June 2012

Arrieta stays, Gonzalez goes for Hunter

As expected, the Orioles recalled right-hander Tommy Hunter from Triple-A Norfolk to starter Saturday’s game, opting to option right-handed reliever Miguel Gonzalez to Norfolk instead of struggling starter Jake Arrieta.

Hunter, 25, is 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA (58.0IP, 36ER) in 10 starts for the Orioles this season.  A part of the Opening Day rotation, he started well but has struggled to keep the ball down in the zone, allowing 13 homers in 58 Major League innings.

Gonzalez last pitched Thursday, tossing four innings after lefty starter Brian Matusz went two innings. He made his Major league debut with the Orioles on May 29 at Toronto and appeared in two games, allowing two earned runs over 7 1/3 innings pitched.

The move leaves Arrieta to work out his problems with Baltimore. The 26-year-old Arrieta, who was the Orioles’ Opening Day starter is 0-6 with a 9.34 ERA over his last seven starts. By his own admission, Arrieta is marred in the worst stretch of  his career, and allowed career highs of nine runs on 11 hits as the Phillies opened the three-game Interleague series with a 9-6 victory on Friday at Camden Yards.

Since the Orioles don’t need a fifth starter again until June 16, Arrieta will work out of the bullpen.

Orioles vs. Phillies

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

Jake Arrieta RHP

PHILLIES LINEUP
Jimmy Rollins SS
Juan Pierre LF
Hunter Pence RF
Jim Thome DH
Shane Victorino CF
Carlos Ruiz C
Ty Wigginton 3B
John Mayberry 1B
Mike Fontenot 2B

Joe Blanton RHP

Marin reportedly agrees to terms

Orioles third-round pick, Adrian Marin, tweeted late last night that he has signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles, which effectively means he has agreed to terms. He would still need a physical.

Marin is a speedy 5-foot-10, 165-pound shortstop out of Gulliver Prep (Fla.) who has signed a letter of intent to play with the University of Miami.  Earlier this week, scouting director Gary Rajsich called Marin an exciting, five-tool player with a little bit of pop in his bat who could play second base, shortstop or even center field professionally. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette also singled out Marin’s athleticism.

It’s unknown what the the 18-year-old signed for, but the Orioles bonus pool for the 99th overall pick was $481,100.

He would the first Oriole draftee to agree to terms. For more on this year’s Draft, you can read the second day recap here and a summation on what this means for the Orioles system here. Duquette told MLB.com on Wednesday that the organization expects it won’t have a problem in signing its top 10 picks, including first-rounder Kevin Gausman.

Orioles @ Red Sox lineups & pregame notes (updated)

*The Norfolk Tides, the Orioles’ Triple-A team, released their daily game notes earlier and Tommy Hunter isn’t listed. Hunter, who was supposed to start today, isn’t slated for any of the upcoming games with Norfolk, and manager Buck Showalter confirmed Hunter is a candidate to start Saturday. But he’s not the only one, with  relievers Miguel Gonzalez and Dana Eveland also options for that game. In a perfect world, I think the Orioles would want to avoid making a roster move and have Gonzalez start, but it all comes down to if he’s needed out of the bullpen before that.

*Mark Reynolds is at first base again today, with Chris Davis at designated hitter. Davis, who was the Orioles starting first baseman coming out of camp, hasn’t played first since May 28 in Toronto. Asked the reasoning behind the recent moves, Showalter said: “I think everybody would rather be in the game defensively, but Mark has played OK over there. Chris, I think, can handle the DH spot. I think there’s a lot more to it than just the physical four or five at-bats, there’s a mentality to it, too. They  can both play first, they can both DH if they have to too. So far, Mark seems to have adapted pretty well.”

*Right-handed starter Jason Berken suffered a broken nose today on a sixth-inning collision with first baseman Joe Mahoney for a foul pop-up in Triple-A Norfolk’s game. Mahoney, is  6’6′-240, so it’s not exactly the kind of guy you want to be running into.

“I don’t think we’re worried about how Mahoney is,” Showalter deadpanned. “Basically [Berken] not going to do anything as far as resetting it right now. Depends on how much his eyes swell up. Right now, he’s scheduled to start again.”

*In case you missed it, the Orioles set a franchise record last night with their seventh consecutive victory at Fenway Park. You can read more from that game here.

*Second baseman Brian Roberts had a scheduled day off this afternoon after playing second base and batting leadoff for Triple-A Norfolk the previous two games.

*Nick Johnson has only had one at-bat since May 28, but Showalter said it’s not an injury issue and Johnson will be back in there soon. Right  now, there hasn’t been a whole of opportunities to use Johnson as a pinch-hitter, Reynolds is locking up first base and Davis has been hitting well at DH.

*According to the Lancaster Barnstormers website, left-handed pitcher Rich Rundles has had his contract purchased by the Baltimore Orioles and will be assigned to Triple-A Norfolk. The 31-year-old is a former third-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1999 when current Oriole executive vice president of baseball operations was Boston’s GM.

From 1999 to 2007, Rundles played in minor league baseball with six different organizations and he appeared in eight games with Cleveland in 2008 and one in ’09. He has a career 1.50 ERA.

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Brian Matusz LHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Daniel Nava LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Adrian Gonzalez RF
Mike Aviles SS
Darnell McDonald CF
Kelly Shoppach C

RHP Clay Buchholz

Orioles Reach to host annual food & funds drive

The Orioles, along with the Orioles Wives, Oriole Advocates, WJZ-TV and MASN personalities, Von Paris Moving and Storage and the Maryland Food Bank, will hold their 26th annual Food and Funds Drive at Oriole Park at Camden Yards this weekend, June 8-10, during the Orioles’ series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Members of these groups will collect non-perishable food items and monetary donations from fans at each entrance from the time gates open until the middle of the 2nd inning during games this weekend.

All food and funds collected go to the Maryland Food Bank. Fans who cannot attend the games can donate food online at http://www.mdfoodbank.org/oriolesfooddrive . The fan who donates the most online will have the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Sunday’s game.

During last year’s Orioles Food Drive, more than 4,660 pounds of food and $21,000 in cash donations were collected.

For more information, please call 888-848-BIRD or visit http://www.oriolesreach.com.

Hunter to start Saturday?

The Norfolk Tides, the Orioles’ Triple-A team, released their daily game notes earlier and Tommy Hunter isn’t listed. Hunter, who was supposed to start today, isn’t slated for any of the upcoming games with Norfolk, while the Orioles need a fifth starter for Saturday.  Coincidence? Probably not.

We should get official word, or at least more clarity on the rotation, later this afternoon at Fenway Park. But it look as if Hunter is in line to start Saturday’s game versus the Phillies.

Duquette on the Draft & taking Ripken

Update: Dan Duquette just addressed a group of reporters here at Fenway Park and he was asked about  taking Ryan Ripken, Cal Ripken Jr.’s son, in the 20th round.

“The Ripken family has had a long association with the Orioles and his grandfather was there, and his father was there,” Duquette said.  “And he’s a good athlete in his own right. We thought it was the right thing to do to draft him. He’s got a good opportunity to go to South Carolina and we expect him to go to South Carolina, but we thought it was the right thing to do.”

Duquette also reiterated that the Jamie Moyer signing will be more of an audition as the 49-year-old lefty will get a few starts and the team will reevaluate him after that.

“He’s not that far removed from the [Tommy John ] surgery, so there’s a chance that he will regain his previous form by continuing to pitch,” Duquette said of Moyer, who missed all of last season recovering. “A lot of veteran pitchers, sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get into length of the season until they come around. So we will see if that’s the case with Jamie. He has won a lot of games, is a good role model and has had some success.

We agreed to give it a few starts. So, he’s a veteran player, he will know. And if he can help us, he can help us.”

***

I spoke with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette this afternoon regarding the 2012 First-Year Draft– with plenty of coverage from all three days on Orioles.com —  and Duquette praised the work put in by first-year amateur scouting director Gary Rajsich and the organization’s scouts.

For a full list of the Orioles’ draftees you can go to MLB.com’s Draft Tracker and sort by team, but the main emphasis was adding college pitchers –especially in the first two days — and Duquette said he felt good about what the organization was able to accomplish in his first Draft.

“We were looking at our Major League team, and we thought we could get some pitching depth that could help us the next couple years,” he said, “particularly starting pitchers that would be a good complement to the guys that we have.”

The Orioles took LSU product Kevin Gausman in the first round (fourth overall) and Branden Kline from UVA in the second, and went on to draft six pitchers with their first 10 picks, five of which are college arms.

“I think we got some good talent,” said Duquette. “Now we need to go sign the talent, we will start helping the players develop the skills, Gary Rajisch and our scouts did a really good job. As did [national crosschecker] Danny Haas. They were prepared and they had a strategy and we got two accomplished college pitches in the first two rounds and the shortstop from Florida [third-rounder Adrian Marin] is a really talented player.”

Duquette believes this year’s new rules “forced teams to have a more disciplined approach” and believes signability won’t be an issue for the Orioles draftees.

“We will be able to sign all of them,” he said. “Top 10 rounds.”

The Orioles’ draft on Day 3 had some familiar names in Cal Ripken, Jr.’s son, Ryan, bench coach John Russell’s son, William, and director of Minor League instruction Brian Graham’s nephew Jack.  There was also a slew of local kids, which is something the organization put an emphasis on.

“We think that’s important and we made it a priority when we drafted, kids out of Baltimore and also kids out of Sarasota,” Duquette said, citing the team’s Spring Training home as well.

“I think we have succeeded in adding some solid pitching depth. If you look at our roster, it is relatively young and our position players are young and stable and if we can get some more consistent starting pitching, it will make us a better ball club.”

Orioles sign Moyer to Minor League deal

The Orioles announced that they’ve signed veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer to a Minor League contract and he will start for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday in Buffalo. The 49-year-old was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week and subsequently cleared waivers, allowing the Orioles to sign Moyer for his second stint in the organization.

“I think he’s committed to two or three starts and we will see where he’s at,” manager Buck Showalter said of the terms of the deal. “From what I understand talking to [executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette], he mentioned his name a few days ago.”

Moyer was invited to the Rockies’ Spring Training after missing the 2011 season following elbow surgery, made the starting rotation and went 2-5 with a 5.70 earned run average before being designated.

He is the oldest pitcher in Major League history to record a win. In his last victory on May 16, a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Moyer pitched 6 1/3 innings, and allowed one earned run on six hits while striking out five.

Moyer pitched three seasons for Baltimore, from 1993-95 and went 25-22 with a 4.41 ERA in 75 games (66 starts).His 25-year baseball career also includes time with the Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox, Moyer has a 269-209 record and a 4.25 ERA over 4,074 innings pitched. He made one All-Star Game appearance, in 2003.

Orioles @ Red Sox lineups and pregame notes (Os sign Moyer)

*The Orioles announced that they’ve signed veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer to a Minor League contract and he will start for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday in Buffalo. The 49-year-old was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week and subsequently cleared waivers, allowing the Orioles to sign Moyer for his second stint in the organization. You can read more on that here.

*Zach Britton was activated off the 60-day disabled list –which adds him back to the 40-man roster — and optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. To clear a spot on the team’s 40-man roster, Stu Pomeranz was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60. Pomeranz, who was diagnosed with a left oblique strain and will be out for a while. This move means Britton will be in the Minors at least 10 days, unless the Orioles have an injury situation.

*Matt Lindstrom is throwing up to 120 feet down in Sarasota. There is no news on Nolan Reimold, who is still not doing baseball activities.

*Chris Davis is back in the lineup for the first time since June 2, serving at designated hitter, with Wilson Betemit –who has been under the weather — also returning.

*The Orioles’ Day 3 Draft featured some interesting names, including Cal Ripken, Jr.’s son, Ryan, –a first baseman who went in the 20th round — and bench coach John Russell’s son William, a left-handed hitting catcher who went in the 32nd round. William, who goes by Steel, is with the Orioles in Boston and it was a pretty neat moment to watch his reaction as his name flashed up on his phone. Several players came over and congratulated him, and of course, his dad, and manager Buck Showalter came out of his office to wish William congrats as well.

“How many kids even get to get drafted get that opportunity to be in that clubhouse, in the Major League clubhouse of the team they get drafted by? It’s surreal,” said William, who was drafted out of Midland College in Texas. “I can’t imagine anything like that ever happening to most people but I’m fortunate enough for my dad to be who he is that, I was able to share it with him in the clubhouse.

Not many kids that get Drafted have the manager of the big-league club come out and say congratulations. It’s something I’ll never forget, being able to do that here. This moment I can’t even really express how I feel right now, I don’t think it’s totally kicked in right now. I’m just really excited to be able to share it here and experience it here in this clubhouse with all these big leaguers, and thinking I have a shot. It’s pretty surreal.”

“I am very proud,” said John, who was the 13th overall pick in the 1982 Draft.  “For your son to be drafted, especially with the team that I’m with right now, it is something that I’ll cherish forever. To see the look on his face when he saw his name, that’s something I’ll never forget. And now it is up to him.”

*Brian Roberts is batting leadoff and playing second base again tonight after making his Triple-A debut last night. Roberts, who is on rehab assignment until June 11, went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI.

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

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Alex Aviles SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Adrian Gonzalez RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Darnell McDonald LF
Marlon Byrd CF

Josh Beckett RHP

Britton at Triple-A

Orioles lefty Zach Britton made his third rehab start last night –first with Triple-A Norfolk — and was removed after just 80 pitches, which was enough to raise eyebrows. But I’m told Britton wasn’t taken out for an injury, he had gone six innings and Tides manager Ron Johnson felt the 24-year-old Britton was starting to tire and had gotten enough work in.

Britton allowed four runs over six innings –including a two-run homer — and manager Buck Showalter said he’s not a candidate to pitch this weekend in Baltimore, meaning he will have his rehab assignment extended. You can read more on that situation, and Showalter’s comments, here. It seems pretty obvious the Orioles want Britton to improve his command (he threw 49 strikes last night) before he is activated.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 309 other followers