Results tagged ‘ Cesar Izturis ’

Talking some 40-man

The Orioles are expected to make a few personnel moves prior to Friday’s midnight deadline for setting rosters in advance of next month’s Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.

The O’s current 40-man roster is at 32, after a pair cleared waivers yesterday, leaving them with room right now to protect an additional eight, although I don’t think they will use all those spots. Keep in mind that clubs can add players through trades or free-agent signings. They can also continue to remove players, but the rules prevent clubs from adding players to their 40-man roster from within their organization after the deadline until the Rule 5 Draft concludes. That Draft is after the Winter Meetings, so it’s conceivable that the Orioles could leave a few spots open, particularly given that there aren’t a wealth of top prospects that need to be protected.

Players are generally eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if left unprotected after four or five pro seasons – four years for players who were 19 or older when they signed their first pro contract; five years for players who were younger than 19.

Adding top prospect Zach Britton is a near-certainty and fellow pitcher Wynn Pelzer -who the Os got in the deadline trade of Miguel Tejada – is a pretty safe bet as well. You don’t trade for a guy and a few months later leave him exposed, especially since Pelzer -who was listed quite high by Baseball America’s recent ranking of the O’s system – has an arm that projects to be suited to the bullpen, i.e., a quicker route to the Majors.

Others who would need to protected or risk being exposed are: Matt Angle, Ryan Adams, Tyler Henson, Joe Mahoney, Pedro Beato, Billy Rowell, Tim Bascom, Steve Johnson, Pat Egan, Brandon Cooney, Chad Thall, Brandon Waring and Robbie Widlansky.

For more info on the Rule 5 Draft and its potential impact (who could forget the Rays losing Josh Hamilton?) MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has a good story up here.

*I’ve gotten a few questions so here’s my completed unsolicited opinion on the Baltimore Sun’s report that the Orioles asking about the Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett. Tampa Bay reportedly countered by asking about David Hernandez. I don’t like the idea at all, and fortunately, it’s highly unlikely at this point. If you are going to trade a young, cheap arm that hits the upper-90s my thought is you better be getting back a bat. It’s all preliminary talks at this point –the Os also reportedly asked about the Twins SS, J.J. Hardy — but in my opinion, Hernandez is too good of a trade chip to waste on a slight upgrade of Cesar Izturis. Get the power bat first. Package Hernandez, or another young arm with a guy like Felix Pie for a middle-of-the-order bat or a true impact shortstop or starter. Not a potential rental. 

Agree? Disagree? Got a better idea? Let’s hear it. Email me or join the fun on Twitter

O's/Tribe finale and pregame tidbits galore

Lots of notes today in the Orioles series finale, starting with David Hernandez, who was scratched with a right shoulder injury and is being replaced with Mark Hendrickson.
*Hernandez said there are no plans for an MRI and classified himself as “day to day”. Manager Dave Trembley said the team is confident he will make his next scheduled turn on Friday, but acknowledged that how Hernandez comes out of his next side session will be a big factor in that decision.
*Brian Roberts took ground balls and hit off a tee prior to Sunday’s game and if all goes as expected, he will head to extended Spring Training on Tuesday.
*Mike Gonzalez came out of yesterday’s side session on the mound with no reported problems and is scheduled to throw one inning of live batting practice at the team’s facility in Sarasota, Fla. He will also throw an inning on Thursday with no scheduled plans beyond that.
*With last night’s decision to option Rhyne Hughes back to Triple-A Norfolk, Garrett Atkins will be the team’s everyday first baseman for the forseeable future.
*The move to recall Alberto Castillo in Hughes’ spot is one that replaces a lefty with a lefty. Given that Hendrickson is starting the O’s pen would be shorthanded, so Castillo gives the club some depth.
*Following his first blown save of the season in Saturday’s loss, Alfredo Simon will remain the team’s closer. But you would think his leash is far shorter now. “I can’t say I’m going to use him the next 10 times out [in a closing situation],” Trembley said.
*Finally, I asked Cesar Izturis if he ran on his own in the fifth inning of last night. He said he always has a green light but didn’t get a sign to steal. He was gunned out by Lou Marson in a play that later cost the O’s a run.
 
ORIOLES LINEUP:

Corey Patterson LF
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Ty Wigginton 2B
Luke Scott DH
Garrett Atkins 1B
Craig Tatum C
Julio Lugo SS
Mark Hendrickson LHP

INDIANS LINEUP
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Grady Sizemore CF
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Austin Kearns LF
Russell Branyan 1B
Jhonny Peralta 3B
Mark Grudzielanek 2B
 Matt LaPorta DH
Marson C
Jake Westbrook RHP 

Lost in the shuffle…

“The game is ruined,” manager Dave Trembley said, “Because we
don’t close it out.”

Erased was the performance of Miguel Tejada, who went 3-for-5
with a homer and four RBIs, in his first appearance back in Baltimore since
being traded away in December of 2007. Wasted was the 2 1/3 scoreless innings
thrown by Mark Hendrickson and the job setup man Jim Johnson did to keep the
score tied.  Gone, too, was the effort by
pinch-runner Felix Pie, who legged out a Cesar Izturis’ center field single,
scoring all the way from first base to give the Orioles a one-run edge heading
into the ninth inning.  

Let’s also take a second and recognize the offense coming out of the No. 8 hole. Garrett Atkins went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .375 through the team’s first four games. He doubled in his first three games, becoming the first player in Orioles history to accomplish that feat upon coming to Baltimore. 

Oh, and let’s not forget the performance to start the season by Matt Wieters. Not that you could.

Rays-Orioles Opening Day lineups

Orioles/Red Sox Lineups and Pregame Tidbits

Here are the lineups and pregame tidbits for Sunday’s 1:05 pm ET game vs. the Red Sox. NESN and MASN are here, so most of you should be able to catch a glimpse of your first Spring action. In weather-related news, it’s supposed to be 69 here. Yay!

ORIOLES LINEUP

Adam Jones CF
Ty Wigginton DH
Nick Markakis RF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Matt Wieters C
Luke Scott LF
Garrett Atkins 1B
Miguel Abreu 2B
Cesar Izturis SS

SP Jeremy Guthrie
Also expected to pitch: Mark
Hendrickson, Kam Mickolio, David Hernandez and Will Ohman.

RED SOX LINEUP

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
JD Drew RF
Victor Martinex C
David Ortiz DH
Jeremy Hermida LF
Jed Lowrie 3B
Tug Hulett
2B
Yamaico Navarro SS
Aaron Bates 1B

SP Clay Buchholz

Some tidbits…

*Justin Turner had a nice little shiner going on underneath his bandaged left foot. He was struck during Saturday’s night batting practice by a ball hit by Garrett Atkins. Turner said today he might be ready to play again on Monday. Turning joked that the timing was unfortunate, given that he had homered in Friday’s game. “Just when I was starting to get hot with all four of my spring at-bats,” he said.

*Cesar Izturis
is in today’s lineup and said he’s feeling much better. He had a sore throat and was a late scratch from Friday’s game as well.

*Infielder Ryan Adams was summoned from the minor league
camp and was in the clubhouse this morning. With Turner out and Brian Roberts still slowed with a herniated disc in his lower back, Adams is here to provide some middle infield depth. At, Class-A Frederick last season, he hit 288 with two homers and 25 RBIs in 59 games, and will wear No. 96 for the Orioles.


Miggi: Bring on the games

Manager Dave Trembley said today that he wants to keep the soon-to-be regular fixture of Miguel Tejada and Cesar Izturis together as often as possible this spring.

“The more times I can play them together in the spring, I think the better,” Trembley said.

Tejada, who has been taking extra early work with infield coach Juan Samuel told me  earlier this week that he is progressively feeling more comfortable at third base, and is eager to try things at game speed.

“I’m comfortable, now I can’t wait for the games to start,” Tejada said. “In practice now I’m fine, I don’t have a problem, I feel comfortable and I’m excited to be there. I’m waiting for the games to get started because it’s different.”

Tejada acknowledged that fielding the bunt will still be hard for him in the beginning, but there are other areas of the hot corner he feels he has pretty under control.

“It’s not difficult to see the ball coming, no matter how hard it’s coming, [and] going to the side is the same as shortstop,” Tejada said. “I think going forward for the bunt is the big [one], [and] something I’m going to start working on.”

Trembley said his plan for Tejada this spring is similar to that of the rest of the regular position players: balancing playing time with rest.

“[I]try to stay away as best I can from playing guys in back-to-back
games early,” Trembley said. “After that, start playing guys more innings and
working into playing back-to-back games. So, at the end of camp, guys
have played three in a row and are up to nine innings.”

Trembley said he wants to start Izturis and Tejada in the same Spring Training games so the pair can get familiar with each other. He also plans on keeping them back at the Orioles training complex together during certain road trips, so the pair can continue to work alongside each other.

On Sunday, Trembley said he wasn’t sure exactly how many starts he would give Tejada at third base this spring.

“I know he’s going to have to get game time at third, but I think you’re
going to have to balance it with being practical and realize that he’s a
veteran player and an older guy,” Trembley said. “These games don’t count. You want him
ready for the season.”

Tejada's baaaack

At least he’s expected to be. With the Orioles holding team physicals and meetings, the press is not allowed in the locker room until the afternoon, but I will be blogging and Twittering from practice, which is scheduled to start around noon.

Today is the first full squad workout for the Orioles, and it be will interesting to see the return of Miguel Tejada  and the former shortstop taking reps at third base.

Manager Dave Trembley didn’t seem concerned that Tejada –who will be tasked with learning a new position — wasn’t among the growing group of position players who  participated in optional workouts.

“[Tuesday's] the first day,” Trembley said on Monday.  “He’ll be here. He knows everybody. He knows
us. We know him.”

An All-Star shortstop, Tejada will work with Orioles infield coach Juan Samuel to get extra work at the hot corner in addition to the team’s workout.

Like I blogged yesterday current shortstop Cesar Izturis gave Tejada the thumbs up at the position, and said he wasn’t worried about Tejada making the shift.

“Everybody knows he can play,” Izturis said of Tejada. “It’s a new position, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. If I can help out, I will, but he knows how to play the game.”

—–

Got a question or comment on the team? Email me and I could use it in my debut inbox column, which should be up later this week.

Tillman still sidelined, Position Players Eve

Gonzalez.jpg

Orioles fans, there’s your new closer. Lefty Mike Gonzalez throws a session in the bullpen with Jim Johnson (below pic) right next to him.

Jim Johnson.jpg 

Chris Tillman did not throw his scheduled side today, and is still
dealing with the same back stiffness that sidelined him yesterday.

Although he said he probably could have gone through the whole workout, Tillman said it would have been “dumb” on his part, to push things so early in the spring.

“I’ve still got a lot of time to get in
shape and I came into camp with my arm in good shape.”

Manager
Dave Trembley also noted that Tillman threw a lot of bullpen sessions
before showing up to camp, and wasn’t worried about the right-hander
falling behind.

“I think he learned a lesson not to sleep on a
couch,” Trembley said, in reference to what Tillman believes caused his
back to act up.
 
****
With Tuesday marking the Orioles first
full squad workout, the clubhouse continued to fill up on Monday.
Joining the team in Sarasota this morning was a clean shaved Luke Scott,
who said the clippers got stuck a few times while trying to remove the
lumberjack beard he had going in the offseason.

Scott has made
it no secret that he would like to play the field this season and not be
limited to just DH duties. But the addition of Garrett Atkins at first
base, and the crowded outfield of Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Nolan
Reimold and Felix Pie will limit that.

“I mean personally,
everyone wants to have a really good idea of where they are going to fit
in; what they are going to do,” Scott said. “But sometimes things don’t
work out that way. But it’s also part of being a professional. Part of
being a professional is just doing the best with what they ask you to
do.”

*Reimold said his left Achilles tendon was sore after
testing it yesterday, but didn’t seem overly concerned. He was walking
around fine, but running on grass and testing it on the field
undoubtedly is more impact than the treadmill running he had been doing
in the offseason.

*Cesar Izturis also showed up in Sarasota and
the shortstop was confident his lockermate, the still absent Miguel
Tejada, could handle the transition to third base just fine.

“Everybody
knows he can play,” Izturis said of Tejada. “It’s a new position, but I
don’t think that’s going to be a problem. If I can help out, I will,
but he knows how to play the game.”

Izturis didn’t join the
optional position player workout because he wanted to get settled in
with his family to his temporary Spring Training living, and manager
Dave Trembley didn’t seem overly concerned that players like Izturis,
Tejada and Brian Roberts have yet to report. Roberts was also at Ed
Smith Stadium on Monday afternoon to get his physical, and hopefully the media will get an update on his health later today. He is supposed to
be shooting a commercial for MASN later in the afternoon.

****
Trembley
also made it a point to single out the bullpen session of Brandon Erbe,
and was amazed at the right-hander’s location for his 35-pitch session.

“He
didn’t throw two that were above the knees,” Trembley said. “Everything
was down. He’s
really cleaned up his delivery a lot. He had some mechanical things
with his delivery before.”

Erbe was the Orioles second-round pick
in the ’05 Draft.

“He deserves a lot of credit,”Trembley said.
“He’s worked hard. That was a solid, solid bullpen.”

****

The
Orioles manager also had high praise for Bergesen, as Trembley
continued to state his confidence that the right-hander will be up on
the mound very soon. Bergesen is schedule to throw another flat ground
session on Tuesday.

Got a Wieters feature up on the site and as always, email me with your questions and comments.

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