Despite all the issues swirling around the Orioles, it’s still hard to believe that they haven’t won a series since June 24-26 against the Reds.
You’d think it might happen by accident.
They’ve got four games coming against the White Sox beginning tonight. A split doesn’t count. It’s got to be at least three out of four.
We might have another roster move today, depending on the severity of Cesar Izturis’ strained left groin. Izturis could go back on the disabled list, which would allow the Orioles to bring up a reliever - I’ve floated Wilie Eyre’s name - or another position player if J.J. Hardy or Chris Davis remain out of the lineup.
Izturis is a class act and highly respected inside that clubhouse. Letting him go would be an unpopular move with his teammates. However, do we need to be reminded that it’s a business?
It’s still my opinion that Blake Davis should be making most of the starts at second base so the Orioles can evaluate him. Then again, I said the same thing about Ryan Adams.
Davis doubled yesterday off Ricky Romero, his college roommate at Cal-State Fullerton. Romero appeared to say something to Davis as the second baseman passed him on his way to the dugout after the inning. It was all in fun.
As I wrote yesterday, Jo-Jo Reyes appears to be the choice as tomorrow night’s starter, though manager Buck Showalter reserves the right to change his mind.
Mitch Atkins won’t get another shot. He started last night for Triple-A Norfolk and allowed eight runs in 1 2/3 innings. He also surrendered five hits, walked five batters and hit one. He threw 63 pitches, 32 for strikes.
While I’m down on the farm, second baseman Greg Miclat set a Double-A Bowie record with four stolen bases last night. Miclat, a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft out of the University of Virginia, is 46-for-48 this season, leaving him 13 steals shy of the single-season franchise record.
Left-hander Mike Ballard allowed two runs and struck out 10 batters in seven innings, improving to 7-1 with a 3.24 ERA with the Baysox.
Ballard strikes me as another guy who’s playing a level lower than he should. He was 2-4 with a 4.91 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) with Norfolk earlier this season, with 66 hits allowed in 51 1/3 innings. Opponents batted .319 against him.
Going back to Camden Yards, it’s become painful to watch Vladimir Guerrero every night.
Guerrero went 0-for-4 yesterday and got one ball out of the infield. He grounded into a double play to end the game, leaving his average at .277 with nine homers, 36 RBIs, a .314 on-base percentage and .393 slugging percentage.
Guerrero is still hacking at the first pitch. And he’s still batting cleanup.
I’d rather have Mark Reynolds in that slot. I’d take a healthy Chris Davis. I’m ready to nominate Blake Davis.
Guerrero is headed to the Hall of Fame. He’s earned the respect of everyone in the industry. He certainly earned every chance to catch on fire, but he’s not the one getting burned.
It wouldn’t surprise me if he signed a one-year deal with another team over the winter and hit 20-25 home runs. That’s usually how it works around here.
Reynolds will move back to third base tonight if Chris Davis gets through batting practice and returns to the lineup, but it’s fair to wonder whether they’ll eventually swap positions. Reynolds has been outstanding at first base - getting to sharp grounders down the line, turning the difficult 3-6-3 double play, scooping balls out of the dirt. And some people believe that Davis is better at third base than first.
Then again, I’ve also heard that first is his best position, which reminds me of the scouting reports I received on Reynolds during the winter meetings. I heard that Reynolds was anywhere from above to below average defensively.
Hey, I’m fine with Reynolds at first next season, as long as the club still goes out and finds a big bat. Davis can play third. He can play left field. He can be the designated hitter. He can keep trading places with Reynolds. Whatever. But the Orioles still need to throw stupid money at Prince Fielder and make him turn it down.
Josh Bell is such a curiosity at third base. He made a few spectacular plays over the weekend, and he has a cannon for an arm. It’s been more accurate here than it was at Norfolk. But he also looked awkward and unsure of himself on more routine grounders.
That error in the third inning yesterday was cringe-worthy. I’m sure he’s more fundamentally sound than what he showed. Otherwise, all of the coaches who have worked with him over the years should be summoned to a room and forced to explain themselves.
The Orioles have made 12 errors in their last 13 games. They’re 16-38 when committing at least one error.
This just in: Stephen Strasburg had a cheese omelet for breakfast. Check back later for updates on his lunch as they become available.
Reliever Arthur Rhodes, let go by the Rangers, would love to rejoin with the Orioles and end his career where it began. I’m not saying that’s going to happen. It’s not like the NFL, where he’d sign a one-day contract and retire with the organization. But he’s certainly interested in a reunion.
The Orioles have recorded five hits or fewer in three straight games. They did the same thing May 5-7.
Can anyone figure out how Jose Bautista is 7-for-41 (.171) in 12 games against the Orioles this season?
See, the balance of power is shifting in the AL East.