April 2013

Orioles vs. Red Sox lineups and pregame notes (updated)

Greetings from Fenway Park where, after a random off day, the Orioles and Red Sox will play the second game of a three-game series. The O’s are 3-4 and about half the team spent yesterday afternoon watching a special screening of the movie, 42, which officially hits theaters on Friday.

In case you missed it, the Orioles traded right-hander Luis Ayala to the Braves on Wednesday afternoon. The Orioles received Minor League left-hander Chris Jones in exchange for Ayala, and Jones will be assigned to Double-A Bowie.

Baltimore had been shopping Ayala since this spring, and the move enabled the Orioles to add another position player in outfielder Chris Dickerson. It also allows the team an easier route to keep left-hander, Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland.

Dickerson, who was not on the 40-man roster, is expected to have his contract selected prior to Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox, and he will take the spot vacated by Ayala. He found out about the promotion right before his first at-bat for Triple-A Norfolk last night.

Ayala found out about the trade this afternoon and was able to say goodbye to his teammates while he packed up and left the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park.

*Nolan Reimold is back in the lineup after leaving Sunday’s game with hamstring tightness and it looks like he will be able to avoid the disabled list, which is encouraging for the club.

*Dylan Bundy was cleared to start a throwing program and he will begin that on Thursday in Sarasota, Fla under the watch of Chris Correnti. Bundy, who has been sidelined with right elbow discomfort, has been playing catch and been pain-free.

*Steve Johnson (lat strain) will throw in extended spring on Saturday, going 55 pitches or three innings. Tsuyoshi Wada could join him as he’s been progressing nicely back from Tommy John surgery. Wada has thrown in two batting practice sessions,

Here are your lineups…

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

Jake Arrieta RHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mike Napoli 1B
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Daniel Nava DH
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Stephen Drew SS
Jackie Bradley Jr. LF

Ryan Dempster RHP

Os trade Ayala to Braves, will add Dickerson

Seeking to get back to a four-man bench and for a way to enable them to keep Rule 5 Draft pick T.J. McFarland in the bullpen, the Orioles traded right-handed Luis Ayala to the Atlanta Braves prior to Wednesday’s game in Boston.

The Orioles will receive Minor League pitcher left-hander Chris Jones in exchange for Ayala and he will be assigned to Double-A Bowie.

Baltimore had been shopping Ayala since this spring and the move enables the Orioles to add another position player in outfielder Chris Dickerson. Dickerson, who was not on the 40-man roster, is expected to have his contract selected prior to the game against the Red Sox and will take the spot vacated by Ayala.

The move puts the Orioles’ bullpen back at seven and Dickerson gives manager Buck Showalter another option off the bench in that he can play infield and outfield. One of the spring’s final roster cuts, Dickerson has played in parts of five Major League seasons, posting a .266 /.352 /.407 line.

Ayala pitched to a 2.64 ERA in 66 games for the Orioles last year and had his club option picked up over the winter. The 35-year-old right-hander pitched in two games this season, allowing two runs on four hits over two innings.

Jones, 24, is 24-20 with a 3.58 ERA over seven minor league seasons with the Cleveland Indians and Braves. He posted a 3.90 ERA in 45 appearances in relief for Double-A Mississippi in 2012.

Orioles @ Red Sox- Boston home opener (updated)

Greetings from Fenway Park, where the Orioles will take on the Red Sox in their home opener this afternoon..

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*Nolan Reimold is listed as an available reserve and looks like he will avoid the disabled list. Reimold has been dealing with hamstring tightness that has lingered since this spring and it worsened yesterday, forcing him to leave the game.  The Orioles have Yamaico Navarro here in the event they do make a move before the game today, but Reimold said he feels confident he will be able to start on Wednesday.

*With the team off on Tuesday, Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman will start the final two games of the series. Miguel Gonzalez, who would have gone on Wednesday, will now start Friday’s series opener in New York as the team decided to give him some extra rest. The Orioles are also hoping to get Arrieta and Tillman –who both had OK outings– back out there quickly to rebound.

*Nate McLouth, who grew up in Michigan and committed to play baseball at the University of Michigan before signing with the Pirates, is obviously excited for the opportunity to watch tonight’s NCAA title game. McLouth said he’s not the type to watch the game with a big group or at the bar, and said he has to get ready and focus much like the basketball team.

*Luis Ayala, who flew in last night after being taken to the hospital in-game, is available today if needed.

*Steve Johnson (lat strain) is getting closer to going out of a rehab assignment and has been throwing with no issues.

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
Steve Pearce DH

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mike Napoli 1B
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Daniel Nava LF
Jonny Gomes DH
David Ross C
Jose Iglesias SS

Clay Buchholz RHP

Ayala, Reimold and Gonzalez notes

*Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold left Sunday’s game with right hamstring tightness and will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Reimold was replaced by Nate McLouth in the left field in the top of the seventh inning with the Orioles leading the Minnesota Twins, 3-2.  With the O’s already playing down a bench player with an extra pitcher, the team will make contingency plans and, according to manager Buck Showalter, could have those plans in place for tomorrow’s game in Boston.

*Miguel Gonzalez will pitch in New York with the Orioles opting to just give him some extra rest.

“We are not matching people up,” Showalter said. “We are going to have 20-something games in a row, we got an opportunity here, it’s not going to come very often. We are going to hopefully be pitching him every fifth day for a long, long [time]. He’s got a chance if he stays healthy to pitch over 200 innings. So we want to have him in good shape for the long haul. “

*Luis Ayala left today’s game around the seventh inning and went to a local hospital. It’s unlikely he travels with the team tonight to Boston.

“[He] just didn’t feel well at all,” Showalter said of Ayala. “Had some things you normally don’t have and they decided after looking at him, better go check it out. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re dealing with. See how things go.”

Orioles vs. Twins series finale

*The Orioles pregame notes have Boston probables for the three-game series that starts Monday with Wei-Yin Chen, Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman pitching. Tuesday is an off day before Arrieta’s game, and Miguel Gonzalez looks like he’s been skipped or maybe given some extra rest. Gonzalez, who followed Chen the last time around, isn’t listed on the probable sheet right now. He was sick to start the season, but still made his season debut. Hopefully, we will know more post-game.

*Wilson Betemit was in the clubhouse today to see the team’s doctors and he will head back to Sarasota, Fla. on Wednesday to continue his rehab progression. Brian Roberts will head to Sarasota at some point today.

*Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen is throwing out the first pitch this afternoon, which created some excitement in the Orioles clubhouse this morning. Jepsen sings the catchy –and over-played– song “Call Me Maybe”.

TWINS LINEUP

Aaron Hicks CF
Joe Mauer C
Josh Willingham LF
Justin Morneau 1B
Ryan Doumit DH
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Wilkin Ramirez RF
Brian Dozier 2B
Pedro Florimon SS

Pedro Hernandez LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Jason Hammel RHP

Twins vs. Orioles- Game 2

*As expected the Orioles reinstated Chris Tillman from the disabled list and Tillman will start tonight. Infielder Yamaico Navarro, who was recalled from Triple-A  in Brian Roberts’ spot yesterday, was sent back down to clear a roster spot for Tillman.

The expectation here is Ryan Flaherty and Alexi Casilla will serve as a platoon almost in Roberts’ absence. Flaherty is startng tonight and Casilla will tomorrow.

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

Chris Tillman RHP

TWINS LINEUP
Aaron Hicks CF
Joe Mauer C
Josh Willingham LF
Justin Morneau 1B
Ryan Doumit DH
Trevor Plouffee 3B
Chris Parmelee RF
Brian Dozier 2B
Pedro Florimon SS

Vance Worley RHP

Roberts out 2-4 weeks

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will be sidelined 2-4 weeks with ruptured tendon behind his right knee.

The injury won’t require surgery and it’s a tendon typically used to repair a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) so you can live without it. Roberts was placed on the disabled list prior to Friday’s home opener –with what was termed a right hamstring strain– with infielder Yamaico Navarro already here to take his place on the active roster.

Roberts, who exited Thursday’s game in the top of the ninth inning, underwent an MRI on the area at 10 a.m. Friday morning and the 35-year-old had held out hope that he would avoid the DL.

“This is something that regardless of what [the MRI] says, will heal, and he will play for us again,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We hope that Alexi [Casilla] and Ryan [Flaherty] can help us hold down the fort until he comes back. We’ve had to do it before; it’s just another challenge but not only [for] Brian, but our team.”

The injury occurred when Roberts stole second base at Tropicana Field and grabbed the back of his right knee in pain when he came up. He was helped off the field by head athletic trainer Richard Bancells and first base coach Wayne Kirby, putting a damper on the Orioles’ series win. <p>

Roberts has dealt with a host of injuries and hasn’t played a full season since 2009, said Thursday night he has never had a hamstring injury and was understandably down about the injury.

Asked how he felt mentally, Roberts said: “Not too great. I don’t know. I don’t have a whole lot of words for it right now. Frustrated, but we’ll get the results and hopefully move forward.”

Roberts worked hard to be a full-go this spring and had looked to be more of his old self in the field and at the plate. He hit .417 in three games, batting ninth for the Orioles in their season-opening series, and had been looking forward to suiting up in Friday’s home opener.

Instead, Flaherty got the start at second base against Twins righty Liam Hendriks with Casilla also figuring to get more playing time there.

“Everyone knows what I can do,” said Casilla, who ran for Roberts after he got hurt Thursday. “I can play short, second, even third. I’ll be ready for anything. I just want to help the team.”

In addition, Casilla’s played with Hardy before, which will help the new Oriole settle into his spot at second base.

Navarro drove up from Triple-A Norfolk Thursday night and is a 25-year old infielder who’s played a total of 71 games in the Major Leagues, seeing time with the Pirates and Red Sox.

Twins vs. Orioles- home opener

*Brian Roberts had an MRI this morning and the team is still waiting for results to find out what they are dealing with in terms of Roberts’ right hamstring injury. Infielder Yamaico Navarro is here in Baltimore in the event that there is a roster move. Stay  tuned.

Alexi Casilla and Ryan Flaherty are the primary backups with Flaherty getting the start this afternoon against Twins righty Liam Hendriks.

*Only three players in Major League history have homered in four straight games to start the season: San Francisco’s Willie Mays in 1971, St. Louis’ Mark McGwire in 1998 and Texas’ Nelson Cruz in 2011.  Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has a chance to join that elite group today.

*The Orioles will open the park at noon to give fans plenty of time to arrive and enjoy the events leading up to the club’s 2013 debut at home. Fans will receive a schedule/car magnet at the gate, see roving musical groups at Eutaw Street and the main concourses and watch “The BUCKle Up Birds: An Underdog Story” on the center field video board beginning around 1:10 p.m.

Pregame ceremonies will start at 2:30 p.m., hosted by MASN’s Jim Hunter. Orioles players and coaches will be introduced before the game, with the players running through the center field gate on an orange carpet and lining up on the field. One fan will be chosen as the club’s “10th man” for the 20th straight season, and he or she will be introduced as part of the Orioles’ starting lineup.

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

Jake Arrieta RHP
TWINS LINEUP
Aaron Hicks CF
Joe Mauer DH
Josh Willingham LF
Justin Morneau 1B
Ryan Doumit C
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Chris Parmalee RF
Brian Dozier 2B
Eduardo Escobar SS

Liam Hendriks RHP

Roberts said he felt ‘something pop’ will get MRI Friday

Brian Roberts exited Thursday’s game against Tampa Bay in the top of the ninth inning with a right hamstring injury and he will undergo an MRI on the area on Friday.

“Somewhere in the last couple of steps, I felt something kind of pop in the back of my knee,” said Roberts whose exit put a damper on the Orioles’ 6-4 series win.  “I don’t know what happened exactly.”

Roberts stole second base, but came up and grabbed the back of his right knee in pain and was helped off the field by head athletic trainer Richard Bancells and first base coach Wayne Kirby. The 35-year-old Roberts, who has dealt with a host of injuries and hasn’t played a full season since 2009, said he has never had a hamstring injury and was understandably down about the injury.

Asked how he felt mentally, Roberts said: “Not too great. I don’t know. I don’t have a whole lot of words for it right now. Frustrated, but we’ll get the results and hopefully move forward.”

Roberts worked hard to be a full-go this spring and had looked to be more of his old self in the field and at the plate. He is hitting .417 in three games, batting ninth for the Orioles in their season-opening series, and had been looking forward to suiting up in Friday’s home opener.

“Dr. Wilckens will see him tomorrow,” manager Buck Showalter said of Roberts. “That’s a quick turnaround. Not going to say he’s going to be able to play tomorrow. We’ll reassess it tomorrow and see where we are. He’s in some discomfort.”

While it’s still early to be speculating on a possible trip to the disabled list for Roberts, the Orioles do need to make a roster move to clear a spot for starter Chris Tillman on Saturday. Should Roberts be sidelined, Alexi Casilla –who took over on Thursday—figures to get the bulk of the playing time.

“He’s been struggling for the past three years,” starter Miguel Gonzalez said of Roberts. “And he’s a great, great teammate. Battles, plays hard and that’s what you want in a teammate…I hope he comes back quickly. And I think he will. He said he’s hurting a little bit, but he will be back.”

Orioles announce Opening Day plans

The Orioles have announced plans for the first home game of their 60th season, this Friday, April 5 at 3:05 p.m. against the Minnesota Twins. Here’s the full scoop, per a team release…

*To allow fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of Opening Day, the entire ballpark will open at noon on Friday. Each fan will receive a 2013 schedule/car magnet at the gates. Roving musical groups will entertain fans on Eutaw Street and the main concourses, and “The BUCKle Up Birds: An Underdog Story” will air on the centerfield video board beginning at approximately 1:10.

*Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 2:30 p.m., when pre-game ceremonies will begin. MASN personality JIM HUNTER will serve as emcee for the pre-game festivities.

*In a continuation of the Opening Day tradition, Orioles players and coaches will be introduced prior to the game. Orioles players will run through the center field gate on an orange carpet and take their places between first and second base. Manager BUCK SHOWALTER, coaches and staff will be introduced from the Orioles dugout. Members of the Twins will be announced and will run from their dugout to line up between second and third base.

*OriolesREACH has arranged for 80 youth from KidsPeace to line the orange carpet holding Orioles flags during player introductions. Founded in 1882, KidsPeace is dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, teens and young adults. The national charity provides a variety of foster care and community-based treatment programs to help youth in need overcome challenges and transform their lives.

*For the 20th straight season, one fan will be chosen to represent all Orioles fans as the team’s “10th man”. The fan will be introduced as a part of the Orioles starting lineup during the pre-game ceremonies.

*Nationally acclaimed operatic tenor ROLANDO SANZ will perform the National Anthem and God Bless America. Sanz is a native of Rockville, MD, and he recently made his Carnegie Hall debut singing the role of Kostik in the world premiere of Prokofiev’s lost opera Dalëkie Morja (Distant Seas).

During the anthem, a 30’x 42’ American flag from Fort McHenry will be unfurled over the batter’s eye wall in center field. The flag is a replica of the one that flew over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem.

Colors will be presented by the United States Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington and the combined Honor Guard Team from the Baltimore City Police and Baltimore City Fire Departments.

GOLD GLOVE AWARDS PRESENTATION FOR HARDY, JONES AND WIETERS

Rawlings established the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 1957 to recognize the best fielders at each position; it has evolved into baseball’s greatest measure of defensive excellence. Every year, managers and coaches of each Major League Baseball team select a squad of the best defensemen in their respective leagues, excluding their own teams.

In 2012, shortstop J.J. HARDY, center fielder ADAM JONES and catcher MATT WIETERS were named Gold Glove Award winners at their respective positions. It was the first award for Hardy and the second for both Jones and Wieters. In a pre-game ceremony, a representative from Rawlings will present all three with their Gold Glove Awards.

NEW BALLPARK ENHANCEMENTS

Warning Track: This past off-season, the Orioles replaced the rubberized warning track that had been in place since Oriole Park opened in 1992 with a natural surface composed of crushed stone. The color of the stone was designed to match the brick that appears throughout the ballpark and in the Warehouse. Actual samples of those same Williamsport, Maryland bricks were used in the final material to achieve the proper blend. The new surface covers approximately 20,000 square feet and required 300 tons of material.

Flag Court: With the move of the Houston Astros to the American League West this season, a 15th flagpole was installed in the Flag Court. There are now three rows of five flagpoles, which feature the daily standings of each division.

*This season, fans are encouraged to use social media while at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and share their experiences with friends and followers. By tweeting the hashtag #birdland, fans could have their tweets selected to appear on the Oriole Park video board before and during the game. Fans are also encouraged to visit http://www.orioles.com/connect and sign up to follow all of the Orioles official social media platforms.

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