Talking about Guilmet, Matusz and a few others

Outfielder Nelson Cruz wasn’t with the Orioles when they reported to spring training. Reliever Preston Guilmet wasn’t in the organization on opening day. Catcher Nick Hundley wasn’t an Oriole until Saturday.

Cruz leads the majors in home runs and ranks second in RBIs, and he seems a shoo-in to play in the All-Star Game. Guilmet hasn’t allowed a run or hit in six innings. Hundley is pretty much the starter now with Matt Wieters on the disabled list and Steve Clevenger optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Heck, Zach Britton wasn’t the closer until a few weeks ago. Steve Pearce was an Oriole, then he wasn’t, then he was again.

This team calls more audibles than Peyton Manning.

I really like Guilmet and seek forgiveness for dismissing the April 7 trade with the Indians as pretty much being a waste of my blogging time.

The Orioles gave up minor league outfielder Torsten Boss, the Michigan State product who hit .188 in 27 games with Single-A Carolina before being demoted yesterday to low Single-A Lake County.

Guilmet would have picked up his first major league win last night if Britton hadn’t blown the save. Boss moved down a level in the Indians’ system. Baseball is a funny game.

Guilmet has walked one batter and struck out eight in his six scoreless, hitless innings. That unorthodox delivery looks like it would be a nightmare to repeat, but he does it. Every single time I’ve watched him throw.

Guilmet rears back, pauses, and goes back further before shifting his momentum toward the plate. It’s funky and it’s effective.

Last night, Guilmet faced four batters due to Manny Machado’s error and threw fastballs clocked at 88-90 mph and sliders clocked at 82-84 mph. That’s it. It’s not a big bag of tricks.

If the Orioles are in a save situation tonight, Guilmet needs to get the ball. Britton won’t be available after working three consecutive nights. Darren O’Day has thrown 14 and 24 pitches the last two nights.

One thing hasn’t changed with the Orioles: Brian Matusz is still exceptional at stranding inherited runners.

Matusz retired pinch-hitter Irving Falu last night on a ground ball with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. He’s stranded 16-of-17 this season and 62-of-68 since 2012.

T.J. McFarland has been scored upon in four of his six appearances this season. He’s allowed seven runs and 18 hits in 11 innings, with five walks and seven strikeouts.

I had no problem with the intentional walk to Mark Reynolds last night with the bases empty and two outs in the 10th inning. A pitcher was coming up. Reynolds has 12 home runs.

Take your chances with the pitcher. Get him out.

Bud Norris will make his 10th start of the season tonight and his sixth on the road, and the Orioles’ bullpen really needs him to work into the late innings.

In 11 career starts against the Brewers, Norris is 4-3 with a 4.30 ERA and six quality starts. He’s 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in four starts at Miller Park.

Ryan Braun is 9-for-28 (.321) with two doubles and two home runs against Norris. Rickie Weeks is 5-for-16 (.313) with three doubles, a home run and eight strikeouts.

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