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Orioles continue to shuffle roster in Texas series

Posted on 09 May 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 8:20 p.m.)

BALTIMORE — As if allowing 24 runs over the last two nights wasn’t bad enough, the Orioles pitching staff appears to be suffering another blow with the revelation that starter Jason Hammel will be scratched on Thursday.

Dealing with right knee soreness in recent weeks, Hammel underwent an MRI that revealed no structure damage. Manager Buck Showalter labeled the Orioles’ top starter through the first month of the season as a “realistic” possibility to be pushed back, but he did not consider it to be a serious issue that could land the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list.

With Norfolk’s Dana Eveland the likely starter on Friday in place of Tommy Hunter, the Orioles may need to deep into their Triple-A team again for the series finale against the Rangers. Brad Bergesen is scheduled to make Thursday’s start for the Tides.

Another possibility for Thursday’s start could be Hunter, who would be eligible to return to the Orioles should the team place a player on the disabled list. Outfielder Endy Chavez has been dealing with an intercostal strain and was not in Wednesday’s lineup.

(Update: The Orioles announced Hunter will be recalled to start the nightcap of Thursday’s doubleheader. This presumably means Chavez will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.)

With Chavez limited, the Orioles have decided to purchase the contract of utility player Steve Tolleson and option left-handed reliever Zach Phillips to Triple-A Norfolk. Tolleson is able to play the infield and each corner outfield spot, making him a viable option if Chavez is to be sidelined for a longer period of time.The 28-year-old was hitting .265 in 83 at-bats for Norfolk.

Phillips was with the Orioles for only Tuesday’s game, allowing Josh Hamilton’s third home run of the evening in his 2/3 inning of work.

To clear room for Tolleson on the 40-man roster, the Orioles have shifted reserve catcher Taylor Teagarden to the 60-day disabled list. Still dealing with a back injury, Teagarden has responded well to a third epidural injection, but there is still no timetable for a return.

With Hunter currently in the minors, Hammel likely to miss a start, and Brian Matusz struggling, Showalter was asked about the possibility of Zach Britton’s rehab program being accelerated. The young left-hander remains on schedule, but the Orioles have no interest in putting short-term needs ahead of his overall well-being for the future.

“He’ll stay right on his program,” Showalter said. “We’re going to get that right.”

Britton is expected to pitch in an extended spring training game on Thursday. He’s scheduled to throw 45 pitches.

Here are tonight’s lineups…

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
DH Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
C Yorvit Torrealba
3B Brandon Synder
CF Craig Gentry

SP Colby Lewis (3-1, 2.97 ERA)

LF Ryan Flaherty
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
3B Wilson Betemit
DH Chris Davis
1B Mark Reynolds
2B Robert Andino

SP Wei-Yin Chen (2-0, 2.76 ERA)

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Buck Showalter and Chris Davis prior to the third of a four-game set against the Texas Rangers.

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After being on wrong end of history, Orioles must now fight their own

Posted on 09 May 2012 by Luke Jones

History was made at Camden Yards on Tuesday night, but the story for the Orioles wasn’t Josh Hamilton becoming the 16th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a single game.

Entering Monday with the best earned run average in the American League and coming off a nine-game stretch in which they allowed a total of 23 runs against Oakland, New York, and Boston, the Orioles have surrendered 24 runs over the last two nights against the powerful Texas Rangers to knock them down a couple pegs in an otherwise impressive start to the 2012 season.

Like Brian Matusz on Monday, Jake Arrieta had no answers for the Texas lineup as an Orioles starter turned in a poor outing for the third straight game while a patchwork bullpen that included three call-ups over the last two days hasn’t been any better.

Needless to say, manager Buck Showalter wasn’t in the mood to discuss the heroics of Hamilton, whose 18 total bases on Tuesday set an American League record and were one shy of former Dodger Shawn Green’s major-league record 19 set on May 23, 2002.

“We didn’t score many runs, either,” Showalter said. “I think you’ve got to tip your hat to their pitching staff, too. We’ve obviously given up a lot of runs in a couple nights to make it tough. Obviously, Hamilton had a big night.”

The offense, which seemed to have come alive in the last five games of the last road trip, has suddenly gone silent over the last two nights against Texas starters Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz, scoring just six runs in two games.

The Orioles have lost consecutive games for the first time since April 20 and 21 in Anaheim, but one of the most impressive aspects of their 19-11 start has been their ability to dust themselves off after the handful of losses suffered over the first five weeks of the season. Even so, you have to wonder how two lopsided losses to the Rangers — who look like the class of the American League early on — will impact the club’s psyche following a successful 5-1 road trip against the Yankees and the Red Sox.

After winning a remarkable 17-inning marathon in Boston on Sunday, the Orioles have appeared to lack energy over the last two nights, though it’s easy to say that when facing a team many regard as the best in baseball. In addition to the physical demands of the aforementioned game against the Red Sox, you wonder if the inexperienced Orioles suffered a mental hangover in coming home after such a successful road trip against their two biggest tormentors of the last 14 years.

One of the biggest signs of a winning team is its ability to rebound quickly from tough losses and prevent negative spurts from transforming into extended losing streaks. Realistically speaking, two straight losses are nothing at all over which to be concerned, but mainstays of the roster over the last few years have a laundry list of lengthy swoons they’ll need to keep from their minds while trying to regroup for the final two games of the series against the Rangers.

As uplifting as their 19-11 start has been, dropping 10 of their next 11 would all but erase the positive vibes circulating through the Baltimore clubhouse. They can try to fight it all they want, but losing still flows through the veins of many key players and can’t be eliminated completely in a 30-game period. Unlike winning clubs of recent seasons, the Orioles don’t have positive experiences of rebounding from adversity from which to draw, forcing you to take pregnant pause at the first sign of trouble.

They simply aren’t familiar with how winning teams handle a bump or two in the road.

Despite being outscored 24-6 over the last two nights, the Orioles will have the opportunity to put that behind them immediately on Wednesday and Thursday as they try to snap a seven-game losing streak to the two-time American League champions that dates back to last season.

Unlike any other sport, baseball gives you the opportunity to erase the pain immediately.

But it’s also unforgiving in how consecutive losses can quickly turn into a nightmarish stretch of time if you’re not careful.

The Orioles know that all too well in recent years and will try to get back on track with their pitching, the phase of the game that’s carried them to their best start since 2005.

It needs to regroup in a hurry.

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Hamilton makes history as Rangers blow out Orioles

Posted on 08 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Arrieta hopes to get Orioles back on track Tuesday night

Posted on 08 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Orioles add bullpen help against powerful Rangers

Posted on 07 May 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — A day after one of the wildest games in franchise history, the Orioles were forced to make difficult changes to their roster to add a couple bullpen arms to the mix with the powerful Texas Rangers coming to Baltimore for a four-game series.

Limited to just 4 1/3 innings in his shortest outing of the year on Sunday, starter Tommy Hunter was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk along with backup catcher Ronny Paulino to clear room for relievers Jason Berken and Stu Pomeranz. Manager Buck Showalter made it clear the moves were byproducts of the 17-inning series finale in Boston, but he also acknowledged some of the physical challenges that have hindered Hunter in recent weeks.

“Understand that Tommy had a slight oblique, which he’s 100 percent back from,” Showalter said. “He had the flu that everybody had. He had an ingrown toenail. So, he went about two weeks without being able to do some of his strength stuff.”

In six starts, Hunter is 2-1 with a 5.00 earned run average and has allowed 1.42 hits and walks per inning pitched. The 25-year-old right-hander has pitched up in the strike zone far too much, resulting in allowing a club-worst nine home runs in 36 innings.

With the Orioles needing bullpen help and Hunter having an option, he became an unfortunate casualty and creates the question of who will make Friday’s start against the Tampa Bay Rays. Barring a need to replace an injured player, Hunter must remain with the Tides for a minimum of 10 days. Showalter said Berken could be a candidate to make the start, but that will depend on how much the Orioles may need to use him over the next couple nights.

Showalter doesn’t anticipate a long stay in the minors for the club’s No. 2 starter entering the season, but he made no promises when breaking the news to Hunter.

“I look to see Tommy really getting back on track down there with one or two starts,” Showalter said. “We’ll see where it takes us.”

It appeared to be a foregone conclusion that third catcher Luis Exposito would be optioned back to Norfolk with the Orioles calling up at least one reliever, but Paulino received the surprising demotion instead. Showalter cited Paulino’s abbreviated spring training — due to work via issues — and his preference to get more time for Paulino behind the plate, which makes you infer the Orioles manager may not be enamored with Paulino’s defensive work.

“He’s done some good things for us,” Showalter said about Paulino. “We just want to let him catch every day down there and get back to where he’s comfortable. Build up some of his leg strength and get some consistent at-bats.”

As for Monday night, Showalter would not tip his hand as to who else would be available in addition to Berken and Pomeranz, but you can only imagine the list to be a short one. He essentially ruled out any pitchers who appeared in all three games of the Boston series — Matt Lindstrom and Troy Patton fall into that category — but it’s hard to imagine him wanting to go to Kevin Gregg or Jim Johnson.

Each threw two innings on Sunday, but neither is accustomed to going more than one inning under typical circumstances. With Gregg’s sporadic workload over the last month and Johnson’s recent bout with food poisoning zapping his strength, the Orioles would be wise avoiding those two if possible.

Considering the Orioles called up two relievers and made two unexpected demotions in the process tells all you need to know about the desperate state of the bullpen.

More than anything, Showalter is praying for a lengthy outing by left-hander Brian Matusz as the Orioles welcome the Rangers to town in a four-day meeting between two of the best teams — record-wise — in the American League. After recording his first win of the season in his last start in New York, Matusz will be expected to give the Orioles innings in the series opener — even if the results aren’t the prettiest.

Here are tonight’s lineups…

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
DH Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
C Mike Napoli
3B Brandon Snyder
CF Craig Gentry

SP Matt Harrison (3-2, 5.40 ERA)

2B Robert Andino
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
DH Matt Wieters
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Wilson Betemit
1B Chris Davis
C Luis Exposito

SP Brian Matusz (1-3, 4.67 ERA)

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Rangers 1B Snyder returns to Baltimore to face red hot Orioles

Posted on 07 May 2012 by WNST Audio

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Sporting MLB’s best record, Orioles welcome Rangers Monday

Posted on 07 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-MISL DC United @ San Jose Earthquakes (Wednesday 10:30pm from San Jose live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 4pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS); Pro Lacrosse-MLL Ohio Machine @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com); Women’s College Lacrosse: NCAA Tournament-Monmouth @ Towson (Saturday 7pm Unitas Stadium)

10. Lynyrd Skynyrd (Friday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Chicago (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Lupe Fiasco (Thursday 8pm Patriot Center); Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live), P.O.D. (Sunday 6pm Rams Head Live); Marilyn Manson (Tuesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Korn (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); The Bad Plus (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); fun. (Thursday 7pm Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Eric Hutchinson (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Rusted Root (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Willie Nelson and Family (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bob Schneider (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Mint Condition (Thursday & Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Norah Jones “Little Broken Hearts” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

If I were going to be in town, I’d head to the Inner Harbor to check out Chicago. Honestly…

I like Eric Hutchinson. I also like women. I understand this comes as a surprise to many.

Bob Schneider made one of the best tunes of 2012…

“This is a fun tune from Norah Jones” uttered the man for the first time EVER…

9. Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL (Saturday & Sunday 1st Mariner Arena); D.L. Hughley (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Gilbert Gottfried (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Avengers” in theaters (Friday); “Haywire” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I don’t like to speak out of line, but if you don’t go see “The Avengers” within hours of its’ release, you are almost certainly a terrorist.

Tony Stark is the greatest fake human being of all time.

Oh-and did you not remember Haywire? Haywire was the one where Gina Carano…you know I’m just going to go ahead and stop there.

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James Carmon

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Ravens round out successful draft by digging into rookie free agent pool

Posted on 29 April 2012 by Ryan Chell

The Baltimore Ravens moved into the next step of the off-season process Saturday night by bringing several valuable players that did not have their named called over the three-day process.

Along with their eight draft picks, a host of other potential Ravens will make their way into Owings Mills in two weeks with the chance to make the roster cut from 90 players in training camp to the 53-man roster when Baltimore  opens up against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football September 10th.

During the 2011 season, several undrafted free agents saw playing time for the Baltimore Ravens. DE/LB Albert McClellan, who was brought in under the circumstances after the 2010 NFL Draft, and Maryland WR/KR LaQuan Williams both saw significant action on special teams and during the game contributing for a team that reached the AFC Title game.

Here is a list of Ravens rookie free agent targets hoping to have similar results who have reportedly been signed or invited to work out for a contract, per league agents, sources, or the players themselves. Highlights of the signings include former Florida QB John Brantley-the successor to Tim Tebow, Morgan State TE LaMont Bryant, Wake Forest SS Cyhl Quarles, and Florida WR/KR Deonte Thompson.

 James Carmon, Mississippi State T: 

James Carmon
The Baltimore native and converted DT has blocked a lot of good pass-rushers in his senior year at Mississippi State.  In one year, he was asked to block South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram, Arkansas’ Jake Bequette, Memphis Dontari Poe, and Ravens 2nd-round pick Courtney Upshaw at Alabama.

Nick Provo; Syracuse TE

Nick Provo

Provo’s work was with his hands alone. Struggled in blocking this year for the Orange.

Omar Brown; Marshall SS

Omar Brown

Brown made plays in his Marshall career-even against FBS opponents like Ohio State and Virginia Tech.


Justin Tucker, Texas K

Justin Tucker


Kicked for 2 seasons and punted for four in his Longhorn career. Was carried off the field this season after GW-kick vs. Texas A&M.
Nick Jean-Baptiste, Baylor DT

Nick Jean-Baptiste


A nose-tackle candidate who could back up Terrence Cody.
LaMont Bryant, Morgan State TE

LaMont Bryant


Bryant got a call from offensive coordinator Cam Cameron hours after the draft. He asked Bryant, “Do you want to be a Raven?” Bryant said it was an easy answer. He drew interest from the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs and actually had to choose between the Ravens and the Chiefs in a quick phone decision Saturday night.
Jack Cornell, Illinois OL

Jack Cornell

Cornell started 13 games this year for the Illini at strong-side guard. Played some tackle his junior year in 2010.

Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky RB

Bobby Rainey


Coach John Harbaugh has been following him for months. He called him Saturday night to welcome him in. Says he models his game after Barry Sanders, and has a blue-collar approach to the game.

Devin Goda, Slippery Rock (PA) TE/HB

Devin Goda

The fifth-year senior had an impressive 2011 in which he caught 75 passes for 1,028 yards and 11 TDs in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Standing at 6’2, 213 lbs, he runs a 4.54 40-yard dash. The Oakland Raiders were another team vying for his services.

Chris Anzevino, Kent State C

Chris Anzevino


The All-MAC honoree started 36 games for Kent State over the last three seasons.
Austin Johnson, Tennessee FB/LB

Austin Johnson


After playing FB previously at Tennessee, he switched to ILB for the Vols in 2011, leading them in tackles with 81 and interceptions with four. Faced a lot of adversity coming back from a pre-season arrest in which he was booked for disorderly conduct and public intoxication in which he reportedly fought with another man and was punching cars.
John Brantley, Florida QB

John Brantley

A highly touted high school prospect, John Brantley backed up Tim Tebow for two years at the University of Florida. He was also one of the reasons why Cam Newton transferred out of Florida to Auburn. Struggled with injuries the last two years at Florida, but still finished his Gator career with a completion percentage of 61.7 percent, 30 TDs, 18 INTs and 4,750 yards.

Cyhl Quarles, Wake Forest SS

Cyhl Quarles

Led the Demon Deacons in tackles this season and was moved all over the field this year for Wake Forest.

Deonte Thompson, Florida WR

Deonte Thompson

The Florida WR struggled with drops his senior year, causing his quarterback, John Brantley, to look elsewhere in the Gator offense. Only had 21 catches in 2011. But his speed, which is reportedly in the 4.3’s could make him an excellent return candidate.

Charles Brown, UNC CB



An excellent cover corner, he had two interceptions and led North Carolina in breakups. Another return candidate for the Ravens.
Antoine McClain, Clemson OG

Antoine McClain


A pancake machine; he had 183 of them over 41 games in his four-year Tiger career.

Elliot Henigan, UAB DT

Played with a sports hernia throughout 2011 and still finished with close to 40 tackles. Either takes his guy out behind the line of scrimmage or is taken out of the play.


Be sure to follow @WNST on Twitter for your Ravens news as the 2012 roster takes shape and check the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault at

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 24 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 67 (Friday 8pm from Ontario, Canada live on MTV2); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Ismayl Sillakh vs. Denis Grachev (Friday 10pm from Austin, TX live on ESPN2), Thomas Oosthuizen vs. Marcus Johnson (Friday 11pm from Miami, OK live on Showtime), Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson (Saturday 10:15pm from Atlantic City live on HBO), Vyacheslav Senchenko vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Sunday 1pm from Donetsk, Ukraine live on Pay-Per-View); Tennis: ATP Tour Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (Thursday 7:30am Friday 6:30am Sunday 10am from Barcelona live on Tennis Channel), WTA Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Saturday 8am & 12pm Sunday 12:30pm from Stuttgart, Germany live on Tennis Channel); Women’s College Lacrosse: Georgetown @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex College Park)

10. Rammstein (Wednesday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Sunday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Shinedown (Wednesday 6pm Rams Head Live), All-American Rejects (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Bob Schneider (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Pat McGee Band (Friday & Saturday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Punch Brothers (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Creed (Tuesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Kottonmouth Kings (Wednesday 6:30pm Sonar); Chuck Berry (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Mac Miller (Thursday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Nellie McKay (Thursday 6:30pm Birchmere); Candlebox (Monday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Sweetlife Festival feat. Kid Cudi, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fun. (Saturday 12pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Death Cab For Cutie (Monday 8pm Strathmore); Nickelback/Bush/Seether (Monday 6pm Verizon Center); Jack White “Blunderbuss” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

TSO didn’t post in Charm City this Christmas, and you know someone who was bitter. I’d be willing to go see them Sunday night though, their Beethoven stuff is also awesome…

Does anyone just want to GIVE me tickets to the Punch Brothers show Friday night? Most of you haven’t given me a birthday present in years.

Enjoy skateboarding? Hip-hop? Marijuana? Here’s Kid Cudi…

Jack White is sorta becoming that “I don’t care what he does I’m just going to like it” man for the 21st century. Are we still in the 21st century?

9. The Raven” and “The Five-Year Engagement” out in theaters (Friday); Contraband” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Tom Brokaw (Tuesday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Sugarloaf Crafts Festival (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds)

I’d love to dissect Jason Segel’s new flick (I think it actually looks good) or try to figure out what the hell they do at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, but I don’t know where else in T10BD I’d be able to post this picture of a frog sitting on a bench like a human…

We all agree this is the greatest picture of all time, right?

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