If my math is correct, the Orioles have 20 more rounds to complete on the final day of the first-year player draft. And if that’s the highlight of my day, I might cry.
A few items to pass along:
A club official told me via text message that Nolan Reimold sat out the last two games at Triple-A Norfolk because he needed “a couple days rest, but nothing is wrong.” We’ll see if he’s back in the lineup tonight. If not, then I’ll start wondering if something is wrong.
I talked to Troy Patton in spring training about the supposed logjam of young starters ahead of him in the minors, and he suggested a future move to the bullpen. He sounded like he was more than willing to change roles if it would get him to Baltimore.
Heck, I’d be tempted to get him up here now despite his 4-7 record and 5.13 ERA. He’s tossed seven scoreless innings in two of his last three starts. Left-handers are batting .230 against him at Triple-A, with no walks and 20 strikeouts (not that I’m suggesting a specialist role.) He’s certainly stretched out enough to provide innings. And it’s certainly time to shake things up.
I heard that Matt Wieters’ batting practice session yesterday ranked among his most impressive, that he was hitting the ball with more authority. So did those two days off really help him? Did he bring fresher legs into last night’s game, when he collected three hits, or just a more compact swing?
“I think it was just getting in the cage and trying to make the swing shorter,” he said. “You can’t have any long, loopiness to your swing. Tonight, I was able to hit some balls hard, which I can take that and move forward.
“I’ve felt good all year. It’s a grind going through the season, but it’s still early in the year and the body still feels good.”
Facing CC Sabathia can be a grind, and Wieters is 2-for-12 against him lifetime, though one of those hits is a home run.
We’ll probably see Garrett Atkins in the lineup, since he’s 7-for-13 against Sabathia. Cesar Izturis is 4-for-24 and Julio Lugo is 4-for-21.
Choose your shortstop.
Chris Tillman needs to step up tonight - and I understand that he’s facing the Yankees and the Orioles can’t beat Sabathia. I’m not asking for the world, just a lot more than what we’ve seen in two starts, when he’s allowed six runs and 11 hits, with four walks, in seven innings.
Tillman didn’t get through the second inning Friday night against the Red Sox, and a scout from outside the organization who watched him throw offered a harsh assessment. Let’s just say he’s not projecting stardom.
Tillman is much better than what he showed. Tonight would be a good time to start reminding everyone.
Filmmaker Ken Burns will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before tonight’s game, but first, he’ll appear at ESPN Zone for a Q&A that begins at 12:30 p.m.
Burns and longtime collaborator Lynn Novick will discuss their new film, The Tenth Inning (which premieres Sept. 28 and 29 on PBS), and fans can view a special preview, which includes a segment on the Orioles and Cal Ripken.