2012 by Luke Jones
BALTIMORE — After years of battling one another to escape the cellar in the American League East, it looks peculiar to see the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays sitting tied atop the division.
Even if it is only the second week of May.
Of course, the Rays have become a household name among the elite teams of the American League over the last five seasons as the Orioles attempt to copy their secrets in competing with the fat payrolls of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
After a difficult series with the Texas Rangers in which they lost three of four games, the Orioles will send journeyman Dana Eveland to the hill in his first start with the club. The left-hander was 3-2 with a 2.21 earned run average in 36 2/3 innings with Triple-A Norfolk this season after failing to make the 25-man roster out of spring training.
The Orioles are Eveland’s seventh big league club after the 28-year-old previously had stints with Milwaukee, Arizona, Oakland, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and, most recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 59 career starts in the majors, Eveland is 17-22 with a 5.38 ERA, including 19 quality starts.
To clear room for Eveland on the 25-man roster, the Orioles have placed relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom on the 15-day disabled list and minor league infielder Zelous Wheeler has been designated for assignment to create a spot for Eveland on the 40-man roster.
The right-handed reliever said after the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader he heard a pop in the middle finger of his pitching hand but didn’t believe it to be serious. Apparently, it was serious enough to sideline him despite a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings (13 appearances) this season.
“My middle finger, I kind of felt a pop on it on one of my two-seam fastballs, but it’s nothing serious at all,” Lindstrom said after Thursday’s outing. “Just a little soreness in my middle finger.”
Before Friday’s game, Jason Hammel was still listed as the expected starter for Monday when the New York Yankees come to town. The right-hander said he was still optimistic about that timetable for his next start after being scratched for Thursday’s start with right knee soreness.
Injured outfielder Nolan Reimold (herniated disc) finally received his epidural injection on Friday after it was delayed several days due to illness. Manager Buck Showalter had previously hoped Reimold would be able to go on a rehab assignment on Monday, but the recovery time from the injection will prevent that, likely meaning he will not be ready to return from the disabled list when eligible on Wednesday.
Former Oriole Luke Scott makes his return to Baltimore this weekend as he’s been on a tear for the Rays in the absence of Evan Longoria. Hitting cleanup and serving as the designated hitter on Friday night, Scott has seven home runs and 22 runs batted in while hitting .247 in his first 93 at-bats.
After spending four seasons with the Orioles, Scott holds no ill will toward the club after it elected to non-tender him in what would have been his final year of arbitration with the club. Scott missed the final two months of the 2011 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
“I have just tremendous memories from here that I cherish,” Scott said in the Tampa Bay clubhouse prior to the series opener. “I am very thankful for them.”
Japanese pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada underwent Tommy John surgery on his injured elbow on Friday and issued a statement following the procedure:
“The procedure went as planned and Dr. [Lewis] Yocum felt good about how it went. He predicts a full recovery. I’m glad to have this over with and look forward to beginning my rehabilitation so I can get back to pitching for the Orioles as soon as possible.”
Here are Friday night’s lineups…
RF Ben Zobrist
1B Carlos Pena
CF B.J. Upton
DH Luke Scott
3B Jeff Keppinger
LF Matt Joyce
SS Sean Rodriguez
C Jose Molina
2B Elliot Johnson
SP Jeremy Hellickson (3-0, 2.75 ERA)
3B Ryan Flaherty
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
LF Wilson Betemit
1B Chris Davis
DH Nick Johnson
2B Robert Andino
SP Dana Eveland (first 2012 start)
Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear Luke Scott’s conversation with WNST.net’s Glenn Clark on Friday afternoon as well as Buck Showalter’s comments prior to the start of a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays HERE.
Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Audio
Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 13 April 2012 by Luke Jones
The Orioles have spent plenty of time over the years pointing out the economic disparities in baseball that contribute to their inability to compete against the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.
However, no road destination in the AL East has been a bigger nightmare for the Orioles over the last three seasons than Rogers Centre in Toronto, where they will play a three-game series against the Blue Jays this weekend. Baltimore is an abysmal 4-23 in Canada since 2009 and has lost 26 of its last 31 games north of the border since June 2008. The horrific spell reached its low point last June before the Orioles finally snapped a 16-game losing streak in Toronto.
In contrast, the Orioles are 19-35 at Fenway Park, 15-39 in the Bronx, and 24-30 at Tropicana Field over the last three seasons.
With the Blue Jays off to a 4-2 start after an impressive Grapefruit League, the Orioles will have their hands full this weekend against the club that many view as an emerging threat in the division. And the man who’s led the big leagues in home runs over the last two seasons, Jose Bautista, hasn’t even started hitting yet (.174 and one home run).
The club’s futility against the Blue Jays in recent years is a prime example of why many fans grow weary from the likes of former executives such as Andy MacPhail and current executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette belaboring how the Yankees and Red Sox can spend more money than everyone else in the division.
That argument might hold some legitimacy if the Orioles were routinely pushing into the 85-to-90 win range on a semi-regular basis and falling short of the postseason. But when you’re not even competitive against the Blue Jays — who have finished in fourth place the last four seasons — it’s difficult to buy economics as the primary reason for the club’s failures.
Taking the lead
It’s been a rocky start for Nolan Reimold as the leadoff hitter, with the left fielder hitting just .238 and failing to register a walk in the first week of the season.
Hardly a conventional choice for the top spot in the order, Reimold is eighth among regulars in pitches seen per plate appearance (3.52) and has appeared to be overanxious at the plate in his five starts at the leadoff spot. Of course, we’re talking about a very small sample size from which to draw any conclusions, and it’s unlikely that manager Buck Showalter abandons the idea before at least a few more weeks of using Reimold in the top spot.
Many fans and media have criticized the idea of Reimold as the leadoff hitter, but the Orioles aren’t exactly dealing with a plethora of viable options to use in the top spot with second baseman Brian Roberts still sidelined.
J.J. Hardy served in the role for an extended time last season, but his .310 on-base percentage in 2011 and .320 career clip doesn’t exactly stand out as a no-brainer for the spot. Second baseman Robert Andino could eventually settle into the spot if he continues to develop as a regular, but Showalter appears content to leave Andino in the ninth spot to help turn the lineup over. Andino’s career on-base percentage is only .304 as he’s served in a limited fashion in his eight-year big league career.
Strictly looking at the numbers, right fielder Nick Markakis is the Orioles’ best option to hit in the leadoff spot, but it’s clear Showalter wants to keep him in a run-producing role. It’s easy to crunch the numbers and discuss the matter as if everything were in a vacuum, but any manager must always deal with egos and politics in the clubhouse when trying to fill out a lineup.
In a perfect world, Reimold would not be the leadoff hitter, but his underrated speed and .336 career on-base percentage are legitimate reasons to allow the experiment to continue for a few more weeks before making a switch.
Too much discussion is exhausted on the batting order — you simply want your best hitters getting as many plate appearances as possible — but it doesn’t take a sabermetrician to see more production is needed from the leadoff spot than what the Orioles have gotten in the first week.
What to do with Reynolds?
Posted on 09 April 2012 by Luke Jones
BALTIMORE — As if the Orioles’ three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins wasn’t enough to whet your appetite for the start of the baseball season, the Yankees come to town having not won a game after being swept by the Rays in Tampa over the weekend.
Of course, that means Joe Girardi’s club isn’t in a jovial mood as left-hander Brian Matusz takes the hill for his 2012 debut. To say Matusz’s 2011 season — in which he was 1-9 with a 10.69 earned run average in 12 starts — was nightmarish would be a disservice to unpleasant dreams as the 25-year-old battled injury and ineffectiveness throughout the season.
However, a new training regiment in the offseason and a strong spring in which he pitched to a 3.65 ERA in 24 2/3 innings led to Matusz making the Baltimore rotation as the No. 4 starter. Showing velocity more in line with his first two seasons in Baltimore, Matusz consistently sat in the low 90s as he led the Orioles with 22 strikeouts and had just three walks.
“I’m proud of him. He’s done everything possible to get this opportunity,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Now comes the biggest step of all of them, and that’s pitching competitively at the highest level of baseball in the world against one of the best teams in the world. You can’t shield him from that competition.”
He’ll certainly be thrown to the wolves tonight against one of the most imposing lineups in baseball.
Showalter also provided injury updates on Japanese southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada and left-hander Zach Britton. Wada pithced six innings and threw 88 pitches in an extended spring training game on Monday and “looked good” as observers described to Showalter. Wada will make at least two more starts before the Orioles make a decision regarding his status and potential activation to the 25-man roster.
Britton will begin throwing in Sarasota on Thursday in what will be the first time he’s picked up a ball since undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy in late March. Showalter was cautious when asked to offer a definitive timetable for his return to the big leagues and wouldn’t even rule out the possibility of Britton being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk depending on the state of the rotation.
“He’s got to jump through some hoops to get there,” Showalter said. “But, I’m hoping by the first part of May we’re getting some definitive idea about when [he's back]. I think the next couple weeks will be key — provided this is where he goes when he’s ready.”
Based on those comments, it would be ambitious to expect Britton back before the middle of May, but that’s mostly speculation at this point in time.
Second baseman Brian Roberts was taking batting practice early on Monday as he continues to work his way back from concussion-like symptoms. There is still no timetable for a potential rehab assignment for the 34-year-old, who is on the 15-day disabled list.
Here are tonight’s lineups:
SS Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
2B Robinson Cano
DH Alex Rodriguez
1B Mark Teixeira
CF Curtis Granderson
LF Andruw Jones
C Russell Martin
3B Eduardo Nunez
SP Ivan Nova
LF Nolan Reimold
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
3B Mark Reynolds
DH Wilson Betemit
1B Chris Davis
2B Robert Andino
SP Brian Matusz
Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Odds to win the 2012 World Series
Philadelphia Phillies 11/2
New York Yankees 13/2
Los Angeles Angels 7/1
Detroit Tigers 8/1
Texas Rangers 10/1
Boston Red Sox 10/1
San Francisco Giants 15/1
Tampa Bay Rays 18/1
Miami Marlins 20/1
Cincinnati Reds 20/1
Atlanta Braves 22/1
St. Louis Cardinals 25/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 28/1
Milwaukee Brewers 28/1
Washington Nationals 30/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 40/1
Toronto Blue Jays 40/1
Chicago Cubs 40/1
Colorado Rockies 40/1
Cleveland Indians 60/1
Chicago White Sox 65/1
Minnesota Twins 75/1
Kansas City Royals 80/1
New York Mets 80/1
Oakland Athletics 80/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 100/1
San Diego Padres 100/1
Seattle Mariners 100/1
Baltimore Orioles 150/1
Houston Astros 200/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL Pennant
New York Yankees 13/4
Los Angeles Angels 7/2
Detroit Tigers 4/1
Boston Red Sox 11/2
Texas Rangers 11/2
Tampa Bay Rays 9/1
Toronto Blue Jays 22/1
Cleveland Indians 28/1
Chicago White Sox 35/1
Kansas City Royals 40/1
Oakland Athletics 40/1
Minnesota Twins 40/1
Seattle Mariners 60/1
Baltimore Orioles 75/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL Pennant
Philadelphia Phillies 9/4
San Francisco Giants 7/1
Atlanta Braves 9/1
Cincinnati Reds 9/1
Miami Marlins 9/1
St. Louis Cardinals 11/1
Milwaukee Brewers 14/1
Washington Nationals 15/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 14/1
Colorado Rockies 18/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 18/1
Chicago Cubs 22/1
New York Mets 40/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 40/1
San Diego Padres 50/1
Houston Astros 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL East
New York Yankees 2/3
Boston Red Sox 3/1
Tampa Bay Rays 9/2
Toronto Blue Jays 12/1
Baltimore Orioles 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL Central
Detroit Tigers 1/4
Cleveland Indians 10/1
Kansas City Royals 12/1
Chicago White Sox 12/1
Minnesota Twins 16/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL West
Los Angeles Angels 4/5
Texas Rangers 1/1
Oakland Athletics 30/1
Seattle Mariners 45/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL East
Philadelphia Phillies 1/2
Miami Marlins 11/2
Atlanta Braves 6/1
Washington Nationals 8/1
New York Mets 50/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL Central
Cincinnati Reds 7/5
St. Louis Cardinals 2/1
Milwaukee Brewers 11/4
Chicago Cubs 18/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 30/1
Houston Astros 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL West
San Francisco Giants 5/4
Arizona Diamondbacks 2/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 11/2
Colorado Rockies 7/1
San Diego Padres 15/1
Over/Under Regular Season Win Totals
Arizona Diamondbacks 86½
Atlanta Braves 86½
Baltimore Orioles 69½
Boston Red Sox 90½
Chicago Cubs 73½
Chicago White Sox 75½
Cincinnati Reds 87½
Cleveland Indians 78½
Colorado Rockies 80½
Detroit Tigers 91½
Miami Marlins 85½
Houston Astros 63½
Kansas City Royals 78½
Los Angeles Angels 91½
Los Angeles Dodgers 80½
Milwaukee Brewers 85½
Minnesota Twins 72½
New York Mets 73½
New York Yankees 93½
Oakland Athletics 72½
Philadelphia Phillies 93½
Pittsburgh Pirates 72½
San Diego Padres 73½
San Francisco Giants 87½
Seattle Mariners 71½
St. Louis Cardinals 85½
Tampa Bay Rays 86½
Texas Rangers 91½
Toronto Blue Jays 81½
Washington Nationals 83½
courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).
Posted on 13 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 03 October 2011 by Glenn Clark
You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
15 Positive Observations..
I’m not really sure what else can be said about Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is amazing. The team is incredibly deep.
I was wondering the other day why the NFL wouldn’t put a Super Bowl at Lambeau Field if they’re going to have one in New Jersey. Then I had a sandwich. It was quite a day.
Side note: I’m extremely jealous of sports fans in Wisconsin. They the Packers, the Badgers (more on them next) and the Milwaukee Brewers rocking and rolling. SportsGrid.com noted that Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel headline is the happiest in sports history…
The others in my Top 5 are South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore and Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. Lattimore had a tough day Saturday and Griffin threw his first interception of the year (really) in the Bears’ loss to Kansas State. After you watch the profile ESPN’s College Gameday did of him Saturday morning you’ll certainly forget that ever happened…
Andrew Luck is a quarterback. So explain to me how he did THIS in Stanford’s win over UCLA Saturday night…
Side note: A few sites found this video of the ESPN ticker showing an odd UCLA-Stanford score during the Nebraska-Wisconsin game. I don’t believe it was accurate…
Few people know who Tyrann Mathieu is. Fewer know how to pronounce his name. No one knows how to spell it. But Kentucky fans will never forget any of those things about the LSU CB I assume…
Also stemming from Sunday in the Windy City…
-I don’t know if Steve Smith is still happy the Carolina Panthers didn’t trade him, but it was the absolute right decision based on wanting to develop Cam Newton.
-Matt Forte also ran all over the place and the Chicago Bears looked good in a win. I’m still not buying into them, but I’m a Jay Cutler hater so my opinion should only matter so much.
-Here’s Marion Barber faceplanting after attempting a backflip when he scored a touchdown in the game. Enjoy!
Nate Washington looked good and Jared Cook finally showed why I drafted him to my fantasy team this year (although I already dropped him needing depth), but I’m still not convinced they can keep treading water without Britt…
…in other news, I told Cleveland Browns fans last week to take a picture of the AFC North standings. I hope they took my advice.
I’m confused. Clemson looked good against Auburn, then again against Florida State, then AGAIN against Virginia Tech. Who are these Tigers and what have they done with the roller coaster team we’ve all come to know and not love?
I still think the Hokies are a factor in the ACC before the season is over. I think a lot of things. Like for example, who is Melissa Giraldo and why is this the first I’ve heard of her? (Thanks Busted Coverage!)
Here are the highlights from a thrilling Arkansas win over Texas A&M at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, which included an incredible 510 passing yards from Razorbacks QB Tyler Wilson…
And here’s the .gif of the shirtless “man of a larger carriage” celebrating SOMETHING the Hogs did Saturday…
That’s just fantastic.
Posted on 15 June 2011 by Glenn Clark
It didn’t hit me until Tuesday night. To be totally honest with you, I’ve been really enjoying some of the other things going on in the world of sports since you left my life in February.
My favorite NHL team (the Phoenix Coyotes) were quickly swept out by the Detroit Red Wings, but the Stanley Cup playoffs have been really good otherwise. Most of the cities I don’t like have already seen their teams eliminated (Pittsburgh, Washington, New York) and the Vancouver Canucks have the opportunity to deliver the most painful heartbreak to Boston Wednesday night, with a chance to win a Game 7 at home against the Bruins.
There’s been a ton of scoring but still a ton of close games, and the hockey playoffs in general have been pretty good.
My favorite NBA team (the Phoenix Suns) didn’t even qualify for postseason play, but it had little effect on how exciting the NBA playoffs were. Between the Los Angeles Lakers getting swept out, Greivis Vasquez and the Memphis Grizzlies getting within a game of the Western Conference Finals and the riveting series the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat played in the NBA Finals, the postseason was thrilling.
Even those of us that don’t spend too much time watching regular season hoops found ourselves making postseason games destination television.