Results tagged ‘ Ty Wigginton ’

Wiggy to the Rockies

The Orioles lost their one and only All-Star this season, as free agent Ty Wigginton signed a two-year, $8 million deal Tuesday morning with Colorado, a contract that also includes an option for 2013.

Wigginton’s deal is $7.5 million for 2011 and 2012 and includes a $500,000 buyout should the club chose to not exercise their option. The 33-year-old Wigginton enjoyed a career year for the Orioles last season, and will join his sixth Major League team next spring.

Tasked as the O’s utility guy this spring, Wigginton stepped in for injured second baseman Brian Roberts and hit .308 with six homers and 12 RBIs the first month of the season. He followed that up with seven homers and 20 RBIs in May and, although he cooled off at the end of the season, was praised by new manager Buck Showalter for his toughness and gritty play.

A hard-nosed player, Wigginton appeared in 154 games for the Orioles, finishing with a .248 batting average, 22 homers and 76 RBIs. While the O’s maintained an interest in retaining Wigginton, Colorado’s two-year offer was too good to pass up.

Wigginton can play three infield positions and figures to help Denver fill the void created by Melvin Mora, another former Oriole, who signed with Arizona on Monday.

Welcome to the Offseason

The San Francisco Giants are World Series Champions. I’m not sure how I feel about that just yet. Anyways, as soon as the last pitch was recorded 142 players filed for free agency. Here are the Orioles names, including Mark Hendrickson who has a club option that will be declined.

Of the names, Cesar Izturis and Ty Wigginton have the best chance of coming back although that depends on where the O’s find that big power bat. Even so, the team is not expected to sign any of their free agents in the newly-shortened five-day window. That means come Sunday the free agent market will really get going with other clubs allowed to negotiate. Here are the former Orioles who will hit the market…..

Cesar Izturis, SS
Julio Lugo, 2B BA
Kevin Millwood, SP
Corey Patterson OF
Koji Uehara  RP
Ty Wigginton, INF

Mark Hendrickson, RP

First and foremost the Orioles need a power bat, preferably one who plays a corner infield spot. Here are the 2011 first base free agents, with their age, according to the wonderful website MLB Trade Rumors:

Garrett Atkins (31)
Lance Berkman (35) – Type B
Russell Branyan (35) – $5MM mutual option
Jorge Cantu (29)
Adam Dunn (31) – Type A
Troy Glaus (34)
Eric Hinske (33)
Aubrey Huff (34) – Type B
Nick Johnson (32)
Paul Konerko (35) – Type A
Mark Kotsay (35)
Adam LaRoche (31) – $7.5MM mutual option with a $1.5MM buyout -Type B
Derrek Lee (35) – Type A
Melvin Mora (39)
Xavier Nady (32)
Lyle Overbay (34)
Carlos Pena (33) – Type B
Robb Quinlan (34)
Fernando Tatis (36)
Mike Sweeney (37)

*First and foremost, not a lot of power jumps off on this list. It’s not the Orioles only option (we’ll spend time looking at third base and shortstop options as well), but it’s a pretty uninspiring group given that the O’s want a middle-of-the-order bat. Do you take a gamble of Pena, who had a career-low year and struggled to bat .200? I’ve been told that Adam Dunn has no interest in coming here –he also prefers to play the field–, and according to, the Diamondbacks will make signing Konerko an “offseason priority”. Huff was dealt away once, I’d be shocked if president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail made a serious effort to bring him back.  Berkman and Johnson struggled with injuries and declining numbers.
*Wigginton is also on this list, but resigning him hardly feels like a free agent acquisition so I took him off. He’s always an option, especially given that manager Buck Showalter loves hard-nosed players like Wiggy. 

*You can also note the line through Garrett Atkins’ name. No, he’s not retiring, but the Orioles definitely won’t gamble on him again. Look for Atkins who said he is open to signing a Minor League deal, to go back to the National League and hope to revive his career much like a Pat Burrell case.

*This blog is by no means meant to be exhaustive, just thought I’d get the Hot Stove talk started. I’m working on an inbox for later this week, so feel free to send your Orioles offseason questions my way. The Orioles Free Agent preview will be up later on the site and should help get the discussions going. Should be an interesting winter…

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More on the Ohman trade, and why Wiggy stays

Minutes before the Trade Deadline, the Marlins acquired veteran lefty
reliever Will Ohman from the Orioles for right-hander Rick VandenHurk. Ohman appeared in 51 games with Baltimore and he posted a 3.30 ERA.

A free agent after the season, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said moving Ohman was basically just a two-month rental, and the team couldn’t afford to have a ‘pen of all one-inning relievers.

As for Ty Wigginton, the Orioles basically lost a chance to move him when Jorge Cantu went to the Rangers.

Does Wiggy stay? and more trade musings

Ty Wigginton has been considered the Orioles best trade chip for months now, but he could end up staying put at the Trade Deadline. Why?

There’s a few reasons to take into account, namely that yesterday’s trade to move Miguel Tejada was primarily to clear a space for top position prospect Josh Bell. The O’s don’t have a first baseman nearly as ready, although Michael Aubrey has been on a tear lately and could earn a call-up to help share a possible platoon with either Jake Fox or Luke Scott.

So far, the offers for Wigginton aren’t deals that would really improve the O’s. He would likely get the same type of mid-level prospect acquired yesterday from San Diego, and his departure would help leave a significant hole in a Baltimore lineup trying to avoid going down as the worst team in franchise history.

MacPhail said yesterday after the Tejada trade that no more moves were on the immediate docket, and given that tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET is the deadline, an “immediate move” would have probably been deemed as something early this morning. Still, things can change in an instant and the O’s could be moved to move Wiggy. But with the Tejada trade and the Rangers –thought to be the front-runners — acquiring Jorge Cantu, I wouldn’t be shocked if he stays.

What’s becoming increasingly more likely is that the Orioles could trade reliever Will Ohman who is cheap and a lefty specialist. Particularly with the bullpen nearly back at full force and Jim Johnson progressing along in Sarasota, the Os could get a decent return on moving Ohman, who was signed to a Minor League deal this spring. 


Samuel on umpires and accountability

Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel, a player for 16 years, agreed that there has been a shift in the way blown calls are handled. In the wake of last night’s trio of ejections, which started when first base umpire Gary Darling ruled J.J. Hardy safe at first base, Samuel was asked if there’s a difference in accountability now as opposed to when he was playing.

“Gary’s been around for a long time,” Samuel said of Darling. “And I just think for me, from my point of view, [if] guys will admit, ‘Yes I missed it. And everything stop there.’

I think nowadays guys kind of they say, ‘Well I see it this way, and that’s how I see it and that’s how it is’. In the past, I think guys would admit things more and you just wish it was like that again. But you also have a lot of new and young umpires coming up and you are going to have those situations.”

Questioned after the game, Darling said he saw the replay although he was hesitant to completely admit he got the call wrong.

“[Wigginton] missed him the first time and on a close play, he got him the second time it looked like,” Darling said. “It was a close play.”

In case you missed it, Wigginton was suspended for three games by Major League Baseball for his actions on Thursday night and will appeal the suspension

Wiggy suspended, will appeal

Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton will be handed a three-game suspension from Major
League Baseball for Thursday night’s tirade. Wigginton and president of baseall operatoins Andy MacPhail both said the organization
will appeal the suspension (which also includes an undisclosed fine) which is expected to become official around 5 p.m. ET.

Appealing the suspension means Wigginton will not be serving it just yet and MacPhail confirmed this would not change anything with the Orioles roster, which has seen a major shakeup in the last few days and is expected to active Matt Wieters on Sunday.

Interim manager Juan Samuel agreed the three games suspension was harsh, particularly considering Wigginton’s ejection –which came from first base umpire Gary Darling — was to argue a blatant miscall that Darling later admitted. While Wigginton said he was not aware any physical contact was made, Darling said Thursday night that he was bumped in the chest and that he would mention that in his report to MLB.  

Samuel and pitching coach Rick Kranitz were also ejected and are expected to be fined.

More quotes on the ejections

As you may have read, the Orioles had a trio of ejections — first baseman Ty Wigginton, pitching coach Rick Kranitz and interim manager Juan Samuel — that went down in the seventh innings of Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Twins. The fully story is up, and you can read it here.

Here are some more quotes on that..

Ty Wigginton, who was ejected for arguing a call which first base umpire Gary Darling later admitted he got wrong…

“I don’t think they’ll be anything other than a normal ejection. In baseball you’ve got the option of questioning a call, and he ejected me for questioning a call.

“You get the leadoff guy on [in J.J. Hard] and he goes first pitch and we get him hung out to dry. I felt he was out. Getting that leadoff guy out would be a big part in the game. You’re four runs down, that’s one swing of the bat and it’s a tie ballgame.

“[First base umpire Gary Darling] said I missed him. I felt he was out. We’re in last place, and anytime you’re in last place there’s a lot of frustration in the season. Obviously that’s not where we wanted to be. Frustration is all part of the game.”

Rick Kranitz who was ejected one out after Wigginton for his actions on the bench when Hardy scored…

“I didn’t say anything [to get ejected]. I sarcastically clapped in the way that the umpire, I guess [home plate ump] Bill Hohn took offense to. Yeah you know I shouldn’t have done that. It wasn’t the right thing to do, but you know, you get frustrated. Especially when Kevin [Millwood has] been on the mound, crazy things have happened when he pitched. And he was on a pretty good roll on the time, it was reaction, shouldn’t have happened.”

“Sure there’s frustration. I think anytime you are not winning ball games, as many as we think we should be winning. [Twins starter Carl] Pavano had that game in hand, obviously. That call didn’t change the outcome of the game by any stretch of the imagination. It was just frustration on everybody’s part. I think we’re all tired of losing some ball games. And when something happens and it doesn’t go our way, you say and do things you shouldn’t do.”

“I was a little bit surprised with [the ejection.] Yeah, I am. I’m surprised.”

Juan Samuel who was ejected for sticking up for Kranitz…

 “We thought Wiggy tagged [Hardy] not once but twice. Gary after watching the replay probably will admit it was a blown call. Unfortunately, he didn’t go out way. Basically Kranny didn’t do anything to get thrown out o the game, so I guess emotions were very high tonight. And as a result, we saw what happened.”
(oh really?): “I don’t think I was angry tonight. I just didn’t think Kranny deserved to be thrown out. He did not do anything basically to deserve being thrown out. I don’t know if they know that they blew the call and fuses were very short.”
“Kranny didn’t say anything. That’s what I was trying to tell Bill Hohn. Kranny did not say anything. I was trying to tell him. How can you blame Kranny when one of your guys blew the call? Kranny didn’t deserve that. He didn’t miss the call.”
“I did not see Wiggy touch [Darling]. I did not see a replay. I did not see any video. I was just trying to make sure we didn’t do something that we would not be proud of. I was trying to restrain him a little bit. I did not see Wiggy touch him.”

Umpire Bill Hohn on Kranitz..

“I ejected him for his actions on the bench, is the reason why he got ejected. He knows the reason why he got ejected. You saw what he did on the field.”

Umpire Gary Darling, who said Wigginton bumped him in the chest during his tirade…

“I will send in my report to the league and they make the decision on anything.”
Darling also admitted Hardy was out..

“We looked at it, [Wigginton] missed him the first time and on a close play, he got him the second time it looked like. It was a close play.”

J.J. Hardy

“I thought I was [safe] until I saw the replay…I just got done talking to [Wigginton] and it seemed like he was in a pretty good mood. I think maybe we were talking about the weather before that pitch and he said it’s been really hot and then the next thing I know, he’s up in Darling’s face.”

Os Trio Tossed (w. quotes)

BALTIMORE– Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton, pitching coach Rick Kranitz and interim manager Juan Samuel were all ejected Thursday night at separate points of an ugly seventh inning that ended in a 5-0 Twins win.

“I guess emotions were very high tonight,” said Samuel, who stomped on his hat and flung it onto the mound like a Frisbee as he stormed off after being tossed.  “And as a result, we saw what happened.”

Wigginton went first, as he was ejected in the top of the inning by first-base umpire Gary Darling, who ruled that Wigginton missed the tag on J.J. Hardy, who slid headfirst to get back to the bag.

“You get the leadoff guy on and he goes first pitch and we get him hung out to dry,” Wigginton said of Hardy, who turned and tried to head back to first base after catcher Craig Tatum threw down to second. “I felt he was out.”

He was. Television replays showed Wigginton clearly tagging both of Hardy’s outstretched hands and Wigginton threw his hat off and went on a tirade — that included Samuel coming out to the field to restrain him – after Darling gave him the boot.  

“I thought I was [safe] until I saw the replay,” Harding said. “I just got done talking to [Wigginton] and it seemed like he was in a pretty good mood. I think maybe we were talking about the weather before that pitch and he said it’s been really hot and then the next thing I know, he’s up in Darling’s face.”

Red-faced with rage, Wigginton flipped the ball in the stands on his way out and Samuel -who came out to keep the infielder from doing something “that would [the team] would not be prove of” – walked back to the dugout. Samuel, who hadn’t seen the replay when speaking to reporters post-game, said he didn’t believe Wigginton made contact with Darling, but the umpire ruled otherwise.

“[Wigginton made contact] in the chest [and] stomach,” said Darling, who admitted he botched the call. “[I] will send in my report to the League and they make the decision on anything.”

The crowd of 20, 108 issued a loud chorus of boos for several moments following the play and the tension continued to build at Camden Yards. One out later, after Drew Butera singled and Hardy came around to score, Kranitz sarcastically started clapping from the dugout and home plate umpire Bill Hohn made him Orioles casualty No. 2.

“I shouldn’t have done that. It wasn’t the right thing to do, but you know, you get frustrated,” Kranitz said of his actions, which got him his second ejection this season.

“I guess Bill Hohn took offense to [the clapping]”

When asked about the nonverbal cues that got Kranitz tossed, Hohn said his actions on the bench were “unprofessional and uncalled for”.

Samuel didn’t see it that way, and he stormed the field and began a sequence of events that involved putting a beating on his baseball cap and giving Hohn an earful.

“Kranny did not say anything. I was trying to tell [Hohn], ‘How can you blame Kranny when one of your guys blew the call?’,” said Samuel, who became the third Oriole to retreat to the clubhouse after being tossed for arguing on Kranitz’s half.  “Kranny didn’t deserve that. He didn’t miss the call.”

“We thought Wiggy tagged the guy, not once but twice. Gary after watching the replay probably will admit it was a blown call. Unfortunately, he didn’t go our way.”

Wigginton was replaced by Jake Fox at first base, with bench coach Jeff Datz taking over for Samuel and reliever Michael Gonzalez coming out to replace starter Kevin Millwood.

“You know, we want to win,” Kranitz said of an Orioles squad that is a Major League-worst 30-65. “And we want to win bad. And you could just see the competitiveness in Wiggy and how he went about [arguing for the team.]”

Orioles roster mania

BALTIMORE– The expected flurry of Orioles roster moves this week continued on Tuesday, with the news that right-hander Chris Tillman had been taken out of the rotation and optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk for the second time this season.

Interim Orioles manager Juan Samuel also confirmed that veteran Kevin Millwood will be activated from the 15-day disabled list (right forearm strain) and start Thursday’s game with the rest of the O’s rotation sliding back a day.

Baltimore is expecting to activate closer Michael Gonzalez -either following Wednesday’s game or early on Thursday – and the O’s could also add another arm prior to Wednesday’s game to take the spot vacated by Tillman. Matt Wieters (strained right hamstring) is expected to slide right into the lineup on Sunday, and Brian Roberts, who started a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie on Monday, could also be activated in the next few days, although the team is leaning toward having Roberts wait. Rookie infielder Josh Bell is expected to be a roster casualty and the team will have to make a few more to clear space.

Although the Orioles roster is in upheaval, president of baseball operations MacPhail said there is “nothing that would indicate” a trade in the next several days, to help free up some space. Beyond that, the Orioles are always discussing possibilities around this time of the year, particularly with veterans like Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada.

“We’re still trying to make the decision which way we’re going to go, whether it’s going to be a pitcher or a position player when all these guys come back,” Samuel said of the roster juggling. “I think Andy has got his hands full trying to figure out which way we’re going to go.”

With Roberts, he could possibly begin next week’s road series with the Orioles, but given his injury, a herniated disc in his lower back, Roberts would have to be used sparingly on Toronto’s artificial turf.

While MacPhail acknowledged that “Brian’s rather keen on getting it going,” the organization will reevaluate him on Thursday, when he takes a day off of rehab. Having Roberts play at the Rogers Centre surface -which is similar to the three straight games he started in Tampa Bay prior to reinjuring himself on the Orioles home opener – is hardly ideal and it could push him back another series.

“For me, the ideal place for [Roberts] is Kansas City,” Samuel said. “We have to be smart. We do not want to see him have a major setback. I’m sure he’s going to push his way into playing in Toronto, so we have to be smart with this.”

The Orioles also had to weigh the possibilities concerning sending Tillman back to Norfolk, in what is becoming a yo-yo year for the young righty. With Samuel and MacPhail both against a six-man rotation, Tillman -who allowed eight runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings in Monday’s loss – proved to be the odd man. The 22-year-old has struggled to find consistency at the Major League level -nearly pitching a no-hitter in his previous start at Texas-but given that he wasn’t going to throw again for five days, it was an easy choice to make room in the rotation. 

Millwood has been on the disabled list since July 6 with a strained right forearm and has seen a strong-first half collapse into a 10.20 ERA over his previous seven starts. Samuel said he was confident Millwood could return to his early-season form, and Millwood has attested since the All-Star break that his arm has felt much better.
The Orioles are equally optimistic about Gonzalez, who was placed on the 60-day DL (left shoulder strain) and used his full rehab assignment, which expires on Wednesday.

While Gonzalez has struggled in the Minor Leagues, Samuel thinks his concentration and focus will help improve his location -and results -when he rejoins the O’s.  Signed to a two-year deal this offseason to close games, Gonzalez appeared in just three games -including two blown saves – before landing on the DL and will be eased back into the later innings.

What to do with Wiggy, plus MacPhail on young talent

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said on Saturday at the Orioles State of the Team address no one is untouchable when it comes to trade talks, including the team’s young core. But MacPhail did acknowledge that it would be hard to part with a young player even if the team would get back a impact bat that it badly needs for the future.

The Orioles are actively shopping veterans Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada, with Wigginton the team’s best trade chip given his versatility and resurgent year. The Rangers had a scout in attendance last night and have made it no secret that they are interested in Wigginton.

It’s important to keep an eye on Brian Roberts‘ return, as that would clearly give MacPhail reason to move Wigginton. The timetable on trading Wiggy figures to rely heavily on  when the Os will have a healthy B-Rob.