Manager Dave Trembley’s in his office, but he hasn’t posted the lineup.
Players aren’t due to report here until noon, but I counted six in the clubhouse at 10 a.m.: Matt Wieters, Jason Berken, Ty Wigginton, Kevin Millwood, Brad Bergesen and Cesar Izturis.
I spent way too much time replaying last night’s game in my head, though it did drown out some of the voices, so that part was pretty cool.
I’m on record as saying I hate when the baton keeps getting passed, because you just know somebody’s going to drop it. But keep in mind that no matter how many pitchers were used in the eighth inning, the Orioles still took a 2-0 lead into the ninth and every manager in baseball is going to his closer in that situation.
Alfredo Simon, for better or worse, is currently the closer on this team. Trembley gave him a ringing endorsement two days ago. You read it. Trembley also pointed out that he doesn’t really have anyone else. Koji Uehara is the other option at this point.
You also don’t pull your closer after a couple of runners reach base. Otherwise, he shouldn’t be your closer. And Simon never would finish an inning, considering that he’s only retired the side in order in two of his nine appearances.
Even if Trembley had stuck with Matt Albers throughout the eighth inning, he still was giving Simon the ball in the ninth and he wasn’t replacing him after the Indians started to rally, so the baton argument doesn’t really carry much weight. I just find it disturbing that it would have taken five pitchers to complete a 2-0 victory if Simon recorded the save.
That’s the real debate: Should Simon continue to close?
Also, Cesar Izturis was running on his own in the fifth inning.
I know removing Ty Wigginton for a defensive replacement annoyed some fans. Obviously, the Orioles were hoping that he wouldn’t have to bat again, and Julio Lugo is a better defensive player. If Wigginton boots a ground ball that allows the tying run to score, some people would scream that he shoudn’t be playing second late in the game and that’s why Lugo is on the roster.
Considering what transpired, that decision barely registered with me. There were too many other fires that needed to be put out.
I’m still wondering why the Orioles are adding another reliever when first base is such a disaster. Does this mean Wigginton slides over there more often and Lugo gets more starts at second until Brian Roberts returns? Should Luke Scott dig through his locker for his first baseman’s mitt? Is another move in the works?
Shameless plug alert: I’ll be revisiting these topics on O’s Xtra, which begins at 1 p.m.