Talking about Arrieta, the lineup and Berken

The first 10,000 fans 15 and older who attend tonight's game will receive a Jake Arrieta T-shirt.

Yes, I know, a Brian Matusz bobblehead and a Jake Arrieta T-shirt. I can't wait for Jake Fox Photo Night.

Before you ask, the Arrieta bobblehead doesn't come with a little bone spur or a sling or a tiny Dr. Yocum. I've heard 'em all.

Well, feel free to add your own, but I've probably heard it.

Arrieta underwent a CT scan and MRI on his right elbow yesterday - taking the advice of agent Scott Boras - and will undergo surgery tomorrow. That spur didn't magically disappear, and he can't rely on Advil and ice to get through the season.

That combination has gotten me through New Year's Day, but not a spur.

Third baseman Josh Bell is waiting for the results of the MRI that could explain the pain he's experiencing in his left side.

"Explain the pain." Now there's a slogan just waiting to happen.

Anyway, the Orioles could keep Bell in a reserve role, option him to Triple-A Norfolk or put him on the 15-day disabled list. But who would take his place?

I'll throw out reliever Willie Eyre's name again. The Orioles are keeping close tabs on him and it seems like only a matter of time before they purchase his contract from Norfolk.

Eyre has made three appearances since the Orioles signed him as a minor league free agent, tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He escaped a jam last night to pick up his first win.

So how will the Orioles' lineup look tonight?

Vladimir Guerrero is expected to bat cleanup again after spending last night on the bench. As I pointed out yesterday, he's 13-for-36 (.361) with two doubles, four home runs, six RBIs and seven walks lifetime against White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle.

Adam Jones batted fourth last night and had a single, double and his 21st home run.

J.J. Hardy dropped to second in the order and went 4-for-5 with his 21st home run. I'm curious whether he moves back to leadoff. If Hardy bats second again, does that make Robert Andino the leadoff hitter? It probably won't be the left-handed hitting Felix Pie against Buehrle.

Or will it?

PIe is 4-for-8 with two homers lifetime against Buehrle.

Nolan Reimold and Chris Davis each are 3-for-6 with a home run. Nick Markakis is 12-for-27 (.444) with three doubles and a home run.

I'm fine with lowering Hardy to third and returning Markakis to the second slot on most nights, but maybe Markakis should continue to hit third tonight with Buehrle on the mound.

Pretty much lost in Tuesday night's game was the scoreless inning from reliever Jason Berken. We were mostly preoccupied with Chris Jakubauskas' four shutout innings, manager Buck Showalter's ejection and the mistakes that contributed to the loss.

Showalter went back to Berken last night with runners on second and third, two outs and the Orioles clinging to a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning. He gave up a game-tying single to Juan Pierre on his first pitch.

Before last night, Pierre was hitting .324 against left-handers this season, and .262 against right-handers. He was a career .305 hitter against southpaws.

Going by the stats, it made sense to bring in a right-hander. Going by the results, Berken was the wrong choice.

Berken was making his second appearance since being recalled for a second time. He's hoping to stick around through September.

Showalter never really saw the best of Berken last season, since the reliever went on the disabled list Aug. 16 and was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 27. Berken posted a 1.95 ERA before the All-Star break, and before Showalter's arrival from ESPN.

This season, Berken is 1-2 with a 6.05 ERA in 33 appearances.

"I've seen short spurts of what everybody is talking about and we know it's there," Showalter said. "He's feeling as good as he's ever felt physically. It's just more about getting on a more consistent downhill plane and making his misses down. He's pitched up way too much for a guy with his skills.

"I don't think it's anxiety or anything. You see him warm up in the bullpen and have a work day in the bullpen in spring training and you see him make two or three quality pitches, and all of a sudden that one he doesn't finish and doesn't get in the right spot, he really pays a price for it. If he can just eliminate that, he can get back to what he's capable of doing."

Down on the farm, Ryan Adams had a walk-off single last night for Norfolk. Tyler Henson and Robbie Widlansky hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning.

Brandon Waring hit his 16th home run for Double-A Bowie, and his second in two nights.

Single-A Delmarva's Jacob Cowan struck out 10 Hagerstown batters in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed three earned runs (four total) and four hits.

blog comments powered by Disqus




Rocket Fuel