July 2013

Dickerson DFA, O’s trying to work out a trade

The Orioles designated outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment prior to Friday’s game against Texas, clearing a 40-man roster spot for Henry Urrutia, and they are trying to work out a trade involving the 31-year-old outfielder.

“That will play itself out in the next couple days,” manager Buck Showalter said of Dickerson’s future. “I don’t think that story has been completely written yet. There’s been some things we’ve talked about and I think Chris is going to get a chance to play more. Something that I know he wanted to. He’s been a contributor for us in a lot of ways, a very good defender, and somebody is going to end up with a very good player.”

By placing Dickerson on waivers, Baltimore has 10 days to trade, release or hope Dickerson clears waivers, although a deal seems like the most likely scenario. A left-handed hitter, Dickerson batted .245/.274/.412 in 46 games for the Orioles and he owns a career line of .263/.340/.408 in parts of six  Major League seasons.

One of the final roster cuts this spring, Dickerson –who signed a Minor League deal this winter—had his contract selected April 10.

Reimold out for the year

Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold will have season-ending surgery for the second consecutive year, as the 29-year-old is slated to undergo corrective surgery Tuesday at the Florida Spine Institute to fix a spinal fusion procedure performed last June.

Reimold, who was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with nerve inflammation in the cervical spine, will be transferred to the 60-day DL when the team needs a 40-man roster spot next.  The news is the latest in a rough two-year stretch for Reimold, who has played in just 56 games since the start of the 2012 season, and rehabbed aggressively to be a full-go from Day 1 of Spring Training.

“It’s like I told him, ‘I don’t think you’ll realize how much of a challenge it was for you physically until you get it right.’ And then you go, ‘My gosh, I was trying to work though that?,’” manager Buck Showalter said of Reimold, who had his first neck surgery –which is the same procedure NFL quarterback Peyton Manning had done — at Johns Hopkins Hospital by neurosurgeon Dr. Ziya Gokaslan. “It’s one thing when doctors free them up to resume activity. Maybe they are telling them for a guy working 9-5 behind a desk as opposed to a guy playing Major League Baseball against the best players in the world. Those are two different things.

“I think Nolan feels better that it wasn’t something he was trying to do wrong. Did he overdo it? I bet he did, because that’s Nolan. The same reason why you like him. I got a good feeling this will have a happy ending in a lot of ways. He seemed, the last time I talked to him, real ‘let’s go.’ Now you can see it in black and white on a catscan, an MRI. Here’s what it is and we are going to get it right. I think he has a lot of confidence in the people doing it. Nolan has done his homework.”

Reimold, who saw neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Kowalski at the Spine Institute over the All-Star Break, hasn’t played more than 87 games in a season since his rookie year in ’09. After making the Opening Day roster, Reimold was placed on the DL May 18 –retroactive to May 12– with a right hamstring strain that nagged him throughout camp and he was activated earlier this month, but never looked quite right.

“I could tell the last couple games something just wasn’t firing,” Showalter said of Reimold, who hit .195/.250/.336 line in 40 games this season.

“It’s kind of sad in a way, but you want to get it right. First of all you just want to get his daily day-to-day activities and just living his life right. And the baseball part of it, I’m told, should come.”

Reimold’s roster spot was filled by Danny Valencia, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and joined the team for Thursday’s workout in Texas. Valencia has hit .230/.277/.508 in 21 games with the Orioles this season and posted a .314/.350/.607 batting line in 48 games with Norfolk. This will be his second stint with Baltimore, having been optioned the first time on July 3 to clear a roster spot for pitcher Scott Feldman.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Valencia, who got the start Friday, said of Reimold’s injury changing his role on the team. “Obviously whatever role they want for me to do, I’m going to try to do my best. If it’s more at-bats, great. If not, I’m just going to have to embrace what I have to do.”

 

Orioles @ Rangers lineups and pregame notes

Urrutia

Greetings from Arlington, where the Orioles will play at Rangers Ballpark for the first time since winning the American League Wild Card game last fall.

*In case you missed it, there’s been a wealth of roster moves today. Here’s the quick recap: Henry Urrutia (above) had his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk, Nolan Reimold was placed on the 15-day disabled list, Danny Valencia was recalled and Chris Dickerson was designated for assignment. You can read more on all that here.

*The rotation after the All-Star Break is: Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, Scott Feldman and Jason Hammel. Hammel threw a side session here today with pitching coach Rick Adair.

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

RANGERS LINEUP

Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jeff Baker DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Craig Gentry CF
Jurickson Profar LF
Leonys Martin RF

Derek Holland LHP

Reimold to DL, Dickerson DFAed, Urrutia & Valencia added

The Orioles made a flurry of roster moves prior to Friday’s series-opener in Texas, selecting the contract of outfielder Henry Urrutia and recalling Danny Valencia from Triple-A Norfolk, with outfielder Nolan Reimold going to the disabled list and Chris Dickerson designated for assignment.

Reimold (nerve inflammation in the cervical spine) will reportedly undergo corrective surgery on Tuesday and it’s unknown immediately what the extent of the procedure is and the recovery timetable. It’s been a rough two years for Reimold, who has played in just 56 games since the start of 2012 and hasn’t played more than 87 games in a season since his rookie year in ’09. After making the team out of Spring Training, Reimold –who had season-ending neck surgery last June– was placed on the DL with a right hamstring strain that nagged him throughout camp and he was activated earlier this month. This DL stay is backdated to July 14 given the All-Star Break.

Reimold hit .195/.250/.336 line in 40 games this season and Valencia will take his roster spot, with Urrutia taking the 40-man spot vacated by Dickerson. Urrutia hit a combined .365 with a .958 OPS between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, flying through the Minor Leagues in his first pro season.

Signed by the Orioles last July, Urrutia didn’t officially arrive until late February due to issues getting a work visa out of Haiti, but the plan since his initial news conference has been for the 26-year-old to end the year with Baltimore.

Urrutia played just 67 games in the Minors and will most likely be used as a left-handed DH, with some of the organization’s initial concerns over his defense and baserunning, although he could occasionally be an outfield option. Urrutia, who spent only 15 games at Triple-A, was billed as a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter and he hit 20 doubles and seven homers for a .531 slugging percentage at both levels combined.

Urrutia, who did not play in 2011 due to a suspension from an unsuccessful defection attempt, played for Las Tunas in the Cuban League from 2006-10 and batted .350 with 72 doubles, nine triples, 33 home runs and 219 RBIs. He also played for Cuba in the 2010 World Championship and started in right field for the World Team at Sunday’s Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game. He went 0-for-3 with a walk in the World’s 4-2 loss to Team USA.

Valencia, meanwhile, has hit .230/.277/.508 in 21 games with the Orioles this season and posted a .314/.350/.607 batting line in 48 games with Norfolk. This will be his second stint with Baltimore, having been optioned the first time July 3 to clear a roster spot for pitcher Scott Feldman.

The team now has 10 days to trade, release or hope Dickerson clears waivers. Signed to a Minor League deal this spring, Dickerson was one of the team’s final roster cuts and the 31-year-old  batted .245/.274/.412 in 46 games for the Orioles after having his contract selected on April 10.

Os preparing to add Urrutia and Valencia

The Orioles are preparing to add a pair of players in Texas in Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia and Danny Valencia, moves that will give manager Buck Showalter options at designated hitter and off the bench.

Both Urrutia and Valencia will likely be added to the 25-man roster before the team’s series opening game Friday night, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com on Thursday. There’s also a chance the club waits until Saturday with Urrutia, who was expected to be at the Orioles workout in Arlington on Thursday.

Urrutia, who hit a combined .365 with a .958 OPS between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, will need to be added to the 40-man roster and one option would be to transfer pitcher Steve Johnson to the disabled list.  As for who goes on the 25-man roster, the club could go a few different ways. Outfielder Chris Dickerson is a potential option — although he is out of options and would have to be put on waivers first– and the club is currently carrying three second base types which could make Alexi Casilla or Ryan Flaherty expendable. Urrutia’s addition to the outfield could also signify a potential roster move involving left fielder Nolan Reimold, who missed most of last year with neck surgery and is coming off a right hamstring injury.

Signed by the Orioles last July, Urrutia didn’t officially arrive until late February due to issues getting a work visa out of Haiti but the plan since his initial press conference has been for the 26-year-old to end the year with Baltimore.

He played just 67 games in the Minors and will most likely be used as a left-handed DH, with some of the organization’s initial concerns over his defense and baserunning, although he could occasionally be an outfield option. Urrutia, who spent only 15 games at Triple-A, was billed as a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter and he hit 20doubles and seven homers for a .531 slugging percentage at both levels combined.

Urrutia, who did not play in 2011 due to a suspension from an unsuccessful defection attempt, played for Las Tunas in the Cuban League from 2006-10 and batted .350 with 72 doubles, nine triples, 33 home runs and 219 RBIs. He also played for Cuba in the 2010 World Championship and started in right field for the World Team at Sunday’s Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game.  He went 0-for-3 with a walk in the World’s 4-2 loss to Team USA.

“I’d love to be there this year,” said Urrutia earlier this week at the possibility of joining the Orioles. “It will depend on whether they think I’m prepared or not. But I’m going to keep working and working to be the player Orioles fans want to see.”

Valencia, meanwhile, has hit .230/.277/.508 in 21 games with the Orioles this season and posted a .314/.350/.607 batting line in 48 games with Norfolk. This will be his second stint with Baltimore, having been optioned the first time July 3 to clear a roster spot for pitcher Scott Feldman.

***

Also, in case you missed it- the Orioles have agreed to a deal with another Cuban outfield prospect, Dariel Alvarez. You can read more on that here.

Davis not ready to wake up from dream season

BALTIMORE– Chris Davis had a dream last month that he was traded back to Texas.

The ridiculous premise of the imaginary deal — Davis for injured Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and some pitching — didn’t stop it from seeming real, and in the dream, Davis stormed into Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s office and tried to fist-fight him.

“He goes, ‘Well, I hope you would try to beat me up,'” Davis said of Showalter’s reaction the next day in Toronto when he relayed the dream’s events. “It felt so real. I woke up and was breathing heavy and just was like, ‘Ahh!'”

Most mornings start considerably better for Davis, who tied Reggie Jackson’s American League record from 1969 for most homers before the All-Star break with his Major League-leading 37th shot Sunday against the Blue Jays. Last month, Davis became the first player in baseball history to have at least 30 homers and 25 doubles before July. If the team is home and it’s been a while — perhaps a few games — between homers, Davis’ wife, Jill, will make sweet potato pancakes.

The breakfast, Davis’ favorite, isn’t an everyday thing. As Davis explains, it was only recently that the couple, married in 2011, figured out the correlation between the pancakes and his homers, and it’s become a secret weapon of sorts to help avoid long power outages. That two-run homer off Justin Masterson on June 25, his first in four games, was a pancake morning. So was the one against the Angels last month that stopped an eight-game homerless stretch.

Jill is already looking into the kitchen situation at the hotel for next week’s All-Star Game, where Davis — the AL’s top vote-getter — will start at first base and participate in Monday’s Chevrolet Home Run Derby. They could, of course, go somewhere to get pancakes, but it wouldn’t be the same.

And what Davis is doing, having already set career highs in homers and RBIs on a historical run through the first three-plus months of the season, is nothing if not distinctive.

To read the rest of the story click here.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays lineups and pregame notes

*The Orioles have selected the contract of right-hander Jairo Asencio and he will be in the bullpen tonight, with Jair Jurrjens being designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster move. They optioned right-handed pitcher Josh Stinson last night to create a 25-man roster spot for Asencio, who is a power arm and had been serving as Triple-A Norfolk’s closer. The Orioles have been actively pursuing right-handed relief help and Showalter said they want to see what they have in Asencio before the Trade Deadline at the end of the month.

*Earlier today, the Orioles acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Tim Alderson from Pittsburgh in exchange for infielder Russ Canzler, who was designated for assignment on July 6. Alderson is 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA (42IP, 13ER) in 22 relief appearances for Triple-A Indianapolis this season, with 38 strikeouts and 10 walks, and he will report to the O’s Triple-A Norfolk team.

*It looks like Chris Dickerson (left shoulder) will be able to avoid the disabled list. Dickerson tested his swing yesterday and reported to feeling better, with no plans for an MRI. He is available tonight, although it’d be a stretch to use him in the field with Dickerson bothered more by throwing than swinging the bat.

Chris Tillman will go for his 11th win tonight as the Orioles try to follow-up last night’s series-splitting win over Texas.

BLUE JAYS LINEUP
Jose Reyes SS
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Adam Lind DH
Colby Rasmus CF
Rajai Davis LF
J.P. Arencibia C
Mark DeRosa 3B
Munerori Kawasaki 2B

Mark Buehrle LHP

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

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles vs. Rangers finale

It’s Derek filling in on the blog for today as the O’s go for a series split in the finale with the Texas Rangers.

*Chris Dickerson, a late scratch with a strained shoulder yesterday, said he feels fine today. If baseball activities go well pregame today, they’ll scrap the MRI they had scheduled for tomorrow. He says he should be able to swing a bat without any problems Friday, but throwing may be more difficult. Manager Buck Showalter said he could be available “in some fashion” Thursday night if everything checks out.

*Steve Johnson (oblique) threw batting practice Thursday in Sarasota. Showalter said he was tired afterwards, but otherwise didn’t get any negative reports.

*Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop (strained lower back) went 0-for-2 with a walk in his first rehab game with the Orioles Gulf Coast League team.  Showalter said he’ll likely be there about a week and then could be ticketed for Triple-A Norfolk.

*Eric Thames, recently acquired in a trade with Seattle, is “getting close,” Showalter said. He’s taking batting practice and should be activated soon, Showalter said.

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
Brian Roberts 2B
Nolan Reimold DH

Miguel Gonzalez P

Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler DH
Elvis Andrus SS
Nelson Cruz RF
Adrian Beltre 3B
AJ Pierzynski C
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jurickson Profar 2B
David Murphy LF
Leonys Martin CF

Ross Wolf P

Casey Cares 5K at Camden Yards on Aug. 3

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.

Orioles 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 8:00 a.m. and 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 pre-game ceremony at the Orioles 7:05 p.m. game that night vs. the Seattle Mariners.

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

“We are thrilled to partner with such a fantastic organization as the Orioles for our 5K,” Casey Baynes, Founder and Executive Director of the Casey Cares Foundation, said in the release. “While many Casey Cares children do their ‘running’ through the halls in the hospital, you can help support these critically-ill children and their families by running or walking in our 5K.”

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.

“Nick and I are so excited to be a part of the Casey Cares 5K,” said Christina Markakis. “It is inspiring to see the brave critically ill children and families that are helped through all of the Casey Cares Programs and awesome to see all the spirit come out of all the runners every year! We are thrilled to be a part of this special day, and help make every day count for critically ill kids.”

Orioles vs. Rangers lineups and pregame notes (updated w/ Reimold at DH)

*As expected, the Orioles activated lefty Wei-Yin Chen from the disabled list and he will start tonight’s game. They also promoted right-handed Josh Stinson from Triple-A Norfolk and he will work in long relief tonight as needed. Given the roster carousel, Stinson could have a short stay.

Chen and Stinson are taking the roster spots of Zach Britton and Kevin Gausman, who were both optioned after last night’s loss. Britton and Gausman will split Sunday’s game for Triple-A Norfolk before next week’s All-Star Break.

*Manager Buck Showlater said Tsuyoshi Wada was a consideration to be promoted today, but he didn’t get the call for two main reasons: he’s left-handed and the organization still considers him a starter.

*Steve Pearce had an MRA on his left wrist which is progressing along much slower than his right. He was examined by specialist Dr. Brian Schofield in Florida today.

*Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop (lower back) will start a rehab assignment on Thursday with the team’s Gulf Coast League team. It’s expected to last a week or more.

*Knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa will make his first start since being promoted to Triple-A Norfolk tonight.

RANGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jurickson Profar LF
Nelson Cruz RF
Adrian Beltre 3B
A.J. Pierzynski DH
Elvis Andrus SS
Mitch Moreland 1B
Geovany Soto C
Engel Beltre CF

Josh Lindblom RHP

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
Nolan Reimold DH

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

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