Results tagged ‘ Jake Fox ’

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.
 

ORIOLES LINEUP:
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

TWINS LINEUP:
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

Meredith accepts assignment in Norfolk

Sidearmer Cla Meredith has cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. Meredith was taken off the Orioles 40-man roster and exposed to waivers with the Orioles trade for Jake Fox. 

Speaking of Norfolk, the Tides lost 2-1 to Charlotte today. Troy Patton allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings, while Josh Bell had two hits.

Zach Britton will make his Triple-A debut against the Knights on Thursday.

Os/As lineups and pregame tidbits – Braden scratched

*A’s starter Dallas Braden was scratched with stiffness in his left elbow. Right-hander Vin Mazzaro will make the start instead. The Orioles have removed Jake Fox from the lineup, adding Corey Patterson to left.

*It’s the return of Jake Fox, who was traded a week ago. Fox was in the original lineup but was scratched due to the pitching switch.

The A’s had to change signs a few days ago because of Fox being on the Orioles. I asked a
few A’s if it was a normal thing, they said no. Teams typically only
change signs once or twice a season. Coco Crisp said it wouldn’t be a
problem since he just got back 5 days ago and still hadn’t learned all
the signs. So, go figure.

*Felix Pie will play in Bowie tonight and tomorrow and could be activated for Friday’s series in Boston. Pie sounded optimistic that would be the case and said the big thing is just picking up the ball at the plate; something that figures to get easier over time.

*Michael Gonzalez will throw an inning out of the bullpen for Aberdeen tonight. It’s the first time he’s going to come out of the ‘pen and throw. His velocity was around 90-91 last time, according to interim manager Juan Samuel. And the homer he gave up was on a slider.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Julio Lugo 2B
Miguel Tejada 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott LF
Adam Jones CF
Jake Fox DH
Craig Tatum C
Cesar Izturis SS

Brian Matusz LHP

ATHLETICS LINEUP:
Coco Crisp CF
Daric Barton 1B
Conor Jackson LF
Kurt Suzuki C
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Adam Rosales 2B
Mark Ellis DH
Rajai Davis RF
Pennington SS

Dallas Braden LHP

More on the Atkins farewell

BALTIMORE–The Orioles designated Garrett Atkins for
assignment prior to Sunday’s series finale against the Nationals, recalling
right-handed reliever Koji Uehara in his place.

Atkins batted .214 with one homer and nine RBIs in 140 at-bats
and his ineffectiveness relegated him to a bench role, forcing the Orioles to
trade for right-handed power bat Jake Fox on June 22. Atkins made just five
starts in the Orioles last 28 games, going 0-for-3 -including a double-play
ball with the bases-loaded — in his last start on Friday.

The pending return of outfielder Felix Pie –coupled with
the production of Fox and Scott Moore – made Atkins’ release in Baltimore a near
certainty, with rumors swirling the last few days.

Atkins, who was well aware of his situation, acknowledged on
Friday that being DFA’ed could be a blessing in disguise. Recently released
Rays designated hitter Pat Burrell has found a new home and regained his power
stroke in San Francisco, and Atkins said when the O’s cut ties, he won’t look
at it as a bad thing.

“Not at all,” he said in an interview with
MLB.com. “[It would] be a welcome opportunity.”

Atkins was non-tendered by the Colorado Rockies after the
2009 season and was signed by the Orioles to a one-year contract guaranteed to
net him $4 million this year. Baltimore had a club option for 2011, and by
choosing to designate Atkins, will also pay him a $500,000 buyout.  

“We gambled that we could resurrect a bat and it just wasn’t
happening,” said president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, who was
hopeful when he signed Atkins this winter that he could return to the 20-homers,
100-RBI form of seasons’ past.

“From Spring Training we just didn’t see the power coming
back,” MacPhail said. “And Moore and Fox offer us more flexibility in more
positions. With Atkins it was either first base or DH.”

Toward the end, it became just the bench. Atkins made 17 starts
in March/April and May, but appeared in just six games, with 14 at-bats in the
month of June. 

“I know [interim manager Juan Samuel] feels bad,
there’s only so many spots to go around in the lineup,” Atkins said Friday.
 
“Guys that have been in my position have done a good job. So, you can’t
really complain about not playing when guys are playing good.”

Samuel, who had a meeting with Atkins during the team’s
recent series in San Diego, praised the way the veteran handled the situation.
He reiterated that sentiment during Atkins’ farewell.

“[Atkins] said he was
sorry things didn’t work out for him, that he wasn’t able to do more to help
us,” Samuel said. “He’s a veteran. He understands.”

A soft-spoken guy who rarely left his locker, Atkins was
described as a professional by several teammates, including Ty Wigginton and
close friend Moore, who works out with Atkins in the offseason.

“Unfortunately it was a tough situation, but he’s always
been a professional,” Moore said of Atkins, who lives just twenty minutes away
from him in the offseason. “[He] always had a good attitude, always was here
rooting for [his] teammates and the team.”

While Moore has started to hit his way into more playing
time, the acquisition of utility-man Fox was widely regarded as the nail in the
coffin regarding Atkins’ tenure.

“His opportunities were going to become fewer and fewer,” said
MacPhail, who added that he thought the organization gave Atkins ample time to
turn it around.

The move will free up at-bats for Fox off the bench, as well
as Moore, and Samuel said he has no problem using either one of those guys at
first base, if need be.

As for Atkins, he will be placed on waivers, where the
Orioles will have 10 days to either trade him or grant him his release. If
Atkins clears through waivers, he would have to accept a Minor League
assignment with the O’s or could opt to sign a Minor League free-agent deal
elsewhere.

It’s an option Atkins has not ruled out, and he told MLB.com
on Friday that he would weigh all available options before deciding what was
best.

“Sometimes starting fresh somewhere, probably those things
will help [his power potential],” Samuel said.  “He’s a great guy. He was professional
throughout this whole process and understands why he wasn’t playing. He was
very quiet, didn’t cause any issues in the clubhouse. He was just a veteran
professional.”

Added Wigginton: “He was always one of the first guys getting excited when somebody else go to big hit or whatever. He was one of the first guys to give the guy a pat on the back. He was a very good teammate.”

Fox on joining the O's

As you know by now, Jake Fox was traded to the Orioles today in exchange for Minor League pitcher Ross Wolf and cash considerations. The full story is here.

Below are some of Fox’s comments that didn’t make it in the story…

On his reaction to the move…

“I’m excited about it. It’s always good to have a change. It’s good to go someplace where hopefully you fit in because where I came from [in Oakland], it just wasn’t the right fit for anybody. I didn’t fit into their style and it’s very difficult to change your style at this point. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

So I’m happy to be here. It seems like they want me to be here. It’s always nice to go to a place that wants you to be there. I know a lot of people [in Baltimore] from some from former organizations. It’s just great to be here. It’s great to have a fresh start, it’s great to get going and I’m excited.”

Fox said he found out yesterday and got on a plane, arriving in Baltimore late Monday night. When asked what he thinks drew in the Orioles, Fox said it was his versatility.

“They like the fact that I can play multiple positions,” he said. “I just talked to Juan [Samuel] and he said, ‘I’m going to use you around the diamond where I can put you in, but basically you’re going to earn your way.’ You’re going to earn your playing time and I’m used to that. I’m ready for that and I’m ready to accept that challenge. So I’ve got to go out, put some good innings together and hopefully I’m going to earn some more playing time.”

Samuel said having Fox as a third catcher could help spell more time at DH for Matt Wieters, who has struggled at the plate this season. Fox said a year ago he wouldn’t have been comfortable back behind the plate but the A’s got him back into catching.

“I’ve had seven games behind the plate with the A’s, so I feel good about that,” Fox said. “The hardest part about coming to a new organization is learning the pitchers, learning what pitches they have, learning their strengths, learning their weaknesses so we can get on the same page, you can call a good game and I think that’s going to be the most difficult part about it.” 

What now with Atkins?

It’s the million-dollar question lately. Acquiring Jake Fox via today’s trade is pretty much the nail in the coffin on Garrett Atkins’ already-depleted playing time. 

This is purely speculation, but Atkins could be designated for assignment when the Orioles make a roster move for Saturday and recall Brad Bergesen. They could try to get him a few more at-bats this week at home (now back with the DH) in a last-ditch effort. But, to me, getting Fox pretty much signals that the O’s have given up on Atkins and are willing to absorb the $5 million mistake.

 

More on Fox

When he was designated for assignment on June 13, Oakland’s Jake Fox told MLB.com’s Jane Lee he expected the move.

“I never showed them what I can do,” said Fox, who hit .214 with a .264 OBP in 106 at-bats.

Now Fox will  get another shot, likely at first base, as the Orioles enter Tuesday the only team in the Majors without a homer by their first baseman. The move is expected to be made official later this afternoon, but let’s look at Fox’s numbers and see where that puts him right now on the O’s.

His two homers and 14 RBIs are more than a struggling Garrett Atkins, who has gone yard just once and has nine RBIs in 43 games, which is more games played than Fox.

His average isn’t great (you don’t get DFA’ed hitting .300) but his .327 slugging is better than Atkins, Matt Wieters, Cesar Izturis and Julio Lugo, as well as rarely-used Lou Montanez. At the very least, it gives interim manager Juan Samuel another (versatile) option.

In 2009, Fox hit 11 homes with 44 RBIs in 82 games with the Cubs. He was a third-round pick in the ’03 Draft by Chicago.
 
 

Os get Fox-y

BALTIMORE– The Orioles landed Oakland outfielder Jake Fox on Tuesday morning, in a trade that is yet to be made official.

Fox was designated for assignment on June 12, meaning the A’s had 10 days to trade him, grant him his outright release or hope he cleared through waivers. Given that the O’s (19-50) expressed some interest, it became clear that the latter option wouldn’t be possible.

Fox was batting .214 with a .264 on-base percentage through 106 plate appearances when the A’s designated him for assignment. He will provide corner infield, outfield and catcher depth for O’s, but could bat his way into the lineup on an everyday basis given the team’s offensive struggles.

While the trade isn’t official, it is believed to be for a Minor League pitcher. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles will send right-hander Ross Wolf to Oakland in exchange for Fox. The 27-year-old Wolf was 0-2 with a with a 2.11 ERA in 25 games for Triple-A Norfolk. I’m still working on getting that confirmed.

The Orioles will need to make a corresponding move on their 25-man roster in order to activate Wolf. Since the team is currently using a four-man rotation, sending young right-hander Chris Tillman to Norfolk is an option, as is placing the underperforming Garrett Atkins on waivers. The Orioles could also elect to give Fox the bench spot of Scott Moore or rarely-used Lou Montanez.

Bergesen's start and things to watch for…

Brad Bergesen threw for Triple-A Norfolk tonight, and yielded two runs over five solid innings against Lehigh Valley. He allowed five hits and a walk and struck out four. Pitching on three days rest –which puts him in line for Saturday’s start in Baltimore if needed — Bergesen threw 58 of his 85 pitches for strikes.

Interim manager Juan Samuel said last week that Bergesen had to show he had returned to his mechanics, while pitching coach Rick Kranitz wasn’t ready to just hand Bergesen Saturday’s start. Kranitz didn’t say what it would take for Bergesen to earn the promotion, so I’m not sure if tonight’s effort was good enough. As I blogged yesterday, the decision isn’t just Bergesen or Chris Tillman. The Orioles have given thought to using long man Mark Hendrickson or even Jason Berken. (Although Berken has done so well it’d be hard to justify moving him out of the ‘pen, even if it is just a spot start.)

Monday is an off day so they could feasibly let Bergesen get another outing in Norfolk and go with a four-man rotation next week, following Saturday’s spot start.

Either way, there could be some changes coming this week to the roster. If Tillman doesn’t get Saturday’s start, he will likely be optioned back to Norfolk since the organization has made it clear they won’t let him just sit in the bullpen. If Bergesen earns the spot they could call up a reliever or a position player to have for the next few days before making the starter move official. 

Another thing to watch for is the Orioles interest in Jake Fox, which could cost Garrett Atkins his roster spot.

In unrelated, but positive news, Felix Pie’s first day on rehab in the Gulf Coast League went off without a hitch. He could be back at the end of the homestand, which, of course, would cause some more shuffling.

Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold is starting to heat up in Norfolk with a five-game hitting streak entering Tuesday. Since going 0-for-3 on June 15, he is 9-for-20 with two doubles and three RBIs.   

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