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Orioles vs. Rays Game 3

The Orioles continue to manipulate the roster as well as anyone in baseball, recalling infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes to take the spot vacated by Kevin Gausman. Gausman was optioned last night to the Gulf Coast League, joining Wei-Yin Chen in what’s essentially a paper move. They are both still on turn to make their next respective start early next week for the Orioles.

Both Chen and Gausman, who have Minor League options remaining, were sent down after their last start —on Tuesday and Wednesday — to give the O’s another position player. With September call ups starting on Monday, both Chen and Gausman would not have thrown prior to that for the O’s. The loophole allows the Orioles to make some early expansions to the roster and Chen and Gausman will take their work day with the Gulf Coast League before returning to the team.

“Think there’s a chance we won’t be able to do this next year,” manager Buck Showalter said of the Orioles bending of the rules, which gives the team a five-man bench for the next few days. “They had a rule they changed last year on us, because we took advantage of it and I think they will change this one, too.”

Chen will start on Sunday, so the club will have to make at least one more move, which could be briefly sending out another starter who has options. Could the Orioles, who have added Steve Clevenger and Jimmy Paredes make any more early September callups?

“If we have a problem and we need a pitcher we can get a pitcher here overnight,” Showalter said. “That’s the only thing I could see happening between now and then.”

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Chris Davis 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Steve Clevenger DH
Caleb Joseph C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Bud Norris RHP

RAYS LINEUP
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Wil Myers DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Jose Molina C
Kevin Kiermaier RF

Jeremy Hellickson LHP

Orioles vs. Rays Game 2

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will continue their 11-game homestand with Game 2 of four against the Rays. The O’s are fresh off last night’s power surge, which resulted in a 9-1 win.

*Seven Orioles prospects will play in the Arizona Fall League: Mychael Givens, Parker Bridwell, Kyle Davies, Ashur Tolliver, Michael Ohlman, Jason Esposito and Dariel Alvarez. Also, Triple-A pitching coach Mike Griffin and Aberdeen trainer Chris Poole will be part of the staff or the Glendale Desert Dogs.

*Not much in the way of pre game news today, although manager Buck Showalter said Ubaldo Jimenez will continue to be thought of as a starter. Jimenez, who appeared in the bullpen for the first time since ’08 over the weekend, could get a few starts down the stretch if the O’s secure a playoff spot early or want to rest guys. And there’s always the chance of an injury as well.

Right now, there are no starts scheduled for Jimenez.

“We will see what presents itself with work days and physical status,” Showalter said. “Chris [Tillman] pitched the last two outings on extra rest. There’s a reason for that. We will see how he feels in between.”

Several Oriole starters have gotten some extra rest lately, and Showalter said today that he didn’t think the team needs to be overly cautious with 23-year-old Kevin Gausman.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nick Markakis RF

Steve Pearce 1B

Adam Jones CF

Nelson Cruz DH

Delmon Young LF

J.J. Hardy SS

Chris Davis 3B

Caleb Joseph C

Jonathan Schoop 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

RAYS LINEUP
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist LF
Logan Forsythe 2B
Evan Longoria DH
Wil Myers RF
Yunel Escobar SS
James Loney 1B
Ryan Hanigan C
Sean Rodriguez 3B
Alex Cobb RHP

Orioles @ Cubs Game 3

*Manny Machado will undergo season-ending right knee surgery on Wednesday in Los Angeles, the same corrective procedure he had a year ago on his left knee. The surgery will once again be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache who will repair Machado’s partially torn medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL). Machado is expected to stay out there for 2-3 weeks before going to the team’s spring facility in Sarasota, Fla. to continue his rehab.

The team is hopeful that Machado, who missed the first month of the season last year after undergoing surgery in October, will have more of a regular winter and be ready for Spring Training.

*The Orioles officially recalled Miguel Gonzalez from the Minor Leagues prior to today’s start against the Cubs, designating infielder Chord Phelps for assignment to clear a spot on the active roster.

Phelps was hitless in three at-bats for the Orioles this season and the move leaves the O’s with a short bench for the next week until September’s roster expansion.

Gonzalez has pitched to a 3.80 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) for the Orioles and was re-added to the rotation with struggling righty Ubaldo Jimenez moved to the bullpen last week.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis 3B
Caleb Joseph C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

CUBS LINEUP
Chris Coghlan LF
Javier Baez SS
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Luis Valbuena 3B
Welington Castillo C
Arismendy Alcantara CD
Logan Watkins 2B
Matt Szczur RF

Tsuyoshi Wada LHP

Machado, Duquette, Showalter and Bancells on Manny’s surgery

I’ll have a full story up shortly on Orioles.com and you can a quick recap of Machado’s surgery here. Below is a transcript of the interviews I did along with the rest of the O’s beat here at Wrigley.

MANNY MACHADO

[on when he thought this could be a possibility]
“From the get-go, we knew it was partially torn so it was in the back of my mind. Obviously with the position we’re in now, you don’t want to hear about surgery. You want to try to get back out there on the field and be back with the team and help the team get to the playoffs and continue with my season, but it’s been a couple weeks now and the pain hasn’t gotten any better so I think it was just the best decision to get it done now rather than later and wait like we did last year. I think it got to the point where I just had to make a decision.”

[on ensuring he’s ready for next season, knee good for long haul}
“Obviously one of the things, I have abnormal knees. That was one of the reasons this keeps happening. That was one of the reasons, we want to get it fixed now so that it wont bother me for the rest of my career. Obviously, it’s August already and if we keep waiting, its just going to make it worse and we’re not going to be ready for spring training next year. I think that’s a big part. I think we don’t realize how big spring training is. This year, not having spring training kind of pushed me back a little bit and baseball-wise, you need those reps. Spring training is huge. I think with getting it fixed now, it’s going to help me and hopefully I’ll be ready for spring training [and be] a full go and be back out there.”

[on the team's resiliency without him this season]
“It sucks. I definitely want to be there. I definitely want to be in the lineup. I want to be out there. But this team is strong. We have a strong group here. And we all have to deal with adversity. We did that this year, with me being out early and Wheaty going down. We’re going to fight. We have a lot of confidence going in and we have a great team here. We have what we need here to go forward and I think this is a little valley for the team but the best thing to do is to put it behind us and keep playing baseball and I’ve got faith in my teammates. I know they’re going to pick me up and I know they’re going to move forward and hopefully win the division and the World Series.”

[on having two knee surgeries in two seasons]
“It sucks. It’s a bummer, it really is. But it’s a part of life. I’m glad it happened now than a little later in my career when I’m older. I’m young now [so] I’m going to recover faster. I’m glad it happened now. But it sucks having two knee surgeries in two years. But I guess it’s just going to make me stronger as a person and as a man. I’ve just got to stay mentally strong and keep working harder.”

[on being with team in the postseason]
“I definitely want to. I’ll be out there for a couple weeks getting checked up and doing some rehab and hopefully I’ll come back and join the team and hopefully celebrate with the team. I’ve worked as hard as everybody on this ballclub so hopefully we’re together at the end of the year cheering and celebrating.”

[on playing for the playoffs]
“It sucks, it really, really does. I was in the same situation in 2012 when the team made the playoffs. It was one of the best parts of my career, best parts of my entire life, being in the postseason. Being so close this year with it and going down with this injury, it’s really hard. This wasn’t a very easy decision for me. We knew the situation we were in with my knee from the get-go with the MRI. And it was my decision to try to go out there and try to make the best of it and try to get back on the field because this is special. We have something special here and it’s something you want to be a part of. I know me and Wheaty, it sucks watching the team play. It’s just tough. It’s something you have to deal with. It sucks. It’s really hard. It’s just something that’s going to make me stronger.”

[on if he could you have tried to come back]
“We’re doing what we have to do. We were doing everything according to the doctors in order to help it heal. It’s a matter of the scar tissue healing up on its own. Just a way of nature, healing itself. I could have waited. It’s been 11 days, 12 days now and not one little sign of it getting better, so why keep waiting and lose time for next year. Obviously, we’re thinking about this year and not next year, but at the same time, it wasn’t getting any better. There wasn’t anything we could do. The only thing was going in there and fixing it. It’s just something that it wasn’t getting any better at all.”

HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER RICHIE BANCELLS
[on the injury] “The only thing that I’ve ever heard that the doctors mention is a partial tear of the medial patellar femoral ligament, same ligament that he injured last year in his left knee, but obviously this one is in his right knee.”
 
[on the diagnosis]
“Yes, from what I understand before even going in, yes, it will be the same procedure that he’ll have done even though this was only a partial [tear], it will be the same procedure, so you can expect the recovery to be the same.”
 
[on the procedure]
“They’ll harvest the tendon from the patellis, which was the one they harvested in the other leg, but obviously this will be in the right leg. They’ll harvest that tendon to replace the ligament. Same surgery he had last year, just different knee.”

[on if this was inevitable]
“It’s tough. The hope was because it was partial that it wasn’t as severe, the hope was that it would scar down and we’d be able to get him back and see how it we went. That, in combination with Dr. ElAttrache had always mentioned there was a risk, just given the way that Manny is structured physically, predisposes him to that kind of injury. There was always that risk. Dr. ElAttrache told me that we don’t know if that risk is next week, next month, next year, two years, you don’t know. It was inevitable. The combination of the risk factor along with Manny didn’t feel like it was coming along like he hoped right now, and he had a conversation with Dr. ElAttrache that he decided to go ahead and have the surgery.”  

MANAGER BUCK SHOWALTER
[on Machado's injury]
“It is what it is. Probably felt like there was potential for that happening at some point in his career. So it doesn’t surprise you. It’s one of those things, I don’t get into that ‘woe is me’, you cant get into that mentality when we’ve played 40, 50 games without him…We’d like to have him, but life goes on. Baseball goes on. it’s not uncharted territory for this team that’s been playing without people that on paper were going to be with us.”

[when did you think this might be an option?]
“I think he held somethings close to the vest. We felt like he was making some baby steps toward it. And once he kind of weighed in and told us some things that were a little different towards what the perception was. He’s about six weeks ahead of the last one, so my hope is he has a normal Spring Training. As opposed to last year, when he had a couple setbacks, non knee things. So, I’m hoping this will allow him to be ahead of it and be a normal player in Spring Training and get ahead of it. I’m also hoping he can walk down the aisle, instead of limp down it.”

“There’s going to be times that we are going to have some things happen at third or first that may not be, everybody has got strengths and weaknesses. If I know this club, we will pick up slack, just like we did when he wasn’t here.”

[on his spirits]
“Pretty good considering, I think he’s kind of relieved to have the decision behind him. As soon as they can get him in. I’m hoping he has it in the next week.”

[On if losing Matt Wieters helps him feel better about resiliency of his club]
“It’s just reality. I don’t know if it’s confidence. It’s just reality. What are you going to do, say stop? I want to get off? There’s another game today, another game tomorrow. This game has a strange way of finding unexpected heroes so to speak. It’s another opportunity that opens up for somebody, is the way I’d look at it.”

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF BASEBALL OPERATIONS DAN DUQUETTE

“Manny came to us yesterday and said his knee wasn’t responding to the rest and that he had conferred with his doctors and after that conference, he decided that the best course of action would be to take a look at the option of surgery.”

“He has a very similar to his right knee that he had last year to his left knee, so with this original injury, Manny just felt that surgery would be inevitable, and after conferring with his doctor, that’s the route that he’s going to take.”

[on the recovery time]
“We’ll know a little bit more after he has the procedure, and I think that’s more for the doctor to address, but it sounds like a very similar surgery to the one he had last year.”

[on if he was surprised by the news]
“Our original approach was to have him rest and then to try to play and then see if he could play ball. We also knew there was a chance of a reoccurance. Given this injury and the time of the season, we thought that we would rest it and try to recover and come back and play for the rest of the year. But Manny didn’t feel that was the best option.”

“We’ve been talking to Dr. ElAttrache in Los Angeles about it and that’s who Manny’s conferred with.”

[on Manny's timetable]
“I don’t know. You have to talk to the doctor about that, but it sounds very similar in scope to the injury to his left knee a year ago. The thing about the team, on behalf of the Orioles, we’ve been able to field a very competitive team this year in spite of our injuries and our team has been competitive because our players step up. Manny hasn’t been with us for part of our schedule and our team has been competitive, and we aim to keep our team competitive with the players that we have, and if we can address it with some other solutions so that we can continue our goal to make the playoffs.”

[on adding another infielder]
“There’s a very limited pool of players that are available this time of the year because a lot of players’ contracts don’t get through the trade waiver process, so it’s a very limited pool, but I think we have some pretty good depth in-house and we’ve had some players step up like Steve Pearce and do a good job and we’re going to continue to need players to step up in this situation.”

[on if its worrisome for Machado to have two surgeries in two years]
“Ideally, you’d like players to be healthy for the full season and Manny hasn’t been able to get through his first two full campaigns. Hopefully, these surgeries will address the issue so that when he comes back he will be able to see it through a full season.”

More on Machado’s surgery

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will undergo season-ending surgery on his medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) in his right knee sometime in the next week, a procedure that will repair the torn ligament and that is the same surgery that ended his season in his left knee last year.

Machado ruptured his left MPFL in September so the only difference this time around is the condition of the ligament. Still the procedure, again performed out in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache will have a similar recovery timetable. That he’s ahead of last year’s injury by about six weeks has the Orioles hopeful he will return for Opening Day.

Machado said his knee hasn’t responded even slightly in the past 11 days and, after weighing his options, he elected to have surgery and put this behind him. He informed the team yesterday of the decision. The Orioles and Machado knew all along that it was a partially torn ligament and there was a chance that rest and rehab wouldn’t work. Machado, had he come back this season, would have also been at risk of rupturing the ligament completely in his knee.

In Machado’s absence, the Orioles have gone 25-17 this season and used primarily Chris Davis as of late. Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said this time of year it’s a very limited picking pool, but didn’t rule out the possibility of adding help from outside the organization.

I’ll have quotes from Machado and others in the Orioles organization up shortly.

Gonzalez rejoins Os

Miguel Gonzalez was back with the Orioles on Saturday as part of the taxi squat, with the right-hander set to be officially recalled from the Minor Leagues prior to Sunday’s start.

“Everyone’s receiving me like it was my first time being called up,” said Gonzalez, who was optioned to a clear a roster spot for Ubaldo Jimenez earlier this month. “It was fun. They’re all excited to have me back, so I’m excited as well.”

Gonzalez, who has pitched to a 3.80 ERA in 20 Major League games, hasn’t started for the O’s since August 7 and threw a three-inning outing for Triple-A and a sim game on Monday. With the struggling Jimenez moved to the bullpen, the Orioles were able to slot Gonzalez back into the rotation.

“Yeah it was a tough decision for them,” Gonzalez said of the demotion, which wasn’t based on performance. “I’m one of the few guys who have options so it was a decision for them to make. I went down, got my work in and I’m ready to rock and roll.”

Orioles @ Cubs Game 2

Greetings from Wrigley Field where the big news came post-game in that Manny Machado will have season-ending surgery sometime in the next week. Machado and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette will address the media shortly.

Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Chris Davis 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Nick Hundley C

Bud Norris RHP

CUBS LINEUP
Chris Coghlan LF
Javier Baez SS
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Luis Valbuena 3B
Justin Ruggiano RF
Welington Castillo C
Arismendy Alcantara CF
Logan Watkins 2B

Kyle Hendricks RHP

Machado reportedly to have season-ending surgery

CHICAGO— Manny Machado’s season could be over, according to a Yahoo! Sports report on Friday night that said the 22-year-old is expected to undergo right knee surgery by Dr. Neal ElAttrache within the next week.

Machado, diagnosed with a right knee ligament sprain earlier this month, has been traveling with the team but information about his injury has been closely guarded. The team never released the ligament that was injured or what grade the sprain was and manager Buck Showalter said on Friday that he was hoping to be able to give reporters a more definitive answer on Machado’s timetable this weekend.

“That won’t happen,” Showalter said of Machado coming back the first day eligible from the 15-day disabled list. “I’ll probably try to bring some clarity and everything to where we are with that situation, try to gather exactly what he’s being told, as far as when baseball activities would start and all that stuff. I’ll try to clear that up for you probably [Saturday] and get a more definitive idea.”

It will be the second consecutive season-ending knee procedure for the young All-Star, who suffered a season-ending left knee injury in September and missed the first month of the season rehabbing back from that. ElAttrache also performed Machado’s left knee surgery.

Orioles @ Cubs Game 1

Greetings from Wrigley Field, where the Orioles are facing the Cubs here for the first time since 2008. I’ve never been here and have already taken a slew of photos, which you can check out on my Instagram and Facebook pages.

*Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Manny Machado will be not be ready to play when he’s eligible from the disabled list on Wednesday. Machado, who has been traveling with the team, is rehabbing back from a ligament sprain in his right knee and there’s no timetable for him to start baseball activities. The team had originally hoped he would be able to go out on a rehab assignment when they return to Baltimore on Monday, but obviously that’s not happening now. Showalter said he hoped to give reporters more clarity on that situation on Saturday.

*Steve Pearce continues to stay in the lineup with Chris Davis at third. Pearce is a little under the weather and Showalter said he will continue to monitor that.

*The Bowie Baysox announced today that four Baysox players have been named to the 2014 Eastern League Season Ending All-Star Team. Christian Walker was selected at first base, Niuman Romero at third base, Dariel Alvarez in the outfield and Oliver Drake as the relief pitcher.

*The Orioles are facing former teammate Jake Arrieta today and Tsuyoshi Wada on Sunday. Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Chris Davis 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Kevin Gausman RHP

CUBS LINEUP
Arismendy Alcantara CF
Javier Baez SS
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Luis Valbuena 3B
Chris Coghlan LF
Ryan Sweeney RF
Logan Watkins 2B
John Baker C

Jake Arrieta RHP

Jimenez on going to the bullpen

CHICAGO— A day after he received word of his demotion to the bullpen, Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez said he’d try to make the best of the situation.

“They are doing whatever is best for the team,” said Jimenez, who met with manager Buck Showalter, pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti on Tuesday afternoon. “The guys have been pitching really good in the rotation and definitely we all want to do the same thing and that’s making the playoffs and putting the team in the best position.”

Jimenez, who last allowed six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings, hasn’t been able to do that for the Orioles this season. Signed to a four-year, $50-million deal —the largest for a free agent pitcher in franchise history— the righty has struggled with inconsistency. Jimenez leads the American League in walks, despite missing a month with an ankle injury, and is 4-9 with a 4.83 ERA.

“It’s been a tough one,” Jimenez said of his 2014 season. ?But it’s part of baseball. Baseball is hard. There is nothing easy about it. You have to find a way to keep going and be ready for whenever the team needs me.”


When that could be is anyone’s guess. The Orioles, who will have Miguel Gonzalez take Jimenez’s spot in the rotation, have one of the best bullpens in baseball and fitting in the struggling righty—who has made one career relief appearance— won’t be easy.

“It’s my understanding that there probably won’t be a lot of opportunities, so I have to do anything possible to get ready, like probably when I play catch, after the games to throw a little bit to the catchers so I can be ready,” Jimenez said.

“Hopefully whenever there’s a chance I have to try to do my best. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re all here, to help the team make the playoffs.”

The news wasn’t a total shock, with Jimenez fielding questions from the media about it on several occasions. And while the bullpen is relatively foreign to him, Jimenez said he will have to find a way to make it work for the time being

“It’s a little bit disappointing, it’s a little bit hard, but like I say, we’re all here for the same thing and that’s hopefully getting us into the World Series,” Jimenez said. “This is no time to be selfish or to be putting your head down, like this is the end of the world. You have to keep going for the team.”

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