June 2011

Orioles/Rays lineups

*As expected, the Orioles recalled Brandon Snyder to take the roster spot of Derrek Lee, who will be on the bereavement list until at least Saturday.

ORIOLES LINEUP
JJ Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Luke Scott 1B
Mark Reynolds 3B
Felix Pie LF
Robert Andino 2B

Jake Arrieta SP

RAYS LINEUP
Johnny Damon dh
Ben Zobrist 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Casey Kotchman 1B
BJ Upton CF
John Jaso C
Sam Fuld LF
Justin Ruggiano RF
Reid Brignac SS
Jeremy Hellickson SP

Fox clears waivers

Will update more later, but just wanted to get this out there…

Jake Fox has cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He is expected to and report sometime this weekend.

The Birds by the Numbers

I’ve always enjoyed comparative statistics and rankings. So I’ve taken major team statistics so far this year and seen how Baltimore stacks up.

So how do the Orioles compare in their division? The AL? The Majors?

Well, offensively the O’s don’t compare well in the AL East. But, then again they are in one of the best divisions in baseball when it comes to performance at the plate. The Blue Jays and Red Sox rank towards the top of the AL in some of the major offensive categories.

One of the more random stats is the Orioles and base stealing. The O’s have one of the lowest stolen base totals in the Majors, but have also been caught stealing the least. This leads to the 5th best stolen base percentage in the Majors.

But where Baltimore really tends to struggle in the numbers is on the hill. The O’s are last in the AL East in wins, ERA, saves and most homers allowed.

Oh, and just a confirmation that Matt Wieters is good at this catcher thing, Baltimore has allowed the second-least amount of stolen bases in the AL.

A few reminders:
*There are 5 teams in the AL East, 14 teams in the American League and 30 in MLB
*The rankings are done according to cumulative team statistics
*”First” or “Last” don’t necessarily denote the most or least of something. For example, for team strikeouts (on offense), being ranked first means the least amount of SO.
*The rankings reflect statistics entering Thursday’s games

-Avi Zaleon

You can find all the rankings below:

(more…)

A few odds and ends

*I’ve got a full feature on Orioles top pick, high school pitcher Dylan Bundy, you can read here. But I wanted to pass along a funny story that didn’t make it in that I stumbled on across the way.

Below is the famed YouTube video of a 14-year-old Bundy doing a boxing workout. It’s a video snippet that’s part of a DVD that the Bundy family put together for several colleges wanting to know more about the workout, which originated from agent Jay Franklin (brother of Cardinals pitcher, Ryan) and has been adjusted some by the Bundy’s over the years.

The funny part is it was never supposed to showcase Dylan. The plan wasn’t for Dylan to be in the video at all. Older brother Bobby (who is also in the O’s system) was warming up and taking some punches on the bag when his hand slipped and cold-cocked their father, Denver, hitting him square in the chin. The hit knocked Denver out and he was mad at Bobby after that, and had Dylan perform the workout instead.

As you can imagine, the video has taken a life of its own, and is just one of many stories involving the unique Bundy clan. Be sure to check Orioles.com later for more on them.

***
A few notes heading into this weekend’s series against the Rays…

*Is this the Mark Reynolds the Orioles traded for? Reynolds hit his third homer in five games last night and looks like he’s finally adjusting to the new League and new team. A pretty stoic guy on the field, Reynolds was still bothered by his slow start and admitted he’s been able to relax a little more at the plate recently. If he can get hot, he can carry a team offensively (much like Luke Scott) and, in my opinion that’s the most positive thing that came out of this last series.

*On a night where temperature hovered around the upper 90s, Zach Britton tied a career high of six strikeouts with two outs in the fourth and didn’t allow a run until the sixth, when the A’s used a pair of singles and a double play to score rookie Jemile Weeks.

“I really thought he was crisper [than in his previous few starts],” Showalter said of Britton’s 79-pitch outing, “and I thought the weather took a little bit of that crispness out as he went on.”

Britton admitted the unbearable heat took some adjusting to, but said the biggest shift he made Wednesday was moving over from the third-base side of the mound to the first-base side.

“It was something that [pitching coach] Mark Connor saw in the ‘pen,” Britton said of the move. “He felt like I was losing life on my slider by being on the third-base side. I had always pitched on the first-base side, this year was the first time I moved over there. And we said let’s go back over there and see how that works, and I felt like this allowed me to finish my pitches better.”

Britton’s stuff looked sharp –particularly early– and it was good see him bounce back from the first pair of consecutive losses in his career.

*The Orioles defeated the Athletics on Wednesday night, sweeping their three-game series, by scores of 4-2, 4-0 and 3-2. According to Elias, it’s the first time in nine years that Baltimore has won three consecutive games, despite scoring four-or-fewer runs in each of them. The O’s starting pitchers during their three-game win streak of that type in June 2002 were Travis Driskill, Jason Johnson and Sidney Ponson.

*The Orioles made 20 picks on day three of 2011 First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday, completing rounds 31-50. The Orioles selected 50 players overall, 28 pitchers and 22 position players, with 32 of their 50 selections being college products. The Orioles selected 9 left-handed pitchers and 19 right-handed pitchers, 4 catchers, 1 first baseman, 1 second baseman, 4 third baseman, 4 shortstops and 8 outfielders. Full coverage is on Orioles.com.

Klein to get MRI

Orioles pitching prospect Dan Klein will have a precautionary MRI when Double-A Bowie returns on Monday. Klein, who was placed on the seven-day Minor League disabled list retroactive to yesterday, reportedly had his right shoulder soreness continue today. He is considered one of the organization’s top pitching prospects.

Klein has appeared in nine games for the Baysox this season, going 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA over 16.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 16 batters while allowing 14 hits and three walks. He would be eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday.

Roberts on his progress

Brian Roberts (concussion) was with the team this afternoon and said he will stay around for a few days before heading back to Sarasota.

Here what he had to say about his progress and his timeline, which right now includes another two weeks of rest…

[on if yesterday's appointment was encouraging news]:

“I think anytime that they say you’re getting better, that’s always good. Two weeks had gone by. If I went up there and he said, ‘Hmmm, you look about the same,’ I wouldn’t have been that thrilled. It’s never as fast as you want, but that’s part of every injury. It never goes as fast as you want.”

[on if the symptoms are gone:]
“If they were all gone, I’d probably hopefully be doing baseball stuff today, so they’re not all gone. We’re just trying to progress through some things to make sure that as I do the progressions that they’re not there anymore.”

[on if he will return before the All-Star break]
“We really haven’t put a timetable on it. It’s always one of the worst things you can do with an injury, put a timetable on it, because you start shooting for something and you get disappointed or whatever. It’s going to be whenever it is at this point.”

[on if the headaches are still there:]
“I’ve had some symptoms depending on the amount of stuff that I’ve done, which is to be expected in the recovery process of these things. Hopefully, they just continue to decrease as we go.”

[on if he might start doing baseball stuff when he sees the doctor again]
“I know it’s a cliché, but it’s really true in this one. We’re just taking it one step at a time and we haven’t talked at all about what’s past the next 10 days or two weeks. Once I go back to see him, then we’ll see where I am at that point and we’ll see what’s next.”

Waiting on Fox

It is safe to assume that Jake Fox is on waivers, although teams are not permitted from commenting on the situation per League rules.

Fox was designated for assignment on June 1 and the team has until Saturday before the 10-day window runs out. When a player is DFA’ed the team has 10 days to either trade, release or send the player to the Minor Leagues. The Orioles have not traded him and do not want to release him.

So right now, they are waiting for the waivers to process, a period which takes 48 hours. Fox could be claimed by another club in the process, but if he clears he will be outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk.

Orioles/A’s series finale

*Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee is expected to be placed on the three-day bereavement list tomorrow to attend his grandfather’s funeral out in California and could technically return Sunday, but probably will not.

Given the state of the bullpen, the Orioles are expected to call up a position player in his place this weekend. Brandon Snyder would appear to be the most logical choice.

*Brian Roberts (concussion-like symptoms) is expected to stop by at some point today. Roberts will take another two weeks of rest before being evaluated again.

*Given the extremely hot temperatures in Baltimore today, the Orioles are taking a shorter batting practice and allowed to wear shorts. Manager Buck Showalter joked that he was pretty popular with the players after that announcement.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Robert Andino 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Derrek Lee 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Mark Reynolds 3B
Nolan Reimold LF

Zach Britton LHP

ATHLETICS LINEUP
Coco Crisp cf
Daric Barton 1b
Conor Jackson lf
Josh Willingham dh
Kurt Suzuki c
David DeJesus rf
Adam Rosales 3b
Cliff Pennington ss
Jemile Weeks 2b

Josh Outman LHP

Orioles/A’s lineups and pregame tidbits

*Brian Roberts, who met with concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh today, is at least two weeks away from baseball activities. In the next two weeks he will see Dr. Collins again, who will reevaluate Roberts. Buck Showalter, who said today’s report out of Pittsburgh was “not bad news”, said it is possible for Roberts to return before the All Star Break on July 11. If all goes according to plan, Roberts will spend a couple days with the team in Baltimore before heading to Sarasota once he is cleared for baseball activities.

*Justin Duchscherer was supposed to pitch five innings in extended spring training today, but left in the third inning with a spasm in his glutes.

*Lineup notables: SS J.J. Hardy is in the leadoff spot, Buck said it was out of necessity with Roberts still out. Rookie Ryan Adams returns to the lineup at second, taking what had been backup Robert Andino’s spot.

ORIOLES LINEUP
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vlad Guerrero DH
Derrek Lee 1B
Matt Wieters C
Luke Scott LF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Ryan Adams 2B

Chris Jakubauskas RHP

A’s LINEUP
Weeks 2B,
Daric Barton 1B
David DeJesus RF
Josh Willingham LF
Ryan Sweeney CF
Kurt Suzuki C
Hideki Matsui DH
Scott Sizemore 3B
Penny SS

Guillermo Moscoso RHP

-Avi Zaleon

O’s go back to pitchers, take RHP Michael Wright

After taking right-hander Dylan Bundy with the fourth overall pick, Baltimore has selected another RHP in the third round, taking Michael Wright out of East Carolina. Wright, the 94th overall pick, went 6-4 as an ECU starter this season with a 2.79 ERA.

Wright pitched the second-most innings of his college teammates in 2011 with 100. In that span, he allowed 31 earned runs, 30 walks and struck out 75 batters.

-Avi Zaleon

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