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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.”

Orioles @ White Sox Game 3 lineups

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

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

WHITE SOX LINEUP

Alexei Ramirez SS
Alejandro De Aza CF
Jose Abreu DH
Avisail Garcia RF
Dayan Viciedo LF
Paul Konerko 1B
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Adrian Nieto C
Leury Garcia 2B

Hector Noesi RHP

Jimenez to the bullpen

CHICAGO—The Orioles have moved struggling starter Ubaldo Jimenez to the bullpen, manager Buck Showalter announced on Tuesday.

Signed to a four-year, $50 million deal this winter —the largest contact in club history for a free-agent pitcher— Jimenez has dealt with injury and ineffectiveness and gave up six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings this weekend in Cleveland. After that game, Showalter wouldn’t commit to whether Jimenez —4-9 with a 4.83 ERA— would get a chance to redeem himself, though this move seemed likely.

Particularly with right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who will start Sunday, waiting in the wings.

“You got your reasons, he doesn’t have to agree with them,” Showater said of Jimenez, who he spoke to on Tuesday afternoon along with pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti. “He’s been a great teammate, a professional. Has got a good heart. He wants to do well. It’s not like he’s pitched poorly all year, it’s just with 39 games left, just see how Gonzo does.

Gonzalez, who was optioned to the Minor Leagues to clear a roster spot for Jimenez, has pitched to a 3.80 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) and threw a simulated game Monday to stay on track. The move won’t be immediate with Jimenez taking his work day on Tuesday, but Showalter planned on having the right-hander available after that.

“After today [Jimenez] will probably be available in the bullpen,” Showalter said. “We will see where it takes us moving forward where the need might be. if somebody needs an extra day or something…that target is trying to get though to [roster expansion] September 1. So, we got about less than two weeks.”

How Jimenez is used in the Orioles bullpen depends on how they clear a roster spot for Gonzalez on Sunday. If the team plays with a short bench, it’d be tough to see Jimenez getting a lot of outs, although if the O’s option a pitcher he would presumably take their place.

Jimenez has made just one career relief appearance, going one scoreless inning on September 26, 2006. How will he fare in a relief role?

“I don’t think anybody can sit here and answer that,” Showalter said. “I know he will embrace that as the need of the club it is. A lot of it depends on if we go with 13 pitchers or 12. How that all works out. He’s healthy, feels good, one of the reasons why we looked at he was one of the few guys that health wasn’t going to be -knock on wood- a factor.

“Hopefully we can get him back to where he was last year. It’s going to be tough because he’s not going to sit there and take a lot of work days because it’s a very valuable job he’s going to have to do some now and then.”

Orioles @ White Sox Game 2

Greetings from the Chicago, where the Orioles will go for the series win tonight.

The O’s are fresh off last night’s 8-2 win –which featured a fantastic catch by Nick Markakis– and currently have their best single-season road winning percentage since 1997. They are 37-26 and have a .587 winning percentage.

WHITE SOX LINEUP

Alejandro De Aza LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Bobby Abreu 1B
Adam Dunn DH
Avisail Garcia RF
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Tyler Flowers C
Jordan Danks CF
Gordon Beckham 2B

Jose Quintana LHP

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

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles @ White Sox lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Chicago, where the Orioles will kick off a week-long stay that includes an off day on Thursday and series against the White Sox and Cubs.

The Orioles rotation for this three-game White Sox set is Bud Norris, Chris Tillman and Wei-Yin Chen and Chicago will counter with Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Noesi.

The Orioles have the best record in baseball since June 30 and are 28-13 with a 2.96 ERA over that stretch.

Chicago native T.J. McFarland, who had a small cheering section here last year, said he doesn’t expect as many friends and family this series and estimated he’d have about 10 for tonight’s game.

Here are your lineups, with Chris Davis at third base again and both Steve Pearce and Delmon Young in the lineup…

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

Bud Norris RHP

WHITE SOX LINEUP
Alejandro De Aza LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Jose Abreu 1B
Adam Dunn DH
Avisail Garcia RF
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Tyler Flowers C
Jordan Danks CF
Gordon Beckham 2B

Chris Sale LHP

Fans can guarantee 2014 postseason tickets with a 2015 deposit

Per a club release…

The Orioles today announced that the club is accepting deposits on 2015 season ticket plans, and that fans placing a deposit will receive access to 2014 Postseason tickets. Fans who place a non-refundable $250 (for 13-game plans), $500 (for 29-game plans), or $1,000 (for full season plans) per seat deposit on a 2015 Season Ticket Plan will be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase 2014 Orioles Postseason tickets before the general public. The deposit must be placed by Monday, September 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Fans who place a $500 or $1,000 per seat deposit will be assigned a personal account representative to assist in the 2014 Postseason and 2015 Season Plan purchase process. Fans placing the $1,000 per seat deposit will also receive the largest savings on and priority access to 2014 Postseason tickets, as well as first choice of available 2015 Season Ticket locations.

Fans can place a deposit by visiting http://www.orioles.com/postseason or by calling 1-888-848-BIRD. Plan type and seat location for 2015 season ticket plans will be finalized at a later date.

Access to guaranteed Postseason tickets at significant savings is just one of the benefits allotted to Orioles Season Plan Holders. Additional benefits include access to Opening Day 2015, substantial savings over the cost of single game tickets, discounted on-site parking, early ballpark entry for batting practice, MLB’s most flexible ticket exchange policy, online account management, and many other Orange Carpet Benefits outlined at http://www.orioles.com/postseason.

Current season plan holders do not need to place a deposit, as they will be invoiced for 2014 Postseason tickets and will also receive an offer to purchase additional tickets prior to the general public.

Chen to start Wednesday, Gonzalez expected in Chicago

While the Orioles remain mum on the future of right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation, the club is expected to recall Miguel Gonzalez from the Minor Leagues at some point this weekend in Chicago.

Gonzalez, who was optioned to clear a roster spot for Jimenez to return from the disabled list, will throw a simulated game for Double-A Bowie on Monday that will be around 75 pitches.

[That will] set him up for coming back to us and pitching out of the ‘pen if needed or as a starter if needed,” manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez, who he made a priority to speak to on Sunday morning to discuss the plans for the next week.

“We would like for him to pitch Monday so we have Saturday and Sunday as an option with him…I didn’t want him to sit around that long of a period of time and not have an elongated outing. He’s real good at that, too. some guys aren’t good at sim games. He’s real good at getting something out of it.”

Gonzalez, who could be added as early as Tuesday, was originally thought to be a candidate for Wednesday’s start against the White Sox but Showalter said Wei-Yin Chen will stay on turn to start that game. Kevin Gausman, who is pitching Sunday’s series finale in Cleveland, figures to start one of the games at Wrigley Field later this week with the rest of the rotation still TBD.

Jimenez, who would be in line to start one of those games following Thursday’s off day, could be skipped or moved to the bullpen. Showalter reiterated on Sunday that he did not want to specify the plans for Jimenez –who allowed six runs over 4 1/3 innings in Saturday’s loss– and it’s also possible the right-hander gets another chance.

“I’m kind of decided but I’m not going to [say],” Showalter said of Jimenez’s next step. “We’ll see. we’ll see how the next few days ago.”

“His work day is the day after tomorrow. So, see how he is when we get there.”

The Orioles will have to clear a roster spot to add Gonzalez, with the team playing in a National League Park against the Cubs over the weekend making it easier to play with a shorter bench.

Orioles @ Indians Game 3

Greetings from Progressive Field, where the Orioles will try to avoid being swept for the first time since May 12-14 against the Tigers.

The big news in last night’s 6-0 series loss was the continued struggles of starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who manager Buck Showalter would not commit to giving another start to. You can read more on that here.

The Indians have recalled Danny Salazar for today’s start and optioned outfielder Tyler Holt to Triple-A To clear a roster spot.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nick Markakis RF

Steve Pearce 1B

Adam Jones CF

Nelson Cruz DH

Delmon Young LF

J.J. Hardy SS

Chris Davis 3B

Nick Hundley C

Jonathan Schoop 2B

Kevin Gausman RHP

INDIANS LINEUP
Michael Bourn CF
Jose Ramirez SS
Michael Brantley LF
Carlos Santana 1B
Jason Kipnis 2B
Yan Gomes C
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
Zach Walters DH
Chris Dickerson RF

Danny Salazar RHP

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