June 2013

Orioles option Gausman

The Orioles announced after Thursday’s 5-4, 13-inning game against Boston that they’ve optioned starter Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk. A corresponding move will be announced prior to Friday’s game although it seems fairly obvious they need a fresh reliever.

Gausman, who turned in 5 1/3 solid frames in his fifth Major League start went 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA.

The 22-year-old Gausman struck out five on Thursday and surrendered six hits, allowing a pair of runs on back-to-back homers in the fourth inning. Designated hitter David Ortiz sent a 1-1 pitch into the seats and Mike Carp –an in-game replacement for a sick Mike Napoli—followed, blasting Gausman’s changeup over the right centerfield wall.

Orioles vs. Red Sox (updated)

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on Boston for a four-game series to conclude the homestand. The O’s are fresh off taking two of three from the Angels.

Nate McLouth is getting the start despite the Red Sox sending left-handed starter Felix Doubront to the hill.

*Wei-Yin Chen (right oblique strain) threw off the half mound in Sarasota today with no problems and will progress to the full mound on Saturday. Assuming that goes well, he will travel back up to Baltimore and take his next work day with the team.

*Nolan Reimold was set to try sprints today for the first time and assuming that went OK the next step would be for him to go out on a rehab assignment. Manager Buck Showalter said that could come as soon as the team goes on the road next week.

*Alexi Casilla is still dealing with the lingering effects of jamming his finger during the Angels series. He’s not starting tonight, but is able to run or pinch-hit off the bench if needed. Casilla said the biggest issue is gripping the ball to throw it.

*Tsuyoshi Wada’s rehab assignment is up on the 15th and the Orioles are trying to work out an extension to keep him down in Triple-A. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said he expects to have a resolution on that front in the next few days. Typically, you could just activate the injured player and option them, but Wada’s contract is structured so that he can’t be sent to the Minors unless he consents to do so. So, this is an unusual situation. He’s not ready to help at the Major League level and ideally the Orioles would keep him in Norfolk as he tries to progress back from last year’s Tommy John surgery.

*Today was also the first day Steve Johnson felt some mild improvement in regards to his left oblique strain.

*Wilson Betemit (right knee injury) has progressed to taking ground balls down in Sarasota, and Showalter said Dylan Bundy has been progressing according to schedule.

*Brian Roberts (hamstring) was out taking some early batting practice this afternoon before the group all retreated inside during some heavy rain. The tarp is off as of 5 p.m. ET but there’s some unfriendly radar reading coming later on.
ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Danny Valencia DH
Ryan Flaherty 2B

Kevin Gausman RHP
RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Daniel Nava LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Will Middlebrooks 3B
JD Drew SS

LHP Felix Doubront

Derek on the blog again today for the

Derek on the blog again today for the series finale.

The Orioles have a chance at the three-game sweep today and will send Jason Hammel to the mound to try to get it done.

*Wei-Yin Chen (strained oblique) will throw from a half-mound Thursday in Sarasota. If that goes well he’ll throw from a full mound Saturday and be evaluated from there.

*Dylan Bundy (right flexor mass tightness) is still just playing catch on flat ground, according to to plan.

*Alexi Casilla (right index finger) had much better range of motion in his finger today and said he was going to test it before the game. He’s not in the starting lineup, but was hopeful that he’d be ready if he was needed to throw. As with yesterday, he says his legs are working fine, so he can pinch-run.

*Brian Roberts (hamstring) took batting practice in the cages at Camden Yards today.

*Wilson Betemit (right knee) took ground balls yesterday in Sarasota.

And here are today’s lineups:

Orioles
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
JJ Hardy SS
Chris Dickerson DH
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Taylor Teagarden C

Jason Hammel P

Angels
Mike Trout CF
JB Shuck LF
Albert Pujols DH
Josh Hamilton RF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Brad Hawpe 1B
Hank Conger C
Erick Aybar SS

Jerome Williams P

Orioles vs. Angels

Derek filling in on the blog again today.

Good news before today’s game here: the field is dry and the sun is out. A few players said they’ve played in conditions worse than yesterday’s rain-soaked affair, but it’s among the worst to be sure. Nate McLouth said the conditions were the worst he’s ever played in. But after it stopped raining the grounds crew had the field playable and the team’s finished the game — something that had seemed impossible at the time it was delayed.

*Alexi Casilla was unavailable to start today. He jammed his right index finger sliding into second base on Sunday and had it wrapped today. He tried to play catch this afternoon but he said he only made one throw. He said he can pinch-run if needed and expects to be good to go tomorrow.

*Zach Britton had a good start for Triple-A Norfolk last night. Here’s his line: 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks and 5 striekouts. He gave up a solo home run.

And here are the lineups

Orioles
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
JJ Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
Danny Valencia DH
Steve Peaerce LF
Ryan Flaherty 2B

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

Angels
Mike Trout LF
Josh Hamilton DH
Albert Pujols 1B
Mark Trumbo RF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Brendan Harris 3B
Chris Iannetta C
Peter Bourjos CF

Jason Vargas LHP

Angels vs. Orioles

Hey this is Derek filling in for Brittany on the blog today.

It’s raining pretty consistently here at the park, with intermittent bursts of heavy rain. The tarp came off the field momentarily, but the grounds crew rushed to get it back on and there it remains.(UPDATE 4:40: The sun is peeking through the clouds and rain has stopped. Extended forecast didn’t sound quite as promising.)

Here are a few notes to chew on until they make a decision on whether or not they’ll play tonight:

*Dylan Bundy (right flexor mass tightness) threw today with no problems. He’ll throw 25 times again tomorrow from 60 feet.

*Nolan Reimold, who is seeing a physical therapist for his strained hamstring, could go out on a rehab assignment by the end of the homestand, manager Buck Showalter said.

*Alexi Casilla jammed his right index finger sliding into second base on a stolen base attempt Sunday. He’s not in the starting lineup, but he’ll play catch before the game to determine if he’ll be available off the bench.

*Miguel Gonzalez and his wife are expecting the birth of their child within the next week or so. Gonzalez is slated to pitch Tuesday opposite Jason Vargas.

*Brian Roberts was in the Orioles clubhouse today. It doesn’t exactly mark the next step in his recovery process, but it allows him to get back to the clubhouse environment, which he said is a great motivator.

*Showalter said they’ll likely do the same thing with Wei-Yin Chen (strained oblique) when he’s healthy enough to throw off a mound.

Here are tonight’s scheduled starting lineups:

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

Freddy Garcia P

Angels

Mike Trout LF
Josh Hamilton RF
Albert Pujols DH
Mark Trumbo 1B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Erick Aybar SS
Chris Iannetta C
Peter Bourjos CF

Jered Weaver P

Orioles @ Rays lineups and pregame notes

*Steve Johnson has a slight strain in his left oblique, an MRI taken last week revealed. Johnson was placed on the disabled list on Thursday and is currently rehabbing in Sarasota, Fla.

*Dylan Bundy will start a throwing program tomorrow and manager Buck Showalter said he planned on reaching out to Bundy, who has been sidelined with right flexor mass tightness, which is essentially the forearm/elbow area. Bundy was shut down after being prescribed a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection by Dr. James Andrews last month. The plan for the first day is for Bundy to throw 25 times from 60 feet.

*Zach Britton allowed two runs over seven innings for Triple-A Norfolk last night in what Showalter relayed was reported to be his best start of the year. Britton has pitched well his last few outings –with quality starts in three of his last four– and right now looks like a leading candidate should the Orioles need another starter. It will be interesting to see how Jake Arrieta does later tonight.

*Pedro Strop went a scoreless inning in his first appearance off the DL last night, which Showalter said was good to see.

“There’s a lot of things you work on, and when they’re healthy to do it, and if he can just repeat it. Sometimes the emotions get in the way of the mechanics,” Showalter said. “It was a good first step for him. I know he felt good about it. Was a positive out of the game yesterday. It’s not like Pete hasn’t pitched any good innings out of the bullpen for us this year, it’s just he hasn’t been as consistent as he was last year. That’s a good start. We will see where it takes us.”

*Triple-A Norfolk’s Jair Jurrjens, who missed yesterday’s scheduled start due to a right thumb injury, threw this morning from 90 feet “symptom free”. He didn’t throw any offspeed stuff, just fastballs.

*Showalter is also looking forward to seeing Tsuyoshi Wada pitch again on Tuesday for Triple-A Norfolk. Wada, who has been on rehab assignment with Norfolk is coming off his best outing and Showalter was hoping he could “carry over the crispness” from June 6. Wada, who made his first start May 16, has about a week before the club has to make a decision on adding him to the active roster. He would have to approve an assignment to the Minor Leagues because of the way his contract is structured.

“I think on the calendar we do [have a week],” Showalter said. “There are other ways to make that work. Be up to him though.”

Here are your lineups as the Orioles try to avoid a series sweep…
ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
Danny Valencia DH
Steve Pearce LF
Alexi Casilla 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

RAYS LINEUP
Matt Joyce RF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Kelly Johnson LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Desmond Jennings CF
Ryan Roberts 3B
Jose Molina C
Yunel Escobar SS

Matt Moore LHP

Orioles @ Rays game 2

*I wrote yesterday that it was an option for the team to have second baseman Brian Roberts travel with them back to Baltimore and continue his rehab. It looks like that will be the plan, manager Buck Showalter said today. You can read more from Roberts here.

*Wei-Yin Chen threw from 120 feet today at Tropicana Field with pitching coach Rick Adair, who said later he thought the lefty threw the ball “really well”. It’s the fourth time Chen has picked up a ball since suffering a lefty oblique strain.

*Wilson Betemit (right knee injury) was also here from Sarasota –where the team’s spring facility is– and said he is hoping to return not long after the All-Star Break. Betemit has been running and will progress to field work next week. He admitted it’s been a little frustrating to go through such a long, tedious rehab process and at first was afraid how his knee would hold up when hitting, but was pleasantly surprised.

“I want to play, but they want me to move slowly because it’s better for me to get better and better,” Betemit said. “The first month it was really sore. When I started stretching my leg, it was really hard. But I feel much better right now the last couple of months.”

*As expected, reliever Pedro Strop is listed on the available chart for tonight’s game so he will come off the disabled list.

*Happy Birthday to Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland, who turned 24 today.

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
Chris Dickerson DH
Ryan Flaherty 2B

Kevin Gausman RHP

RAYS LINEUP
Matt Joyce RF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Kelly Johnson LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Desmond Jennings CF
Luke Scott DH
Jose Lobaton C
Yunel Escobar SS

Jeremy Hellickson RHP

Roberts could head to Baltimore, hopes to return before the All-Star Break

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts said prior to Friday’s game that it’s “definitely realistic” to expect him back before the All-Star Break.

Roberts, who last played April 5, underwent hamstring surgery last month and made the short drive from the team’s spring facility in Sarasota, Fla. to St. Petersburg where the Orioles are taking on the Tampa Bay Rays.  The 35-year-old Roberts could stick around with the team after that with discussions Friday about the possibility of him continuing his rehab with the team in Baltimore.

“I was joking with Buck, I said ‘Will I get kicked off the plane if I get on it on Sunday?’,” Roberts said.  “And he said, ‘No, come on.’ And we talked about it a little bit when I got here. He said we’ll discuss it and talk to all the powers that be. It’s not the end of the world, but you just get tired of it, you get tired of being away from what you love being around. I’ve seen enough games on TV the last two years. I’m good on that.

I watch probably 95 percent of the innings since I’ve been gone. Usually laying in bed with ice on.”

Roberts has been progressing in baseball activities and building up his strength post-surgery. He runs, plays catch and recently went from hitting off the tee to taking batting practice off the coaches.  Asked to compare how he feels now versus prior to the surgery, Roberts said it’s like night and day.

“I would  love to be back before the [All-Star] break,” he said of a potential timetable. “I definitely think it’s for sure realistic. I don’t know if that’s July 10, July 1 or June 20. We will push it, but we will be smart. When I do get back I want to be back for the long haul, not just for a week. So we got to do it smart and do it right the first time.”

Roberts was in good spirits on Friday and was greatly warmly by teammates and coaches, exchanging hugs and spending time chatting behind the batting cage. After working hard this offseason to be a full-go this spring, Roberts injured his leg on a slide in the team’s third game of the year and he hasn’t played a full season since 2009. In his place the Orioles have primarily used Ryan Flaherty, although Yamaico Navarro and Alexi Casilla have also seen time at second base.

The longest-tenured Oriole in the organization, Roberts said he didn’t foresee any issues in continuing his rehab in Baltimore and that decision will be made in the next day or two.

“I texted [Showalter] and said I was going stir crazy, so I hope so,” Roberts said of heading north. “I just spend so much time down here. Obviously, it was necessary when I was here for my concussion that one year. But no one likes to be away from the team. Nobody wants to feel like they aren’t part of it. I don’t know what’s going to happen for sure, it’s going to be what makes sense for everybody, but obviously I’d love to be around the team and the guys. And continue that [rehab] process if that’s possible.

“I don’t think there would be any issue with it. I understand there are some things where we send a lot of guys down there, because we do have a great facility down there and you don’t always want five or six DL guys around all the time. Like I said, it will be whatever makes sense. But I would certainly be happier with it if it happened.”

Orioles @ Rays lineups and pregame notes

*The Orioles recalled left-handed reliever Mike Belfiore to take the roster spot vacated with the optioning of Xavier Avery after the series finale in Houston. Belfiore was up here once earlier this year but did not pitch and he could have another short stay with right-handed reliever Pedro Strop here and eligible to come off the disabled list as early as tomorrow.

*Nick Markakis is back after spending the last two days with his family attending his grandmothers furneral.

*Einer Diaz will serve as first base coach tonight with Wayne Kirby missing tonight’s game to attend his daughter’s high school graduation. He will return tomorrow.

*Wei-Yin Chen continues to progress on his throwing program, and is up to 90 feet pain-free as he works his way back from a left oblique strain.

*Jair Jurrjens (right thumb) will probably not make his next scheduled start, as I blogged in Houston. Jurrjens tried to spin the ball and still felt some discomfort in that area.

*Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Tsuyoshi Wada had his  “best stuff outing” last night for Triple-A Norfolk. Wada also had a slight increase in his fastball velocity.

“That was good to see,” Showalter said. “I know [Triple-A manager] Ronny [Johnson] was pretty positive about it.”

 

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

Jason Hammel RHP

RAYS LINEUP
Matt Joyce RF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Kelly Johnson LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Desmond Jennings CF
Luke Scott DH
Jose Molina C
Yunel Escobar SS

Chris Archer RHP

Orioles select Harvey and Hart

The Orioles shouldn’t have to worry about negotiations with first-round pick Hunter Harvey.

“I’ve never really been a big fan of college and school in general,” said Harvey, son of former Angels closer Bryan Harvey, shortly after being selected by Baltimore with the 22nd overall pick. “I wanted to get my pro career started and get to the big leagues.”

It’s a welcome sentiment for the Orioles, who have had their last three top picks in the First-Year Player Draft already reach the Major Leagues –including 2012’s first-rounder Kevin Gausman—and have placed an added emphasis on improving through the Draft.

“Harvey is a future frontline starter,” O’s scouting director Gary Rajsich said. “He is a tall, lean, projectable right-handed pitcher with a good fastball, good curveball, and a changeup. He throws strikes, competes, and comes from a baseball family.”

Harvey was the first of three Day 1 picks for the Orioles, who selected prep outfielder Josh Hart with the 37th overall pick in the compensation round. Hart, out of Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., is a centerfielder who helped lead Parkview to a fourth straight region championship and a berth in the Class AAAAAA state semifinals by hitting .449, with five home runs, 29 RBIs, 39 runs scored and 33 stolen bases this spring.

The 18-year-old Hart , who has committed to Georgia Tech, is a gap-to-gap hitter with average speed and listed at 6-foot-2  and 180 pounds.  An athletic high school talent, Hart and Harvey will give the Orioles a pair of promising prep prospects in a Minor League system that has graduated most of its top tier guys.

Harvey, drafted from Bandys High School in Hickory, N.C., is listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds and has a three-pitch mix that includes a fastball in the mid-90s. Harvey has much more than his impressive bloodline — brother Kris is currently in the Pirates’ system — going for him, turning heads at a pair of East Coast showcases in August in which he topped out at 97 mph.

As a senior, Hunter Harvey was 8-0 with 116 strikeouts and allowed just three earned runs. He gave up two extra-base hits over 54 2/3 innings and was named a starter for last year’s Under Armour All-America Game, played at Wrigley Field, in which he tossed three scoreless innings. In his junior season, Hunter Harvey went 7-0 with a 1.81 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 54 innings and has a changeup that’s typically a 10-15 mph differential from his heater, along with a curveball. He’s also working on adding a slider into the mix.

In nine seasons with the California Angels and Florida Marlins, Bryan Harvey recorded 177 saves — including a league-best 46 in 1991, when he was named the American League’s best reliever — and twice played in the All-Star Game (1991 and 1993).

Although the young Harvey never got to see him pitch, his father’s influence extends beyond pitching mechanics.

“He told me what he had to do to succeed — all the working out and all that,” Hunter Harvey said. “[But] he said one thing I had to get over was failure. The guys that can handle failure will be the ones who succeed. That’s definitely been the hardest part for me.”

“He’s taught me everything I need to know about the game and about being a man. Where I’m at today, I owe it all to him.”

Hunter Harvey is the Orioles’ second first-round high school pitcher in the past three years, joining 2011’s selection of right-hander Dylan Bundy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 295 other followers