Results tagged ‘ Will Ohman ’

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.

Ohman speaks about the Trade

Orioles reliever Will Ohman was traded to the Marlins for Minor Leaguer RHP Rick Vandenhurk. Vandenhurk will report to Triple-A Norfolk with Troy Patton expected to be in Kansas City tomorrow to take Ohman’s spot in the ‘pen.

Here is Ohman’s final interview as an Oriole..

[did you expect this?] I mean I thought that there was a possibility, nothing is ever certain. Just talked to Andy and he said it went right down to the wire. I guess that’s just how it goes. You are always with the team that wants you this most. So, I guess my time here is done.
[on it being a positive thing] Anytime you get traded it’s a good feeling. [It means] you did well enough in the place that you were to merit the trade, and there’s somebody else out there that thinks you are serviceable. In that way, I guess it’s a compliment.
[difficult to leave?] Got another 24 friends picked out for me in South Florida. So, go find out if they like me.
[key to him being productive this year?] The surgery I had in the offseason for me, made the difference. It really made a huge difference, was actually able to locate pitches where I wanted to, I wasn’t able to do that last year. I fought through it, it just didn’t work.
[joining a race] You always want to pitch meaningful innings, meaningful games. Obviously we’ve come up short a lot on that here. So I guess there will be some added energy in that regard ,but the game remains the same.

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. 

 

Bergy to the 'Pen & Os/Sox lineups

*Brad Bergesen is being skipped at least once in the rotation given Monday’s off day. Interim manager Juan Samuel wasn’t sure if this will be a long-term deal or not, but didn’t rule that out. The feeling is Bergesen needs to get his arm slot straightened out. Bergesen has had an up and down year, but do you really give up on the guy?

*Mike Gonzalez’s last bullpen session was “not good” Samuel said. He will take two days off and throw on Tuesday. The Orioles won’t come right out and say it, but mid-June is not looking likely. Keep in mind Gonzalez will need to go on a rehab assignment after he’s through with extended spring.
 
*As expected, Brian Roberts took another day off and rested today.
 
*Matt Wieters is struggling at the plate. Yes, all the Orioles are, but the switch-hitter catcher’s has looked particularly bad lately.  Obviously, Wieters is young and has a lot to work on given the demands of catching. Samuel said he will try to give Wieters more rest days in hopes that will rejuvenate him.

*Will Ohman will remain the team’s closer in the Juan Samuel Era. If you’re curious, David Hernandez will remain the back end of the bullpen guy. He was up warming in the blowout last night,  but that’s only because the Orioles had burned through so many arms. 

ORIOLES LINEUP:
Corey Patterson LF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Matt Wieters C
Adam Jones CF
Garrett Atkins DH
Julio Lugo 2B
Cesar Izturis SS
Jeremy Guthrie RHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Victor Martinez 1B
J.D. Drew RF
Jason Varitek C
Josh Reddick CF
Bill Hall LF
Jon Lester LHP

Ohman's the man, so far

Save situation or not, manager Dave Trembley was going to call for Will Ohman in the ninth inning on Tuesday.

“We don’t have per se a bonafide closer. If you have a bonafide closer in the ninth, you probably don’t bring a guy in when it’s a four-run lead, when it’s not a save situation,” Trembley said. “But I think you’ve got to bring in the best guy you have in that situation with experience. Ohman hasn’t given up any runs. Let’s try to put a lid on it and win the game. It really doesn’t matter there about matchups – right, left. They haven’t scored off him, we’ve got the lead, he’s already warmed up.

“Plus, Berken’s down there and he’s a younger guy and as soon as you sit him down, maybe the switch in his head goes off and says, ‘Hey, I’m not in it.’ You see this a lot with young guys and you see this a lot with young closers late in the game. Once the game gets one way or the other, I’ve seen it with young closers, you get way ahead and then all of a sudden, boom, it gets close and they’ve shut it down mentally for the day, and now you ask them to flick the switch again, you’re asking for trouble. So, I wouldn’t do that to Berken.”

The question is does Ohman get the ball in the next save spot? I’d say more often than not that’s the case.  Trembley has mentioned how valuable Ohman is as a situational lefty, but he’s still their best reliever right now. And who do you trust to get the final three outs? Your best guy.

Ohman/JJ face the music

Will Ohman and Jim Johnson were both right at their
lockers following Wednesday’s loss. It’s always appreciated, especially given
how they both had a hand in the O’s heartbreaking demise in the eighth. Ohman
came on with two outs and threw eight straight balls, intentionally walking Victor
Martinez and giving David Ortiz a free pass to load the bases and bring on
Johnson. The Orioles’ de facto closer, Johnson walked Adrian Beltre on five
pitches to score the game’s decisive run.

Here
are their post-game quotes, most of which didn’t make it into my game story due
to space.

Ohman

 “You
decide the game in the seventh or eighth inning, I didn’t get it done. This
isn’t anybody’s fault but mine, personally. I gave [the Red Sox] momentum when
they didn’t necessarily have it. There’s a runner on third with two outs and I
have got two chances to get a guy out and I don’t even throw a pitch close
that’s on me.”

 

What
exactly went wrong?

 “I
just stuck it up. I didn’t get it done.”

 “It’s
frustrating in that we needed a pick-me-up and I gave us a let-me-down. I
didn’t get it done. Nobody’s fault but mine.”

 “I
gave them a position where JJ had to come and pick me up and it shouldn’t have
been there. I don’t care what park we are in or who we are facing I did not get
it done.”

 

Johnson

 “We
didn’t throw a whole lot of strikes, and you obviously can’t defend against the
walks. That’s inexcusable. That’s terrible. You can’t lose a game on walking in
a guy with the bases loaded. That’s just horse[ bleep] on my part.”

 

On
how frustrating it was to see the Orioles tie the game and then have the ‘pen
give it up…

 “We
battled back, Jonesy hits the two run shot to get us back in it. We scrap, not
a favorable call during that one inning [with Reimold in the top of the eighth]
that we did score but we still grounded it out and then that eighth inning
things got away from us.

 “Look
at how many guys did we walk in the eighth inning You can’t do that. You can’t
do that at the end of the game.”

 “You’ve
got to be able to close the book on those guys, You can’t let them get on base
without swinging the bats.”

 

 Five of the Orioles’ six arms issued a walk. What was going
on?

“It’s
not like we are tryin’ to do that. We’ve got to figure it out. I’m trying to
throw a ball down the middle and it just isn’t going there. That last pitch to
Beltre. I’ve got to make him try to hit the ball and put it in play.”

WELCOME HOME

  • camdenyards.jpg

After an eventful win last night, welcome to the beginning of baseball at Camden Yards. In my mad dash to get here from my Southwest flight this morning, I forgot the USB cord for  my camera. So, I apologize for that. And you will have pictures later on. For now, I give you Trembley:

“We’ve
been looking forward to this day for a long time, and I’m sure it will be an
exciting day for all of us,” manager Dave Trembley said. ” It’s a day that you anticipate. I think the more
you get an opportunity you do this, you understand the amount of work and
effort and energy that goes into making something like this possible.”

*Trembley talked a little pregame about starter Brad Bergesen deserving to get the nod in today’s home opener. In case you missed it, I wrote a feature on Bergesen on the site today, you can read that here

*Felix Pie will start one of these three games. He’s doing baseball-related activities today and is progressing well. 

*Closer Mike Gonzalez is available, but Trembley would like to stay away from using lefty specialist Will Ohman, who has appeared in the last three games. Look for Mark Hendrickson instead.

*As expected B-Rob is in the lineup for a 4th straight game. What a champ. Here’s hoping he builds on last night’s two hits.

 

ORIOLES LINEUP

Brian Roberts 2B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Luke Scott LF
Matt Wieters C
Nolan Reimold DH
Garrett Atkins 1B
Cesar Izturis SS

Brad Bergesen RHP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP

Jose Bautista RF
Alex Gonzalez SS
Adam Lind DH
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
John Buck C
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Travis Snider LF
John McDonald 2B

Brandon Morrow RHP

Koji says DL, new 'pen plans

SARASOTA, Fla. — With no real timetable of when he will get
back on the mound, Orioles reliever Koji Uehara said Monday that he expects to
start the season on the disabled list.

 “If it happens,
there’s nothing I can do about it,” Koji said through interpreter Jiwon Bang. “Obviously
we don’t have many days before [April 6's] Opening Day, so you kind of expect
it.”

Uehara exit March 18’s game 
against the Toronto Blue Jays with a left hamstring strain and hasn’t
thrown on the mound since suffering the injury. 
Prior to Monday’s game, manager Dave Trembley said Koji would have to be
able to show he can throw by mid-week to avoid the DL.

Koji ‘s progression has been slow and deliberate -mostly
just light catch and running – but he said starting the season on the DL
wouldn’t be too disappointing.

“The more important thing is to be ready physically,” he
said.

If Uehara starts the season on the disabled list, it would
open up an extra bullpen slot, perhaps for a guy like Jason Berken, who has
pitched predominantly out of the ‘pen. Berken tossed four scoreless innings in
relief of Chris Tillman in his most recent outing Friday, and could give the
Orioles a second long-inning man to go along with Mark Hendrickson.

Right now, I’d say Berken is on the team’s Opening Day roster, with Cla Meredith, Matt Albers and Will Ohman to round it out. Kam Mickolio is another option, but the big right-hander has been sidelined the last few days with a sore groin and Trembley acknowledged he hasn’t pitched up to expectations. 

Albers is out of options –and pitching better — so the logical thing to do is keep him and have Mickolio get some more work in Triple-A. 

“I think he’s had a very good opportunity to show what he can do,” Trembley said of Mickolio. “Whether it’s been the best he can do, I’m not so sure. I think it’s been
kind of an up-and-down for him. I don’t mean to be very critical, but I
think he’s capable of doing better more consistently. I think he’s
shown glimpses of it. Other times he’s pitched in too many three-ball
counts. I don’t know if his leg has been bothering him for a while and
this has been a reason. There’s an awful lot in there. We just need to
get it out on a more consistent basis.”

In 9 1/3 spring innings, Mickolio has allowed two earned runs on seven hits. He’s struggled with his command, issuing seven walks (against 10 strikeouts) and told me today he will try to get back on the mound Tuesday to test his groin.

Markakis: O's team best so far.

trembley with fans.jpg

A cleanly shaven Nick Markakis arrived to today’s workout, and was extremely impressive during positional players batting practice. Taking swings with Adam Jones and Felix Pie, Markakis routinely sent ball after ball flying out of the practice field.

Turns out, it was the first time he’s taken batting practice since the season ended.

“He was swinging effortlessly and hitting them into the trees out there,” marveled manager Dave Trembley. “And you wonder how the heck did he do that the first day? Special talent.”

When he was asked whether this was the best Orioles team on paper that he’s been a part of in his five seasons, Markakis agreed.

“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “The way our young guys have developed last year, you can’t ask for any more than what they did.”

As for his preference to bat second or third in the lineup:

“I don’t really see much difference between the two and three hole besides more opportunity to drive runners in,” Markakis said. “When I’m in the two hole I’m going to have B-Rob [Brian Roberts] hitting in front of me, you know? I got one of the best leadoff hitters in the game, so it doesn’t matter to me regardless.”

Markakis has a .328 lifetime average in the No. 2 hole (586 at-bats), but throughout his career he has predominantly been a No. 3 hitter, averaging .286 over 1354 at-bats.

Trembley wouldn’t divulge his exact lineup plans, and to be honest, I’m not sure if he has one just yet. He will certainly use Spring Training to tinker with the lineup.

“We’re going to have somebody that’s going to hit in front of him and we’re going to hit behind him,” Trembley said of Markakis. “And I think it’s going to make Nick a lot more relaxed. I think he’s going to have a big year.”

Trembley elaborated on yesterday’s comments concerning Kam Mickolio, noting that he’s 12 lbs lighter and saying “he couldn’t run like that last year in Spring Training.”

“I think for what he could bring to us, I would be very, very, very surprised if he doesn’t do what we think he can do,” Trembley said. “I think he can be a guy, but he’s got to show it. We got to see it in the games…I just see a guy with a mindset this spring where I think he knows what’s on the table for him.”

It sounds like Mickolio has a spot in the bullpen so long as he performs well during the Spring Training games. With Mike Gonzalez as the closer, Jim Johnson as setup man, Mark Hendrickson to handle middle relief, and Koji Uehara to serve a myriad of roles, Mickolio seems to be close to a lock for one of the remaining bullpen spots.

Also, if Will Ohman can keep throwing like he did today, he could fill the Orioles’ need for a lefty specialist. During Ohman’s bullpen today, pitching coach Rick Kranitz had to approach him a few times to slow him down.

“He’s going to be a max effort guy and he wants to do very well and make a very good impression, so we are going to have to pull the reins in on him somewhat,” Trembley said. But if he can throw the slider and match up against left-handed hitters and get outs he will be very valuable for us.”
 

It's On..

UPDATE 11:22 a.m.: The media spoke with Felix Pie earlier, who said says he is healthy and free of pain from the strained left quadriceps that ended his season in September of last year. Pie said it took the full 5 1/2 months but now he’s confident and ready to go.

Pitchers and catchers have their first workout today, but after a brief walk around the clubhouse the media was ushered out for player physicals.

Meanwhile, in between hanging out at the field and unpacking stuff at my condo, I’ve been trying to see the city of Sarasota.  Thank you to those recommending places to eat and check out in the area;some of the reporters went to Gus’ Diner across the street from the stadium for lunch yesterday and it was a cheap, and satisfying meal. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome meal we had last night at Mediterraneo on Main Street. Robert Messick, chair of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, was extremely hospitable to the Orioles front office and press, even printing out a list of the top places to eat.  And the owner of Mediterraneo is a lifelong Orioles fan, with a Baltimore cap hanging proudly behind the bar.

And if you need any other reasons to go, it was easily the best Italian meal of my life. And I grew up in pizza-mecca New Haven, Conn. and consider myself a bit biased in terms of Italian food.

I did get a chance to catch up briefly with Kam Mickolio yesterday, who is competing for one of the final three spots in the bullpen. The right-hander was shut down last year after he was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. Mickolio has been down in Sarasota for about two weeks and said he threw around 10 bullpens already, all of which have gone well. He could factor in to the one of the remaining three spots in the bullpen.

If I had to guess, I’d say he makes the team as of right now. Even if the team opts to add a lefty specialist such as Ohman to the mix, that still leaves two spots after Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson, Mark Hendrickson and Koji Uehara. And Cla Meredith and Matt Albers will fight over the last right-handed spot. Keep in mind Albers is out of options, which means he would have to pass through waivers before going to Triple-A if he doesn’t make the team out of camp.

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