Os announce Minor League awards

BALTIMORE— Orioles infielder Christian Walker and right-handed pitch Tyler Wilson have been named the organization’s Minor League Players of the Year, the club announced on Thursday.

Walker, the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year, hit a combined .288/.357/.489 with 53 extra-base hits, 96 RBI and 73 runs scored in 139 total games with Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk leading all Orioles minor leaguers in home runs (26) and RBIs this season.

The 23-year-old, selected by the Orioles in the fourth round of the 2012 First Year Player Draft, was named the first baseman for this year’s Eastern League Season-ending All-Star team, finishing the season among the League leaders despite being promoted in July.

Wilson, the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year, went a combined 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 166 2/3 innings pitched for Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk this season.  He led all Orioles Minor Leaguers in wins (14) and strikeouts (157) and ranked seventh in ERA (3.67). 

The 24-year-old Wilson was a 10th round selection in the ’11 Draft out of the University of Virginia. He was named was named the Organizational Pitcher of the Month for April, when he went 4-0 with a 2.76 ERA in five starts for the Baysox.  He also received EL Pitcher of the Week honors for the week ending April 27. 

Other awards include right-handed pitcher Mark Blackmar named this year’s recipient of the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award. Blackmar was traded to the White Sox for Alejandro De Aza last week.

The Delmarva Shorebirds coaching staff of Ryan Minor (manager), Alan Mills (pitching coach), Paco Figueroa (hitting coach), and Shawn McGill (coach) has been named the winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award, presented to a minor league staff member(s) who exemplifies the qualities of the late Oriole who is regarded as the architect of “The Oriole Way.”

The winners will be honored in an on-field ceremony before Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, with awards presented by Director of Player Development Brian Graham and Director of Minor League Operations Kent Qualls.

The Orioles will also recognize Chance Sisco for winning the 2014 South Atlantic League batting crown.  Sisco, 19, batted .340 (145-426) and also led the SAL in on-base percentage (.406).

Orioles vs. Reds series finale

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Reds in the series finale with hopes of a sweep. The O’s are fresh off last night’s win, which was highlighted by Miguel Gonzalez’s first career shutout.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy 6
Kelly Johnson 3B
Nick Hundley C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

REDS LINEUP
Jason Bourgeois CF
Ramon Santiago 2B
Todd Frazier 3B
Devin Mesoraco DH
Donald Lutz LF
Yorman Rodriguez RF
Jack Hannahan 1B
Jake Elmore SS
Tucker Barnhart C

Mike Leake RHP

Orioles vs. Reds series finale

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Reds in the series finale with hopes of a sweep. The O’s are fresh off last night’s win, which was highlighted by Miguel Gonzalez’s first career shutout.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy 6
Kelly Johnson 3B
Nick Hundley C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

REDS LINEUP
Jason Bourgeois CF
Ramon Santiago 2B
Todd Frazier 3B
Devin Mesoraco DH
Donald Lutz LF
Yorman Rodriguez RF
Jack Hannahan 1B
Jake Elmore SS
Tucker Barnhart C

Mike Leake RHP

Orioles vs. Reds Game 1

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will host the Reds for a three-game set.

*Shortstop J.J. Hardy is not in the lineup after exiting yesterday’s contest with low back spasms. Hardy said he feels pretty normal today, but agreed it was probably a good move to give him another day.

“Obviously I want to play, but I think it’s probably the smart thing to do,” said Hardy, who missed five games in April with low back spasms. “I felt pretty good the day that I hurt myself in April in Detroit, so just to be safe take one more day and go from there.”

Hardy is expected to start on Wednesday, according to manager Buck Showalter.

*As expected, the Orioles added Ryan Webb, Steve Clevenger, T.J. McFarland and Quintin Berry to the expanded rosters today, with Berry also added to the 40-man roster. To make room, Manny Machado –who will come be with the team starting Sept. 17– was moved to the 60-day disabled list.

That should do it for call ups this year, barring injury.

*Andrew Miller, who came off the mound awkwardly after yesterday afternoon’s appearance, is day-to-day right now. Miller appeared to have a left leg issue and Showalter said they are hoping it’s more of a cramp than a hamstring injury.

*Steve Pearce (ab strain) has not swung a bat just yet, although he did play some catch yesterday. The O’s are being pretty cautious with Pearce and it’s more likely he’s ready for the Rays series this weekend than anytime during the next three games.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis DH
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz RF
Chris Davis 1B
Jimmy Paredes 3B
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Bud Norris RHP

REDS LINEUP
Billy Hamilton CF
Todd Frazier 1B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Devin Mesoraco C
Jay Bruce RF
Chris Heisey LF
Brayan Pena DH
Kristopher Negron 3B
Ramon Santiago SS

Mat Latos RHP

Orioles winning without key pieces

BALTIMORE — The Orioles have been here before.

No, not 8 1/2 games up in the American League East — which is where they stand entering Tuesday — the club’s biggest lead since September 1997. Here, as in missing key members in a magnificent season with Baltimore (79-57) posting numbers that look, on paper at least, as if this is the year where everything went right.

Except it’s not. All-Star catcher and Gold Glove Award winner Matt Wieters was done after 26 games, undergoing Tommy John surgery in June, and the just-as-decorated Manny Machado — who missed the first month of the season — watched a freak injury last month result in his second season-ending knee surgery.

The Orioles, who played 2012 largely without Brian Roberts, are no stranger to absorbing devastating late-season injuries in the middle of a pennant push. Think anyone in the home dugout of Camden Yards forgot watching Nick Markakis take Yankees ace CC Sabathia’s fastball off his left thumb on Sept. 8, 2012?

“Still bothers me,” manager Buck Showalter said before Monday’s game of the season-ending broken finger Markakis suffered. “You don’t ever say, but that was as big of a kick in the you-know-what as anything in that situation. But it also kind of reminded us how fleeting it all can be in a day’s time. Whether its Wieters or [Steve] Pearce or it’s Manny. Game doesn’t stop. It goes right on.”

So how have the Orioles — who are 63-47 without Wieters and 32-22 without Machado — been able to move on? For starters, there’s the incredible season of Nelson Cruz, who has 36 homers and 90 RBIs. But there’s a lot more to the first-place club than that.

You can read the rest of the article on Orioles.com here: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/bal/orioles-piecing-together-stellar-season-after-key-injuries?ymd=20140901&content_id=92596258&vkey=news_bal

Orioles vs. Twins series finale

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will try to go for the four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins. The O’s are up nine games in the American League East heading into Labor Day and we’re officially in the final month of the regular season.

The O’s have added left-hander Joe Saunders and righty Evan Meek to the expanded rosters along with Kelly Johnson, who reported to the club today after Saturday’s trade. The expectation is Ryan Webb will be added on Tuesday, along with pitcher T.J. McFarland, catcher Steve Clevenger and one more position players, potentially Quintin Berry or Steve Lombardozzi. Webb could have came up today but he’s been dealing with a shoulder issue and the team wants to make sure that check out OK first.

As for Saunders, who has been pitching in relief for Norfolk, his role will be similar to McFarland’s as a lefty long man. He is also a candidate should the O’s need a spot start.

Here are your lineups….

TWINS LINEUP
Danny Santana CF
Brian Dozier 2B
Joe Mauer DH
Kennys Vargas 1B
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Oswaldo Arcia RF
Kurt Suzuki C
Eduardo Escobar SS
Jordan Schafer LF

Phil Hughes RHP

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

Kevin Gausman RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

Orioles vs. Twins Game 3 (updated De Aza added)

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles are fresh off another win and a pair of trades yesterday. The O’s acquired outfielder Alejando De Aza from the White Sox and infielder Kelly Johnson from the Red Sox last night.

De Aza was supposed to be here before the game but missed his flight, so manager Buck Showalter had to go with his second lineup today. The team did decide to add him to the roster anyways, and optioned lefty T.J. McFarland until expanded rosters start.

Wei-Yin Chen has been officially added from the Gulf Coast League to start today, with the Orioles optioning Steve Clevenger to short-season Aberdeen. The O’s hope Clevenger can stay active and start one of Aberdeen’s remaining games and they will add him on Tuesday.

The O’s are also expected to add a pair of pitchers on Monday –the first day of expanded rosters– with Joe Saunders and Ryan Webb the likely choices. Saunders is a non-roster guy but they have an opening on the 40-man roster.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
David Lough LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Jimmy Paredes 3B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

TWINS LINEUP
Danny Sananta CF
Brian Dozier 2B
Joe Mauer DH
Kennys Vargas 1B
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Chris Parmelee RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Eric Fryer C
Jordan Schafer LF

Ricky Nolasco RHP

Orioles vs. Twins Game 1

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will play their second connective four-game series, this time against the Twins.

*The big news earlier today was the that Orioles and Nelson Cruz are mutually interested in retaining the slugger beyond this season. Cruz said that the two sides have had talks, although not particularly serious in nature, since after the All-Star Break. While Cruz would obviously rather have his situation settled, given how last winter went down for him, he acknowledged that may not happen. He did reiterate that he wanted to stay in Baltimore, however.

The Orioles have an interesting offseason up ahead and, given Cruz’s age and potential risk, I’d put retaining him as less of a fit than shortstop J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis (also both set to hit free agency). That’s not to say it won’t happen, but it sounds as if for now the talks are really preliminary. Cruz’s health and age was a factor this winter in signing him and part of the reason the Orioles ended up agreeing to terms was that Cruz dropped his multi-year requests and signed a one-year pact.

*Manny Machado texted manager Buck Showalter today and said he was feeling good and hoping to return to the team on September 17. Machado, who had season-ending knee surgery, would join catcher Matt Wieters in injured Orioles to stay with the team. Speaking of Wieters, he returned to the clubhouse today after undergoing LASIK on Thursday.

Here are your lineups…

TWINS LINEUP
Danny Santana CF
Brian Dozier 2B
Joe Mauer DH
Kennys Vargas 1B
Oswaldo Arcia RF
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Eduardo Escobar SS
Eric Fryer C
Jordan Schafer LF

Trevor May RHP

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

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

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

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