April 2013

Orioles @ Mariners- Game 2

*The Orioles have optioned Zach Britton to Triple-A Norfolk, clearing a roster spot for Zach Clark, who will be added to the bullpen tonight.

“I don’t consider myself a one and done guy, a spot [start] guy,” said Britton. ” I’d like to get an extended look, especially after having 10 days off. I’d like to hopefully get into my five-day routine and show them what I have been doing down there. I didn’t feel I presented myself the best that I could. So I didn’t expect for it to be a one-time shot, but I’m just going to keep going down there and throwing well and hopefully get another extended look.”

Britton started Monday’s game and got the loss after allowing six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks over six innings. It was the first big league start of 2013 for the 25-year-old lefty, who was recalled last week.

Asked whether it was performance-based or need-based, Britton said the team didn’t specify.

“They said they need an arm for tonight and I was the way to go,” he said. “It’s just frustrating. You work hard down there to get an extended look here. I felt like I threw well enough [for Triple-A Norfolk] that maybe I’d get an opportunity if there was a need, there was a need. Like I said I would have liked to have maybe get a couple more starts and give it an opportunity. Because like I said last night I obviously I didn’t feel like I presented myself as best as I could with the long layoff. I felt like if I could get back in my routine I would show them what I was doing down there on a more consistent basis. It was disappointing not to get an extended look. “

The move to add Clark, who has been a starter at Triple-A, ensures the Orioles bullpen stays fresh and in good health. The 29-year-old Clark, who was added to the 40-man roster this winter,  is 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA in five starts. Over those starts, he has allowed 30 hits and seven walks with 20 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.

*The Orioles also officially added catcher Chris Snyder and designated catcher Luis Exposito for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot.

*Right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson has been activated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, so he will have to stay down there for the minimum 10-day period and isn’t a candidate to start this weekend for the Orioles, who will need a starter either Friday or Saturday depending on if they push back Miguel Gonzalez. Clark is an option to get a start, as are all of Norfolk’s other starters, including Jake Arrieta, Freddy Garcia and Jair Jurrjens.

*Brian Roberts hit off some soft toss today and threw from 75 feet today at the team’s spring facility in Sarasota, Fla. and the Orioles remain optimistic he will be able to avoid getting moved to the 60-day disabled list.  They also don’t have plans right now to move Taylor Teagarden (dislocated thumb) to the 60-day DL. Teagarden saw hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield today and they should have a more definitive timetable for him when he gets out of that splint.

*Finally, had a nice chat with left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders today. Saunders, who is coming off a complete-game win over the Orioles last night, said he really enjoyed his time with Baltimore and would have really liked to return. Discussions between the two sides never got a point where the Orioles offered any kind of deal and Saunders, who was rumored to be seeking a multi-year contract, ultimately signed a one-year pact with Seattle.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Chris Dickerson RF

Jason Hammel RHP

MARINERS LINEUP
Michael Saunders CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Kendry Morales DH
Mike Morse RF
Jason Bay LF
Justin Smoak 1B
Dustin Ackley 2B
Kelly Shoppach C
Brendan Ryan SS

Brandon Maurer RHP

Orioles @ Mariners Game 1

Greetings from Seattle, with new catcher Chris Snyder on the field here taking some early batting practice.

Snyder will be likely activated tomorrow with the team wanting to give him a day to get acclimated and wait and see the time on Taylor Teagarden’s injury. Teagarden is schedule to see hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield on Tuesday.

*Veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia has agreed to extend the opt-out clause in his contract and will remain in the Orioles organization for at least a few more starts.

“He wants to pitch in the big leagues,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Garcia, who has throwing for the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk. “But he likes the opportunity with the Orioles.”

Garcia’s new opt-out clause is May 14, meaning he can elect to exercise that and become a free agent if he’s not on the Orioles’ 25-man roster at that time. The 36-year-old has been throwing well for Norfolk and was named the International League Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA  in a pair of starts last week. Garcia (4-0) is leading the International League with four wins and has a 2.67 ERA in five starts with 21 strikeouts and two walks over 33 2/3 innings.

*The big news this afternoon is that top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy saw renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Monday and he received a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection and was prescribed rest for six weeks. More on that here.

*Longtime Orioles usher Charlie Zill passed away over the weekend and the club issued the below statement:

“We are saddened to learn of Charlie Zill’s passing. Since 1997 Charlie was a fixture at Oriole Park, entertaining millions of fans during the seventh inning stretch as his “Zillbilly” character. Over the last several years his determination and positive attitude served as an inspiration for so many as he continued to work in spite of his illness. He will be deeply missed, and we extend our condolences to his family.”

*A good collection of former Orioles with Seattle, most notably second baseman Robert Andino and tonight’s starter Joe Saunders. Outfielder Endy Chavez is also with the Mariners along with former O’s bench coach Jeff Datz.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Steve Pearce DH
Nolan Reimold LF
Alexi Casilla 2B

Zach Britton LHP

MARINERS LINEUP
Michael Saunders CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Kendry Morales 1B
Mike Morse RF
Jesus Montero C
Justin Smoak DH
Jason Bay LF
Robert Andino 2B
Brendan Ryan SS

Joe Saunders LHP

Bundy gets PRP, will rest six weeks

Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy saw renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Monday and he received a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection and was prescribed rest for six weeks.

Bundy, who has been diagnosed with what’s being called right flexor mass tightness, hasn’t throw off a regular mound since March and he experienced some discomfort when trying to throw off flat ground recently at the team’s spring complex. That prompted the 20-year-old Bundy to see a second opinion with Andrews, who saw him after Bundy was re-examined by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens.

The Orioles have remain optimistic in regards to Bundy’s injury given that an MRI done on his right elbow came back structurally OK, and the source of the injury is believed to mostly be in his forearm area. The injection was in the flexor mass area, which is where the forearm meets the elbow, and is the same treatment used for Zach Britton’s left shoulder impingement last spring.

So what is PRP?  The procedure consists of putting the patient’s blood through a special centrifuge to isolate platelets and growth factors, which are then injected back into the injured area to help spur healing.  There aren’t any side effects, meaning it won’t make Bundy any worse, but there are various degrees of success with it and the timetable for recovery is incredible varied.

Bundy will remain in Sarasota, Fla. while resting and allowing the PRP to take effect.  The fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bundy is rated as the No. 2 prospect in baseball by MLB.com. In 2012, he went 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 combined starts between the Class A and Double-A levels before making his highly anticipated big league debut in September. He turned in two scoreless relief appearances in the final week of the regular season.

Bundy to see Andrews on Monday

Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will see noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla., for a second opinion on Monday after trying to throw off flat ground earlier this week and still not feeling quite right.

Bundy, whose injury is being described as “flexor mass tightness,” previously had an MRI on his right elbow that checked out OK and he will see team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens again on Thursday before visiting Andrews. The team is optimistic it’s more of an issue with his right forearm given the previous MRI although Andrews –who appointment with Bundy was originally reported as Tuesday—may order a second test.

“He still feels some discomfort there,” Showalter, who got his dates crossed up in his earlier update, said of Bundy who tried to throw from 90 feet at the team’s spring facility in Sarasota, Fla. “He took his MRI and everything with him, I’m sure. I don’t know if Dr. Andrews will take another one or not. But we’re very supportive of it.<p>

“He wanted to get a second opinion just to be sure, because he hoped it would be resolved quicker than this.”

The 20-year-old Bundy has not thrown off a regular mound since March and last saw Wilckens on April 2. While he didn’t have a particularly impressive spring, the injury first came to light after he was optioned from Major League camp on March 17.

“I don’t think there’s something definitive on [what caused the injury], the way I understand it,” Showalter said. “We are more interested in getting it resolved right now.

“They took the MRI, and the elbow looked good on the MRI. That’s why maybe I don’t at this point feel anything differently yet. I haven’t had anything told [to] me that’s different.”

The fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bundy is rated as the second-best prospect in baseball. In 2012, he went 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 combined starts between the Class A and Double-A levels before making his highly anticipated big league debut in September. The 20-year-old turned in two scoreless relief appearances in the final week of the regular season.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays- series finale

*There is no word on Dylan Bundy’s appointment with Dr. James Andrews yesterday and there isn’t expected to be any news on that front anytime today.

*Steve Johnson went five innings in his first rehab start for Triple-A Norfolk this morning, allowing four earned runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Johnson, who allowed a home run, threw 67 pitches and 44 for strikes.

*As expected, the Orioles optioned reliever Alex Burnett to clear a roster spot for today’s starter, Josh Stinson.

BLUE JAYS LINEUP

Rajai Davis LF
Emilio Bonafacio 2B
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Melky Cabrera DH
J.P. Arencibia C
Colby Rasmus CF
Brett Lawrie 3B
Maicer Izturis SS

Brandon Morrow RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Nolan Reimold DH
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Taylor Teagarden C

Josh Stinson RHP

 

Orioles encourage fan voting for All-Star game

Online voting for the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will begin today at 3:00 p.m., and the Orioles are urging fans to vote early, vote often, and Vote Orange.

Fans can cast their votes for Orioles players up to 35 times per email address online at www.orioles.com/voteorange using the 2013 All-Star Game Ballot.

Each fan who votes 25 times and selects the Orioles as their “favorite” or “other favorite” club will receive an online promo code valid for $10 off a box seat or $5 off a reserved seat for any game in the Orioles series against the Houston Astros on July 30, 31 or August 1. With each promo code valid for the online purchase of up to four seats, the offer could save fans as much as $40 on their tickets.

In addition, fans who vote the maximum 35 times online and select the Orioles as their “favorite” or “other favorite” club will automatically be entered into the 2013 Orioles All-Star Sweepstakes with a chance to win an All-Star Game jersey signed by the 2013 Orioles All-Stars.

In-park balloting at Oriole Park at Camden Yards will take place from May 7 through June 25. Online voting concludes on July 4 at 11:59 p.m. For a complete list of sweepstakes rules, visit www.orioles.com/voteorange.

Fans with Facebook and Twitter accounts are encouraged to promote the Vote Orange campaign by using the hashtag #VoteOrange and by sharing Vote Orange graphics from the Orioles Facebook page with their friends and followers.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays- Game 2

*A pretty newsy day at the ballpark this afternoon with Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy –who is dealing with right forearm soreness near his elbow– getting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, which you can read about here.

*Right-handed pitcher Josh Stinson is here and will be added to the 25-man roster to make Wednesday’s start. You can read more on that here.

“We had some options there,” manager Buck Showalter said of the decision, which relied heavily on input from Norfolk manager Ron Johnson and pitching coach Mike Griffin. “They thought [Stinson] was a tick more ready. They really like what’s going on with Zach. Want to make sure the blister [on his pitching hand] is resolved. They think it is, he’s had two good outings.”

*Tsuyoshi Wada, who is rehabbing back from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, threw four innings in extended spring this morning and struck out six. The outing went well and assuming he comes through that OK, he will pitch five innings the next time out.

*Brian Roberts has still not been cleared for baseball activities and there’s on timetable for him to start. Roberts has been sidelined with a hamstring strain and is doing treadmill work and treatment at the team’s facility in Sarasota, Fla.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Nolan Reimold DH

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP
Munenori Kawasaki SS
Adam Lind DH
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Melky Cabrera LF
Brett Lawrie 3B
Colby Rasmus CF
Maicer Izturis 2B
Henry Blanco C

R.A. Dickey RHP

Bundy to see Dr. Andrews

Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will see noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews  in Gulf Breeze, Fla. for a second opinion after trying to throw off flat ground on Monday and still not feeling quite right.

Bundy, whose injury is being described as “flexor mass tightness”, had an MRI previously on his right elbow and it checked out OK as the discomfort appears to be more in his forearm. Because of that, the team is optimistic about the result of Tuesday’s appointment with Andrews, which was requested by Bundy.

“He still feels some discomfort there,” manager Buck Showalter said of Bundy, who tried to throw from 90 feet at the team’s spring facility in Sarasota, Fla. “He took his MRI and everything with him I’m sure. I don’t know if Dr. Andrews will take another one or not. But we’re very supportive of it.”

“He wanted to get a second opinion just to be sure because he hoped it would be resolved quicker than this.”

The 20-year-old Bundy has not thrown off a regular mound since March and, while he didn’t have a particularly impressive spring, the injury first came to light after he was optioned from Major League camp on March 17.

“I don’t think there’s something definitive on [what caused the injury], the way I understand it,” Showalter said. “We are more interested in getting it resolved right now.

“They took the MRI and the elbow looked good on the MRI. That’s why maybe I don’t at this point feel anything differently yet. I haven’t had anything told me that’s different.”

Bundy was the Orioles’ fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and is rated as the second-best prospect in all of baseball. In 2012, he went 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 combined starts between Class A and Double-A before making his highly anticipated big league debut in September. The 20-year-old turned in two scoreless relief appearances, totaling 1 2/3 innings, in the final week of the regular season.

Stinson to start Wednesday

Right-handed pitcher Josh Stinson was in the Orioles clubhouse Tuesday afternoon and the 25-year-old will be added to the team’s 25 man roster and start Wednesday’s series finale against Toronto.

Stinson– who was in Baltimore over the weekend but never activated– has made one career Major League start in 20 games, which came last year for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was selected off waivers from Oakland on April 4 and is a career 0-2 with a 4.43 ERA.

“I’m very excited,” Stinson said. “Any time you get claimed, obviously the team sees something in you. And to be in the big leagues this fast, it is a great opportunity for me and I’m just going to try to take it and run with it.”

Assigned originally to the Orioles’ Triple-A club, Stinson has made two starts with Norfolk and allowed four runs (one earned) over 11 2/3 innings.  Stinson pitched for Frederick over the weekend, which was in Potomac, Va. after he wasn’t needed in Baltimore, and has been with that affiliate since.

“I found out last night about 11 o’clock,” Stinson said of the promotion, with the news coming from Class-A Frederick’s manager Ryan Minor. “Luckily I was still in the clubhouse so I didn’t have to go back. I guess [director of player development] Brian Graham] gave him a call and now I’m here.”

Asked if he was surprised to get to the Majors so quickly, bypassing Norfolk’s other candidates in Zach Britton and Freddy Garcia, Stinson –who got up to 88 pitches in his last start– said yes.

“I mean, originally the first time I was claimed this spring [by the A’s] I was sent to Double-A,” he said. “So, it’s a surprise but it’s also, I see it as an opportunity.”

The team is expected to option a reliever to clear a spot for Stinson with newest addition Alex Burnett the most logical scenario.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays – Arrieta optioned

*In case you missed it earlier, the Orioles optioned starter Jake Arrieta to Triple-A Norfolk and have recalled right-handed reliever Alex Burnett –to help bolster the bullpen — in his place. Manager Buck Showalter stressed that Arrieta was only sent down because they need bullpen help, although Arrieta’s partly to blame given that he’s been unable to go deep into the game this year.

The Orioles are optimistic the incredibly talented Arrieta will figure it out down below and be back up again soon. The issue isn’t physical or mechanical and it’s really just controlling his emotions and not letting high-anxiety situations become just that. Arrieta’s main problem has been command — he’s been unhittable one inning and walking two or three guys the next– which has been frustrating for everyone involved. Right now, there’s no talk of moving him to the bullpen and he will continue to start for Triple-A.

In the meantime, Burnett has had three days off and will give the Orioles some length, if needed, for the next few days. The team needs a starter for Wednesday –due to Friday’s rainout– and they won’t start anyone in the rotation up here on short rest. It’s also unlikely they use a reliever to make a spot start, which means it’s probable someone will be promoted from Triple-A Norfolk. Arrieta wouldn’t be eligible within 10 days unless there’s an injury situation and Jair Jurrjens just pitched yesterday which eliminates him.  Freddy Garcia is slated to pitch Tuesday for Norfolk –who is off today– and Zach Britton is lined up to start Wednesday and both could be options to pitch for the Orioles.
BLUE JAYS LINEUP
Munenori Kawasaki SS
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Adam Lind DH
J.P. Arencibia C
Colby Rasmus CF
Brett Lawrie 3B
Emilio Bonifacio 2B

J.A. Happ LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Steve Pearce DH
Nolan Reimold LF
Alexi Casilla 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

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