July 2013

Orioles vs. Rangers

Hey it’s Derek filling in on the blog here before the second game of a four-game set with the Texas Rangers. Not many news updates since yesterday, but a couple guys to keep an eye on in Sarasota.

*Steve Johnson (oblique) will throw batting practice Thursday. Manager Buck Showalter said Johnson is progressing with his injury. He threw 35 pitches off the mound yesterday and reported no problems.

*Steve Pearce is down to one sore wrist, Showalter said. Pearce is in Sarasota rehabbing after playing through the injury for a while. “He’s close to having both of them right,” Showalter said, and it could be a few days before he throws a ball or swings a bat.

*No real update on Wilson Betemit (right knee), who is still in Sarasota doing baseball activities “as tolerated.”

*Wei-Yin Chen will start Game 3 tomorrow, after missing nearly 2 months with a strained oblique.

And here are the lineups for Tuesday’s game:

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

Zach Britton P

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

Martin Perez P

Orioles vs. Rangers lineups and pregame notes

*Wei-Yin Chen will be activated from the disabled list and start Wednesday’s game, with Zach Britton slated to start tomorrow. The Orioles are necessarily committed to a six-man rotation for the future, but this gives manager Buck Showalter some flexibility heading into the All-Star Break. Showalter said there are a lot of different scenarios in terms of the second-half rotation and the club could also option a player or two and have them get some work at an affiliate during the break. They did that with Chris Tillman, who started at Double-A Bowie last year.

*Steve Johnson (left oblique strain)  threw 35 pitches off the mound today. Wilson Betemit is progressing slowly, doing baseball activities “as tolerated” while Steve Pearce (wrists) is getting closer to starting baseball activities, with the soreness almost completely gone.

Here are the lineups for tonight, with Scott Feldman making his second start, and first home one, for the Orioles…
RANGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
David Murphy LF
Nelson Cruz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
A.J. Pierzynski C
Mitch Moreland 1B
Elvis Andrus SS
Engel Beltre CF
Leonys Martin RF

Derek Holland LHP

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

Orioles @ White Sox- July 4 edition

Greetings from Chicago, where the Orioles are wearing holiday-themed hats and other garb (wristbands, necklaces) in honor of the Fourth of July.

*Brian Roberts is batting sixth for just the fifth time in his career, with catcher Matt Wieters getting the day off and Nolan Reimold serving at designated hitter. Manager Buck Showalter said he almost penciled in Roberts at DH,  but the veteran second baseman has responded very well since coming off the disabled list and it persuaded Showalter to put him in the field.

*Wei-Yin Chen will make his second start for Double-A Bowie tonight and, assuming that goes well, he will drive to New York tonight and meet the team there. Chen will take his workday over the weekend and could start two diferent days next week. Showalter said they’ve got a rain date penciled in.

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

Zach Britton LHP

WHITE SOX LINEUP
Alejandro De Aza CF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Alex Rios RF
Dayan Viciedo DH
Adam Dunn 1B
Jeff Keppinger 3B
Casper Wells LF
Gordon Beckham 2B
Tyler Flowers C

Jose Quintana LHP

Jose Quintana LHP

Orioles @ White Sox lineups and pregame notes

*The Orioles have optioned Danny Valencia to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot for tonight’s starter Scott Feldman. Valencia would have been useful with the Orioles facing a bunch of lefty starters, but yesterday’s activation of right-handed hitting outfielder Nolan Reimold makes Valencia more dispensable.

Valencia hit .230/.277/.508 with five doubles, four homers and eight RBIs in 21 games since being promoted from Triple-A, including a .282 mark against lefties.

Did he feel like he gave the Orioles a good idea of what he can do? .

“I did and I didn’t,” Valencia said. “It’s hard when you don’t play sometimes for four or five days. It’s definitely challenging. But I felt like I had some good at-bats. Recently it’s been tough to get some at-bats. But I guess that’s part of being not an everyday player, being a guy that can come off the bench. So it was tough.”

The Orioles make a lot of roster moves and Valencia, who has 72 hours to report to Norfolk, will go down and try to do the same things that earned him his first promotion.

“I feel like I played well down there,” said Valencia, who .306 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs in 40 Triple-A games.  “So, I proved that I can be up here. But it’s a numbers game, it’s a business and I’ll be ready whenever.”

*The White Sox put Jesse Crain and Paul Konerko on the disabled list prior to today’s game.

*The Orioles start time for the Saturday, September 7 game against the Chicago White Sox has been moved from 7:05 p.m. to 1:05 p.m.  The change in time is due to the selection of the game for exclusive television broadcast by FOX. Eutaw Street gates will open at 11:00 a.m., with the rest of the ballpark opening at 11:30 a.m.

*Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop (lower back) will start playing games on July 11 at either short-season Aberdeen or the Gulf Coast League.
ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Nate McLouth LF
Nolan Reimold DH
Brian Roberts 2B

Scott Feldman RHP

WHITE SOX LINEUP
Alejandro De Aza CF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Alex Rios RF
Adam Dunn 1B
Dayan Viciedo LF
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Jeff Keppinger DH
Gordon Beckham 2B
Tyler Flowers C

Hector Santiago LHP

Orioles @ White Sox lineups and pregame notes (updated)

Greetings from Chicago, where the Orioles will take on the White Sox for a three-game series to start a two-city roadtrip.

*In case you missed it, the O’s traded for pitcher Scott Feldman today, sending Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Chicago Cubs along with a pair of international signing bonuses. the O’s also got catcher Steve Clevenger –who is a Baltimore native– and optioned him to Triple-A. More on that here.

“He’s a guy with some American League background,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Feldman, who pitched for him in Texas. “Scotty is what he is. He’s a competitive guy. Haven’t seen him in a while. He’s had a couple things in his arsenal that are a little different than when I had him. He was more of a relief pitcher there, had a little different arm angle. There’s a lot of things that work in his favor. He’s been in the American League. Should be a pretty seamless transition to the locker room.”

*Feldman is flying here from Oakland tonight and will start tomorrow night’s game. He will wear Arrieta’s old number, 34, and lefty Zach Britton will pitch Thursday’s series finale which pushes Miguel Gonzalez –originally slated for Wednesday– to Friday’s series opener in New York.

“He always seems to benefit from some extra rest,” Showalter said of Gonzalez. “And it fits well. I just didn’t want Scotty to sit around for a week between pitching. He’s already working on some extra time.”

The O’s will have to clear a 25-man roster spot for Feldman and rookie Kevin Gausman could be the guy to go. Gausman is currently in the bullpen in long relief and the O’s could opt to send him to Norfolk to have him consistently start. They could also take Danny Valencia or Chris Dickerson off the roster, two bench guys who were not on the club’s Opening Day roster. Valencia has an option while Dickerson does not so he would have to clear waivers if the O’s went that route.

*Nolan Reimold was officially activated from the disabled list earlier today, taking Strop’s roster spot, and he is starting in left field and batting eighth, which gives the club an extra bench player. Reimold last played for Baltimore on May 11 and had been on the DL with a right hamstring strain that had hampered him since Spring Training.

“I expected it to take a little bit of time to heal up and then get the at-bats that I needed,” said the 29-year-old Reimold, who posted a .196/.255/.304 line in 12 games for Double-A Bowie. “The team was playing well, guys were hitting, playing well, when I wasn’t here. So there wasn’t a huge rush to get back. Just wanted to make sure everything was good to go before I came here.”

Reimold, a right-handed hitter, could get a few starts this week with the Orioles slated to face lefty starters Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana in the final two games of the White Sox series. Lefty John Danks got the nod for Chicago on Tuesday.

*Wei-Yin Chen will make one more rehab start, for Double-A Bowie on Thursday, and the organization hopes to have him back within a week or so. Chen will go up around 90 pitches.

“I want to be fair to him and to our team in the bullpen,” Showalter said of giving Chen a second start. “Billy knows him real well and Rick does, and that played a big part. Billy thought he was really close and needed one more start to be sure. … The last thing I told him was ‘Go down there and win. Go down there and pitch like you’re trying to win that game for Bowie.’”

Here are your lineups..

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Jason Hammel RHP

WHITE SOX LINEUP

Alejandro De Aza CF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Alex Rios RF
Adam Dunn 1B
Paul Konerko DH
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Dayan Viciedo LF
Gordon Beckham 2B
Tyler Flowers C

John Danks LHP

Orioles acquire Feldman, Clevenger for Arrieta and Strop (updated)

CHICAGO– Seeking to bolster an inconsistent starting rotation, the Orioles acquired right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday afternoon in a trade that sent right-handed pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to Chicago along with $338,100 in international signing slot bonuses.

The O’s also got catcher, and Baltimore native, Steve Clevenger and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk.

Feldman, who was scheduled to start for the Cubs on Tuesday night in Oakland, told MLB Network Radio he will make his Orioles debut on Wednesday night. Baltimore, which owns a 4.79 starters ERA, opens a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

“He’s a proven veteran starting pitcher and he should help stabilize our rotation in the second half of the season,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of the 30-year-old Feldman, who has pitched 91 innings over 15 starts this season.

Over his nine years in the Majors, Feldman owns a 46-50 record and 4.66 ERA. Before signing with the Cubs last winter, Feldman had spent his entire career — including a 17-8 campaign in 2009 — with the Rangers, where he pitched under current Orioles skipper Buck Showalter.

The acquisition of Feldman gives the Orioles an experienced arm in the rotation, with Feldman appearing in the postseason with Texas in 2011. The trade, coupled with the pending activation of left-hander Wei-Yin Chen –who will make one more rehab start– had Duquette feeling pretty good about where the organization was prior to July 31’s Trade Deadline.

Asked if he could continue to seek external rotation help, Duquette said: “We are going to be able to make another addition to our rotation hopefully in another week when Chen rejoins the club. So I think at this stage, let’s see what Feldman and Chen do for us.”

Feldman’s arrival will change the Orioles’ rotation in Chicago, but it wasn’t immediately clear if Wednesday’s original starter, Miguel Gonzalez, would simply be pushed back.

The organization’s willingness to part with Arrieta isn’t surprising –it’s been rumored for weeks– but it is potentially risky given the 27-year-old’s  talent and makeup.

“It was something that needed to happen for the Orioles to continue to make their push and they felt like it was the right time,” Arrieta said of the trade. “So, that’s just kind of the way it goes.”

“I knew it was something that was getting closer to be done. I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up, but I felt like it was kind of inevitable at this point. It’s kind of sad to leave an organization I’ve been with since I was drafted. A lot of special moment and great relationships that I’ve formed when I was with the Orioles and that’s what I’ll miss the most.  But there’s opportunity for me in Chicago and I’m going to try to make the most of it.”

“He’s always been with the Orioles organization,” Duquette said of Arrieta, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2007 Draft. “Sometimes change is beneficial. I can tell you from a team perspective we were looking to bolster our rotation and Feldman has pitched in the playoffs and is having a good year this year.”

Arrieta won the final rotation spot out of Spring Training but couldn’t translate that success, going 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in five starts. Showing flashes of dominance, Arrieta has gone 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in 69 games (63 starts) over four seasons with the Orioles and was at their Triple-A Norfolk affiliate when the trade news broke.

“I wouldn’t say [it’s] a completely fresh start,” Arrieta said of his new home. “But I’ve learned a lot and continue to grow as a player and a person. My numbers haven’t been what everybody expected, what I expected, but there’s so much room for me to grow and I know that’s what Chicago wants from me. They want me to have an opportunity and be able to continue to progress and reach my potential.”

Arrieta, once seen as part of several young and promising Oriole pitchers dubbed ‘The Calvary’, was a 10-game winner in 2011 and went 6-6 with a 4.66 ERA in his rookie campaign in ’09. His fastball reaches the upper 90s and his arsenal had generated a lot of interest from opposing organizations.

He said Tuesday the toughest part about moving on will be leaving some of the friendships and that he will take “a lot” of Baltimore with him as he waited word about whether he would join the Cubs in Oakland or their Triple-A Iowa team.

”The people and the support that I received, over the course of my career from the Orioles is something I’ll never forget,” Arrieta said. “Baltimore will always be special to me. I loved the city and I enjoyed my time there. It’s sad leaving the organization, but it’s just the time to move on and start this new chapter of my career.”

Strop will also get an opportunity to turn things around with Chicago. The 28-year-old is 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA in 29 games this season and has struggled to recapture the form that made him a dominant setup man for the first half of 2012.

“I don’t want to leave a great, team, a great coach, great teammates, But that’s how it is. It’s a business,” said Strop, went 5-2 with a 2.44 ERA and three saves last season. “It was frustrating knowing you can do better than what you are doing. Lately I was feeling better with my rhythm and everything, I was starting to put some things together, even in the results don’t always show it. But I was feeling pretty good. I just got to keep going.”

“We had a lot of good times.  And I’d like to say thank you for the opportunity. You never know, I might come back later in my career. Who knows? I really enjoyed my time in Baltimore, liked the city and everything. Everything, the coaches, teammates, everything was good. I just got to stick with it and go to Chicago now.”

The 27-year-old Clevenger has posted a .327/.426/.596 batting line in 15 games for Triple-A Iowa and went 1-for-8 in eight games with the Cubs this season.

The slot bonuses included in the deal could help the Cubs afford No. 1 international prospect Eloy Jimenez, a 16-year-old outfielder w has been connected to the club.

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