Before heading to the gym and, later, the Maryland-Florida State football game...
It's become a yearly tradition that the Orioles consider pursuing free-agent pitcher Jon Garland. I think we're up to three straight where his name comes up and talks are held at the winter meetings.
Garland priced himself out of Baltimore two winters ago. He went 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA for San Diego this season and has logged 200 innings or more in six years. He also has totaled 196 2/3, 192 2/3 and 191 2/3 in his career.
Because the Orioles aren't in contention for Cliff Lee, they might have to settle for someone for the middle of the rotation rather than the top of it. Garland, a Type-B free agent, is worth debating again.
He qualifies as an innings-eater and is 131-114 in 11 seasons. Pit him against Jeremy Guthrie for the Opening Day assignment. Maybe Brian Matusz, too, if he has a good spring. Or is it too soon?
Garland is 5-2 with a 3.27 ERA lifetime against the Rays, and 11-3 with a 4.11 ERA against the Blue Jays. He's also 5-5 with a 3.99 ERA against the Yankees.
The Pirates designated Zach Duke for assignment. He was an All-Star in 2009, but he also went 11-16. He's 45-70 lifetime with a 4.54 ERA.
The Pirates can be a career killer.
Before anyone else asks about Manny Ramirez...no.
The Orioles don't need Manny being Manny in their clubhouse, and he loses interest fast if his team isn't winning. I'm not seeing a match here.
Derek Jeter isn't leaving the Yankees.
In other news, the ocean is salty and fire burns.
The Scottsdale Scorpions and Peoria Javelinas are playing for the Arizona Fall League championship today.
Caleb Joseph is batting .390 with a homer and seven RBIs in 12 games. Greg Miclat his batting .308 with four doubles in 14 games, and Ryan Adams is hitting .265 with one homer and 14 RBIs in 19 games.
Xavier Avery has been a disappointment, hitting .188 in 21 games.
Kam Mickolio has posted a 0.75 ERA with two walks and 18 strikeouts in 12 innings. Pat Egan has a 2.13 ERA in 12 2/3 innings. Wynn Pelzer has a 2.45 ERA, 12 walks and nine strikeouts in 11 innings.
The Orioles left Adams, Pelzer and Egan unprotected in the Rule 5 draft, figuring that no team will keep them on a major league roster all season if drafted.
Adams and Pelzer surprised me. I assumed that they would be added to the 40-man roster yesterday. There's still plenty of room with the Orioles at 35.
Pelzer needs to work on his control. That much is obvious. The Orioles are still trying to find a position for Adams.