July 2013

Hoes on being traded

I’ll have a full story up later on Orioles.com, but here is what LJ Hoes had to say about being traded from his hometown Baltimore team to the Houston Astros…

[on the move]
“My mind’s just racing. I kind of got my dream come true the other day, getting to start for the hometown team. Now, getting traded and going to the opposite dugout and locker room, I’m going to be able to make another start tonight and play against the Orioles. It’s different. I never saw it coming but it’s part of the game, it’s part of life so I’ve just got to keep it moving.”
“I look at it as a positive thing. This is a key piece they feel like can help in getting them over the hump. Knowing that another team values you that much to give up one of the keys pieces on their team to acquire you and help them build a future. So I’m going to go over there in Houston, hopefully [if I] work hard and go over there and start winning some games and make it to the playoffs [in] a couple years.”

[Did it hit you yet?]
“It’s still all surreal. Talking to [Adam] Jonesey this morning, I was staying with him, and he was saying, ‘You could get traded. You never know.’ As the day went on and I got here, I went outside and did some work with [outfield coach Wayne] Kirby. Came back in and saw Twitter, saw on MLB Network that I got traded. Now just kind of trying to make sure my family’s all situated, they’re all coming to the game tonight. It’s kind of a whirlwind but I’m enjoying it.”

[on going to Houston]
“I’m definitely excited for the opportunity to start with Houston and hopefully I’ll be able to play a lot and help them build a future over there with a lot of young talent they have. With Altuve and now Cozart and Robbie Grossman and some of the young guys they have over there. So hopefully I can go over there and be able to contribute any way I can.”

[on leaving his hometown team]
“It’s rough because I have a great relationship with some of the guys, [Adam] Jones, [Manny] Machado and even J.J [Hardy]., I went fishing with him a couple times in spring training. You develop that relationship but you also have to understand that this is a business and the Orioles are in contention to make it to the playoffs and they feel like they have to add another arm to help them get there. So it’s something I understand and I wish those guys the best of luck. I think they have a tremendous team, tremendous guys over there and I hope they are able to make it back to the playoffs.”

[On being traded to a team across the field]
“Yeah, I’m going to have to go down the hall, get ready for BP I guess, meet the coaches and stuff. Talk to some of the players, get familiar with some of their stuff, learn the signs and then strap it on at 7 o’clock and take on the Orioles. Definitely a lot going on right now, but hopefully I’ll have some time to slow it down and take everything in and play baseball.”

[on his talk with Orioles manager Buck Showalter]
“Pretty much I just thanked Buck for everything that he’s done. He’s a great manager and has taught me a lot, I’ve learned a lot from him. It seems like he really liked me a lot. We had a good conversation and stuff like that. He said this is a great opportunity for me to go over there and be able to play every day. ‘It’s definitely going to be tough to be able to get an opportunity here [in Baltimore], we have three gold-glove outfielders out there. Just go over there and make the best of the opportunity and play hard.’”

Hammel on going on the DL

The Orioles have placed pitcher Jason Hammel on the 15-day disabled list with right flexor mass tightness and the struggling starter will miss at least one start.

“It started in Spring Training, I’ve been dealing with it all year,” said Hammel, whose time missed will be minimized given the team’s upcoming off days.  “It’s not really a pain thing, it’s more of an uncomfortable thing. Hopefully tomorrow, the MRI will tell me something. When something doesn’t hurt, it’s confusing. When you feel alright to a certain extent,  and then things change as you get a little deeper into your outing.”

Hammel said it particularly bothers him on his slider and that the injury absolutely affected his performance this season.  The Orioles Opening Day starter, Hammel hasn’t won a game since May 27 and has averaged fewer than six innings a start over that stretch. He last pitched on Sunday, giving up three earned runs  on six hits and five walks in Baltimore’s loss to the Red Sox. The 30-year-old Hammel is 7-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 21 starts.

“When you don’t feel like you get extension, it’s hard to execute your pitch, because you have to stay on top of the ball and if you can’t stay on top of the ball it’s going to do different things,” he said.  “You are not going to be consistent with it. So, I don’t like making excuses and I most certainly don’t like the DL, so hopefully this will be a quick fix and we can push it behind us.”

Manager Buck Showalter said Hammel’s injury “somewhat” impacted the Orioles trade late Wednesday afternoon for Bud Norris although the Astros righty has been on their radar for quite some time.

“I figured I could pitch through it,” Hammel said. “As of right now, it’s really not what’s best for this team. I haven’t been pitching to my capability and it’s really not worth going out there and further injuring myself. We got Bud in here now to further help out and with all the off days coming up, maybe I miss one or two starts and hopefully get this thing under control.”

Orioles acquire Norris, Hammel to DL

The Orioles have acquired right-handed pitcher Bud Norris from the Houston Astros in a deal made in the final hour of Wednesday’s Trade Deadline, sending outfielder L.J. Hoes, left-handed pitcher Josh Hader and Baltimore’s 2014 Draft Competitive Balance Pick-Round A, Selection No. 2.

Hoes, who was originally scheduled to be in the Orioles’ lineup in left field, will now start for Houston with outfielder Steve Pearce taking his roster spot in coming off the disabled list.

How will Norris fit into the O’s rotation? Jason Hammel is headed to the disabled list with right flexor mass tightness and he will miss at least one start. Hammel has been dealing with the nagging issue for some time, according to manager Buck Showalter, and it particularly bothers him on his slider.

Showalter said Hammel’s injury “somewhat” impacted the Orioles deal for Norris although he has been on their radar for quite some time.

Reliever Jair Ascencio has also cleared waivers and will remain in the Orioles organization at Triple-A Norfolk.

ASTROS LINEUP
Jonathan Villar SS
LJ Hoes RF
Jose Altuve 2B
Jason Castro C
Chris Carter DH
Brett Wallace 1B
Brandon Barnes CF
Matt Dominguez 3B
Robbie Grossman LF

Brett Oberholtzer

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Brian Roberts 2B
Steve Pearce DH

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

Machado fine after being hit with liner

Manny Machado was struck with a line drive during Tuesday’s pregame batting practice but the Orioles third baseman was deemed OK and stayed in the starting lineup against the Houston Astros.

Machado, who took Adam Jones’ sinking liner off his forearm area, walked off the field with one of the team’s athletic trainers to be examined. Manager Buck Showalter said that the team could opt to do a precautionary X-Ray, but didn’t think it was necessary given the extent of the injury.

The 21-year-old Machado hasn’t missed a start since he was promoted from Double-A Bowie in August, with the only innings missed a result of an ejection earlier this season.

Orioles still in on Norris

With less than 24 hours until Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, manager Buck Showalter was twenty minutes late to his pregame session with reporters on Tuesday as he met with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette to discuss potential scenarios.

The Orioles are in need of a starter and a designated hitter and are one of two teams thought to be the frontrunner for Houston’s Bud Norris, who was scratched from Tuesday’s start, along with Arizona. There is also the possibility of a three-way trade for Norris involving Pittsburgh, a source told MLB.com on Tuesday.

“I think [the deadline is] always been significant because fans think it’s some deadline if we don’t do something this is what we are stuck with,” Showalter said of the perception around Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. “I like what we got, ok? And if Dan walks in and says, ‘I don’t like anything’…I can tell you about a couple of trades that have been proposed and you would go, ‘God, you are not going to do that are you? So, you got to know who you are and where you are going and how you are going to do it.”

The Orioles have already made a pair of moves in July in trading for starter Scott Feldman and reliever Francisco Rodriguez but Duquette is aggressively pursuing upgrades and Baltimore has been linked to numerous rumors for both a bat and another starting pitcher.  Last year, the club didn’t do anything prior to the deadline and then traded for Joe Saunders in August.

Orioles vs. Astros

Hey it’s Derek filling in on the blog again today. The big news out of Camden Yards today is that Astros starter, Bud Norris, has been scratched from his start. Lucas Harrell, who has been a starter for the club before, will fill in for Norris. The speculation is that Norris could be traded before tomorrow’s 4 p.m. EST non-waiver Trade Deadline.

*The days leading up to the Trade Deadline are such a whirlwind that manager Buck Showalter, usually on top of everything happening throughout the organization, did not check the medical reports from Sarasota in advance of today’s pregame media session. So we’ll get reports later on players like Steve Johnson (oblique), Wilson Betemit (knee) and others.

*In fact, Showalter, often just a few minutes tardy to the session, was more than 20 minutes late today because he spent so much time talking potential deals with executive vice president of baseball operations, Dan Duquette.

*Manny Machado was hit with a batted ball during batting practice today and walked off the field with a team trainer during the round. If there was an injury, it did not appear severe, with no lineup change made.

*Ryan Flaherty is slated to get the start at first today to give Chris Davis a partial day off. Davis, who is slumping and will DH today, joked before the game that he’s finally starting to earn some respect around here.

*Jonathan Schoop went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs for Triple-A Norfolk. He recently rejoined the club after recovering from a strain in his lower back.

And here are the lineups:

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

Wei-Yin Chen P

Houston Astros
Jonathan Villar SS
Jose Altuve 2B
Jason Castro DH
Chris Carter 1B
Justin Maxwell RF
Carlos Corporan C
Brandon Barnes CF
Matt Dominguez 3B
Robbie Grossman LF

Lucas Harrell P

A few non-trade deadline notes

*Left fielder Nate McLouth has been selected as the Orioles’ winner of the Heart & Hustle Award.  This esteemed award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit, and tradition of the game.

The MLBPAA formed 30 committees, comprised of Alumni players with established relationships to each team. One player from each Major League team is chosen by the committees based on the passion, desire, and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field. These players will be recognized prior to an upcoming home game. As the season draws to a close, fans, all Alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team winners.

The final winner will be announced Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at the 14th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. This event is the primary fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics.

*Outfielder Chris Dickerson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk.

*Orioles first baseman Chris Davis will be MLB.com’s Chatting Cage this Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET to answer your questions. That link is available here.

*The fourth annual Casey Cares 5K Run/Walk will take place at Camden Yards on Saturday, August 3, with the Orioles and OriolesREACH again partnering with the Casey Cares Foundation.

O’s right fielder Nick Markakis and his wife, Christina, will serve as race ambassadors with Keith Mills, sports director of 98 Rock and WBAL Radio, the emcee.

The 3.1 mile run/walk starts at 8 a.m. ET, and it begins and ends at Oriole Park. Refreshments and a “Home Plate Finish” photo will be provided to each participant. Race winners in each age group will be announced in a pregame ceremony at the Orioles 7:05 p.m. game that night vs. the Seattle Mariners.

Registration for the race is open now through Aug. 3, and both teams and individuals are encouraged to register. Entry fees are $35 per person through Aug. 2 or $40 on race day. To register, visit www.caseycares5k.org.

All proceeds of the 5K will benefit the Casey Cares Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides personalized, uplifting and ongoing programs with a special touch to critically ill children and their family members throughout six states.

Orioles vs. Red Sox

Derek on the blog today for Brittany.

*The big news before game 3 of the three-game set with the Red Sox is the roster move in which the Orioles called up prospect LJ Hoes. Hoes, rated the No. 7 prospect in the Orioles system according to the most recent MLB.com rankings, is batting 8th and playing left field today against LHP Jon Lester.

He flew in this morning after some flight problems last night to him to Cleveland and Detroit, and he missed a connection flight because of delays. He didn’t get into until around 9 this morning, but here’s here now and says he’s excited to be back in the big leagues after a brief stint last September.

To make room on the active roster, the Orioles DFA’d Jairo Asencio. If he’s claimed by another team, they’ll have to put him on the big league roster. If he clears waivers, he can go to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles also have 10 days to see if they can work out a trade involving Asencio. 

Plenty more on the move coming later on Orioles.com.

*Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts yesterday for Triple-A Norfolk. It was his second game back for the Tides since returning from a strained lower back.

*Kevin Gausman pitched 4 1/3 innings yesterday for the Tides. He allowed four earned runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

And here are the lineups:

Baltimore Orioles
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters DH
JJ Hardy SS
Brian Roberts 2B
L.J. Hoes LF
Taylor Teagarden C

Jason Hammel P

Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Mike Carp LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Stephen Drew SS
Jose Iglesias 3B

Jon Lester P

Orioles vs. Red Sox

Derek on the blog filling in for Brittany today. The Orioles played a real good all-around game last night to take the first game from the Red Sox. They hit home runs, Chris Tillman pitched great, and Tommy Hunter and Jim Johnson each threw a scoreless inning. It’s the same two teams tonight at Camden Yards, and the Orioles are hoping for a similar result. The Rays and Yankees have already played today, and Tampa Bay won 1-0 behind Chris Archer’s complete-game two-hit shutout. So at the moment, Baltimore trails the division-leading Rays by four games, and would need a win tonight to keep pace. They also trail Boston by three games.

Just a quick note today:

*Top position player prospect, Jonathan Schoop, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout yesterday for Triple-A Norfolk. He batted sixth in his first game back with the Tides since suffering a strain in his lower back.

*Otherwise it’s pretty quiet on the injury front this afternoon.

And here are the lineups:

Baltimore Orioles
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
JJ Hardy SS
Henry Urrutia DH
Brian Roberts 2B

Scott Feldman P

Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Mike Carp LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Stephen Drew SS
Jose Iglesias 3B

Ryan Dempster P

Orioles vs. Red Sox

Hey folks, it’s Derek filling in on the blog tonight. The Orioles welcome the Red Sox to town tonight for the first game of the three-game series against the AL East leaders. Boston currently holds a four-game lead over Baltimore, while Tampa Bay sits just a half game behind the Red Sox entering Friday’s action.

*Dr. John Wilckens is down in Sarasota evaluating several players, including Wilson Betemit (knee). Manager Buck Showalter relayed reports that Betemit is improving. Showalter said there is still swelling in the area, and he hopes Betemit will soon be over the final hump and that it will resolve itself.

*Steve Pearce (wrist) went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Friday in his first game for the Gulf Coast League Orioles.

*Top position player, Jonathan Schoop, is headed to Triple-A Norfolk and might play tonight, Showalter said. He had been rehabbing from a strained lower back in Aberdeen (Single-A short season).

*Henry Urrutia said he’s not sure how he’ll react to his Camden Yards debut this evening, but he said it’ll be pretty emotional.

*Francisco Rodriguez will also make his Camden Yards debut Friday, and he said he’s “not here to take anybody’s job.” He’s here to bolster a bullpen that has thrown a lot of innings this season, and provide another late-inning option if he continues to pitch well.

And here are Friday’s lineups

Baltimore Orioles
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
JJ Hardy SS
Henry Urrutia DH
Brian Roberts 2B

Chris Tillman P

Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Daniel Naba LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Stephen Drew SS
Jose Iglesias 3B

John Lackey P

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