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Matusz awaits fate as rotation shapes up

As Brian Matusz continues his quest to bounce back after a disastrous 2011 season, the 25-year-old can say one thing for himself: He’s still standing. Others are not. Left-hander Dana Eveland was designated for assignment Thursday, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter said it would be a “push” for right-hander Alfredo Simon to make the rotation. The numbers are dwindling, but Matusz still isn’t guaranteed a

O's focused on controlling the running game

Baseball is pretty simple. A team wins games by scoring runs. You score runs by traveling 90 feet, four times in a row. Orioles manager Buck Showalter wants to make it harder for opposing teams to travel that distance in 2012. It’s been a major focus this spring, starting with the pitching staff. “It’s not only controlling the running game and eliminating stolen base attempts.

What does the pitching coach think?

Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair came into spring training with a whole lot of evaluating to do. Close to a dozen possible starters were fighting for a wide-open rotation. Now, with two weeks until opening day, competition and injuries have dwindled that pool to about seven or eight pitchers. I asked Adair - over a tuna sandwich lunch - for his take on some of

Getting to know Ryan Flaherty

Who is Ryan Flaherty and where does he fit in with the 2012 Orioles? That’s the exact question manager Buck Showalter is trying to answer right now. The former Cubs 2008 first-round draft pick is fighting for the O’s utility spot along with a handful of others. He has yet to crack a big league roster, but in four minor league seasons has played first

Orioles key bench battles shaping up

There’s nothing sexy about bench players. Heading into the season, discussions concerning fourth outfielders and utility men don’t register very high on the hype-o-meter, but in baseball the last few players to fill out a 25-man roster are crucial pieces to the puzzle. Over the course of a 162-game season, nagging injuries, slumps and lineup changes will expose teams who lack depth. As the number

A baseball twist on NCAA Selection Sunday

In honor of NCAA Selection Sunday, and the ever-present seeding system which generates so much debate, how about we do some seeding of our own. Starting off with who you believe will be the top seeds in the American League at season’s end. And yes, we are all well aware that baseball doesn’t technically work on a seeding system, but use your imagination. Here’s my

Jones on Roberts and increasing on-base percentage

Orioles’ center fielder Adam Jones has a Gold Glove and one trip to the All-Star Game on his resume. He’s regarded as one of the top defensive center fielders in baseball, but there’s one part of his game he’s targeting for improvement in 2012. “Getting on base at a higher rate. The more I’m on base, the more I cause problems, the more I need

Orioles react to MLB's expanded playoff system

As we await Major League Baseball and the Players’ Union to agree on an expanded playoff system for 2012, the reaction to an additional wild card team in each league seems positive. The new system could open doors for divisions like the American League East where it’s conceivable for three teams to have 90-plus wins. It would allow the best teams in baseball postseason berths,

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