June 2011

Roberts return won’t be til at least after the break

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts saw concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and was given the same prognosis as two weeks ago: rest.

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the team will continue to take a  “wait and see” approach with Roberts who has not seen game action since May 16 at Fenway Park, when he started getting headaches after a headfirst slide into first base. The latest news means Roberts will not be back before the All-Star Break, and his return after that continues to be cloudy.

He is expected to be at PNC Park, where the Orioles are playing the Pirates in Interleague to join the team and do a light workout prior to Tuesday’s game. Roberts has been cleared to do a light upper-body exercise plan that was developed by Collins.

This is the second straight season that Roberts has been bothered with a long-term injury; he missed 59 games in 2010 with a herniated disk in his lower back. The 33-year-old also battled back and neck injuries this Spring Training after another headfirst slide into first base.

Russell as bench coach?

O’s coach John Russell made his return to Pittsburgh today, but he was noticeably absent from his usual third base spot. Here’s what manager Buck Showalter had to say about the reasoning for keeping Russell as the bench coach and sending out Willie Randolph instead.

“[It was a] combination of things. [His] knee’s been barking a little bit, plus I want to get him closer to the catchers between innings and stuff.

You know, we talked about it a little bit. Plus, with John coming back here to Pittsburgh I wanted him to be a little closer to me to talk about his knowledge of the Pirates a little bit.  It was three-fold.”

**

Also, The Orioles agreed to terms with third-round pick Mike Wright, a right-handed pitcher out of East Carolina, on Monday.

Wright went 6-4 with a 2.79 ERA in 16 starts for this season and was the organization’s second-highest drafted pitcher behind top pick, and third overall selection, Dylan Bundy.

Wright is the third Orioles top-10 pick in this month’s draft to agree to terms, joining left-handed pitchers Matt Taylor, (5) from Middle Georgia College and Central Michigan’s Trent Howard (7.)

Orioles/Pirates lineups and pregame tidbits

*Greetings from PNC Park, which is one of my favorite ballparks in the Majors.A few of the Orioles players who haven’t been here were out taking a tour of the stadium this afternoon…

Here are the pregame notes:

*Jeremy Guthrie (back) was out on the field throwing for the second straight day and will make his start tomorrow.

*The situation with Brian Matusz, who said his left hamstring felt 100 percent, is a little trickier. The Orioles are leaning toward starting Chris Jakubauskas on Friday and potentially giving Matusz another day of rest, or they could push him back even more.

Manager Buck Showalter said Brad Bergesen and Jason Berken are also candidates to start this weekend’s home series, and much of what the team does depends on Guthrie making it through Tuesday’s start.  Assuming all goes well, Guthrie would get Sunday’s start and if Jakubauskas starts Friday the O’s have a couple different options. They also have an off day on Monday to help reset the rotation.

*Luke Scott (midback spasms) also said he had no pain in his back after a solid 13 hours of sleep last night and although he’s not in the starting he’ll be available off the bench. Showalter said he just wanted to give Scott another day before putting him back in the starting lineup.

*The initial thought was second baseman Brian Roberts would be here and perhaps work out in advance of Tuesday’s appointment with local concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins, but Showalter said Roberts’ flight gets in tonight. So he’ll be here tomorrow, hopefully with some news from his appointment.

*Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells will leave the team tomorrow to fly to New Orleans to accept the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award from the National  Athletic Trainers Association. Bancells will return to the team for Friday’s series opener.

*The Orioles bullpen coach will likely be an internal hire according to Showalter. The team will sit down during Thursday’s off day to get a better idea of how to fill the role currently being done by Terry Crowley, who is serving as interim through Wednesday.

ORIOLES LINEUP

J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Derrek Lee 1B
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 3B
Felix Pie LF
Robert Andino 2B
Jake Arrieta RHP

PIRATES LINEUP

Jose Tabata LF
Josh Harrison 3B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Neil Walker 2b
Xavier Paul RF
Ronny Cedeno SS
Michael McKenry C
Charlie Morton RHP

Happy Fathers Day

Notes and tidbits are up on Orioles.com.

Here are your lineups..

ORIOLES LINEUP

J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Derrek Lee 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Craig Tatum C
Robert Andino 2B
Chris Jakubauskas RHP

NATIONALS LINEUP
Jayson Werth RF
Roger Bernadina CF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Jayson Nix LF
Michael Morse 1B
Danny Espinosa 2B
Wilson Ramos C
Tom Gorzelanny LHP
Alex Cora SS

Matusz exits with injury

Orioles starter Brian Matusz exited one out into the sixth inning Saturday after first baseman Derrek Lee signaled for head athletic trainer Richie Bancells to come out to the mound. It was unknown what his immediate injury was, but Matusz –whose velocity has been lower since returning from the disabled list June 1 – missed the first two months of the season with a left intercostal muscle strain.

Matusz took the hill in the sixth after allowing just one run –a solo homer by Ryan Zimmerman – but the Nats pushed another pair across on Michael Morse’s two-run homer.  He took Jerry Hairston to a 3-1 count before signaling for help from the mound, and was promptly replaced by Clay Rapada.

Television cameras showed Matusz needing help walking down the dugout steps, signaling that it was perhaps a leg or ankle issue.

He threw 90 pitches (52 for strikes) in the 5 1/3 inning outing in which Matusz was charged with four runs on six hits and three walks.

Nats/Orioles lineup & pregame tidbits

*As expected, both Brad Bergesen and Blake Davis were in the clubhouse this morning and Bergesen is available in long relief today. He’s also a candidate for Tuesday’s start if Jeremy GUthrie can’t go.

*Speaking of Guthrie, he did about 40 tosses on the field prior to Saturday’s game and said his back felt much better as he went along. He didn’t want to handicap his odds for Tuesday, but it’s certainly encouraging if he can come through the catch session with no problem.

*Second baseman Brian Roberts (concussion) resumed conditioning in extended spring yesterday, although he’s still not able to start baseball activities. There’s no timetable on his return.

ORIOLES LINEUP

J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Derrek Lee 1B
Luke Scott LF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Robert Andino 2B
Brian Matusz SP

NATIONALS LINEUP

Jayson Werth RF
Ian Desmond SS
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse 1B
Danny Espinosa 2B
Jerry Hairston LF
Ivan Rodriguez C
Jordan Zimmermann P
Roger Bernadina CF

More on last night…

*According to Elias, the last time a major league team had three or more players in their lineup get four or more hits and lose a nine inning game (as the Orioles did on Friday) was July 22, 2006 at Tampa Bay, when the Orioles fell to the Rays (Corey Patterson 5, Miguel Tejada 4, Brian Roberts 4)…The Indians did it July 30, 2008 at Detroit, but that game was 13 innings…The last team to get 18 or more hits and lose by four or more runs was the Royals on May 30, 2010 at Colorado (18 hits, lost 11-7).

*And according to Stats Inc., the last time a team managed four runs or fewer on as many as 18 hits was July 18, 2007 ATL vs. CIN – 4 R/18 H), and it’s been eight years since the O’s have done it (9/05/03, vs. SEA – 4 R/21 H). Those are the only two times the Orioles have done it since 1946.

Further illustrating the rarity of it, it’s apparently only happened 23 times in at least 65 years.

*According to ESPN’s research, the Orioles had three players (Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Derrek Lee) record at least four hits, and yet none of them managed to drive in a run. … Since RBI became an official stat in 1920, they are the first team to ever have three players with 4+ hits and 0 RBI in the same game.

*Also since RBI became an official stat, only one other team has had two players manage at least four hits in the same game– the 1984 California Angels, who had Rod Carew and Fred Lynn both go 4-for-5 with 0 runs and 0 RBI in a 2-1 loss to Oakland on April 13.

Os DFA Accardo, option Adams

The Orioles made a pair of roster moves following Friday’s 8-4 loss to the Nationals, designating right-hander Jeremy Accardo for assignment and optioning infielder Ryan Adams back to Triple-A Norfolk with right-hander Brad Bergesen and infielder Blake Davis joining the team in their place.

Bergesen made the team as an Opening Day swingman/extra starter, while Davis’ contract was purchased by the Orioles and will be added to the team’s 40-man roster with the extra spot.

Accardo allowed three earned runs and recorded just one out on Friday night immediately surrendered the lead, after a five-pitch walk to Wilson Ramos and an RBI double to Jerry Hairston to start the bottom of the sixth.  It marked the fifth time in six outings Accardo has surrendered a run, as the right-hander allowed 55 baserunners in 32 1/3 innings this season, giving up 37 hits, 17 walks and a hit batter along the way.

Bergesen is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts for the Tides after he was optioned on May 28. He went 1-6 with a 5.36 ERA in 10 outings (nine starts) for the Orioles earlier this season and will likely be used as a long man in the ‘pen and a candidate to start Tuesday if Jeremy Guthrie can’t go.

Davis’ arrival will allow Adams –who started just six games — continue to develop and get more playing time at Norfolk, which is what the organization has wanted to do for a while. The 27-year-old Davis was hitting .284 with five homers and 24 RBIs in 49 games for Norfolk and will add some versatility given that he can play shortstop, second base and outfield.

Playing roster shuffle

Lefty Pedro Viola was here pregame but when the team got good news on Jeremy Guthrie, he was sent back to Double-A Bowie.

Now, Blake Davis and Brad Bergesen are on their way to D.C (as first reported by the Baltimore Sun) although there’s no guarantee they will be activated.

There isn’t expected to be a roster move postgame, so the team will hold off until Saturday at the earliest, and Davis would obviously be the guy to replace infielder Ryan Adams.

It’s trickier with Bergesen, who could be asked to make Tuesday’s start in place of Guthrie (buying him more time) or he could be used as hte team’s second long man with Alfredo Simon now on the DL.

I’m sure the concerns over Saturday’s starter Brian Matusz -who could possibly tax the bullpen– also factors in to what the Orioles do with Bergesen.

Orioles/Nationals lineups & pregame tidbits

I’m back on the beat after a few days off and the Orioles will kick off the middle portion of a three-city roadtrip with tonight’s game at the Nationals…

*The Orioles got good news on Jeremy Guthrie’s back (the MRI came back clean) and right now the hope is that he can avoid the disabled list. Guthrie’s tenatively scheduled for Tuesday’s start but it’s possible the team uses a spot starter (such as Jason Berken) to buy him another few days.

*The team will wait until at least the end of the roadtrip before making a decision on adding a bullpen coach. Right now, Terry Crowley is serving as interim coach of sorts and manager Buck Showalter said the team will sit down on Thursday’s off day to try to sort through things. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the organization is going to try to not disrupt the player development, which makes it more like that they get someone who is not in the Minor Leagues coaching to fill the role. MacPhail said another option could also be to just rotate several people in and out of the bullpen coach role.

ORIOLES LINEUP

J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Luke Scott LF
Derrek Lee 1B
Mark Reynolds 3B
Robert Andino 2B
Zach Britton SP

NATIONALS LINEUP

Jayson Werth RF
Ian Desmond SS
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse 1B
Danny Espinosa 2B
Wilson Ramos C
Jerry Hairston LF
Jason Marquis SP
Roger Bernadina CF

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