Results tagged ‘ Garrett Atkins ’

Fenway Finale

Opening day 029.jpg


Greetings from Fenway’s finale,
where the Orioles look to salvage a game and snap a five-game skid in the
process. This will be Tim Wakefield’s last start before moving to the bullpen
to clear a spot for Dice-K (who has been on the DL with a neck strain). David
Hernandez
will oppose Wakefield, and like every Orioles starter not named Brian
Matusz
, he’s hoping to get his first win.

*Nolan Reimold is batting leadoff for the first time in his Major
League career. “Now, I just need to bat 9th and I’m all set,”
Reimold said. Yes, the lineup’s been shuffled that much lately.   A patient hitter by nature, Reimold said he
will steal if the position presents itself, pointing out his one stolen base
this spring.

*Rhyne Hughes is starting again today after an impressive two-hit
Major League debut. Manager Dave Trembley
noted that Hughes didn’t seem overwhelmed by the moment Saturday night and when
I talked to him briefly this morning he had the same ear-to-ear grin he’s been sporting
since

*For what Garrett Atkins thinks
about being bench for Hughes, check out my story yesterday. This is an
interesting situation to keep an eye on…

*Down in Triple-A Brad Bergesen will try to get back on
track and make his first start for Norfolk.  The Orioles are hoping he can get his
confidence back, refind his sinker and make that May 1 start. If not, they
could use either long men Jason Berken
or Mark Hendrickson to make a spot
start, or call up a guy like Jake Arrieta. That scenario isn’t likely since
they don’t really want to mess with Arrieta’s development, but it’s not something
I would rule out, either.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nolan Reimold LF
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Luke Scott DH
Ty Wigginton 2B
Rhyne Hughes 1B
Craig Tatum C
Cesar Izturis SS

David Hernandez RHP

RED SOX LINEUP

Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
JD Drew RF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jeremy Hermida LF
Jonathan Van Every CF

Tim Wakefield RHP

Hughes' debut & other tidbits

Welcome to Fenway Park Day 2, where Brian Matusz will take the hill opposite John Lackey.

*Matusz has never faced the Red Sox and wanted to get a feel of what pitching at Fenway Park was like. So, he and Jeremy Guthrie used Thursday’s off day to go to the Red Sox game vs. the Texas Rangers. Dave Trembley said it best : he’s just a special kid.

*Tonight’s game will also be Rhyne Hughes’ Major League debut. Hughes got the nod last night and didn’t know he was in the starting lineup until he walked in to the visiting clubhouse around 4:30 p.m. ET.  The news broke thanks in part to his younger brother, Hoyt, who announced it on Rhyne’s Facebook fan page. 

*Hughes is playing first base tonight in place of Garrett Atkins, who has struggled as of late and twice left the bases loaded in Friday’s loss. Atkins said he’s not taking Hughes’ presence as anything other than a hot bat and a team who needs some offense. But it will be interesting to see what happens if Hughes starts to hit. Trembley said he will not consider Hughes in the outfield (he started to take reps out there at the team’s request this spring) so the only choice besides designated hitter is Hughes’ primary position at first base.

*Koji Uehara threw an inning today and will go to Double-A Bowie on a rehab assignment starting April 27. He will also throw on the 29th and there are no plans beyond that right now.


ORIOLES LINEUP
LOU MONTANEZ LF
ADAM JONES CF
NICK MARKAKIS RF
MIGUEL TEJADA 3B
MATT WIETERS C
LUKE SCOTT DH
TY WIGGINTON 2B
RHYNE HUGHES 1B
CESAR IZTURIS SS

BRIAN MATUSZ SP

RED SOX LINEUP
MARCO SCUTARO SS
DUSTIN PEDROIA 2B
VICTOR MARTINEZ DH
KEVIN YOUKILIS 1B
MIKE LOWELL 3B
JASON VARITEK C
BILL HALL RF
JEREMY HERMIDA LF
DARNELL MCDONALD CF

JOHN LACKEY SP

Will it ever go the O's way?

“This
can’t continue the whole year,” Nolan Reimold said following the Orioles’ 15th
loss Friday night. “That would be a pretty frustrating year. We’re going to
keep battling and things will turn around eventually.”

They
have to…right? At least that’s what the Orioles have to be thinking after that
4-3 series-opening loss to the Red Sox.

 “If
you look back and you get [Jon] Lester out in the sixth and Jonsie hits the
home run [in the seventh] you had to think we were going to come around and
win,” Ty Wigginton said. “It just didn’t happen.”

If
you had told me Jeremy Guthrie was going to outpitch Jon Lester, I probably
wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s exactly what Guthrie did, allowing David
Ortiz’s second homer as the only hard hit ball by the Red Sox in his six
innings. Lester managed to keep the O’s scoreless (not exactly a hard feat
lately) despite four walks and a hit batter in 5 2/3 innings. He’s undefeated in
13 career starts against the Orioles, going 10-0 with a 2.22 ERA in that
stretch.

“We
got [Lester's] pitch count way up, I thought we had a good plan going in,”
manager Dave Trembley said.  “We didn’t
chase a lot of pitches out of the strike zone, we made him come in. But we
couldn’t bunch hits together.”

More
specifically, Garrett Atkins couldn’t. He stranded four runners in scoring
position with two outs and went 0-for-4 on the night, including three
inning-ending outs. Atkins was one of the few Orioles unavailable for post-game
comment, (he was in the training room) but -to be fair – the team did strand 12
runners total so he can’t shoulder all the blame.

“I
think you are starting to see signs [of the offense returning],” Wigginton
said. “Jones hits a big home run. Nick makes an aggressive play, trying to go
for second off the wall [in the ninth]. Sometimes you got to tip your hat.”

Jones’ two-run homer snapped an 0-for-16 blast. Meanwhile, Markakis had two hits to raise his average to .270 and continues to show signs of coming back.

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

Trembley & those corner infielders

Manager Dave Trembley said prior to the game that he was happy with the way Garrett Atkins and Miguel Tejada were taking to their respective spots at first and third base.

“I continue to believe both of them will grow and improve as they gain more game experience,” Trembley said. “Plus, they’re not going to get bounced back and forth. Atkins will play first base, Tejada wil play third. I think they will continue to improve.”

 
Sunday afternoon, they pair furthered that proof. Atkins –who doubled in his first at-bat — has been errorless on the day, while Tejada continues to look like a veteran at third. He did a nice spin move on his glove side to get Yamaico Navarro for the first out of the second inning, and also caught a pop-up in for the second out.

“This is the first day since the first day of camp Tejada didn’t have early work [with infield coach Juan Samuel],” Trembley said. “We gave him Sunday off. They’ve spent a lot of time at that field at 8:30 every morning. I’m happy with that.”

 

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.

Atkins gets ready for shift

Andy and Dave.jpg

(Meeting of the minds: Andy MacPhail and Dave Trembley)

Trembley smiling.jpg

New Oriole Garrett Atkins was one of the growing number of position players out on the field for Sunday’s workout. Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott (with a lumberjack beard) were some of the other notable new attendees, which definitely put a smile on Dave Trembley’s face. The O’s manager was in a great mood today, raving about the players who had come in early and taking a few minutes to stand on a hill and watch several practices at the same time. It’s safe to say Trembley’s digging the new Spring Training digs.

I’ve got a story going up on the site later about Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen, but here’s the highlights. Tillman was having back tightness so they shut him down today, but he should be fine and ready to pitch a side on Monday. Bergesen is getting better and expects to do 2-3 flat ground sessions before getting up on the hill. By his own estimates, that should be by the end of next weekend. Trembley noted he’s “very, very close.”

In case you missed it yesterday, I caught up with Adam Jones, who is extremely excited to start the season. Jones took some swings with Nolan Reimold, who made his first appearance down in Sarasota on Sunday, looking like someone in need of sun.  He laughed when I told him Trembley asked if he could be any paler. But, he does live just north of Pittsburgh, so give the guy a break.

Reimold spent the winter testing his left Achilles tendon by running on the treadmill, and got to work it out on the field for the first time today. This is what he said prior to the practice. 

“After a lot of running, it still gets a little sore,” he said, “but it’s already better than it was last year. I’m sure I’ll be ready [for Opening Day].”

And Atkins was busy working on getting himself ready and acclimated to a full-time role at first base. The former Rockie said he will try to remember how Golden Glover Todd Helton prepared, and go from there.

“[It's] just a matter of getting out there and getting the reps in, this is my first Spring Training where I’m basically first the entire time,” Atkins said. “So I image in 40 days or whatever I’ll be able to get pretty comfortable over there.”

As for the other side of his game, Atkins said he hit more this offseason than in previous years and was looking forward to taking that into Spring Training.  Sure enough, following his media session, Atkins hooked up with hitting coach Terry Crowley for a session in the batting cage.

Brian Roberts is in Sarasota and Trembley expects the second baseman will likely report tomorrow. His agent, Mark Pieper, stopped by Sunday’s practice. 

*Trembley and his staff will hold an inter-squad game on March 1 at Ed Smith Stadium, with the Orioles coaches expected to hold a drafts of sorts sometime in the next week. Following the game, the Orioles will host a clinic for the Boys & Girls club, as part of their ongoing efforts to be active in the Sarasota community.

—–

Also, I’m hoping to get enough queries to turn out my
first Orioles inbox soon, so get those questions coming via email, with your name and
location. And as always, follow me on Twitter for quicker updates and more pictures! 

–Brittany
 

  

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