Results tagged ‘ Josh Bell ’

Is Millwood hurt?

DETROIT – When Felix Pie is activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, there’s a chance he could assume the roster spot vacated by another injured Oriole.

Monday’s starter Kevin Millwood lasted just one-inning in his worst performance of the season, allowing five earned runs to the Tigers and showcasing a dip in velocity that raises questions concerning Millwood’s health.

“There is some concern there,” said interim manager Juan Samuel in speaking of Millwood’s performance on Monday, in which the right-hander threw just four of 45 pitches with a velocity over 90 mph.

“[Pitching coach Rick Kranitz] has noticed that his ball was just not coming out of his hand [with authority] and his velocity was a little bit down. And knowing Kevin he is not going to tell you what’s wrong and what’s not. He is one of those guys that’s going to take the ball anytime you give it to him.”

Samuel met with Kranitz, head athletic trainer Richard Bancells and director of baseball operations Matt Klentak for approximately twenty minutes before talking to the media. After speaking to reporters for less than five minutes, Samuel returned to the room.

When asked if the corresponding roster move for Pie could be putting a player on the DL, Samuel said it’s always a possibility.

“We are trying to still piece some things together and see what is the best decision we need to make,” he said. “And probably keep another arm.”

If Millwood is not injured, his recent struggles are alarming. Including the five earned runs he allowed to the Tigers, his first-inning ERA is 24.00 in his last nine starts, and he has allowed 25 runs in that span to balloon his season ERA to 5.77. In his last seven starts, Millwood has a 10.20 ERA, after posting a respectable 3.38 in his first five starts this season and a 4.29 mark in the six after that.

Millwood said he wasn’t sure his problems were mechanical, and acknowledged that this stretch, performance-wise, has been one of the lowest points of his 14-year career.

“I have tried a lot of different things to come out of it and change things,” Millwood said. “And just haven’t been able to do [it]“.

If Millwood is hurt and the team opts to put him on the shelf, they would only need a spot starter for July 10′s game in Texas before heading into the All-Star break. While reliever Frank Mata looked to be a sure bet to be optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk for Pie, Millwood’s outing overextended the bullpen and puts a premium on arms.

A DL move would allow the Orioles the flexibility of keeping both Mata and rookie third baseman Josh Bell, who is another candidate to be optioned for Pie.

“We have some concern that maybe [Millwood] pitched a bunch early in the season,” Samuel said. “But we’ll see. We are trying to figure out which way we are going to go with him.”
 

Orioles-Tigers lineup

*Felix Pie is expected to arrive tonight and if all goes as planned Frank Mata will be optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk. It could be Josh Bell, but if Kevin Millwood goes the distance the Orioles could get by with one less arm.
*Josh Bell is available. He was dealing with right leg cramps but said it’s not a big deal. He has had knee surgery previously, but that was on the left side. Interim manager Juan Samuel said Bell is available to pinch hit or play the field if necessary.
*Michael Gonzalez won’t return until after the All-Star Break. Gonzalez is scheduled to make three more rehab appearances this week, starting with Tuesday, and then will go back-to-back Friday and Saturday. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz speculated last week that Gonzo might be after the break, and now it looks like that’s a more definite timetable.
*It’s hot, which we know is a problem for Koji.But Samuel said he is available and since he didn’t throw at all during the Boston series, you’d imagine the O’s will use him in one of these first two games.

ORIOLES LINEUP:
Corey Patterson LF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Jake Fox 1B
Julio Lugo 2B
Cesar Izturis SS
Kevin Millwood RHP

TIGERS LINEUP:

Austin Jackson CF
Johnny Damon DH
Magglio Ordonez RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Brennan Boesch LF
Carlos Guillen 2B
Brandon Inge 3B
Alex Avila C
Ramon Santiago SS
Andy Oliver LHP

Bell up, Scott to DL

BALTIMORE– The Orioles recalled top position prospect Josh Bell prior to Thursday’s game, placing Luke Scott on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.

Scott suffered the injury running around the bases during his seventh-inning home run and hit .326 over his last 42 games to raise his average from .177 to .274.

Bell is a former fourth-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers and was acquired by the Orioles along with right-hander Steven Johnson in exchange for left George Sherrill at last year’s Trade Deadline.

A switch-hitter with power, Bell batted .266 (76-286) with 24 doubles, 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 74 games for the Tides.  In 24 games in June, he hit .272 (25-92) with nine doubles,four home runs, 19 RBI and a .500 slugging percentage. Bell’s 24 doubles are second-most in the International League and tied for 12th-most in all of minor league baseball. He is tied for 10th in the IL in home runs. 

Minors Matters

First, just an FYI for tonight’s Draft. The Orioles have the third overall pick and the media will get to speak with scouting director Joe Jordan at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET. As I noted in my Draft preview, the Os top spot affords them the luxury of getting either prep shortstop Manny Machado or hs arm Jameson Taillon. According to this moring’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Bucs are leaning toward Machado, and it’s believed the O’s prefer Taillon anyhow. Things could always change, but that’s the way it’s looking right now.

Also, I got a few emails about Josh Bell not playing for Norfolk these last two games. He has been sidelined with a stiff neck. In other moves, the Tides placed outfielder Joey Gathright on the disabled list with a strained back, and activated Michael Aubrey to assume his roster spot.

We’ve solved the Jake Arrieta in relief question –given that Os were unsure if they would need him — and he pitched two scoreless innings out of Norfolk’s ‘pen. It’s not a question of if, but when we will see Arrieta up with the O’s. I’d imagine a lot of what they do with Arrieta hinges on if Brad Bergesen can get back on track.  

Nolan Reimold went 2-4 and hit a two-run home run, his third of the season and Brandon Snyder homered for the second straight day — his fourth of the season — in Norfolk’s 12-9 loss.

Double-A Bowie’s Zach Britton started for the Baysox and earned the win to improve to 5-3 on the season. Britton pitched 7 1 1.3 innings and allowed two unearned runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out six. In his last three starts, Britton is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA, a stretch of two earned runs over 20 2/3 innings.

Red-hot Bell powers Norfolk

bell.jpg           
                                                                                                                                                                                      Josh Bell
led off the 12th inning with a home run, powering the Norfolk Tides to a 3-2 walk-off win over Toledo Friday night at Harbor Park.

Bell, who finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and two walks, has now homered in three straight Triple-A contests and has hit safely in 14 of his last 17 games. The walk-off blast by Bell was the first for Norfolk since Chris Roberson hit a 10th inning home run in a 4-3 win vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 17, 2008.

Bell is batting .274 on the season, but has hit to a .359 average over his last 10 games with five homers and 11 RBIs.

Starter Troy Patton yielded two runs on six hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings.  Patton struck out five while throwing 64 of his 101 pitches for strikes. 

Bell's Defense

Josh Bell, considered the Orioles third baseman of the future, didn’t make the future look so bright on Tuesday.

Bell entered the game in place of Ty Wigginton in the top of the sixth and committed what easily could have been three errors (although he was only charged with two). 

With one out in the sixth inning, Bell’s throwing error allowed B.J. Upton to reach second base and later score. The Orioles allowed three runs in that inning thanks in part to some defensive miscues.

In the following frame,  it appeared Dan Johnson’s ball might have hit Bell, and he couldn’t come up with the throw in time. The play was scored as an infield single. After shortstop Blake Davis’ error allowed Joe Dillon to reach base safely, Bell committed his second error of the day to allow Ryan Shealy to get to first.

Bell’s error was the Orioles fifth of the afternoon, with pitcher Alberto Castillo receiving the brunt of the punishment. Castillo allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and had to get about six outs to get out of the seventh inning, trailing 8-2.  

Bell walked in his first at-bat.

Trembley on everyone not named Bell.

On Jeremy Guthrie’s two-inning scoreless debut:

“He did [keep the ball down], threw a couple good change-ups back to back. Pitched down, his delivery was clean. Nice start for Jeremy. Very nice start.”

On what stood out in the first game:

“What I liked today was the lefty against lefty matchups. Nicky [Markakis]. Hughes, Moore. That was a good, real good. Nicky looked like he was in midseason form.

Trembley has previously said he was impressed with infielder Rhyne Hughes’ power, which is partially why the team is trying to get Hughes reps in at various positions. Hughes homered twice, along with Josh Bell.

“It’s a very nice way to start,” Trembley said of the team’s 12-2 win over the Rays. “Guys have worked real hard for a solid 10 days. Today is a good day for the team because you could spread it around. Obviously, the guys who had some great individual performances deserve a lot of accolades, but the team deserves credit.”

“It’s a good day for the team, it’s a good day for the Orioles. It’s awfully nice for Sarasota. And I won’t kid anybody, it’s a nice way to get it started. You think about it all winter and you can’t wait to get it started.”

In case you missed it Brian Matusz takes the hill for Thursday’s game in Port Charlotte.  

Josh Bell. Wow.

If Josh Bell keeps hitting like this, there will be questions Orioles manager Dave Trembley will have to hear frequently concerning the top prospect’s chances of cracking the Opening Day roster.

“I hope he makes it tough,” Trembley said of the club’s pending decision. “Good for him. That’s what they are all here for.”

Bell went yard off right-hander Matt Garza and lefty Heath Phillips, helping further the notion that he is a true switch-hitter. He has struggled in the past with his right-handed swing, but as I wrote about earlier this week, it’s something he’s really working on in camp.

“Any time that I’ve gotten negative press about it, I just take it as a motivator and to work harder,” Bell said. “Last year I never really got comfortable right-handed and it just made me work that much harder this off-season. I know I can do it, I want to continue to do it and I’m going to continue to prove that I can.”

Bell said he was amped up to see his name in the lineup and has been all smiles since coming over from the Dodgers midseason last year.

“Sometimes you have one of those days,” Bell said. “I feel good. I was just trying to hit the ball hard.”

“I feel good, especially coming over after being with the Dodgers for five years and coming to an organization and being able to perform in front of everybody.”

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