Results tagged ‘ Ty Wigginton ’

Lugo Trade: What does it mean for the Os?

The Julio Lugo trade today brings up some important
questions for the Orioles going forward. Rather than answer everyone individually, I’ve tried to clear a few
things up. Some of this is from talking to team officials, some of this is fact
and some of it is pure speculation. But with the Opening Day rosters deadline 3
p.m. ET on Sunday, it’s safe to say there will be some movement coming for the O’s…

 *What does this mean
for Robert Andino?

Unfortunately, nothing good. President of baseball operations
Andy MacPhail wouldn’t comment on whether they were actively shopping Andino,
but the sentiment is the Orioles are looking to dump Andino in hopes of getting
some return -say a middling reliever – before they are forced to move him from
the 25-man roster. Keep in mind Andino is out of options so he would have to
clear waivers for the Orioles to keep him. He could do that, but given his
flexibility and relatively young age, it’s also possible another team scoops
him up.

The Orioles also have to make room somewhere for the
addition of lefty specialist Will Ohman, who will make the team as a non-roster
invitee. With Lugo as an Oriole, Andino is expendable.

*Who says Lugo is an
upgrade, anyhow?

The thought around the organization is people are growing
increasingly tired of Andino’s attitude and defensive miscues this spring. Although,
personally, I always liked the guy and he was generally well received around
the clubhouse.  It’s an interesting move
to get rid of Andino for Lugo given that the Orioles have preached building around
youth and getting guys of good character. As a 34-year-old with a previous assault
charge, Lugo is none of those things. Is he an offensive upgrade over Andino?
Probably.  Keep in mind the Orioles are
giving up nothing (in a player you’ve never heard of or a minimal dollar
amount) for Lugo, and I guess the move makes sense. Particularly given the
situation with Brian Roberts, which brings me to my next question…

*Does this mean
Roberts isn’t doing quite as well as you’ve been reporting?

Not necessarily. Roberts played the last three days prior to
Wednesday and was at the complex this morning getting ready to go workout.  But the Orioles schedule -which includes 16
consecutive games – makes it impossible to play Roberts every day, at least in
the beginning. Keep in mind the Orioles open on the awful turf at Tropicana
Field and follow Thursday’s night game with an afternoon home opener in
Baltimore. MacPhail stressed that getting Lugo will help them be prudent with Roberts.
 You don’t want to push the guy and have
him re-injure himself or have another setback. Roberts is crucial to the Orioles
success. And while Ty Wigginton has done an admirable job filling in at second
base, the O’s aren’t keen on him being there often.

*So is Wiggy in
trouble as well?

Not nearly as much as Andino.  When I asked MacPhail that exact question, he
brought up the fact that Wiggy can fill in at the corners of the infield, and therefore,
Lugo’s acquisition won’t really cut into his playing time. Plus, Wigginton is
the only veteran right-handed bat the O’s have off the bench on days where Luke
Scott is the starting DH. The Orioles have had Wigginton on the trading block
for a while, but the market for older infield guys making around $3 million doesn’t
exactly open up great trades for Baltimore.  Just look at the Minor League deals guys like
Hank Blalock had to accept.

*If we are getting
Lugo for next to nothing, who is paying his salary?

The Red Sox. The Cardinals, like the Orioles, paid Lugo
league minimum, which is currently $400,000. He’s owed $9 million this season,
and he has a $9 million vesting option for 2011 that’s unreachable because he
hasn’t compiled the necessary plate appearances since 2007. Boston is on the hook
for all of Lugo’s 2010 salary, which should — at the very least — make O’s
fans smile.

Roberts Update

SARASOTA–Orioles president
of baseball operations Andy MacPhail confirmed that second baseman Brian Roberts saw Dr. Lee
Riley
of The John Hopkins Hospital on Monday and is expected to fly back
to Sarasota later in the day.

The intended course
of action for Roberts included an epidural, which according to a report in
Baltimore Sun, took place. MacPhail couldn’t confirm what happened during
Roberts’ appointment, but said the team expects Roberts to be back in the
clubhouse on Tuesday morning.  According
to MacPhail, the plan is to wait a few days and see how Riley’s treatment
responds.  

Roberts participated in infield practice before leaving on
Sunday, and insisted his visit to Riley was not a setback, but a more
aggressive approach in treating the slightly herniated disc in his lower back.
The injury was suffered during offseason workouts at the Athletes Performance
Institute in Arizona.

MacPhail has said
previously that the situation is a growing concern, and that the Orioles will
explore internal options as well as explore outside help if there is a fit.
Manager Dave Trembley reiterated that sentiment on Monday afternoon and has
already begun to get certain players extra work at second, should Roberts not
be ready by April 6′s Opening Day.

We need to
do what we can with what we have right here in camp and if something happens
from outside the camp we will deal with it then,” Trembley said. “I’d still
like to believe that Roberts will be our guy, but we’re at the point now where
you have to start thinking about the possibility, what we could do elsewhere.”

“You got three guys on the roster [Justin] Turner, [Ty] Wiggington,
[and Robert] Andino
,” Trembley said. “You are going to look at those three
guys.”


Wigginton -who was
lauded by MacPhail for his strong play in Saturday’s start – also started at
second on Monday.  A veteran utility guy,
Wigginton has the most experience of the three candidates, appearing in nine
games at second base last year.  Prior to
that, Wigginton spent two years in Houston mainly at third base and the
outfield, but he
played in a career-high 46 games at second for the
then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays in ’06.

Primarily a shortstop, Andino appeared at second base for
the Orioles in eight games last year, including three starts.  He made nine starts and 15 appearances there
for the Marlins in ’08.  A  September call-up, Turner played parts of
three games at second base last season in his first taste of the big leagues.

“From my standpoint, Wiggy had about as good of a day
as you can have over there [Saturday against the Yankees],” MacPhail said
on Sunday. “And he’s got some pedigree in terms of his Major League
experience. “To me, you know, I would like to see him get [the] lion’s
share — at least some innings again — over at second to just expand on
that.”

While Roberts has made it clear that he’s not worried about
his readyiness for Opening Day, he has been limited in baseball-related
activities and hasn’t hit in nearly a week.

Roberts’ progression in treating the injury was slowed last
week after medication he was prescribed upset his stomach. Trembley described
the megadose pack as similar to a cortisone shot and said it was prescribed to
help reduce the inflammation in Roberts’ back. While suffering from virus-like
symptoms, Roberts did not take any medication and was placed on a different
medication for the few days leading up to Sunday’s appointment. 

More pregame tidbits

 

We’re about 30 minutes away from first pitch at George M. Steinbrenner Field, and it’s one of the nicest days of Spring Training so far. The Yankees also have a split-squad game, with Detroit, so a lot of the regulars aren’t here. The Orioles, on the other hand, have a good group of regulars, including starter Jeremy Guthrie.

Manager Dave Trembley said pregame that Guthrie is scheduled to go four innings in his third spring start. If he does, he will be the first Os arm this spring to make it out of the third inning.

The Phillies pitchers for Sunday’s game in Sarasota are as follows: RHP
Kyle Kendrick, RHP Andrew Carpenter, LHP Sergio Escalona. Brian Matusz will
start that game with the rest of the arms in yesterday’s rainout blog. Yesterday’s blog post also has more info on the “B” squad game being played at Pirate City.

 The Orioles might play an intrasquad game on Tuesday in Sarasota in an effort to get some more arms to throw. The team’s regularly scheduled contest is against the Twins in Fort Myers.

With Brian Roberts still sidelined , Ty Wiggington got a start at second base on Saturday afternoon. Trembley said there will be a bunch of mixing and matching to come among some of the position players, and to not read to into it.  Robert Andino would have played at third base some if yesterday’s game hadn’t been rained out and Trembley said he was also looking to get Andino some outfield work. Luke Scott’s been bounced around from left field to first base and Lou Montanez is in left field for today’s game.

“It’s the time in camp to start moving guys around,” Trembley said.

Justin Turner and Wiggy

This is a leftover pregame pic from today. The two of them were ribbing me for taking photos, so I had to make sure I put this up on the blog. Secretly, I know they enjoy these…

RaysOrioles5.jpg

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