Results tagged ‘ Craig Tatum ’

Checking on the Tides

With Craig Tatum expected to come back from a brief stint in Triple-A Norfolk for tonight’s game (taking Troy Patton’s spot), here are a few notes from Norfolk…

*Zach Britton made the start for Norfolk Sunday night and took the loss to drop to 1-2. Britton pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits –both career-high’s at Triple-A — with a walk and five strikeouts. He has now failed to complete five innings in four of his seven starts with the Tides.

I know a lot of people called for Britton to come up when the Orioles rotation was struggling, but his recent performance at Triple-A hardly warrants a promotion. The organization doesn’t feel like he’s ready right now, and don’t want to rush him up here just because there’s no one else. That’s part of the reason the O’s traded for Rick VandenHurk, who provides some starting pitching depth and could make an emergency start if needed.

Before this season, Britton had never pitched higher than Double-A, and while he still could be a September callup, he’s important enough to this organization that his development is still first and foremost.

*Nolan Reimold went 4-5 with a double, his 10th home run of the season, two RBIs and four runs scored in Sunday’s Tides’ loss. In his last 21 games, since July 18, Reimold is hitting .320 (24-75) with 13 RBIs, 15 walks and 17 runs scored.

*First baseman Michael Aubrey went 3-5 with three RBI and hit his 15th home run of the season.

*Kam Mickolio pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, walking one and striking out one for his second scoreless outing since returning from a nearly two-month stint on the disabled list.

*Chris Tillman will start for Norfolk tonight and try to get back on track. Tillman has allowed 15 earned runs over his last 13 innings –a three-start stretch — and hasn’t lasted longer than five innings over that span.  

Fox or Tatum?

The Orioles are expected to make another roster move on Sunday, when catcher Matt Wieters is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.

Wieters (right hamstring strain) was out running the bases prior to Thursday’s game -at what he estimated to be about 80-90 percent – and barring any unforeseen setbacks he will return to the O’s lineup for Sunday’s finale.

“[Catching] definitely is going to wear the legs a little bit,” Wieters said.  “But I don’t think it will be much of a factor as getting stretched out, the tired factor seeing I haven’t been doing it. So hopefully I’ve been able to get enough conditioning in the last 15 days to keep it going. “

The corresponding roster move for Wieters will come down to either Craig Tatum or Jake Fox, and could be a decision based on who has options (Tatum) versus who could potentially be lost on waivers (Fox).

Interim manager Juan Samuel said he didn’t think the team could afford to carry three catchers with the current roster being what it is, and there’s always a possibility the Orioles could make a trade or a player could land on the DL in the next few days. While Tatum has excelled as Wieters’ primary backup,  the Orioles would almost certainly lose Fox by exposing him to the waiver wire given that he can play multiple positions and has been effective–hitting three homers and five RBIs – in his first 14 games with Baltimore.

Os/Twins series opener and tidbits

*Brian Roberts was here and spoke to several reporters today about the ongoing speculation concerning his return. B-Rob has been pushing to come back and I’d be shocked if he wasn’t activated this weekend, probably even for Friday. As for the Toronto turf, he said it wasn’t that big of a deal as people make it, and was confident his back would hold up.
*Who goes for Roberts? Julio Lugo is the team’s only backup shortstop, a fact interim manager Juan Samuel confirmed prior to Thursday’s game. That pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for Scott Moore, who is out of options and will have to clear waivers first.
*Matt Wieters was out running the bases and still expects to be activated and ready for Sunday. Samuel said the other day he would probably insert Wieters right back into the lineup. With Craig Tatum playing so well and Jake Fox able to play multiple positions, who goes on this move is a much tougher call. I know Tatum is out of options, while Fox would have to clear waivers and might not make it through. Samuel said he wasn’t sure if the team can afford to carry three catchers. So stay tuned on that one.
*The Orioles would like to limit the second-half use of first-time relievers Jason Berken and David Hernandez. Particularly with Berken, –who ate up a lot of innings in the first half as the long man — the concern will be keeping them healthy and effective. Of course, a lot of this plan relies on the starters going more than 3 or 4 innings.

Felix Pie LF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Luke Scott DH
Ty Wigginton 1B
Adam Jones CF
Scott Moore 2B
Craig Tatum C
Cesar Izturis SS
Kevin Millwood RHP

Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Joe Mauer DH
Jason Kubel RF
Michael Cuddyer 1B
Delmon Young LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Punto 3B
Drew Butera C
Carl Pavano RHP

Tatum, Hernandez In- Tillman, Moeller out

SARASOTA, Fla. — David Hernandez will be the Orioles’ fifth starter, a move that was made official before Tuesday’s game. Hernandez’s primary competition, Chris Tillman, will open the year in Triple-A.

Craig Tatum also won the backup catcher’s spot, leaving veteran Chad
Moeller to ponder whether to accept a Minor League assignment.

Although Tillman opened camp considered the front-runner, Hernandez thrust his name into fifth-starter contention with his recent outings. He retired nine of the first 10 Red Sox batters he faced Saturday, allowing four hits over five scoreless innings with six strikeouts. He lowered his spring ERA to a 3.00 in the process, and impressed manager Dave Trembley with his tenacity and ability to escape several key jams — including a bases-loaded, no-out scenario in the fourth. Hernandez hasn’t allowed an earned run in his past 8 2/3 innings.

Although he started the spring pitching out of the bullpen, Hernandez capitalized on the opportunities he was given to start. He made his first appearance as a starter on March 16, and is 1-1 in two official Grapefruit League starts, not including a 75-pitch outing in a Minor League game. In 15 innings, Hernandez has allowed five earned runs, and he has 20 strikeouts to three walks.

In five spring games, Tillman had a 3.86 ERA, allowing seven earned runs over 16 1/3 innings.The 21-year-old’s strikeout-to-walk ratio (9K/10BB) is a glaring statistic, particularly given that the Orioles have made it clear the kid gloves are off, and they won’t carry a 13th pitcher on the team.

The third candidate for the job, Jason Berken, is expected to make the Opening Day roster in place of injured Koji Uehara, and will likely be the Orioles second long-inning man.

The Matusz move & O's pitching news

A few more notes from Saturday’s pregame session with
manager Dave Trembley:

*Brian Matusz will pitch in a Minor League game on Monday,
with Alfredo Simon taking his spot against the Yankees. No real surprise here,
since the Orioles have tried to avoid running their starters out against
divisional foes. Kevin Millwood kicked off the Minors starts on Saturday and
the reasoning behind Jeremy Guthrie still throwing against the Blue Jays Sunday
is that he’s been in the AL East for a while now, so trying to “hide” Guthrie
isn’t really an option at this point.

*Trembley downplayed how important this start is Saturday for David
While I blogged yesterday about the 5th rotation spot
basically being Tillman’s
, a strong showing by Hernandez against Boston’s regulars
would add some intrigue to the race. Especially given Tillman’s subpar outing
on Friday night, which included four walks.

*The backup catch job won’t be just handed to Chad Moeller.

“You’ll see [Craig] Tatum get a start, you’ll see Moeller
get a start,” Trembley said.  “You’ll see
that competition going down to the end, I believe.”

The Orioles like Tatum’s throwing arm, but Moeller carries
experience having been in the league -and particularly the AL East – for a
while. His locker is right next to Matt Wieters, which Andy MacPhail told me
earlier this spring is no coincidence. Much like Millwood, Moeller is expected
to help mentor and bring along the O’s promising young talent.

*Since snapping an 0-for-22 skid on Sunday, Nolan Reimold
has hit in four straight games. “Ty Cobb watch out,” Reimold joked of his

In all seriousness, Reimold does appear to be running better
and Trembley said he talked to Nolan and told him he has to start showing that
he can run do certain things, such as play back-to-back games, steal a base,
etc. While he’s still not 100 percent, the Orioles can’t afford to baby him -and
essentially squander a roster spot – once the season starts.

Tatum, Koji injured in game

It was quite a 5th inning for the Orioles with Craig Tatum
suffering a left index finger contusion and Koji Uehara leaving with a left
hamstring strain, all within a span of eight pitches. The full story’s up here.

If Koji is sidelined for a significant
amount of time, it could have an effect on the Orioles bullpen competition.

I should have more of a report on Koji on Friday afternoon. Mike Gonzalez is pitching one inning in the Orioles Minor League game at Ed Smith Stadium, which is slated to start at 12:30 pm ET. So, I’ll be in Sarasota for a few hours before heading to the O’s-Phillies game in Clearwater. If you’re curious those Minor League games are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule you can check under press releases.