July 2011

A few notes

*Orioles outfielder Luke Scott has decided to undergo surgery on his torn right labrum, a procedure that will be performed on Tuesday morning by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. and is expected to take several months in recovery time. Scott had hoped to avoid the surgery route altogether and rehab, but this was presented as the best option so he went with it. Scott was already done for the season with last week’s decision to shut him down, and as a non-tender candidate he could very well have played his last game as an Oriole.

Here’s what Scott said via text: “Not what I was hoping for but [surgery] is needed. The good thing is that I will be ready in time for next season.”

*Zach Britton is making what is expected to be his last start for Double-A Bowie tonight. Britton is expected to pitch one of Saturday’s doubleheader games with right-hander Chris Tillman another option if the Orioles decide to dip into the Minor Leagues for both starts.  The team is also weighing having a long reliever make one of those starts.

*Vladimir Guerrero’s one-game rehab with Double-A Bowie is done and he is expected to be activated for Tuesday’s series in Toronto. Cesar Izturis is playing for Bowie tonight and the decision on him will come after that.

* Former shortstop Mike Bordick and longtime head Athletic Trainer Richie Bancells will be honored at this year’s Orioles Hall of Fame luncheon on Friday, August 12, at the Warehouse at Camden Yards.  The luncheon begins at noon and will take place on the sixth floor. In his six seasons with the Orioles, Bordick compiled the highest fielding percentage by a shortstop in club history, setting three American League and one major league record.  He will become the 49th inductee into the Orioles Hall of Fame.

Bancells, in his 35th year in the Orioles organization and his 24th season as Head Athletic trainer, is widely respected throughout both the baseball and athletic training industries.  He will receive the Herb Armstrong Award given to non-uniformed personnel for distinguished service to the Orioles and the game of baseball. A limited number of tickets remain for the luncheon.  Tickets are $50 per person. To purchase tickets, fans should contact Ann Serio at 410-247-2703.

*Finally I wrote a piece on the Orioles young pitching corps and the unexpected amount of struggles they’ve had as a unit this season. You can read that here.

Orioles/Angels lineups and tidbits

*At 6:05 pm tonight, Cesar Izturis and Vladimir Guerrero will make a rehab start for Double-A Bowie, Vlad is set to go unless pregame batting practice dosen’t go well.  Izzy was in Baltimore early this afternoon and will make the trip to Bowie around 1:30 pm, the earliest he can be activated is Tuesday

*Both starters for the Orioles doubleheader against the Yankees on Saturday will not come from within the current rotation since Baltimore currently has just four men in it.  One of those starters is scheduled to be Zach Britton, who has been playing Double-A ball for a little over a week, while the Orioles could go with a former starter like Chris Tillman for the other game in New York.  He is also currently playing in the minors.

*Manager Buck Showalter was predictably mum on the subject of trades today, with the deadline coming on July 31. He was asked about Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara, but merely reiterated their value to the team

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Jeremy Guthrie RHP

ANGELS LINEUP
Macier Izturis SS
Torii Hunter RF
Bobby Abreu DH
Vernon Wells LF
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Mark Trumbo 1B
Mike Trout CF
Bobby Wilson C

Tyler Chatwood RHP

Scott’s future

You know by now that Luke Scott is down for the season and will see Dr. James Andrews and get a second opinion on his right shoulder –which has a S.L.A.P tear –before deciding to go the rehab or surgical route.

There is also the very real possibility  that Scott could have played his last game in an Orioles uniform.  Heading into his final year of arbitration eligibility Scott, who is making $6.4 million this season, could be a non-tender candidate given that he’s due to make more next season and could be a way for the Orioles to shed payroll.

(Non-tendering is when a team chooses to not offer a contract to a certain player –mainly because the potential cost outweighs their perceived value –such as the case with reliever Matt Albers last year.)

It’s a fact Scott is well aware and one he touched on briefly on Saturday.

“As far as my future with the Orioles, my feelings are, my heart’s desire is that I want to be here when the organization makes that turn to get back to where we need to be,” Scott said.  “But that’s out of my hands.  All I can do is get ready for this challenge that’s coming up, getting myself ready for next spring training and bring to the table what I bring to the table when I’m healthy.  Then the rest of that’s the Orioles’ decision.  The Good Lord has control of my future.  My heart’s desire and my hope is that it will be here.”

Orioles/Angels lineups & tidbits

*As you can see with the lineup posted below, the Orioles have placed Luke Scott on the disabled list (shutting him down for the season) and have recalled infielder Josh Bell. Scott will wait to get consultations from two experts before deciding whether to undergo surgery or not.

Bell is starting at designated hitter today with third baseman Mark Reynolds originally at DH but said he thought it kept him in the game more to play in the field. Nolan Reimold is also getting a start in left field and Scott’s absence –along  with the decision to recall Bell over outfielder Matt Angle — figures to get him more playing time.

*Cesar Izturis will DH for Bowie tonight and is on schedule to be activated on Tuesday. Vladimir Guerrero got through a successful batting practice pregame and will DH for Bowie tomorrow night. He could be activated as early as Tuesday as well.

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Brad Bergesen RHP

ANGELS LINEUP
Erick Aybar SS
Torii Hunter DH
Bobby Abreu RF
Vernon Wells LF
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Russell Branyan 1B
Peter Bourjos CF
Jeff Mathis C

Joel Pineiro RHP

Scott giving it one more shot

Luke Scott isn’t feel any better, but he will give his ailing right shoulder one more test.  The Orioles outfielder was activated from the disabled list and in Friday’s starting lineup at designated hitter, starting the first of what is expected to be a 3-5 game test to see if Scott –who has been playing with a torn right labrum – can salvage the last part of the season.
“I have to see if I can compete at this level right now with what I’ve got,” said Scott, who played in rehab game for Double-A Bowie Thursday and still has difficulty getting the bat head out and extending his swing.  “If I can and do a good job, then I will stay up here and do a good job. If I can’t then I have to make one of two decisions.”

Those two decisions are rehab and surgery, the latter an option that Scott –who has had the injury since Spring Training — acknowledged for the first time  Friday might be in his best interest.

“I want to avoid it at all costs, but if its riskier to not have the surgery, that when surgery will win out,” said Scott, who has also sought the advice of teammates who have dealt with a S.L.A.P. tear including pitchers Jason Berken and Jim Johnson and shortstop J.J. Hardy.

“I’ve been going through a lot of scenarios in my head, talking to a lot of people, my agent. I’m just getting as much information as I can trying to get back to myself and be able to contribute.”

Contributing is the main focus right now, as manager Buck Showalter echoed Scott’s stance that the next few days will be a final tryout of sorts.

“I’m hoping it’s fine, it’s managable, it’s better than it was before, and he’s productive and he finishes the year with us,” Showalter said of Scott’s injury. “He’s got really three possibilities: he plays with us the rest of the year, he’s an active player for us and contributing, or he has to make a decision whether to do the rehab part or wants to have it surgically repaired. I think one of those last two will happen after the season is over regardless of what happens.

The only time the time frame will be pushed up is if he’s not able to be a productive player for us in his mind. This is his body and his career and he’s a player that we’ll glad to have. We want what’s best for the Orioles and we hope that involves Luke.”

Scott is batting .223 with nine home runs and 22 RBIs for the Orioles this season and he said the decision will be based on results rather than how he feels.

“It’s all based on production,” he said. “It’s better said that the pain does not affect me. It’s functionality.”

Orioles/Angels lineups & pregame tidbits

It’s so damn hot out. Milk was a bad choice.

*On a more serious note, the Orioles will face an Angels team with the best record in baseball since June 13. Luke Scott has been activated in place of outfielder Matt Angle (who was optioned back to Triple-A) and will test his shoulder over the next 3-5 days to see if he can play. He’s not feeling much better, so this is his last attempt before deciding between rehab and surgery, the later he acknowledged for the first time Friday as being a possibility.

*Brian Roberts was sidelined in extended spring today with a migraine. No word on how that came about and if it’s related to his concussion. Roberts was moved to the 60-day DL a few days ago, but he’s been out since mid-May so that was more of a housekeeping issue to allot the O’s another 40-man spot. There is no timetable for Roberts’ return and he is still not fully participating in baseball activities.  He could return before the season is over, but right now you’d think the end of August would be the absolute earliest you could see him.

*Zach Britton will throw five innings on Monday in his third –and hopefully final — start for Double-A Bowie. He’s penciled in to start in next weekend’s New York series, with a doubleheader Saturday, although things could change.

*Michael Gonzalez wil not serve his suspension this weekend and will continue his decision to appeal a three-game punishment stemming from throwing behind David Ortiz in the Boston series before the All-Star break.

*Vladimir Guerrero has continued to get daily treatment on his hand and he said he wasn’t cleared to pick up a bat on Friday, but hopes to take some dry swings sometime this series.

*Cesar Izturis played five innings in the Gulf Coast League this morning, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout. He played second base and hit leadoff and the plan is for him to continue his rehab with Double-A Bowie Saturday and Sunday, with Tuesday being the earliest day he could be activated.

*I mentioned Brian Matusz in a Tweet earlier, as the 24-year-old lefty was clocked at a consistent 87, 88 mph with his fastball and topped out at 90 in the short start for Triple-A yesterday. Matusz had a clean first inning but struggled after that, allowing eight runs (seven earned) over 3 2/3 innings in what manager Buck Showalter called a small setback. It’s no secret that Matusz has struggled in the heat and with this current heat wave coming through,  that was likely a factor as well.  But as Showalter pointed out, the offense had to perform in the same weather. He did say that the reports from Tides’ pitching coach Mike Griffin were more positive than Matusz’s line indicates.

ORIOLES LINEUP

J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Derrek Lee 1B
Luke Scott DH
Mark Reynolds 3B
Felix Pie LF
Blake Davis 2B

Alfredo Simon RHP

ANGELS LINEUP

Maicer Izturis 2B
Torii Hunter RF
Bobby Abreu DH
Vernon Wells LF
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Erick Aybar ss
Mark Trumbo 1B
Mike Trout CF
Jeff Mathis C

Ervin Santana RHP

Scott activated, Angle optioned

Luke Scott was back in the Orioles starting lineup Friday, batting sixth as designated hitter.  To make room for Scott, who was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, but made another rehab start in Double-A Bowie Thursday night, the Orioles have optioned outfielder Matt Angle.

The last time Scott played in an Orioles uniform was July 3, since then he has been recovering from a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which has been bothering him all season.  In three rehab starts with Bowie on July 17, 18 and 21, Scott  a combined .500 (5-for-10) with three home runs, seven RBI, five runs, two walks and two strikeouts.

-Avi Zaleon

Down on the farm: updates on Britton, Matusz and Scott

Luke Scott

7/21 Double-A Bowie vs Trenton

3-4, 2HR, 2B, 6RBI, 3R

 

Zach Britton

7/20 Double-A Bowie at Harrisburg

4IP, 2ER, 4H, 2BB, 4SO

 

Brian Matusz

7/21 Triple-A Norfolk vs Toledo

3.2IP, 7ER, 8H, 3BB, 2SO

-Avi Zaleon

Orioles/Red Sox lineups and pregame tidbits

*This is hardly breaking news, but reliever Jim Johnson could make a few starts before this season is over as the Orioles continue to lean toward moving the right-hander back into a starting pitching role.

Manager Buck Showalter said the team will have a better idea where things stand following the Trade Deadline. While Johnson is not expected to be dealt, the Orioles could move starter Jeremy Guthrie and need those innings to be picked up. Rookie Zach Britton, who is pitching today at Double-A Bowie, will be shut down before the season is over as well. If the Orioles do trade Guthrie, which is more of a possibility than a definitive statement at this point, they would almost certainly have to get back an arm or two in the deal.

*Vladimir Guerrero (broken bone in his hand) still has not picked up a bat and probably won’t until this weekend.

*Justin Duchscherer is leaning toward another hip surgery, which was recommended to him and referenced in yesterday’s notebook.

*Finally- I know there’s a lot going on (trades, the future of the front office, the young pitchers etc.) So I’m planning on doing an inbox to help delve into some things. If you have an Orioles’ question, send it along to brittany.ghiroli@mlb.com and include your name and hometown. Thanks!

 

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

Jake Arrieta RHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez DH
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Josh Reddick RF
Carl Crawford LF
Marco Scutaro SS
Jason Varitek C
Yamaico Navarro 3B

Andrew Miller LHP

Orioles/Red Sox lineups & pregame tidbits

*Alfredo Simon is back and has been activated off the restricted list, with infielder Josh Bell sent back to Triple-A Norfolk.  To make room for Simon back on the 40-man, Brian Roberts was moved to the 60-day disabled list. Roberts reportedly had headaches in extended spring today, which were deemed unrelated to his concussion.

*Luke Scott (torn right labrum) was here today but will not be activated for at least a few days as he’s still only about 70 percent. He remains optimistic that he will be back before the homestand ends on Sunday and said nothing has changed regarding his stance of trying to avoid surgery.

*Cesar Izturis will play six innings at second base in the Gulf Coast League Friday, serve as designated hitter for Double-A Bowie Saturday and play shortstop on Sunday. Since the team is off Monday, the best possible scenario would involve him being activated on Tuesday.

*In case you missed it earlier, the Orioles acquired LHP Zach Phillips from Texas in exchange for infielder Nick Green and cash. More on that here.

*Orioles closer Kevin Gregg threw a simulate game this afternoon to stay fresh. Gregg is serving a three-game suspension and wouldn’t appear in a game until Friday at the earliest.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Matt Angle LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones  CF
Matt Wieters C
Derrek Lee 1B
Mark Reynolds 3B
Nolan Reimold DH
Blake Davis 2B

Jeremy Guthrie RHP

RED SOX LINEUP

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
JOsh Reddick LF
Carl Crawford DH
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
J.D.Drew RF
Marco Scutaro SS

Kyle Weiland SP

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