August 2010

Orioles/White Sox lineups and pregame tidbits

*Jason Berken’s second opinion in New York today revealed the same thing as his first MRI, which is a good thing. Berken won’t need surgery and the hope right now is he can rehab and rest his right labrum and be ready to go for next spring. 

*Jim Johnson (right elbow inflammation) threw two scoreless innings for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday afternoon, allowing one hit and striking out three. Johnson will take two days off before the Orioles decide the next step. He could be activated for this weekend’s series in Anaheim (which starts Friday) but a lot of that will depend on how he feels after this outing.  

ORIOLES LINEUP:

Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott DH
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Cesar Izturis SS
Josh Bell 3B

RHP Jeremy Guthrie

WHITE SOX LINEUP:
Juan Pierre LF
Omar Vizquel 3B
Alex Rios CF
Paul Konerko 1B
Carlos Quentin RF
A.J. Pierzynski C
Alexei Ramirez SS
Mark Teahen DH
Gordon Beckham 2B

RHP Gavin Floyd

Welcome to Chicago- some pregame notes

*Welcome from Chicago where the Orioles will take on the White Sox in a three-game set. You might have noticed I was off for the last three games of the Texas series, as I traveled to the Midwest for my college roommate (yes, a fellow Spartan alum) and her wedding. 

Here are a few random notes to get you started..

*David Hernandez will throw a bullpen session (his first) tomorrow in Sarasota. Hernandez said his left ankle is nearly pain-free although there is expected to be some discomfort until it fully heals in November. Hernandez has been doing some light throwing at the team’s Spring Training complex in Florida and is still a ways away.  

*Jason Berken was scheduled to get a second opinion today in New York. More info on that when  I get it.

*September callups are coming soon and Showalter basically told reporters in Baltimore over the weekend that Chris Tillman will be coming up. Expect Nolan Reimold as well. Showalter will want to see as much of the O’s young core as possible, which is why if I’m a betting person I put my money on seeing Zach Britton up here as well.   

*Happy 50th Birthday Cal Ripken.

*Also, the White Sox are apparently making a move on Manny Ramirez. This series could get pretty crazy pretty quick if that happens. 

Wiggy blocks the bag, Blanco gets mad

Orioles third baseman Ty Wigginton and Rangers second baseman Andres Blanco got into a verbal spat following the first out of the sixth inning of Thursday’s game, with third base umpire Manny Gonzalez restraining Wigginton. No ejections were issued although several members of the O’s bullpen came spilling onto the field in the event of an on-field melee.

The incident started when Blanco doubled over the head of right fielder Nick Markakis and tried to stretch it to a triple. The Orioles had other plans, as Markakis made a pinpoint relay throw to second baseman Brian Roberts who pivoted and threw to a waiting Wigginton at third. Blanco took a hard slide into the bag, pushing Wigginton over after the out was made, but the O’s infielder held up the ball and Gonzalez called him out. Blanco took exception to Wigginton blocking the bag and Wigginton started shouting back at him, pointing to the visitors’ dugout to tell the Rangers infielder to go back to the bench.

That’s when Gonzalez stepped in front of the pair and pushed Wigginton back toward shortstop to avoid any escalating the situation any further.

The play was especially critical given that the Orioles and Rangers were deadlocked in a scoreless game, and Blanco would have given Texas a baserunner with no outs.

Wigginton, who was suspended two games earlier this year for making contact with an umpire during a game against the Twins, responded with a two-out double in his at-bat in the bottom of the sixth.

There’s no score through six so far.

Os/Rangers lineups

Sorry for the delay in getting these up. If you missed it, there’s a story up on the site about Orioles manager Buck Showalter managing against his former team. For the O’s, Corey Patterson is in the starting lineup for the first time since Aug. 10.

ORIOLES LINEUP
:
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Luke Scott 1B
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Corey Patterson DH
Cesar Izturis SS
Brian Matusz LHP

RANGERS LINEUP:
Elvin Andrus SS
Michael Young 3B
Josh Hamilton CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Bengie Molina C
David Murphy LF
Jorge Cantu 1B
Brandon Boggs RF
Andres Blanco 2B
Colby Lewis RHP
 

Orioles/Mariners lineups and pregame tidbits

*Setup man Jim Johnson threw two scoreless innings last night and will take two days off before throw back-to-back outings this weekend. Johnson is still more than a week away, so while he could join the team on their upcoming roadtrip, Anaheim series on the 27th is probably the soonest.

*David Hernandez has started throwing but manager Buck Showalter doesn’t expect Hernandez to be ready until sometime in September. When asked if Hernandez would return at all, Showalter said he still was under the assumption he would come back this season. The sprain is slowly healing because it’s Hernandez’s landing foot and it’s one of the most important ligaments in that area. The possibility of having him rehab with Double-A Bowie, during their playoff run,is a possibility. 

*Third overall pick Manny Machado is expected to be in Baltimore for his physical on Thursday and Friday. The team won’t hold a press conference until the next homestand, because his mother can’t fly right now. Assuming he passes his physical, Machado will than report to the GCL.

*For those of you who asked if Jason Berken’s injury is like Matt Albers, the answer is yes. They are similar injuries in that there is no full tear of the labrum. Berken is expected to get a second opinion and the hope is, like Albers, he will avoid surgery and be ready for next season.

*If you missed it yesterday, Craig Tatum’s MRI came back clean and he’s available if needed today.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott DH
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Cesar Izturis SS
Josh Bell 3B

Jeremy Guthrie RHP

MARINERS LINEUP
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Russell Branyan DH
Jose Lopez 3B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Adam Moore C
Matt Tuiasospo LF
Josh Wilson SS

RHP David Pauley

Orioles/Mariners lineups and pregame tidbits

*Backup catcher Craig Tatum‘s MRI on his sore right knee showed no damage. Manager Buck Showalter said he didn’t think it’s a DL situation, and given the results it seems to be minor. Tatum first felt something when he was catching Sunday’s finale against the Rays.

*Orioles reliever Jim Johnson (right elbow inflammation) is expected to throw two innings for Class-A Advanced Frederick tonight.

*In case you missed it, the Orioles signed third overall pick Manny Machado with just minutes to spare at the Draft deadline. Machado is home now, but is expected to be in Baltimore later this week to get his physical and have an introductory press conference.

*In Triple-A Norfolk, LHP Mike Hinckley has been activated from the disabled list and is slated to start tonight’s game.

*Jason Berken, who was placed on the DL yesterday, is expected to get a second opinion on his right shoulder. Berken said he will remain with the team in Baltimore for the next few days.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott DH
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Cesar Izturis SS
Josh Bell 3B
Kevin Millwood RHP

MARINERS LINEUP
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Russell Branyan DH
Jose Lopez 3B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Adam Moore C
Ryan Langerhans LF
Jack Wilson SS

Luke French LHP

Os, Bywater Agree to Terms

The Orioles just announced they have agreed to terms with seventh-round selection LHP Matthew Bywater out of Pepperdine University.  Getting Bywater means the only remaining top 10 guy for the O’s is third overall pick Manny Machado. Sixth-rounder Dixon Anderson has elected to go back to school.

As of right now I haven’t heard anything about Machado, which is expected. The deal will likely go down to the wire. Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said yesterday that it was looking like Bywater would go back to school and wasn’t budging on the offer the O’s had on the table. Perhaps those comments helped things along. 

Bywater is the 37th of 49 selections in this year’s Draft to agree to terms with the Orioles. Jaime Esquival (28) and Alex Schmarzo (48) agreed to terms last night.

According to Pepperdine’s athletic site, Bywater was an All-West Coast
Conference First Team Honoree last season. As a sophomore, he led the Waves with a
3.57 earned-run average en route to compiling a 6-1 (.857) record with
66 strikeouts. He was a perfect 4-0 against conference schools through
five stars, striking out 33 batters and recording a 3.09 ERA through 32
innings pitched.

He’s listed at 6-2, 193 and said the thing he likes most about baseball is the “competitiveness”. 

Orioles/Mariners lineups and pregame tidbits

*Jason Berken was put on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, an MRI revelead he has a slight tear in his right labrum and fraying around his rotator cuff. It’s a possibility Berken will be shut down for the whole season, but right now the Orioles aren’t sure. The good news is, the doctors told Berken it isn’t a total tear and they think he can avoid surgery. But given that the O’s are also without David Hernandez, it’s a big blow to the bullpen.

*Rick Vanden Hurk –acquired in the Trade Deadline deal that sent Will Ohman to Miami — was recalled in his place. Vanden Hurk will start off in the bullpen, but could move to start as the O’s young arms start to get up there in terms of innings pitched.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott DH
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Cesar Izturis SS
Josh Bell 3B

Brad Bergesen RHP

MARINERS LINEUP
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Russell Branyan DH
Jose Lopez 3B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Adam Moore C
Michael Saunders LF
Josh Wilson SS

RHP Doug Fister

Machado and Draft updates

On the eve of Monday night’s Trade Deadline, the Orioles remain confident that their top selection, third overall pick Manny Machado will sign with Baltimore.

Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said Sunday afternoon he’s not concerned with the fact that both sides have had limited contact, and doesn’t expect talks to heat up with Machado’s agent, Scott Boras, until several hours before the midnight deadline.

“I’m not worried,” Jordan said of Machado’s signability which, along an unprecedented amount of top picks this year, figures to go down to the wire. “I’m not surprised by anything. It’s the way it is. And I don’t have to like it, but there’s only so much we can do right now.”

Machado, a high school shortstop, figures to be the last remaining piece of the O’s top ten with sixth-round pick RHP Dixon Anderson expected to not sign and seventh-rounder Matthew Bywater, a lefty out of Pepperdine, also headed in that direction. 

Jordan said negotiations with both Anderson and Bywater were expected to be difficult when they gambled on selecting them and the organization wasn’t misled by either player. As of Sunday afternoon the Orioles have agreed to terms with 34 of their 49 picks from June’s Draft, and doled out overslot bonuses to several selections including pitchers Dan Klein (3) and Parker Bridwell (9) and shortstop Connor Narron (5).

“I can’t be irresponsible,” Jordan said.  “I work off of the value that our staff puts on these players. And there are times when I feel like I get out of my comfort zone. I feel like we are overpaying some, but never to the degree where I think I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m doing it anyway.”

Although the emphasis has been on high-priority picks, the Orioles are expected to sign more of their later-round guys before Monday’s deadline, with many just waiting on an official offer.

“At some point, we have to walk away from these guys,” Jordan said of Anderson and Bywater, who personally told Jordan last night he would return to school if the O’s didn’t meet his expectations.

“We are working on certain players down in the Draft, backup plans that we took, just trying to position these guys that we’re in if we don’t get some of these higher guys done. We’ll complete our Draft with some younger high school players that do want to go play, but have basically been waiting on me to extend an offer to them.”
 

Berken to get MRI Monday

Struggling reliever Jason Berken hasn’t been responding to treatment for right shoulder soreness and will undergo an MRI Monday afternoon in Baltimore.

Berken said he’s been getting treatment for his shoulder –which is chronically sore — all season, but in the last week or so the treatment hasn’t been making him feel any better. The test is a precautionary move, and the Orioles are hoping Berken’s ineffectiveness is just overuse in his first year out of the ‘pen.

When asked if they would consider shutting down Berken even if the MRI comes back clean, Orioles manager  Buck Showalter wasn’t sure and said they would cross that bridge when they come to it. They are hoping the test will provide a little “peace of mind” for Berken, who has 13 earned runs in his last 17 1/3 innings.  

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