Fitting J.J. in the bullpen

It took about an hour, but I’m finally able to create a blog entry.

I’m having another one of those mornings. Every connection times out and the system is running at a snail’s pace.

I lost my patience about 45 minutes ago, but that’s typical.

Anyway, I need to file something simple because I’m not equipped to actually flip screens and check statistics and information at other sites. That would take another hour. By that time, my wireless card will be nestled under my back tire as I hit the gas pedal.

The Orioles are assured of having another losing season, but it didn’t sneak up on anyone. I made the assumption back at 2-16. It’s just official now.

They also lost Adam Jones, who was drilled in the left shoulder last night by a Gavin Floyd fastball. It’s a contusion, of course, and he’ll try to play tonight. And Luke Scott was hobbling after fouling a ball off his right foot. Manager Buck Showalter was concerned enough to suggest the possibility of X-rays.

I wrote yesterday that Jim Johnson could come off the disabled list by Friday. He threw two scoreless innings yesterday at Double-A Bowie and is being re-evaluated today.

It’s difficult to project next year’s bullpen roles without knowing who’s coming and going, but Johnson figures to reclaim his title of eighth-inning set-up man if his right elbow holds up. He won’t be a starter and I don’t think he’ll be a closer.

The challenge is figuring out where David Hernandez fits. The same with Alfredo Simon if he’s staying around, though he’ll need to dial it up over this last month to make a more favorable impression on Showalter. And how will the Orioles use Jason Berken, assuming he’s full-go with the tear in his shoulder? For now, he’ll try to rehab it Matt Albers-style rather than undergo surgery.

And speaking of Albers, the Orioles will have to make a decision on him, as well.

They could be in the market for another left-handed specialist, but that seems to happen every winter.

Note from Single-A Delmarva: Shortstop Garabez Rosa committed his 41st error last night. It doesn’t seem possible, but that’s what it says in the latest box score.

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