A few days ago, I wrote that most fans would have been satisfied with a 5-5 record when this road trip began. The Orioles are one loss away from returning home with that record.
Probably not as satisfying anymore.
The Orioles have been swept once this season, by the Yankees at home. They’ll try to avoid a repeat today in Anaheim.
Fresh off his first major league win, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will try to salvage one game of this series against the Angels.
It won’t happen if the Orioles keep throwing the ball away and kicking it around like they’ve joined FIFA. They made three more errors last night, giving them 19 for the season to tie the Giants for the most in baseball.
Dan Haren starts today for the Angels. J.J. Hardy is 4-for-9 with three doubles and four RBIs lifetime against him. Endy Chavez is only 2-for-12, but he’ll probably be in left field again while Nolan Reimold receives treatment for neck spasms.
Lower backs, groins, hamstrings and shoulders were the most common injuries in spring training. Neck spasms must be a regular season thing.
I didn’t see much of Josh Bell in spring training, since he was one of the last players to report - he might have beaten Chavez through the door, but only by a few steps - and he was included in the first round of cuts.
Bell never lived up to the hype after being acquired from the Dodgers with pitcher Steve Johnson in July 2009 for reliever George Sherrill.
Johnson is in Triple-A Norfolk. Sherrill is in Seattle. Bell was traded yesterday to the Diamondbacks for a PTBNL or cash.
If a player is coming back to the Orioles, he won’t be a top prospect. He probably won’t be a mid-level prospect. He’ll most likely be someone you’ve never heard of unless you’ve studied every name in the Diamondbacks’ farm system.
Bell showed flashes of his offensive potential, like when he hit two home runs off Cliff Lee at Camden Yards, but he couldn’t sustain it. He was terribly inconsistent defensively, which further eliminated him from consideration as the Orioles’ third baseman of the future.
Maybe everything will click for Bell in the Diamondbacks’ organization. He could use an infusion of energy. Plenty of people in the organization noticed that it ran pretty low with the Orioles.
I never understood why he didn’t show up early to camp this spring and put up more of a fight for a job, unless he saw the writing on the wall and was just waiting for the inevitable.
Bell hit .200 in parts of two seasons with the Orioles. He was 3-for-32 with Norfolk this season, and he no longer played third base. He hung onto his spot on the 40-man roster over the winter, but only because the Orioles thought he still had some trade value - unlike outfielder Matt Angle, who didn’t draw any interest, was designated for assignment and later claimed by the Dodgers.
The Orioles liked Angle more than Bell, but they couldn’t get anything for him.
Teams weren’t beating down the door for Bell, but the Diamondbacks see something in him and are willing to part with a player or cash.
The Orioles’ decision to DFA Bell last week after claiming catcher Luis Exposito on waivers from the Red Sox further illustrates their improved depth in the organization. Bell was untouchable after the Sherrill trade. He inched closer to the roster bubble last year and sat on top of it all winter, his name always included in speculation over which player was next to be cut.
The bubble popped last week, and now he’s gone.
Shameless plug alert: I’ll be appearing on “O’s Xtra” on MASN2 at 3 p.m. But first, I’ll be doing a call-in segment on “Fantasy Baseball Weekend” at 1:30 p.m. on Sirius/XM satellite radio