Failing to take over sole possession of first place in the American League East while the Yankees were in town, the Orioles will try to accomplish something else today. They will attempt to have a quiet off-day.
Or maybe I'm just rooting for one.
Nick Markakis' thumb surgery couldn't be scheduled until Tuesday. The Orioles probably will wait until Tuesday to select outfielder Endy Chavez's contract, which will require a 40-man roster move.
I thought it would make sense to select LJ Hoe's contract, since the Orioles will need to put him on the 40-man before the Rule 5 draft and I don't expect Chavez to be around beyond 2012. However, the Orioles are in a pennant race, Chavez has much more experience and the defensive skills they're looking for, and Hoes is ticketed for the Arizona Fall League. Also, the Orioles can remove Chavez after the season and open up a spot.
Anyway, as always, I'll pass along the current 40-man roster and you can decide which player should come off it.
The Orioles haven't given up on Patton and Thome being activated later this month, so I don't expect one of them to be transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Unless his schedule has changed, Patton is supposed to throw off a mound today.
The Orioles won't surrender a catcher, so you can skip that position.
It's a bit early this year to start focusing on the Orioles' winter shopping list, something that's normally done around here in August, but I'm curious about their plans for second base. Again, they can't assume that Brian Roberts will be healthy on opening day, though he's supposed to be full-go for spring training. Do they choose from the current roster or go searching outside the organization? Do they also look for a leadoff hitter or hand the job to Roberts (if healthy, of course), Markakis or someone else?
And what about left field? Does Nolan Reimold get another chance to be the regular? Does he platoon with Nate McLouth? Do Hoes or Xavier Avery factor into the equation? Do the Orioles go searching outside the organization?
Have the Orioles settled on Manny Macahdo as their third baseman? Do they want to keep Mark Reynolds at first base? Is Chris Davis going to rotate to different positions? Any chance that they try to re-sign Thome, since he cost them a couple of minor leaguers and hasn't done much because of the herniated disc? Do they want more flexibility in the DH spot?
Does the shopping list closely resemble the one executive vice president Dan Duquette carried around last winter, and the one former executive Andy MacPhail carried around in previous winters?
In some ways, not much has changed around here except for the Orioles' record.