Orioles @ Yankees Game 1

Greetings from Yankee Stadium, where the Orioles will open a three-game set against the Yankees. The pitching match ups for the two games after tonight are Bud Norris vs. Vidal Nuno and Chris Tillman vs. Mashahiro Tanaka.

Steve Pearce is back in the lineup, coming off a fantastic series against Tampa Bay earlier this week. Nick Hundley is getting the start in place of Caleb Joseph, who started behind the plate for all three games behind the Rays.

Not much in the way of pre game news today, although catcher Matt Wieters is back in Atlanta and has begun his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Manager Buck Showalter said Wieters plans on joining the team in Baltimore, potentially within the next month.

The O’s will go with a six-man rotation as long as they can keep the bullpen healthy, with Showalter ideally liking for them to stay with six starters through next Friday’s doubleheader.

Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Nelson Cruz LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Manny Machado 3B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Nick Hundley C

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixiera 1B
Brian McCann 2
Carlos Beltran DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Brian Roberts 2B
Yangervis Solarte SS

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

Wieters talks about his surgery

ST. PETERSBURG— Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, a day removed from season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, said in a telephone interview Wednesday he plans on being with the team for the final two months and is optimistic about being ready for 2015’s Opening Day.

“I feel good, everything they got, surgery went well,” said Wieters, who had the procedure performed by Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. “And hopefully we will get all the soreness out of here in a couple days and get going on the rehab.”

In the immediate future, Wieters will head to his offseason home in Atlanta, Ga. and start on some very minimal early rehab. The All-Star -who traveled with the team even when he was on the disabled list— said he expected to be with Baltimore for August and September.

“It’s going to be real hard [to be away] and that’s why the plan all along was to be around the team as much as possible and for me it will help be give peace of mind in keeping in touch with the guys every day and being able to help out when I can,” Wieters said. “It’s something that’s a new experience for me and it’s something I’m going to have to go through every step by step and make decisions on what’s best for the arm and what’s best for the team the whole way around.”

Wieters, who was on track for a career year offensively, last played for the Orioles on May 10. He lost caught on May 4 and the team initially tried to use him just as designated hitter before he was placed on the DL. From there, he saw Andrews and was optimistic he could avoid surgery by going the rest-and-rehab route.

“Once we started a couple throwing sessions in and it was still feeling like it was before, it was a sign that we weren’t quite happy with where it was,” said Wieters, who saw Andrews for a follow-up again Monday, which is when he decided to go ahead with surgery.

“We were hoping it was going to be almost completely gone when we started throwing again.  But it’s something to where we always knew it was a possibility and we just didn’t want to go through piecing it together for a month or so when it was inevitable and then we cost ourselves some time the following year.”

Wieters, who has been helping the team’s catchers —Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley— was given a nine-month timetable which should have him back for the start of next season.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “Its something where they cant give you any guarantees. It’s still Tommy John and it’s going to be nine to 12 months before you’re going to be back but the plan is to hopefully if all the rehab goes well, we’ll be ready to go right around Opening Day.”

Orioles @ Rays Game 3

Greetings from the season finale at Tropicana Field, where the O’s will play the Rays in a rubber match.

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

Kevin Gausman RHP

RAYS LINEUP
Matt Joyce RF
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Ben Zobrist 2B
David DeJesus LF
Jerry Sands DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Ryan Hanigan C

Alex Cobb RHP

Yankees vs. Orioles Cake Competition

Charm City Cakes is hosting a Yankees vs. Orioles cake competition in Baltimore on July 13.

Join decorator Mary Smith as she hosts a cake class and competition in honor of the baseball rivalry. Mary will give a short demonstration at the begining of the class of how to fondant a cake, and different decorating methods. Students will then use those tips to design and create their very own masterpiece. At the end of the class participants will be able to submit their cake for a competition.

The Orioles have generously donated 2 pairs of tickets, and field passes for the batting practice to the 8:05 matchup that night to the first and second place winner.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Young Adult Institute: National Institute for People with Disabilities.

The cost is $150 per participant, ages 14 and up, and you can register here.

Wieters surgery a success

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters had successful Tommy John surgery on his right elbow today, performed by Dr. James Andrews.

Wieters had the palmaris longus tendon replace his ligament, had a nerve transposed and a bone spur shaved down in the quick procedure, which manager Buck Showalter said didn’t last longer than a half hour. The plan is for Wieters to stay overnight in Gulf Breeze, Fla. before heading back to Atlanta. He will begin some form of rehab right away.

Also, Dylan Bundy will get two more starts for short-season Aberdeen and be re-evaluated after that.

Orioles @ Rays Game 2

RAYS LINEUP
Desmond Jennings CF
Matt Joyce RF
Evan Longoria DH
James Loney 1B
Ben Zobrist 2B
David DeJesus
Yunel Escobar SS
Jose Molina C
Sean Rodriguez 3B

Erik Bedard LHP

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

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

Wieters to have Tommy John on Tuesday

The Orioles officially lost All-Star catcher Matt Wieters for the season on Monday, with the news that the switch-hitter Wieters will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Tuesday at noon.

The procedure, performed by Dr. James Andrews in his Gulf Breeze, Fla. office, has a nine-month recovery timetable.

“His facial, body language and talking to him, we were hoping to get real lucky today,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Wieters, who had been trying to go the rest-and-rehab route. “But I think we all knew where it was headed. As much work as he and the trainers and everybody had put in, really wasn’t making a lot of progress. He had one good day throwing, it was kind of encouraging and you could see it in his face. Next day, he was sore and the soreness was pretty indicative of the UCL.”

Wieters –who was on the disabled list for just the second time in his career– last played in an Orioles game on May 10 and last caught on May 4. After five weeks of trying a throwing progression, Wieters was still experience discomfort and requested a follow-up with Andrews last week. An MRI done on Monday morning showed that Wieters’ elbow was actually a little worse than his initial visit, prompting the decision to go ahead with surgery.

Showalter said he texted with Wieters on Monday and that was the best form of communication given how emotional a phone conversation may have been.

“Matty, the night before last, he kept walking around by my office, he was one of the last guys to leave the locker room,” Showalter said. “And I knew he and I were going to have a little trouble with it, so I walked out there I said listen, ‘Neither one of us are very good at this. So I got it. Good luck. Stay in touch. Hope everything goes well.’”

The silver lining on shortening a season in which Wieters was on track to have career offensive numbers is that the Orioles are head of their July 1 deadline. That was the date the club had to make a decision on if Wieters would undergo surgery in order for him to be ready to start 2015. Having the surgery Tuesday gives them a two-week head start.

“You always try to go down the other avenue as much as you can, but we reached a point where..we felt like with this he was going to have to eventually go ahead and have it,” Showalter said of Wieters, who will have the palmaris longus tendon near the forearm replace the elbow ligament. “And when it didn’t get much better we’d like to go ahead and take care of the problem. We are fortunate in today’s sports medical world that there’s a pretty good, the risk factor is strong on his side and our side.”

Catchers recoveries are quicker than pitchers –who take about a year– but still can be longer than other position players given the repetitive nature of the job. Wieters’ current timetable would have him ready to play in games by mid-March. He will start his rehab in Atlanta, where he lives in the offseason, but Showalter said Wieters will visit Baltimore several times. The Gold Glove catcher had been traveling with the team even while on the DL.

“His presence is always here,” said Showalter, who will continue to use Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley behind the plate. “I feel real confident in the two guys we have here and the depth we had down below.”

How the injury occurred isn’t really known, but Wieters first felt some forearm discomfort on a throw down to second base during a cold April night game at Fenway Park. He missed a couple days after that, but was back in the lineup before the issue persisted and moved to his elbow. The original thought was that he could just hit, but that would have sidelined Wieters as a catching option for all of next season. Wieters hit .308 with five homers and 18 RBIs in 26 games this season and was a quiet leader in the Orioles clubhouse.

“I think his presence is still here,” Showalter said. “I don’t think that’s ever going to go away. I think the example he sets, he showed and the impact he’s had on pitchers, our guys [behind the plate] are very confident.”

Orioles @ Rays Game 1

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where the Orioles will take on the Rays for the first of a three-game series.

*The big news today is catcher Matt Wieters, who visited Dr. James Andrews this morning for a follow-up visit on his right elbow. Wieters is still experiencing some discomfort and the Orioles aren’t very optimistic he will avoid season-ending Tommy John surgery. Wieters, who last played May 10, hasn’t caught a game for the Orioles since May 4.

*It’s a really sad day all across baseball with the passing of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn at 54. You can read more on that here.

*The Orioles will start Wei-Yin Chen tonight and then Miguel Gonzalez and Kevin Gausman, meaning they have six starters right now. Manager Buck Showalter said yesterday it wouldn’t be a six-man rotation per say, but that things would shake out on their own in the next few days before Thursday’s off day.

Gonzalez, who threw two bullpens in between his rehab start and Tuesday, said he’s got not physical issues and is good to go. He was out pre game watching some bullpens, which is a tradition the Orioles starters have been doing during their recent hot stretch.

*Manny Machado, who is still waiting to have his appeal heard, is expected to see his five-game sentence dropped at least one game. Machado, who could have his appeal this week, was suspended four games for his role in Sunday’s ejection against the A’s and one for his skirmish on Friday. Since he was not ejected on Friday, the O’s are confident they can get his sentence reduced, possibly by multiple games if you look at how the appeal procedure normally works.

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

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

RAYS LINEUP
Desmond Jennings CF
Yunel Escobar SS
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist LF
James Loney DH
Sean Rodriguez 1B
Logan Forsythe 2B
Ryan Hanigan C
Kevin Kiermaier RF
Jake Odorizzi RHP

Bundy’s first start a success

In his first professional outing since 2012, Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy fared well on Sunday evening, allowing one run over five innings.

Pitching for short-season Aberdeen, Bundy —who is rehabbing back from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow—took to his Twitter account on Sunday night to tweet out, “First outing in the books! Felt great!”

Bundy had a 1-2-3 first inning in Hudson Valley and pitched around a two-out single in the second, before a single and ground-rule double gave way to a third-inning RBI groundout.

A former first round pick, Bundy ascended to the Majors in his first full season with the Orioles, going 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 Minor League starts. He appeared in two games that September for Baltimore, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays lineups & pregame notes

Greetings and Happy Fathers Day from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will wrap up their homestand with the series finale against the Blue Jays.

*Miguel Gonzalez is slated to be activated from the disabled list and start Tuesday’s game against the Rays, with Kevin Gausman going on Wednesday. The Orioles aren’t going to call this a six-man rotation however, with manager Buck Showalter saying that will be resolved in the next few days. The O’s have an off day on Thursday so it looks like Ubaldo Jimenez will get at least one extra work day. The Orioles will have to make a roster move to add Gonzalez.

Of Orioles starting six, Gausman, Gonzalez, Bud Norris and Wei-Yin Chen each have at least one Minor League option remaining.

*Chris Davis is getting a day off, which was preplanned and wasn’t up to Davis. He said he’s fine physically and called it more of a “mental day” than anything else. He is available off the bench.

*Dylan Bundy will make his season debut for the Aberdeen IronBirds later today, going on the road to play at Hudson Valley.

*Jerry Layne will serve as the home plate umpire today with Hunter Wendelstedt scratched after Adam Jones collided with him during Saturday’s game.

Here are your lineups….

BLUE JAYS LINEUP
Jose Reyes SS
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Dioner Navarro DH
Erik Kratz C
Steve Tolleson 2B
Anthony Gose CF

J.A. Happ

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

Chris Tillman RHP

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