June 2013

Davis wins fan vote for bobblehead

The Orioles announced that first baseman Chris Davis has been selected as the AT&T Fans’ Choice Bobblehead. For the second consecutive year, fans were able to select the player they wanted immortalized in a bobblehead giveaway. The bobblehead is scheduled to be distributed during Fan Appreciation Weekend on Sunday, September 29 to the first 20,000 fans age 15 and over.

Voting began on March 25 and fans voted three different ways throughout the promotion: through unlimited mobile voting, online at http://www.orioles.com/bobblehead, and on the Orioles Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/orioles. The voting concluded May 15, with Davis beating out pitchers Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, Jim Johnson and outfielder Nate McLouth.

Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance and arrive early to the Orioles’ 1:35 p.m. game vs. the Red Sox on September 29. This year, each time fans voted using their mobile device, they were entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a Bobblehead VIP experience that includes four lower box tickets to attend the September 29 game and an autographed bobblehead of the 2013 Fans’ Choice Bobblehead player, plus an on-field experience prior to the game. The randomly selected winner is Brent Stuart from Hurlock, Maryland.

Orioles at Astros- Johnson to DL

*The Orioles placed Steve Johnson on the disabled list today with a left oblique strain and have recalled outfielder Xavier Avery to take his place on the active roster. The move gives the team another outfielder until they get Nick Markakis –who is at his grandmother’s funeral– back on Friday. Johnson felt the injury for the first time while warming up in last night’s game and he will travel with the team to Florida tonight, heading to Sarasota for an MRI tomorrow.

Johnson said he wasn’t any better this morning and it’s not an injury he can pitch with as he had trouble finishing his pitches last night and allowed two homers over 2 1/3 innings.

Avery on paper is a “quick in and out” move, according to manager Buck Showalter, who had a short bench last night with no Markakis. The team wouldn’t have had Johnson available to pitch today anyways, and they could add another pitcher before the Tampa series starts.

*Pedro Strop is expected to be a player for the team on Saturday, which is the first day he’s eligible to come off the disabled list. The right-hander hasn’t had any issues with his lower back and is slated to throw an inning in extended spring –weather permitting– this afternoon. Strop will meet the team in St. Pete on Friday.

Here are your lineups..
ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Dickerson RF
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Taylor Teagarden C

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

ASTROS LINEUP
Brandon Barnes CF
Jimmy Paredes RF
Jason Castro C
J.D. Martinez LF
Carlos Pena DH
Chris Carter 1B
Ronny Cedeno SS
Matt Dominguez 3B
Marwin Gonzalez 2B

Bud Norris RHP

Orioles @ Astros Game 2

*There was some initial confusion, but the Orioles rotation will remain on turn, with Miguel Gonzalez pitching on Thursday and Jason Hammel the series opener in Tampa on Friday followed by Kevin Gausman and Chris Tillman.

*Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Lew Ford will undergo groin surgery on Thursday in Philadelphia with Dr. William Meyers. The procedure, which will remove some scar tissue from this winter’s sports hernia, doesn’t necessarily rule him out to return this season but it’s unlikely.

*Wilson Betemit (right knee injury) started hitting in the cage for the first time yesterday, but manager Buck Showalter said it will be a long rehab as the team eases him back in and wants to make sure he builds up the proper strength in that area. There is no timetable for his return.

*Wei-Yin Chen (left oblique strain) did another 25 throws from 60-75 feet in extended spring today, repeating yesterday’s work, and continues to report no pain.

*Good to see former Orioles manager Dave Trembley, now serving as Houston’s third base coach, and chat with him on the field pregame. Trembley said he’s spoken to several players he managed in Baltimore including catcher Matt Wieters, center fielder Adam Jones and right fielder Nick Markakis, who all came over and say hi prior to Tuesday’s game.
ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
Danny Valencia DH
Steve Pearce RF
Alexi Casilla 2B

Freddy Garcia RHP

ASTROS LINEUP
Brandon Barnes CF
Jose Altuve 2B
Jason Castro DH
J.D. Martinez LF
Carlos Corporan C
Carlos Pena 1B
Trevor Crowe RF
Matt Dominguez 3B
Marwin Gonzalez SS

Dallas Keuchel LHP

Casey Cares 5K teams up with the Orioles

The Casey Cares Foundation’s 4th Annual Casey Cares 5K will take place on Saturday, August 3 at 8 a.m. at Camden Yards in partnership with OriolesREACH. Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis and his wife Christina will serve as race ambassadors for the event with proceeds benefitting the Casey Cares Foundation, which provides uplifting and ongoing programs with a special touch to critically ill children and their families.

Registration for the race is open now through August 3, and both teams and individuals are encouraged to register. Entry fees are $30 per person through June 7; $35 per person June 8 – August 2; and $40 on race day. To register, visit http://www.caseycares5k.org.

The 3.1 mile run/walk begins and ends at Camden Yards and includes refreshments and a “Home Plate Finish” photo. Additionally, the first 650 registrants will receive an Under Armour t-shirt, and the first 300 registrants receive a complimentary ticket to that evening’s Orioles home game against the Seattle Mariners. Race winners in each age group will be announced in a pre-game ceremony at the game.

Orioles @ Astros, Teagarden activated (updated)

Greetings from Minute Maid Park, where the Orioles will take on the Astros for a three-game set that begins tonight. In case you missed it there were a few notes from Monday’s off day: Chris Davis was named the American League Player of the Week, Dylan Bundy was cleared by Dr. James Andrews to start a throwing program on June 10 and Wei-Yin Chen

*Wei Yin Chen threw 25 pitches today, from 60-75 feet, with no pain and the expectation is he will repeat that again tomorrow. It was the first time Chen has picked up a ball since he suffered the oblique strain.

*Nick Markakis will leave the team following tonight’s game to attend his grandmother’s funeral and he will miss Wednesday and Thursday. Markakis, who drove up to the Long Island area following Sunday’s game, said he was able to be with her for about an hour or so before she was pronounced dead. He will rejoin the team in Tampa on Friday and since the bereavement list requires a player to be out for three games, the team won’t put Markakis on bereavement but play short for two days. That could change if there’s a need to add an extra player, say a reliever, due to a short start.

*Speaking of starts, the team is deciding whether to start Jason Hammel on Thursday and push back Miguel Gonzalez and Kevin Gausman. Hammel had such a short start on Saturday, manager Buck Showalter said there’s a thought to getting him back out there sooner rather than later. But nothing beyond Chris Tillman and Freddy Garcia –for Wednesday– is set in stone just yet.

*Jair Jurrjens exited Sunday’s game after 2 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs, with a right thumb injury that he had checked out today. Jurrjens is day-to-day and it’s nothing that serious –basically inflammation in the joint– but Showalter said he could miss his next start.

*Wilson Betemit (right knee injury) took some swings in the batting cages today down in extended spring training along with second baseman Brian Roberts. It was the first time hitting for Betemit, who is slowly working back in baseball activities.

*Taylor Teagarden is here and the O’s backup catcher will be activated and available off the bench. Teagarden, who has been on the disabled list with a dislocated left thumb, said the biggest hurdle was gripping a bat and the catching part came pretty easily once he got back into some games. He played at Triple-A Norfolk over the weekend.

With Teagarden here, that makes Chris Snyder the odd man out and his status is currently in limbo as the team waits to see if he will accept an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk.

*Pedro Strop threw a 20-pitch simulated game today, throwing to teammates Alexi Casilla and Steve Pearce, and the plan is for him to take a day off and fly to Sarasota, Fla. to throw an inning on Thursday. Strop will rejoin the Orioles in St. Petersburg on Friday and could be activated over the weekend. He is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday and said he hasn’t had any issues with his lower back.

*Troy Patton, initially drafted by the Houston Astros, grew up about 30-40 minutes from Minute Maid Park and now lives about a mile away in downtown Houston. Patton, who hasn’t been at this park since he was traded to the Orioles in ’08, said he expects to have about 30 people here a night.

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
Danny Valencia DH

Chris Tillman RHP

ASTROS LINEUP
Brandon Barnes CF
Jose Altuve 2B
Jason Castro C
J.D. Martinez LF
Carlos Pena DH
Chris Carter 1B
Jimmy Paredes RF
Matt Dominguez 3B
Marwin Gonzalez SS

Lucas Harrell RHP

Tigers vs. Orioles

After Jason Hammel’s ejection in the fourth inning yesterday, TJ McFarland and Troy Patton spared the bullpen a little bit. But there’s still some pressure on rookie Kevin Gausman to go deeper into today’s game against one of the top offensive lineups in the Majors.

*Taylor Teagarden (dislocated left thumb) caught eight innings yesterday at Triple-A Norfolk and went 0-for-4. Manager Buck Showalter said the plan is for him to DH today and then reassess his health. He’ll bat third today and he could be close to being recalled by the Orioles.

*Reliever Pedro Strop (strained lower back) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Tuesday. He’ll have a workout day on Wednesday, at which point the team could decide whether to reactivate him from the 15-day disabled list or send him to a minor league affiliate for a rehab assignment. He’s eligible to return  Saturday, June 8.

*Nolan Reimold (strained right hamstring) will likely not travel on the road trip with the team to Houston and Tampa Bay. Showalter said he’s close to full health and would begin a rehab assignment if he gets to 100 percent while the Orioles are on the road.

*No real health update on Wei-Yin Chen (strained oblique), who reported being pain free for the first time the other day. He was scheduled to jog in the pool yesterday, and he could be back within the month, Showalter said. But there’s a very loose time table on his return because he hasn’t thrown a ball yet. Showalter said he hopes Chen will get to a mound in the next couple days, which would make a mid-June return possible.

*The Orioles have two affiliates in the Dominican Summer League this season, which began action yesterday.

And here are the lineups:

Detroit Tigers
Andy Dirks LF
Torii Hunter RF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Ramon Santiago 2B
Avisail Garcia CF

Rick Porcell RHP

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

Kevin Gausman RHP

Posted by Derek Wetmore

Hammel ejected

Orioles starter Jason Hammel was ejected after hitting Tigers left fielder Matt Tuiasopo in the top of the shoulder with a first-pitch slider in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game.

Hammel, who had surrendered back-to-back-to-back home runs to watch Detroit take a 4-1 lead, argued vehemently about the intent of the pitch with home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt who immediately ejected the 29-year-old. Manager Buck Showalter came out to argue along with Hammel and catcher Matt Wieters about the call, which Hammel clearly saw as an offspeed pitch that got away from him. The pitch, which Tuiasopo immediately turned away from, came up high and tight and was an 82-miles-per-hour slider.

It was the first career ejection for Hammel, who was charged with five runs –one which scored after he left—on five hits and three walks over three-plus innings. He was replaced by T.J. McFarland, throwing 63 pitching for his shortest outing of the year.

Saturday Orioles vs. Tigers

After Chris Dickerson’s walk-off winner last night, we’ve got a 4 o’clock start here today. The big story going into this one is the pitching matchup: Jason Hammel v. Justin Verlander.

*Dylan Bundy is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews for a checkup Sunday, June 3. He’s been pain-free with full range of motion for a while now. June 10 represents the six-week mark from when he received his PRP injection.

*Taylor Teagarden (dislocated left thumb) went 1-for-4 last night in his first rehab game with Triple-A Norfolk. He is scheduled to catch tonight and will DH tomorrow, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

*Starter Wei-Yin Chen (oblique) reported being pain-free for the first time since hitting the disabled list. He’ll jog in the pool today at the team’s spring facility in Sarasota, Fla.

*Tsuyoshi Wada pitched yesterday for Triple-A Norfolk and Showalter got reports that he was “so-so.” His line — 4 2/3 IP, 8 hits, 6 runs (4 earned) with 2 walks — isn’t particularly encouraging. He’ll take his next scheduled turn in the Tides rotation as he continues to the process of trying to return to the big leagues.

*Chris Snyder will catch Sunday’s day game. Coupled with Monday’s off-day, it should give Matt Wieters two days off in a row. That means Snyder will catch Kevin Gausman, and the two went over video together in preparation for the start.

*First base coach Wayne Kirby is going home for the graduation of one of his children. He’ll miss the team’s first game in Tampa.

Here are the lineups:

Detroit Tigers

Omar Infante 2B
Andy Dirks RF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Matt Tuiasosopo LF

Pitching: Justin Verlander (6-4, 3.68 ERA)

Baltimore 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
Pitching: Jason Hammel (7-2, 4.98 ERA)

Posted by Derek Wetmore

Os sign Rauch to a Minor League deal (updated)

The Orioles, seeking to add a veteran reliever, have agreed to sign right-hander Jon Rauch to a Minor League deal, pending a physical.

Baltimore had some interest in Rauch this winter, although he eventually signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Marlins. The 34-year-old, who will join the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate on the road early next week, was designated for assignment by Miami on May 17 and later released. He is 1-2 with a 7.56 ERA in 15 games this season.

“Sometimes with a new team, it doesn’t work out right away,” Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. “Sometimes when you’re a veteran pitcher, it takes a little more time to get into the swing of things. That’s really what we’re taking a look at.”

Rauch has an opt-out in his contract on June 18, which should enable both sides to determine whether the agreement is working out. A career 3.90 ERA pitcher over an 11-year big league career, Rauch will be joining his ninth different club and Duquette likened his experience to similar to that of the departed Luis Ayala.

“He’s a qualified major league reliever,” Duquette said of Rauch. “He had a really good year last year. He can set up and hold a game, and he can also save a game. He’s got over 60 saves (62) in his Major league career, so he’s a good veteran relief presence and we’ll take a look at him at Triple-A and see how it goes.”

The Orioles’ bullpen, highly successful last season, hasn’t been able to replicate that success and Rauch is expected provide another right-handed option down below, particularly given the recent loss of Alex Burnett, who was claimed by the Chicago Cubs off waivers and designated again on Saturday.

Duquette seemed encouraged with the club’s left-handed options in Norfolk, singling out reliever Mike Belfiore and Chris Jones, who was acquired from Atlanta in exchange for Ayala.

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