Shouldn’t be much longer before Moyer

I’m detecting a pattern with the Orioles. They’re going to shut out their opponent or be shut out. Those are the two choices.

Can they extend their streak to five straight games tonight? And which side will they occupy?

One of my Twitter followers asked me last night whether the rotation will undergo any changes after the All-Star break. I replied that it might not take that long.

Jamie Moyer is scheduled to make his third start tonight for Triple-A Norfolk, and executive vice president Dan Duquette is nearing a decision on the 49-year-old southpaw, according to the timetable he set after signing Moyer to a minor league contract.

Duquette said the Orioles would evaluate Moyer for two or three starts. Moyer has allowed two earned runs (three total) and eight hits in 12 innings, with no walks and 12 strikeouts. If he shuts down Buffalo tonight, that might be good enough to get him back in the majors after the Rockies released him.

Moyer spent three seasons with the Orioles, going 25-22 with a 4.41 ERA before Duquette signed him as a free agent in January 1996 while serving as the Red Sox’s general manager.

Moyer-Orioles-sidebar.jpg“He’s always had a youthful build, physique, that was amazing, as he always took care of himself really well,” said Cal Ripken, Moyer’s teammate with the Orioles.

“When you have a left-hander who has a really deceptive changeup and you have the smarts on how to use your fastball, no matter what the speed is, it’s pretty amazing. We talk about how hitting is timing. A pitcher’s job is throwing off that timing. Jamie Moyer throws off that timing with a change of speeds, as opposed to making a perfect pitch in or out or overwhelming you up in the strike zone. He actually does it by keeping you off balance going forward or waiting too long.

“His changeup has always been fantastic. It is amazing that once you get older and your speed comes down a little bit, he seems to adjust his off-speed pitch just enough to throw you off. He is amazing. I don’t know how he’s doing it for so long, but he’s not done yet.”

I fully expect to see Moyer in Baltimore, and I had serious doubts when he first signed. It’s just a question of how the Orioles will make room for him in the rotation.

Tommy Hunter has allowed five earned runs in four of his last five starts and he’s got one victory since April 24. The Orioles could keep him in the rotation, move him to the bullpen or option him again to Norfolk.

Jake Arrieta is 3-9 with a 5.83 ERA, and he’s recorded one win since May 2. He was moved to the bullpen last week, but never pitched in relief. He’s made two starts since then, holding the Pirates to one run in seven innings last Wednesday and shutting out the Mets for five innings on Monday before surrendering Ike Davis’ grand slam in the sixth.

The Orioles have the same choices with Arrieta. Keep him in the rotation, put him in the bullpen again or option him.

They have another day off on Thursday, so manager Buck Showalter could do some more tweaking.

More changes could come if Duquette pulls off a trade. The Orioles have scouted the Cubs’ Matt Garza and the Diamondbacks’ Joe Saunders, who drew their interest over the winter as a free agent. But it’s quite possible that Moyer is the next pitcher through the door.

I’m heading out in the heat to play tennis, but I’ll check in later. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with Baseball Reference’s list of transactions involving Moyer. You may need to bookmark it and go back to it later. It’s pretty long.

June 4, 1984: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 6th round of the 1984 amateur draft.

December 5, 1988: Traded by the Chicago Cubs with Drew Hall and Rafael Palmeiro to the Texas Rangers for Luis Benitez (minors), Pablo Delgado (minors), Paul Kilgus, Curt Wilkerson, Mitch Williams and Steve Wilson.

November 13, 1990: Released by the Texas Rangers.

January 9, 1991: Signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Cardinals.

October 14, 1991: Released by the St. Louis Cardinals.

January 8, 1992: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.

March 30, 1992: Released by the Chicago Cubs.

May 24, 1992: Signed as a Free Agent with the Detroit Tigers.

December 8, 1992: Granted Free Agency.

December 14, 1992: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.

November 1, 1995: Granted Free Agency.

January 2, 1996: Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.

July 30, 1996: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Seattle Mariners for Darren Bragg.

October 29, 1996: Granted Free Agency.

November 20, 1996: Signed as a Free Agent with the Seattle Mariners.

October 28, 2002: Granted Free Agency.

December 7, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the Seattle Mariners.

November 7, 2005: Granted Free Agency.

December 7, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the Seattle Mariners.

August 19, 2006: Traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Philadelphia Phillies for Andrew Barb (minors) and Andy Baldwin (minors).

November 6, 2008: Granted Free Agency.

December 15, 2008: Signed as a Free Agent with the Philadelphia Phillies.

October 28, 2010: Granted Free Agency.

January 18, 2012: Signed as a Free Agent with the Colorado Rockies.

June 4, 2012: Released by the Colorado Rockies.

June 6, 2012: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.

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