September 2013

Orioles @ Rays lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where the Orioles will face lefty Enny Romero in his Major League debut. Romero was recalled last night and will take the rotation turn of Jeremy Hellickson, who had to pitch in the marathon 18-inning game on Friday night.

*The Orioles have tentatively set their rotation for the rest of the regular season, with Chris Tillman, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez following Wei-Yin Chen and pitching at home versus Toronto.

Tillman tweaked his ankle covering third base in his last game in Boston, but threw a side session today and is on track to start Tuesday. Tillman is closing in on 200 innings, which he could hit in his next game, and there’s no guarantee he pitches the final regular-season game next Sunday if the Orioles are out of postseason contention.  Manager Buck Showalter said it could be someone the organization wants to take a look at instead, such as Tsuyoshi Wada. Scott Feldman and Wei-Yin Chen are down to pitch the first two games of that Boston series.

Norris, who has been moved to the bullpen and continues to get treatment on his right elbow, could be replaced by Jason Hammel if he’s not deemed good to go for this Wednesday’s game. Again, some of that could depend on where the Orioles are in the standings.

*Rays third baseman Evan Longoria –dealing with flu-like symptoms– was a late scratch from Tampa Bay’s lineup, with Kelly Johnson filling in at third base.

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Scott Feldman RHP

RAYS LINEUP

David DeJesus LF
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce DH
Wil Myers RF
James Loney 1B
Kelly Johnson 3B
Jose Lobaton C
Yunel Escobar SS

Enny Romero LHP

Orioles Fan Appreciation Week

The Orioles, who are hanging around in the American League Wild Card race following last night’s 3-2 win, are also preparing for the team’s final regular-season homestand with a slew of events planned for Fan Appreciation week against the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

There are plenty of details on the webpage, which you can find here, that goes into what specific events are planned for each game.

One new aspect this year is  the Orioles first-ever Social Media Night at Camden Yards, which features an exclusive pregame party on the center field roof deck. The event will host 250 of the Orioles most avid social media followers, including the top members of the Orioles’ social rewards program, O’s Birds Nest.

The pregame party will also include a visit from Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette and a Q&A with MASNsports.com writer Roch Kubatko and myself. A limited number of tickets to this pregame event are still available and you can get more info on that event here.

Orioles @ Blue Jays lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Toronto, where the Orioles will play the rubber match of a three-game weekend series. Not much pregame news with the club still deciding whether to keep Dan Johnson beyond this afternoon, which would require another 40-man roster move with Henry Urrutia set to come off the restricted list.

The club could also get some news today on Darren O’Day, who had a pair of injections in his right fingers/wrist, with manager Buck Showalter said the next day should shed light on whether that helped. The hope is still that O’Day can join the Orioles in Tampa this upcoming weekend.

After getting four hits with runners in scoring position in Friday’s win, the Orioles players requested to wear their black jerseys again on Saturday. It went up through the channels and got approved, but the luck didn’t continue with the O’s going 2-for-11 and missing out on a chance to gain ground in the Wild Card. Showalter, whose club went 13-for-63 (.206) with runners in scoring position on their most recent eight-game homestand, is used to the daily questions about his lineup. Today, he pointed across the field at Toronto’s dugout and said, “You don’t think they’d sign up for our problems?” Point taken.

The Orioles enter today ranked fifth in batting average with runners in scoring position, at .268, but it has become a glaring issue at a pivotal point of the season. They’ll try to reverse that trend again today.

Here are your lineups…
ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Danny Valencia DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Matt Wieters C
Michael Morse LF
Brian Roberts 2B

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP
Jose Reyes SS
Brett Lawrie 3B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Adam Lind 1B
Moises Sierra RF
Rajai Davis LF
Ryan Goins 2B
J.P. Arencibia C
Anthony Gose CF

Mark Buehrle LHP

Orioles @ Blue Jays

Really no pregame news here after last night’s excitement surrounding Chris Davis’ 50th homer. The dome is open this afternoon and here are your lineups…
ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Matt Wieters C
Danny Valencia DH
Brian Roberts 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP
Jose Reyes SS
Brett Lawrie 3B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Adam Lind 1B
Moises Sierra RF
Colby Rasmus CF
J.P. Arencibia C
Ryan Goins 2B
Anthony Gose LF

Esmil Rogers RHP

Davis’ 50th home run ball

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Orioles fan Steve Houff, on the left of Chris Davis, presented the All-Star with his 50th home run ball following Friday’s game.

TORONTO– Chris Davis’ 50th home run ball –hit to start the bottom of the eighth inning off reliever Steve Delbar — was in the hands of a Blue Jays fan in left-center field of the Rogers Centre. That’s when Oriole fan and Ellicott City, Md. resident Steve Houff persuaded the owner to give it up. Houff, who traveled from Maryland along with a group of four friends, said they explained how important it was that Davis get the ball back. 

“I think this is probably a tough crowd to get a ball back,” Davis said, shortly before Houff surprised him outside of the visiting clubhouse. “I didn’t see the ball get thrown back, but hopefully we can rustle it up.

Houff paid $100, in American money, to get the ball and the group took pictures with Davis who presented each with an autographed baseball. Davis also signed a bat for the group.

“We’re here the whole weekend,” Houff said. “ Hopefully, we will catch 51 tomorrow.”
I’ll have full coverage up of the Orioles’ 5-3 win and a separate piece on Davis’ place in the history books up shortly on Orioles.com You can watch all 50 of Davis’ homers in one gif here.

Orioles @ Blue Jays lineups & pregame notes (updated)

Greetings from Toronto,  where the Orioles will open a three-city, 10-game roadtrip with stops in Boston and Tampa Bay after this.

Baltimore is fresh off last night’s 6-5 loss to the Yankees and have lost three of four. They got in to Canada around 4 a.m. and will send Jason Hammel–who flew in early– to the mound with Steve Clevenger making his first start as an Oriole behind the plate. Catcher Matt Wieters have caught six of seven and will catch the next two day games here in Toronto, with Chris Tillman slated to pitch tomorrow and the Blue Jays running lefty Mark Buehrle out there on Sunday, manager Buck Showalter said this fit best.

*Hot hitting Danny Valencia remains in the lineup despite a right-handed pitcher on the mound, and the Orioles have selected the contract of outfielder/first baseman Dan Johnson and placed Henry Urrutia –who has visa issues–on the restricted list. Urrutia could rejoin the team in Boston or stay down in Sarasota, Fla. and get ready for the Arizona Fall League.

*Johnson is taking the 40-man roster spot of Urrutia right now and the team will have to make a decision on Sunday night about whether to keep Johnson on the roster. If so, they’d have to create another 40-man spot, with Urrutia coming off the restricted list.

*Darren O’Day received a pair of cortisone injections in his ailing right wrist/fingers today in Sarasota, Fla. after being examined by hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield and could return to the team next weekend in Tampa. The injections are good news, Showalter explained, since it means the team has a better idea of what they think is going on in terms of the numbness/tingling in O’Day’s middle and index finger. They’ll know more in the next day or two, but the club feels pretty good about the fact that the issue isn’t structural and is more of a nerve issue that should calm down with the injections.

Here are your lineups….

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Danny Valencia DH
Steve Clevenger C

Jason Hammel RHP

TORONTO LINEUP

Jose Reyes SS
Munenori Kawasaki 2B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Adam Lind 1B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Colby Rasmus CF
Moises Sierra RF
J.P. Arencibia C
Anthony Gose LF

Todd Redmond RHP

Orioles gift to Rivera

The bat presented to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tonight by Orioles manager Buck Showalter was sculpted by Omri and his son, Itamar Amrany,  of The Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany in Highland, Illinois.

Omri Amrany is an Israeli-American sculptor and painter.  Among his sculpted sports works are The Spirit: Michael Jordan, a 16-foot sculpture commissioned by the Chicago Bulls installed at the United Center in Chicago, as well as sculptures of Vince Lombardi at Lambeau Field in Green Bay; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Magic Johnson at The Staples Center in Los Angeles; Josh Gibson, Frank Howard and Walter Johnson at Nationals Park in Washington DC; and the Memorial to Pat Tillman at the Arizona Cardinals stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The bronze was cast at the Alchemist Foundry in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The following plaque accompanies the sculpture, which is Rivera’s retirement gift:

MARIANO RIVERA

Baseball’s all-time saves leaderwho pitched 19 seasons for the New York Yankees.

His numerous baseball records are surpassed only by his humility, respect and philanthropy.

Presented by the Baltimore Orioles,in recognition of his tremendous career and the hundreds of bats he broke along the way.

Orioles vs. Yankees lineups and pregame notes

*Orioles reliever Darren O’Day will not accompany the team to Toronto with the right-hander dealing with numbness in the fingers of his pitching hand and likely headed to see a hand specialist in Sarasota, Fla.

O’Day has been dealing with the issue for the past week or two, which is why he has barely been used, and manager Buck Showalter said he’s been through a ton of tests and they’re still not quite sure what’s going on.  The issue with his index and middle fingers and it’s really prevented O’Day from being able to grip the ball.

*Wilson Betemit is getting the start at designated hitter today over Henry Urrutia, who woke up with a sore neck. Showalter said he wanted Betemit to start anyways and is hoping to get him going against Yankees’ righty Phil Hughes.

*The Orioles will host their first Social Media Night at Camden Yards on Wednesday, September 25th as part of the club’s Fan Appreciation Celebration. There are only 200 tickets available for the pregame party event and you can read more about that here.

*The O’s will honor Yankee closer Mariano Rivera tonight with a retirement gift and Showalter joked that because of the way the schedule worked out the Orioles –as one of the final teams to send him off– have some slim pickings, with all the good gifts already taken.  Showalter, who managed Rivera, will be part of the ceremony on-field pregame and also joked that he hoped to gift Rivera a blown save later on tonight.

Here are your lineups as the Orioles try to salvage a series split in the four-game set…

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

YANKEES LINEUP

Brett Gardner CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Alfonso Soriano LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells RF
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Stewart C

Phil Hughes RHP

Orioles vs. Yankees lineups and pregame notes

*Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis and his wife, Christina, welcomed their third child, a boy named Toby, this afternoon. Christina was scheduled to have labor induced at UMBC very early this morning and manager Buck Showalter got a text from Nick around 3:15 p.m. ET that the baby had been born –weighing eight pounds– and he was planning on heading to the field for tonight’s game. Showalter said he expected Markakis to try to talk himself into the starting lineup.

*Orioles attendance is up this year more than 15 percent and MASN’s ratings are up more than 50 percent from 2012. Additionally, the O’s merchandise sales are up more than 89 percent, which is the biggest increase in baseball.

Baltimore is on pace for the best regional sports network season rating on record (since 2001) and its highest attendance (at around 2.4 million) since 2005.

*The Orioles will join Major League Baseball tonight to commemorate the 12th anniversary of September 11 by wearing special caps with the American flag for the game against the New York Yankees.

The game-worn, autographed and authenticated hats will be auctioned online at http://www.orioles.com/auction  beginning at 7:00 p.m. tonight, with all proceeds to benefit the Frank J. Battaglia Signal 13 Foundation, which provides financial assistance to Baltimore Police Department personnel who suffer extreme personal emergencies. The auction will be open until Wednesday, September 18 at 11:59 p.m.

The Orioles will also observe a moment of silence prior to tonight’s National Anthem in honor of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. In addition the U.S. Army Quartet will sing “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch.

Here are your lineups for Game 3 of the four-game set, with the big news out of New York captain Derek Jeter being placed on the disabled list to end his season….

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Curtis Granderson RF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Stewart C

Andy Pettitte LHP

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

Scott Feldman RHP

Orioles @ Yankees lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Yankees for the second of a four-game series following last night’s heated 4-2 win.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said  he hadn’t been contacted by Major League Baseball regarding his altercation the previous night with Yankees manager Joe Girardi, and he didn’t expect to hear anything.

Showalter, who angrily defended third base coach Bobby Dickerson –who Girardi accused of stealing signs—said the “ Yankees are actually one of the better teams at it,” on ESPN New York 98.7’s Lunch with Lupica Show on Tuesday.

Showalter clarified those comments prior to Tuesday’s Orioles-Yankee game—the second of a four-game set—and said there are at least 15 teams who do it in baseball, referencing the Milwaukee Brewers clubs of the ‘80s as an example.

Asked about opposing clubs stealing signs, Showalter said, “You should be conscious of that and you should do it if you can get them. They’re right there for everybody to see if you figure out the sequences. There are a lot of clubs that have people do nothing else but watch the sequences/ So, it’s very easy to camouflage it keep people from getting it. That’s part of the game. It’s all part of it. That falls underneath the Captain Obvious thing.”

Monday’s heated exchange between Showalter and Girardi caused both sides to be issued warnings and the benches to briefly clear. And while Showalter was optimistic there wouldn’t be any carryover, the Orioles skipper didn’t fault Girardi  –who said he was looking out for his guys– for his competitive fire

“I think what we’re both in a position to do, to have an opportunity to do,” Showalter said. “It’s two very competitive groups that are competing for the same thing [in the American League Wild Card]. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right? It matters. You care. If you care, it matters, like a lot of things in life. You’re not very passionate about things you don’t care about. So, I think we all stand accused.”

*Steve Pearce (left wrist) will play in a simulated game this weekend in Sarasota, Fla. and will be joined by designated hitter Henry Urrutia who will not be able to come to Toronto because of visa issues. Showalter said the plan is for both guys to meet the team for the Boston series that starts Tuesday, although the club is considering having Urrutia just stay in Florida and prepare for the upcoming Arizona Fall League. Rookie Jonathan Schoop is also with the Orioles right now and will playing the AFL, but he will remain with the big-league club for now.

 

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Curtis Granderson DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ian Stewart C
Ivan Nova RHP
ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Brian Roberts 2B
Henry Urrutia DH

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

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