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Orioles remain in holding pattern with Schoop

Posted on 30 June 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Orioles know Jonathan Schoop is ready to be activated, but they’re not in a rush to make it happen.

The second baseman once again worked out at Camden Yards on Tuesday and will continue his rehab assignment at Single-A Frederick in the next day or two. What happens after that remains to be seen as Schoop’s assignment is scheduled to expire on Friday and the Orioles are discussing their options, including sending him down to the minor leagues temporarily.

A well-documented surplus of outfielders on the 25-man roster remains a sticking point as executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter are currently using a six-man bullpen and will need to make space for Kevin Gausman to start Thursday’s series finale against the Texas Rangers. Schoop is not expected to travel with the Orioles to Chicago for the weekend series against the White Sox.

“Obviously, he can be optioned. There are a lot of things there for us,” Showalter said. “Jonathan will benefit by every day he can get the knee that much stronger. It’s a pretty significant injury, so I want to keep that in mind, but we feel like Jon — if we had to — could be activated [or] he could benefit by playing in the minor leagues.”

While many have questioned the Orioles’ hesitation in activating Schoop, there is a baseball argument in favor of optioning him to the minors that goes beyond the roster crunch and wanting to take it slow with his rehabilitated right knee. Few would dispute Schoop’s potential or standing as the second baseman of the future, but the Orioles have received better-than-expected play from Ryan Flaherty at second base this season.

It was easy to get caught up in Schoop’s hot start to 2015 with three home runs in 29 plate appearances, but the young infielder is far from a finished product after hitting .209 with a .598 on-base plus slugging percentage as a rookie. Entering Tuesday, Flaherty was hitting .254 with a very solid .734 OPS, which ranked seventh in the American League among second basemen with at least 150 plate appearances.

To be clear, there is no second base controversy, but the position has been in good hands during Schoop’s recovery and will remain that way while the Orioles bide their time with the roster crunch and making a decision on when to activate the 23-year-old. Once Schoop returns, Flaherty has earned the right to remain in the mix at second base while also occasionally spelling J.J. Hardy at shortstop.

“He’s a lot more than a safety net,” said Showalter of the utility infielder and former Rule 5 pick. “He’s a guy you can run out there at about six positions that I feel comfortable with him. You don’t really appreciate those guys until you don’t have them. Everybody’s always looking for that guy.

“Ryan’s showing some things that you look for in an everyday player too. He’s made some adjustments in his swing and mentality that have been very evident. Some guys figure it out at 28 or 29. He’s a guy that’s easy to trust.”

NOTES: Right-handed pitcher Jason Garcia is expected to begin a rehab assignment in the near future after a couple more bullpen sessions. The Rule 5 selection was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis on May 15. … Chris Davis was making his fourth start in right field in the last five games with Chris Parmelee back at first base on Tuesday night. … Manny Machado entered Tuesday ranked sixth in batting average (.307), fifth in hits (91), and ninth in OPS (.891) in the American League.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 24 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Sergey Kovalev vs. Cedric Agnew (Saturday 10pm from Atlantic City live on HBO); MLS: Chicago Fire @ DC United (Saturday 4pm from RFK Stadium live on NBC Sports Network); Auto Racing: NASCAR STP 500 (Sunday 1pm from Martinsville, VA live on FOX); Golf: PGA Tour Texas Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on NBC), LPGA Tour Kia Classic (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7pm from Carlsbad, CA live on Golf Channel)

10. Damon Wayans (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Baltimore Greek Week (Tuesday-Sunday Greektown); Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Wednesday-Sunday Baltimore Arena); The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Delivery Man” out on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Bad Words“, “Noah” and “Sabotage” out in theaters (Friday)

I assume Damon Wayans will call me while he’s in town. After all, I am close personal friends with the family.

Also…language terribly NSFW (unless you work somewhere selling penny stocks), but this is by far and away the Magnum Opus of Wolf of Wall Street…

9. Mobb Deep (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Los Lonely Boys (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7:30pm Rams Head on Stage); The Ataris (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Grouplove/MS MR/Smallpools (Sunday & Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Thursday 7:30pm The Hamilton); Pentatonix (Saturday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Experience Hendrix feat. Buddy Guy/Jonny Lang/Kenny Wayne Shepherd/Bootsy Collins (Sunday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Johnny Cash “Out Among The Stars” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’m going to start a MS MR cover band called MR MS. I’m clever.

Smallpools is the band that did the best song in 2013 no one gave enough credit to.

I am a supporter of the Rev.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Jimi Hendrix. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t suck.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Maryland AD Anderson says he’s “not pursuing” Texas job

Posted on 02 November 2013 by WNST Staff

From a statement released by Terrapins Athletic Director Kevin Anderson via the school’s website (Anderson had previously been linked to the job-even reported to be interviewing for the job by the Dallas Morning News)…

“Hello Terps,

I write this post as reports have surfaced in the media recently speculating my connection to the athletic director opening at the University of Texas. I must confess I am humbled to be mentioned in connection with such a position, but more importantly, I feel it speaks volumes to the outstanding progress we have made at the University of Maryland and to the new heights our athletic department is destined for in the future.

Let me be clear, I am not pursuing any other professional opportunities at other institutions. I am steadfast in my commitment to the University of Maryland.

We open up the men’s basketball season on Friday, November 8 against No. 18 Connecticut at the Barclays Center and then the following afternoon host Syracuse in football with the opportunity to become bowl eligible with a victory. I look forward to seeing you at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on November 9. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.

Here’s to many more exciting years at Maryland!

Go Terps!”

 

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Opening post-break weekend reminder of Orioles’ tough road ahead

Posted on 22 July 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

The Orioles couldn’t have asked for a better weekend in Arlington.

A three-game sweep in which they outplayed the Texas Rangers in every facet of the game lifted the Orioles to a season-best 13 games above .500 and seven victories in their last eight games.

Watching Ron Washington’s club repeatedly kick the ball around the field and run itself out of innings provided a new appreciation of how fundamentally sound the Orioles have been throughout the 2013 season. Three quality outings from Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, and Chris Tillman reminded how the top three-fifths of the Baltimore rotation can compete with just about anyone in the American League.

But as the dust cleared and the Orioles landed in Kansas City to begin a four-game series on Monday night, a look at the AL East standings showed just how difficult the final two months of the season will be.

Possibly their most impressive series of the season moved the Orioles only one game closer in their chase of the division-leading Red Sox after Boston took two of three from the Yankees at Fenway Park. And Baltimore moved no closer to the white-hot Tampa Bay Rays, who swept the Blue Jays in Toronto to give them 13 wins in their last 14 contests as the hottest team in baseball.

Those realities aren’t meant to bring fans down from their weekend high, but they offer a snapshot of how incredibly small the margin for error will be over the final 63 games of the regular season in the Orioles’ bid to advance to the postseason for the second straight year. Of those remaining games, 35 will come against teams with winning marks and only 28 against clubs sporting records below the .500 mark entering Monday’s action.

The old adage of needing to beat the clubs you’re supposed to beat while holding your own against top competition might not be enough to prevail in a division that sports four teams with winning records in the final week of July. Even the underachieving Blue Jays have been a thorn in the Orioles’ side this year, winning seven of the 13 games the clubs have played this season.

The Orioles are a remarkable 33-22 against teams currently owning a winning record while going just 23-21 against clubs who sit below .500 on July 22. Of course, that deviates from the aforementioned mantra for success and speaks well for the Orioles’ ability to rise to the challenge of playing the top teams this season, evident by their combined 9-4 record against Texas and Detroit, the two teams who’ve won the last three AL pennants.

But the Orioles do need to take better advantage of their opportunities against sub-.500 clubs down the stretch and that will start with the Royals in Kansas City this week. To say they need to at least take three out of four would be an overstatement — Tampa Bay and Boston face off in a four-game set of their own beginning Monday — but anything less just makes the climb that much taller in September. With the season-long performance of the Red Sox and the play of the Rays over the last month, there is no time for a breather or to go into cruise control against the lesser competitors in the league.

The eyeball test suggests the Orioles are a better team than the 93-69 outfit from a year ago as they certainly hit better and play better defense than the 2012 club. Their starting pitching appears to be coming together in a similar manner to the way it did in the second half last year, which will help a bullpen that hasn’t been as dominating starting with closer Jim Johnson and his six blown saves.

But the division is better than it was a year ago from top to bottom and Buck Showalter’s club hasn’t been as fortunate, going just 13-14 in one-run games after last year’s historic 29-9 mark. That was to be expected and shouldn’t be misconstrued as a knock on what the Orioles have accomplished this year, but there is no consolation or handicap for the smaller amount of good fortune, either.

An impressive three-game sweep over the Rangers was the perfect way to start the proverbial second half for the Orioles, but the weekend showed how steep the climb will be to win their first division title since 1997. The Orioles will have their opportunities against Boston and Tampa Bay — they have 12 games remaining with the Red Sox and seven with the Rays — and those clubs will experience slow spells at some point, but the challenge will be to capitalize while minimizing their own pitfalls in the process.

As well as the Orioles have played entering their 100th game of the season Monday night, they haven’t been quite good enough in the AL East. The standings say as much, though they would be the second wild card if the season ended today, putting them in the unenviable position of being the road team in a one-game playoff like they were last year.

But the Orioles are fully within striking distance, meaning it’s time to steamroll the clubs who don’t own such a luxury.

Because they’re not going to be able to count on very much help in their quest.

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top Seven- Mid-season MLB Rankings

Posted on 02 July 2013 by WNST Staff

Here’s Drew’s top seven in Major League Baseball

7) Atlanta Braves

6) Pittsburgh Pirates

5) Boston Red Sox

4) Baltimore Orioles

3) Texas Rangers

2) Detroit Tigers

1) St. Louis Cardinals

Here’s Ryan’s Top Seven

7) Detroit Tigers

 

6) Baltimore Orioles

5) Pittsburgh Pirates

4) Texas Rangers

3) Boston Red Sox

2) Cincinnati Reds

1) St. Louis Cardinals

 

 

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Coppin freshman Cole honored by MEAC

Posted on 12 November 2012 by WNST Staff

NORFOLK, Va. — Coppin State’s Patrick Cole was named the Co-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week the league announced on Monday. Cole shared the award with Darryl Palmer of South Carolina State.

Cole scored 25 points against USC in his Coppin State debut. He finished the game 7-of-13 from the floor and made 3-of-4 three-point attempts to lead the Eagles in scoring against the Trojans. He also added a game-high six steals.

Cole scored the most points by a Coppin State player in a season opener since Jorge Cajigas had 28 points against UMBC on Nov. 19, 1999. It also was the most points scored by a CSU freshman in a season-opening game since the Eagles joined the MEAC in 1985-86.

Brandon Goode of Norfolk State was named the MEAC Player of the Week and Marques Oliver of Delaware State was honored as the Defensive Player of the Week.

Coppin State will face Texas tonight at 8 p.m. in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in Austin, Texas.

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The 15-7-0 has something like a .12 blood pecan pie level

Posted on 12 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football that are ELITE, 7 that are “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

Here we go.

“The Elite 15″…

1. Stop dancing around it. A freshman who wasn’t in the Top 5 a week ago is now your frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy.

Not a joke. Geno Smith and Matt Barkley have been done for weeks…no one is excited about Collin Klein…and Kenjon Barner played at midnight the other night. Meanwhile Johnny Football was throwing touchdowns even on plays where he fumbled…

Hey Nick Saban-where are you in the polls now???

Elsewhere in the SEC, Auburn fans are looking forward to when coach Gene Chizik gets “Dooley-ed”…

2. So as it turns out, AJ Green was absolutely accurate.

He said he thought the Giants’ defense had some holes. He was right…

And does Eli Manning think he plays for the Jets???

3. Everyone in the Broncos-Panthers game was doing “the Superman”…except Cam Newton.

But you know, no one more than Von Miller…

I mean…why wouldn’t Cam have hit the Superman after this gem?

Remember the time Trindon Holliday scored a touchdown but never actually got the ball in the endzone?

Here’s Von Miller wiggling…

4. At Oregon, the backups to the backups can run 4.4 in the forty and could beat most Pac-12 teams.

Am I supposed to be MF-ing the guy in this circle wearing black and white, too?

Elsewhere in the Pac-12…Marqise Lee!

5. The Texas wishbone-throwback-throw again-whatever else it was play was the absolute best of the weekend.

Darrell Royal doesn’t mean a thing to me, but I do know this is completely freaking kickass…

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Orioles reportedly interested in free-agent prize Hamilton

Posted on 08 November 2012 by WNST Staff

After advancing to the postseason for the first time in 15 years, the Orioles are apparently targeting the top free-agent hitter on the market this offseason.

According to a report from FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, Texas Rangers outfielder and 2010 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Hamilton tops the club’s wishlist this winter as he would provide an excellent fit in left field. Nate McLouth is a free agent, so there is a clear opening in the outfield to add one of the game’s most feared hitters.

Hamilton hit .285, clubbed 43 home runs, and knocked in 128 runs in Texas this past season, but the 31-year-old struggled in the second half of the season with a .259 average and drew the ire of Rangers fans as he struggled down the stretch during a team-wide collapse that cost Texas the AL West division title.

Much doubt remains over how serious executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and the Orioles would be about Hamilton, who is reportedly seeking a deal in the range of seven years and $175 million. Baltimore’s Opening Day payroll in 2012 was an estimated $84 million, so the addition of Hamilton would drastically alter their current payroll structure.

Morsosi also reports the same source said free-agent outfielder Cody Ross would be another option they might target should Hamilton’s price prove too steep. He hit .267 with 22 home runs and 81 runs batted in with the Boston Red Sox in 2012.

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Orioles-Rangers Wild Card game starting lineups and full rosters

Posted on 05 October 2012 by WNST Staff

Here are tonight’s lineups as the Orioles play the Texas Rangers in the first ever American League Wild Card game in which the winner advances to the American League Division Series to play the New York Yankees …

Baltimore Lineup:

LF Nate McLouth
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Jim Thome
1B Mark Reynolds
2B Ryan Flaherty
3B Manny Machado

SP Joe Saunders

Here is the Orioles’ full available 25 man roster for the game…

INFIELDERS/OUTFIELDERS/DH (12)

Robert Andino             INF

Endy Chavez                OF

Chris Davis                  RF

Ryan Flaherty              INF

Lew Ford                      OF

JJ Hardy                       SS

Adam Jones                 CF

Manny Machado          3B

Nate McLouth              OF

Omar Quintanilla         INF

Mark Reynolds             1B

Jim Thome                   DH

 

CATCHERS (2)

Taylor Teagarden         CA

Matt Wieters               CA

 

PITCHERS (11)

Jake Arrieta                 RHP

Luis Ayala                    RHP

Zach Britton                LHP

Tommy Hunter             RHP

Jim Johnson                RHP

Steve Johnson             RHP

Brian Matusz               LHP

Darren O’Day               RHP

Troy Patton                  LHP

Joe Saunders              LHP

Pedro Strop                 RHP

Texas Lineup:
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Michael Young
DH Mike Napoli
C Geovany Soto
CF Craig Gentry

SP Yu Darvish

Here is  the Rangers’ full available 25 man roster for the game…

RHP

Yu Darvish (starter), Scott Feldman, Roy Oswalt, Joe Nathan, Alexi Ogando, Koji Uehara, Yoshinori Tateyama.

LHP

Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman, Robbie Ross.

Catchers

Mike Napoli, Geovany Soto, Luis Martinez.

Infielders

Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, Jurickson Profar, Michael Young.

Outfielders

Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, David Murphy, Craig Gentry, Leonys Martin.

 

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Orioles pick Saunders to start Wild Card game against Texas

Posted on 04 October 2012 by Luke Jones

A day before playing their first postseason game in 15 years, the Orioles have decided on left-hander Joe Saunders to make the start against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter had mentioned left-hander Joe Saunders and rookie right-hander Steve Johnson as top candidates but decided to go with the former as Johnson deals with a sore knee. Saunders will be on regular rest and has more experience pitching in big games. The Orioles will undoubtedly lean heavily on a deep and well-rested bullpen, meaning Saunders will have a short leash against a powerful lineup.

Though he did not face Texas in the 2012 regular season, Saunders is 0-6 with a 9.38 ERA in six career starts in Arlington.

The 31-year-old has been effective since his first start with the Orioles in late August. In his last six starts, Saunders has posted a 3-2 record with a 2.75 ERA in 39 1/3 innings.

Rangers manager Ron Washington has already announced Japanese rookie Yu Darvish will take the ball against the Orioles. Darvish finished his first major league season at 16-9 with a 3.90 earned run average. He struck out 221 batters and walked 89 in 29 starts covering 191 1/3 innings.

In five September starts, Darvish was 3-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 36 2/3 innings and collected 39 strikeouts and seven walks.

The Orioles did not face Darvish in the regular season.

Texas owned the best record in the American League for much of the season but dropped nine of their last 13 games to lose the AL West to the Oakland Athletics in their final game of the season Wednesday. The Orioles owned the top road record (46-35) in the league.

Playing in the first ever AL Wild Card play-in game, the Orioles and Rangers each finished with a 93-69 record, but Texas was awarded the home-field advantage due to their 5-2 record over Baltimore during the regular season. The game will begin at 8:37 p.m. at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The winner of Friday’s game will go on to play the top-seed New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. That series would begin on Sunday, with the Yankees traveling to the play-in game winner’s ballpark for Games 1 and 2.

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