Orioles @ Red Sox, Jones sits (updated)

*Jonathan Schoop is starting for the fifth consecutive game in Double-A Bowie as he continues to move toward re-joining the Os. The Orioles have been careful to not place a timetable on Schoop, who hit the disabled list on April 18, though manager Buck Showalter said pregame that if the team had a need (i.e. an injury) he could join them now. Since they don’t, there’s no rush to push him, although given how Schoop has been in the lineup for Bowie daily, he’s clearly feeling good physically.

The Orioles will lean heavily on vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson, who is there with Schoop, and they’ve gotten some good reports on his defense. He’s also heating up at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer and three RBIs in Monday’s game. Another factor with adding Schoop will be the roster crunch it provides, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette is expected to be in Boston over the next day or two to meet with Showalter about some of those decisions.

*Chris Tillman will get an extra day of rest in between starts, which allows him to have an extra work day, and he will start Saturday’s game. Showalter met with Tillman today and he said physically the right-hander insists he is fine.

*Adam Jones remains out of the starting lineup for the fifth time in the past seven games, as he’s dealing with a sore right shoulder. The Orioles have been optimistic that Jones, who has not played the outfield since last Monday, can avoid the disabled list though his availability is becoming more of a concern.

After serving at designated hitter on Friday and Saturday in Toronto, Jones came in on Sunday more sore than manager Buck Showalter had hoped and he sat him with the hopes that the rest –coupled with Monday’s off day– would be enough to get Jones over the hump.

Without the All-Star Jones, the O’s started David Lough in left field, batting ninth.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Chris Parmelee RF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis 1B
Travis Snider LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
David Lough CF

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

More on Gausman

TORONTO— A night removed from his first Major League start this season, Kevin Gausman was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk prior to Sunday’s game so he can stay on a consistent schedule and get his innings up.

“We got good reports on Miguel [Gonzalez] and Wei-Yin [Chen], we don’t want to put Gausman in the bullpen,” manager Buck Showalter said of the reasoning. “We think [Gausman] has a chance to be in our rotation, next year possibly this year, who knows? We don’t want next year to get here and him not have enough innings under his belt to pitch next season…there’s no reason to keep him here when he’s not going to start here and [not] keep another arm that’s fresh in the bullpen.”

The move, which saw Oliver Drake added in Gausman’s place, means that Gonzalez and Chen are in line for Thursday and Friday’s starts. It should also help Gausman, who has pitched in just 12 Major League innings this season, build back up.
“It’s tough, but he gets it,” Showalter said of Gausman’s shuttle back to Norfolk. “He’s very mature, a professional. He’s got a chance to be pretty good because he looks through things with professional big-league eyes. he doesn’t just get down there and throw up stats, he’s trying to do things that will help him at the big league level. No one asks better questions than him.  He’s a watcher of the game, taking things in. I don’t think he’s going to miss an opportunity and it will be there for him shortly.
I don’t want the season over and him to have 80, 90 innings and expect him to throw 180, 200 innings next year. That’s not smart. We got to keep the end game in mind. If we bring him back here it will be as a starter, initially.”
A part of the Opening Day bullpen, Gausman hit the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis and was stretched back out on rehab assignment. He pitched five innings in a no-decision in the O’s win on Saturday.

Orioles @ Blue Jays Game 3

Another day, another roster move for the Os. Kevin Gausman has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk so he can stay on a starting schedule. With the O’s due back a pair of starters –Thursday will be Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen will start on Friday– they wanted to keep Gausman pitching every fifth day. Going to Triple-A will also allow him to build up his innings a little bit.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he had a nice chat with Gausman this morning and he took it the right away. Gausman will also be an option for them if they need another starter up here. Oliver Drake is up in his spot.

Adam Jones is out of the lineup today as he came in a little sore and Showalter said he didn’t like the sound of that. With an off day on Monday, Jones will get two days to rest that shoulder. The team remains optimistic he will avoid the disabled list.

Speaking of DL’ed players, Jonathan Schoop played for a third consecutive game today. He’s wanting to play every day on rehab assignment and has gotten good reports in the field. He’s a little rusty at the plate. The Orioles could have him back before the All-Star Break, and perhaps even at some point before this road trip ends. We will see.

I was asked about Hunter Harvey’s rehab yesterday and Showalter said there’s nothing new on that. There’s also not a whole lot of follow-up to what I reported about Dylan Bundy yesterday. The team hoped more of the inflammation would be out of his shoulder by now, so they are going to see if they can eliminate a few other potential issues. Though he had Tommy John in 2013, the injury is not believed to be related to his elbow.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Chris Parmelee RF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis 1B
Travis Snider LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
David Lough CF

Chris Tillman RHP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP

Jose Reyes SS
Josh Donaldson 3B
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Russell Martin C
Ezequiel Carrera LF
Kevin Pillar CF
Ryan Goins 2B
Scott Copeland RHP

Orioles @ Blue Jays Game 2, Givens added

*The Orioles have purchased the contract of Mychal Givens from Double-A Bowie, adding the right-hander to shore up the bullpen after last night’s loss. Starter Mike Wright, who recorded four outs on Friday, as well as Tyler Wilson were optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Today’s starter Kevin Gausman will occupy the other roster spot. To clear a 40-man spot, the O’s transferred RHP Jason Garcia to the 60-day disabled list.

Givens is a former second round pick of the O’s who was converted from shortstop to a pitcher. He has a low arm slot and a mid-90s fastball and the organization was impressed with what they saw of him in big league camp this spring.

*Nolan Reimold will make his Major League debut in centerfield today, playing that position for the first time since he was in High A. Manager Buck Showalter said Reimold is very equipped to play center and the O’s want to get his bat in the lineup given that the Blue Jays are starting the lefty Mark Buehrle.

*Dylan Bundy, who had a second MRI on his right shoulder, continues to be sidelined as the test showed more inflammation than the team was hoping. The Orioles were optimistic the MRI would show more improvement, but it hasn’t. For now, there are no plans for any shots and he will remain inactive.

Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Travis Snider LF
Adam Jones DH
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Nolan Reimold CF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Kevin Gausman RHP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP

Jose Reyes SS
Josh Donaldson 3B
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Chris Colabello LF
Russell Martin C
Dioner Navarro DH
Kevin Pillar CF
Ryan Goins 2B

Mark Buehrle LHP

Jones moved to DH

Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones passed all of his early tests in Toronto, playing catch and taking some early batting practice, but manager Buck Showalter made a late lineup change prior to Friday’s game and cautiously moved Jones to designated hitter instead.

Showalter said he knew Jones, who hasn’t started since Monday, was close but decided after the first round of the team’s official batting practice that DH’ing was the safest move. The O’s have been extra cautious with Jones, who is dealing with a sore right shoulder, as they are hoping to avoid a lengthy absence or trip to the disabled list. Jones’ shoulder checked out structurally OK earlier in the week, but by putting David Lough in centerfield, Jones will get another chance to rest his throwing arm.

The late move put Steve Pearce in left field, where Lough was originally starting, and moved both J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty up one slot in the batting order. Jones remained in his typical third spot.

Orioles @ Blue Jays Game 1

Greetings from Canada where the Orioles, winners in 11 of their last 14, will play three games against the Blue Jays.

Adam Jones returns to the lineup for the first time since Monday, after testing his right shoulder pregame with some early batting practice and throwing.

The Orioles announced that they’ve signed two more picks from this year’s First-Year Player Draft: center fielder Cedric Mullins (13th round) and catcher Jerry McClanahan (19th round).

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Chris Parmelee RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
Jimmy Paredes DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
David Lough LF

Mike Wright RHP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP

Jose Reyes SS
Josh Donaldson 3B
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Chris Colabello LF
Dioner Navarro C
Kevin Pillar CF
Ryan Goins 2B

Marco Estrada RHP

Os select Stewart

BALTIMORE — The Orioles selected Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart with their first-round pick (25th overall) in the 2015 Draft on Monday.

Stewart is listed at 6-foot, 230 pounds, and he was named the ACC Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2014. Known for an unusual low crouch at the plate, he has excellent bat speed and pitch recognition as a left-handed power hitter. Projected to be a left fielder, Stewart’s selection helps fill the void for an Orioles farm system short on top positional players.

“Stewart is an accomplished college hitter whose power should play well in our park at Camden Yards,” scouting director Gary Rajsich said. “We are excited to have him.”

“There have been a number of outstanding young men to come through our program, but none better than DJ Stewart in the way that he displayed leadership both on and off the field,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “A two-time Academic All-American with a 3.35 GPA in his last semester at Florida State, knowing that he had a good chance to be a first round pick is a clear indication of his leadership and commitment to Florida State baseball.”

Stewart batted .318 with 15 home runs, 59 RBIs, a .500 on-base percentage and 69 walks — which led the nation — as a junior this past season.

There are those who believe Stewart has one of the best bats in the 2015 college class though there is concern over his unorthodox stance. He has plus raw power but struggle to realize his potential because he bats from an extreme crouch and has a flat swing.

“Stewart is one of the best hitters in college baseball, but there are questions regarding how much power is he going to unlock as a big leaguer,” MLB.com’s Jim Callis said. “He hits from a deep crouch, which compromises his pop.”

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

Stewart’s selection is one of three for the Orioles on Monday, as Baltimore also has picks 36, high school shortstop Ryan Mountcastle and 68.

Os Showalter tossed

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was ejected from Thursday’s series finale in Houston in the bottom of the second inning.

With his team up 1-0 on two-time American League Pitcher of the Month Dallas Keuchel, Showalter was jawing with home plate umpire Brian Gorman regarding the early strike zone. Television cameras showed the O’s skipper screaming from the visiting dugout and he was tossed shortly thereafter.

It is Showalter’s first ejection of the season.

Orioles @ Astros Game 4

J.J. Hardy said he could have played today and is hoping to play on Friday. Nothing is definite of course, but Hardy is encouraged with how he’s felt lately.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Delmon Young RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis DH
Steve Pearce 1B
Travis Snider LF
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Everth Cabrera SS

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

ASTROS LINEUP
George Springer RF
Jose Altuve 2B
Evan Gattis DH
Chris Carter 1B
Luis Valbuena 3B
Jonathan Villar LF
Hank Conger C
Marwin Gonzalez SS
Jake Marisnick CF

Orioles @ Astros Game 3

Lots of pregame news from Buck today…

Matt Wieters will make his Major League debut on Friday in Cleveland, with the plan for the All-Star to get the start behind the plate. There was some thought to letting Wieters join the Orioles in Houston and play at designated hitter on Thursday afternoon but with Triple-A Norfolk being rained out —and pushed back a day— manager Buck Showalter reverted back to the original plan.

“All things considered, if things go well today, he will meet us in Cleveland,” Showalter said of Wieters who is rehabbing with Triple-A Norfolk. “He wants to  [potentially] DH the second game [for Norfolk] and he would have to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and would not be a good option. He needs to go back to Baltimore and get his family, go to Cleveland. With all things considered, I want him to start fresh, with fresh legs.”

Showalter reiterated that starter Bud Norris who pitched Game 1 of Norfolk’s doubleheader, could be shortened up so that he remains an option to pitch Sunday’s game in Cleveland.

*The Orioles have acquired minor league RHP Joe Gunkel from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for OF Alejandro De Aza and cash considerations. De Aza was designated for assignment last week and the O’s had been trying to trade him.

*Jonathan Schoop has started playing games in extended spring and went 4-for-10 today. Showalter said there’s a possibility he is back before the All-Star Break though the Orioles won’t rush him. Brady Anderson is done in Sarasota, Fla. watching Schoop and some of the other rehabbers.

*Brian Matusz had his hearing this afternoon at Minute Maid Park for the eight-game suspension that the lefty received –and appealed– from Major League Baseball on May 28.

Matusz said the whole thing took about an hour and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette spoke on his behalf. Manager Buck Showalter was also there for morale support.  They weren’t given any timetable of when they would get news.

“I’m really not sure at all,” Matusz said. “Not sure if Will Smith’s case [of an eight-game suspension on May 22] factors into the decision at all. Could be up to a couple days from now.”

Both Matusz and Smith were ejected for having a foreign substance on them while pitching. It was reported earlier this week that Smith would know his results before Sunday.

“This is the first time going through anything like this, not really sure [if the suspension will be reduced],” Matusz said. “We presented our case, said everything we needed to. It’s really out of our hands right now. Just waiting to hear that final decision.”

Should Matusz’s suspension hold up, even as a lesser sentence, the Orioles will have to play down a player for that duration.

*J.J. Hardy is out of the lineup for a third consecutive game, though the shortstop did test his left oblique prior to Wednesday’s game with some dry swings and 30 swings off a tee.

“It feels so much better than it did two days ago,” Hardy said. “There’s still some discomfort but not nearly what it was two days ago.”

Hardy –who had Tuesday’s MRI come back normal — hopes to be playing at some point this weekend and is aiming to take batting practice on Thursday.

“I’m hoping tomorrow [he plays], but it’s probably not realistic,” Showalter said of Hardy. “I just want him to be able to play without any mental restrictions or physical restrictions.”

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
David Lough LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Delmon Young RF
Steve Clevenger C
Steve Pearce 2B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Ryan Flaherty SS

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

ASTROS LINEUP
George Springer RF
Jose Altuve 2B
Preston Tucker LF
Evan Gattis DH
Luis Valbuena 3B
Chris Carter 1B
Jason Castro C
Jonathan Villar SS
Jake Marisnick CF

Lance McCullers RHP

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