I thought about taking the midnight train going anywhere, but decided to begin today’s journey by hopping on the 7:50 a.m. Northeast Regional to New York.
I know you saw what I did there.
The Orioles need to bring their offense to the Bronx. They scored six runs or more in three of their last four games. They’ve also been held to one run in four of their last seven.
It comes and goes.
The non-waiver trade deadline will do the same Tuesday afternoon, and I plan on wearing a black armband while mourning the loss of all the rumors that attach themselves to the Orioles like barnacles on a ship.
The Orioles’ list of preferences hasn’t changed. They would like to add a starter who’s better than what they already have in their system, a hitter who also is a defensive upgrade - whether he plays the corner infield positions or left field - and a left-handed reliever. You’ve heard it all before.
The Phillies still seem like logical trade partners. They’re apparently in deep seller’s mode now and they’ve got starter Joe Blanton and outfielder Juan Pierre. But again, do the Orioles have enough in their farm system to entice other teams? Plenty of people in baseball say “no” if the talks don’t include Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado. But you’ve heard it all before.
The Orioles also will be busy Tuesday clearing a spot on the 25-man roster for second baseman Robert Andino, who’s scheduled to play again tonight at Triple-A Norfolk after going 1-for-5 with an RBI last night. If they need room on the 40-man roster for an outside addition, they can transfer second baseman Brian Roberts to the 60-day disabled list.
It wasn’t planned this way, but Roberts’ announcement yesterday that he’ll have surgery on his right hip removed one difficult decision for the Orioles.
Roberts made the right call to undergo the procedure now instead of trying to play through the discomfort and having the procedure done in October. The tear isn’t going to heal by itself. I doubted that Roberts could play for two months in his present condition.
Roberts has one year remaining on his contract after the 2012 season. He’ll be paid $10 million. He isn’t going to walk away from it and he isn’t ready to hang it up when he still loves the game, still misses being around his teammates and still believes he can be a contributor when healthy.
The Orioles aren’t going to release him. They’re going to give him every chance to show up healthy at spring training and reclaim his job. But once again, they can’t go through the winter assuming that he’ll play 150 games. It presents another round of challenges when constructing the roster and gauging the free-agent and trade markets - just like last winter
The Orioles made 105 roster moves in their first 100 games, and they weren’t done. The changes kept coming with reliever Miguel Socolovich being optioned Saturday night and outfielder Lew Ford having his contract purchased yesterday.
Thirteen players on the 25-man roster have held their ground all season: Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis, Wilson Betemit, Matt Wieters, Ryan Flaherty, Wei-Yin Chen, Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop, Kevin Gregg, Luis Ayala, Darren O’Day and Troy Patton.
Davis is still streaky. He’s 7-for-16 in his last four games after going 16-for-105 in his previous 30.
O’Day has stranded 23 of 28 inherited runners this season. Patton has stranded 20 of 25.
Strop has turned in 10 straight scoreless appearances over 9 2/3 innings since allowing two earned runs in one-third of an inning July 3 in Seattle.
And finally, someone needs to tell Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick that Pennzoil doesn’t make a shampoo.
That’s all for now.