Results tagged ‘ Nick Markakis ’

A few other notes (updated)

*Derrek Lee will take batting practice for the first time this spring either Friday or Saturday. Manager Buck Showalter said Lee will be held out of Sunday’s intrasquad game and the first few Grapefruit League contests as well.

“I’m just going to trust him right now,” Showalter said of Lee. “I trust him period but with something like this, no reason to get ahead of ourselves. I know exactly what, not to an at-bat, but a pretty good idea of what he’s going to need. He knows it better than I do. He may think he needs four weeks of at-bats, and there’s always ways to get at-bats.”

*A judge will decide today regarding whether Alfredo Simon will stay in jail or be freed on bail. Even if he is released, Simon still needs to obtain his Visa and it could be a case where he’s not allowed to leave the country yet. Stay tuned for any news on that.

*The Orioles split squad game on Sunday is going to be played at the main Ed Smith Stadium field. Manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday morning that that’s the plan for now.

*Also Zach Britton and Rick VandenHurk will both get starts this spring. Britton and VandenHurk will each piggyback off the initial run-through of the Grapefruit League schedule, which I blogged yesterday. That schedule will flip so that they start a game in the second run-through.  VandenHurk will follow Jeremy Guthrie on Tuesday while Britton will follow Justin Duchscherer on Wednesday.

*There was some confusion regarding what I wrote Monday about where Vladimir Guerrero and Nick Markakis took batting practice. That bp session took place on the practice fields at Ed Smith Stadium complex, not on the main field, which is still being worked on by a construction crew. I got a few questions about that and wanted to clarify in case it wasn’t clear in my story.  

*If you missed it, I had a nice long sit-down with new third baseman Mark Reynolds, who is looking forward to playing healthy and having a fresh start in Baltimore. The full story is up here.

More Spring quotes

A few quotes from today’s first full-squad workout…

[on his familiarity with Baltimore baseball]
“I’m learning quick. I’ve always known the history and tradition here. A great tradition. I’ve always heard about how great the fans are. I’m growing to know this team. Buck had a great message last night. I think we’re headed in the right direction.

[On Sunday’s night team movie]
It was awesome. I was ready to fight [Mike] Tyson last night. We didn’t know what to expect. I was thinking, ‘Wow, that’s weird, [a] 6 o’clock meeting. ‘ [Buck] had a great message, put the movie clips on, it was pretty good.

I was fired up. I had goose bumps last night. I think we’re going to have to show that movie before Opening Day, too, and maybe after the All-Star break.

[on having the whole team in camp]
The first day is always exciting. This is the time to cross the t’s and dot the I’s, get the little stuff done. It’s not always the most fun part. It’s tedious but it’s needed throughout the season., These next seven to eight day,s we’ll really bear down and get the fundamentals down before we start playing games next week.

[on Sunday’s team activity]
It’s something that I’ve never seen, and I’m sure these guys have never seen unless you’ve been with Showalter before.

[was the message well received?]
Of course it was well received. You got veterans talking about it, along with the younger guys. We’ve got the message.

[on the different atmosphere in the clubhouse]

You walk into the clubhouse you can feel the vibe yourself right? I’ve never honestly walked into a clubhouse and felt that way until I walk[ed] in here. There’s a sense of pride. Everybody knows what’s at stake. We want to go out and stop getting our [butts] kicked and starting kicking people’s [butts]. Point blank.

[on the direction of the Orioles organization]
“For the past two years or so, it’s been going in the right direction, we just haven’t got there yet. We have our young guys up here [now], and we have what we have. They’re here. It’s just a matter of filling in the pieces here and there. We got it this year and we’re looking forward to, I don’t want to say do big things but to go out there and do what we are capable of doing. And hopefully that leads to big things.

[on the vibe around the team]
It’s definitely a different clubhouse from years in the past. Things are going smoothly right now, guys are just getting to know each other, so it’s headed in the right direction.

Orioles/Rays series finale

*Brian Roberts is still dealing with headaches and isn’t in the lineup for the second consecutive game. He is expected to see a doctor in Baltimore on Thursday.
*I blogged earlier about Alfredo Simon’s suspension being reduced to two games. He will start serving that tonight.
*Wondering when the last time Nick Markakis was a DH? Never. This is his first Major League DH start. Manager Buck Showalter was equally surprised.
*Heavy rain is expected for Thursday’s series opener in Detroit, so the Orioles are tentatively talking about doing a doubleheader on Friday, although there’s no word yet on whether it would be back-to-back or a day and night contest with a break. All this, of course, depends on Thursday’s weather and if the game gets called.
Corey Patterson LF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Nick Markakis DH
Luke Scott 1B
Matt Wieters C
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie RF
Robert Andino 2B
Cesar Izturis SS

RHP Kevin Millwood

John Jaso C
Ben Zobrist 2B
Carl Crawford LF
Dan Johnson 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
Matt Joyce RF
B.J. Upton CF
Brad Hawpe DH
Jason Bartlett SS

RHP Jeff Niemann

Os/Red Sox lineups and pregame tidbits

*Blogged it last night, but it’s worth a re-mention to note that Nick Markakis is one of just three players in baseball history to post four consecutive seasons of least 43 doubles .Markakis doubled twice last night to accomplish the feat.
*Julio Lugo is back with the team after he was diagnosed with a pinched partial nerve in his head that had been giving him reoccurring headaches. Lugo is available tonight if needed, although manager Buck Showalter said they will make sure he’s OK physically from the layoff first.
*The Orioles rotation is “day-to-day” for the Toronto series although Jeremy Guthrie figures to get one of those starts. The O’s want to give Rick VandenHurk a start but are running out of opportunities to do so.


Brian Roberts  2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott DH
Matt Wieters C
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Robert Andino 3B
Cesar Izturis SS

RHP Brad Bergesen


Marco Scutaro 2B
JD Drew RF
Victor Martinez C
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jed Lowrie SS
Ryan Kalish CF
Daniel Nava LF
Lars Anderson 1B

RHP Clay Buchholz

Markakis makes history

Nick Markakis doubled in the seventh and ninth innings of Monday’s 4-2 win at Fenway Park, collecting his 43rd two-base hit this season.

That puts him in pretty elite company, as Markakis is now just the third player in Major League history to hit 43 doubles or more in four straight seasons, joining Hall of Famers Joe Medwick (1935-39) and Tris Speaker (1920-23.)

Orioles/Royals lineups and tibdits

*Buck Showalter called soon to be ex-interim manager Juan Samuel today to tell him how much he’d like Juan to stay on board.  Samuel said he will meet with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail when the team returns on Monday to discuss his future. Samuel has been offered back his third base job, but he acknowledged on Thursday it would be awkward to go back to that spot, particularly since he has never met or worked with Showalter. The sentiment is Samuel likely won’t stay (although the rest of the coaching staf will stay in place until the season ends.)
*Jason Berken hasn’t pitched since July 24, but interim manager Juan Samuel said there’s not to worry about.
“He is ready to pitch when we need him,” Samuel said.  We just wanted to give him some time off.”
*Nick Markakis is batting second now that Miguel Tejada is officially a Padre. Josh Bell is here but he can’t play until tomorrow due to the 10-day rule when you get optioned down. So the O’s will play with a short bench, consisting of backup catcher Jake Fox and Julio Lugo tonight.

Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Luke Scott 1B
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Corey Patterson DH
Cesar Izturis SS
Jake Arrieta RHP

Chris Getz 2B
Jason Kendall C
Billy Butler 1B
Jose Guillen DH
Rick Ankiel CF
Wilson Betemit 3B
Alex Gordon LF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Mitch Maier RF
Sean O’Sullivan RHP

Os Reax to Showalter hiring

With the news that Buck Showalter has been named the Orioles manager, here are some reactions from inside the clubhouse today.

KEVIN MILLWOOD (who played under Showalter in Texas and remains in close contact with him)

[on his reaction to the hiring] “It’s going to take a lot more than a manager to get a team going in the right direction. I think Buck’s going to do a good job for us, he’s done a good job every where he’s been. It’s just going to be coming down to the simple point of guys buying into what he preaches.”
[on Showalter’s no nonsense approach] “I think cutting back on some nonsense wouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe just new blood around here, maybe that will help. Obviously, something needs to change and I think  [interim manager Juan Samuel] did a good job, but sometimes you got to take someone from the outside coming in to really make the kind of change that they need.”

It will definitely be nice to know who is going to be here for however long, and not worried about whether he’s getting fired at the end of the season and in the offseason. This season you are going to end up with him and you are going to go into Spring Training with him and probably have him for a while after that. So, a little stability goes a long way.”


[on his initial reaction to the hiring of Showalter] “We’ve been hearing about it a lot over the last month or so we were certainly aware that the situation might happen. It’s something that it doesn’t really matter who the manager is, the players are going to have to play better and we’re all going to have to pull together and play better as a team. Maybe this will give us a more continuous face at the head.

I’ve loved both managers [Dave Trembley and Samuel] that I’ve had since I’ve been here, but now that I know that this guy is going to probably be here for a while. I never met the guy so I’m definitely going to be coming in with eyes wide open and see what he’s all about. It will be good that you’ll have a manager that’s probably going to be here for a long time.”

[on what he’s heard about Showalter]: “He goes into places and he commands respect and he’s going to sort of preach his ways and the places that he’s been, he’s been able to turn around some teams and be successful. Everybody in this clubhouse wants to turn things around.”


[on his reaction] “First and foremost, you feel bad for the guys that came before him. I think we still feel bad for Dave and Juan’s done a great job filling in. I think always, the guys that have been around for a while, and the ones that have been here, you hope that they have a chance. We know now that it’s going to be Buck. I’ve heard good things. I heard he’s very prepared and certainly his reputation over the years is very good. He’s managed winning teams. Hopefully, it will be something good for us.”

[on Buck bringing some changes to the organization] “I’m sure he’s going to change some things. I think every manager is a little bit different. I don’t know how much can be changed. I don’t think any of us really know that at this point. I guess Millwood could give us a little bit of an idea of what’s coming. I think it’s just going to be something that we’re going to have to experience and see where he takes us.

[on finally knowing what’s going to happen] “Direction, I think stability is always a good thing. I don’t think any organization, any company wants to be in an unstable place. Hopefully, this will bring some stability and hopefully this will be something that will be a lasting decision, and it will maybe go even beyond that. I think it’s a good starting point. When he gets here on Tuesday, we’ll see where we’re at.”


“With the situation we are in, it is nice to know that we are going to have a permanent solution as far as the manager goes. It’s been tough, Juan’s been doing a good job, but the organization feels that we needed to have a long-term manager. And I think for the team and the organization it’s the right decision.”

[on what he knows about Showalter] “Nothing, never met him.  You hear what you hear but you don’t know what you are going to get until he talks to us, Tuesday. And we will go from there.”


“I really don’t know anything about Buck other than I’ve heard a few players say they enjoyed playing for him. He expects a lot of his players, pays attention to details. That’s about the extent I’ve heard of him as a manager. I’m eager to see his knowledge of the game, just watching baseball tonight and ESPN programs. He has a tremendous track record, it’s probably one of the things that was most appealing to us in our situation is a guy who has been there and had a ton of success in his career.”

[on possible changes coming with Showalter as manager] “Yes I think he’s definitely here to change things. It makes sense for them to bring in fresh perspective, bring in a different attitude, someone who hasn’t necessarily been part of the orioles but has seen what we have gone through the past years. And try that approach. In the four years I’ve been here that’s an approach we haven’t taken yet. I can’t speak for [president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail] but I’m sure that’s part of what went into the decision making to bring Buck on board.”

[on finally having a long-term manager in place] “It will certainly provide stability and give us a foundation to start building off. As it is it feels like maybe we’ve been building kind of on a temporary foundation. But now Buck will arrive next week and he will begin his project of getting this team back where it should be.”

All Star game rosters, snubs, etc.

N.L. Roster by team…
Arizona – Chris Young    
Atlanta – Jayson Heyward, Tim Hudson, Omar Infante, Brian McCann, Martín Prado
Chicago – Marlon Byrd
Cincinnati – Brandon Phillips, Arthur Rhodes, Scott Rolen
Colorado – Ubaldo Jimenez, Troy Tulowitzki
Florida – Josh Johnson, Hanley Ramirez
Houston – Michael Bourn
Los Angeles – Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier
Milwaukee – Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Corey Hart
New York –  Jose Reyes,  David Wright
Philadelphia – Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley
Pittsburgh – Evan Meek
St. Louis – Chris Carpenter, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright
San Diego – Adrian Gonzalez
San Francisco – Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson
Washington – Matt Capps

A.L. Roster by team…

Baltimore – Ty Wigginton
Boston – Adrian Beltre, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Victor Martinez**, Dustin Pedroia**, David Ortiz
Chicago – Matt Thornton
Cleveland – Fausto Carmona
Detroit – Miguel Cabrera, Jose Valverde
K.C. – Joakim Soria
LA Angels – Torii Hunter
Minnesota – Joe Mauer, Juston Morneau
New York – Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia
Oakland – Trevor Cahill
Seattle – Cliff Lee, Ichiro Suzuki
Tampa Bay – Carl Crawford,  Evan Longoria, David Price
Texas – Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Vladimir Guerrero, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler**
Toronto – Jose Bautista, John Buck,  Vernon Wells

*Dustin Pedroia and Victor Martinez are hurt. Ian Kinsler is taking Pedroia’s spot.

AL Final Five:
Paul Konerko, Chicago
Nick Swisher, New York
Delmon Young, Minnesota
Michael Young, Texas
Kevin Youkilis, Boston

NL Final Five:
Heath Bell, San Diego
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
Billy Wagner, Atlanta
Joey Votto, Cincinnati
Ryan Zimmerman, Washington

In my opinion, the Padres should have at least one reliever already on the team. They have the best bullpen in baseball. Also, Joey Votto should get to go. Hopefully he can get the Final Vote because that’s a serious omission. I’m still undecided on whether Stephen Strasburg has enough starts/is deserving.
AL: In the American League, Andy Pettitte was snubbed by his own manager,
Joe Girardi. Although I’m hearing rumblings that might change. How did Felix Hernandez get left off completely? And I haven’t seen him play, but I’ve certainly been impressed by the numbers from Tigers rookie Brandon Boesch.

I know it’s an inexact science, and the players did vote for the guys that made it. Still, it’s always fun to debate who was left out of this year’s All-Star game. I know Orioles fans wanted Nick Markakis to go, but honestly with his lack of power this season and an already crowded AS outfield he just didn’t have a shot.

The wrath of Juan

As you probably know from reading about last night’s 9-3 loss to the Red Sox, interim manager Juan Samuel got pretty heated.

Samuel earned his first career ejection and later held a closed-door meeting with his players to let them know he wasn’t satisfied with Saturday’s effort.

“He played the game one way, and when he sees the game not being played
the way he played or the way it should be played, I think he gets
frustrated — as he should,” said center fielder Adam Jones.

“We didn’t play defensively like a big league team,” Nick Markakis said
of an Orioles club with nine errors in their past five games, including
four straight multi-miscue nights. “We made bonehead plays.” 

The Orioles head into Sunday 23-56 after 80 games, mirroring the mark of the
franchise-worst 107-loss squad of 1988.

“We definitely need to get better,” Samuel said.
“Even though last week we won some games, we did not play good defense.
We have to pick it up. We need to do all those little things if we’re
going to compete in this division and win some ball games.”

Jones in June

jones hr.jpg

(Photo by Andrew Markowitz Photography)

Adam Jones has an eight-game hitting streak right now and is hitting .424 (14-for-33) over that stretch with four homers, nine RBIs and nine runs scored.

Jones doubled to drive in a run as part of the Orioles three-run fifth, but if you dig deeper into the stats it appears Jones has been markedly better this month.

He is batting .315 (29-for-92) in 24 June games, with seven homers and 18 RBIs. He had five homers and 15 RBIs combined in his first 50 games this season.

I asked him yesterday after he hit a solo homer to start the Orioles’ five-run rally, what the difference is. Is he being more patient? Not pressing as much?

“I’m just hitting, really,” Jones said.  “I’m not trying to think a lot. I’m just going up there and putting a good swing on the ball. I’m still going to swing hard, people ask why I swing hard, that’s just the way I play. I’m just trying to drive the ball rather than just put the ball in play.”

So far, so good. Jones has raised his average from a season-low .203 up to .271 and is starting to show why he was such a highly regarded young talent.

It’ll be interesting to see if he can continue to consistently put up good ABs heading into the All-Star break. While I don’t think a late-surge is enough to warrant him going to the ASG, I do know that he’s well-thought of around the league and –outside of maybe Nick Markakis — has the most name recognition for the Orioles.