Will the Red Sox try to run on Wieters? (plus other notes)

Here is a surprising stat: At this early point, the Boston Red Sox lead the American League with eight stolen bases in 10 attempts. Jacoby Ellsbury is 4-for-4. No other team has more than six steals.

But can the Sox steal on the Orioles and Matt Wieters? Shane Victorino tried, but was gunned down by Wieters in the fourth inning on Monday.

Right now, the Orioles lead the AL in caught stealing percentage and lead by a huge margin:

.833 - Orioles (5-for-6)
.400 - Boston (2-for-5)
.400 - Chicago (2-for-5)

The AL average is 25.6 percent caught. There are nine teams right now that have caught just one runner or none so far this year and the Orioles have five caught stealing already. Some say don’t run on Wieters, and so far they are right.

Meanwhile, the newest Oriole, lefty pitcher Chris Jones, who was acquired today from Atlanta for Luis Ayala, has some impressive stats in the minors the last two years against left-handed batters.

Over that two-year period, Jones has held lefty hitters to an average of .194 (32-for-165) with 52 strikeouts and just one homer given up.

In 2011, he allowed an average of just .145 when pitching against the lefty hitters in the Carolina League and that figure was .244 last season pitching in the Double-A Southern League.

Jones, who went 2-5 with a 3.90 ERA with 61 strikeouts over 60 innings in 2012, along with a 1.78 ground-to-air out ratio, is being assigned to Double-A Bowie. It may be a day or two before he officially reports.

A few fans have asked about Brandon Waring and why he hasn’t yet played for Bowie. He is on the Baysox disabled list with an oblique injury. He just started to take some dry swings and taking batting practice is the next step. He’s probably at least a few days away from getting in that Baysox lineup.

Infielder Cale Iorg, who was signed by the Orioles yesterday to a minor league contract, is going to join Bowie, but he’s probably a few days away from that happening as he plays his way into game shape. I would look for him to get some starts at shortstop for a Baysox club that got off to a shaky start on defense.

Tonight, Jake Arrieta certainly needs a better start than the results he got Friday in the club’s home opener. He gave up seven hits and five runs over five innings.

He has a career 0-3 record and 6.00 ERA in five games (four starts) against Boston with a 1.625 WHIP, .313 average against and .930 OPS against.

During tonight’s game, feel free to leave some questions and comments right here.

How do you think Arrieta will do tonight and what do you think of the Ayala-Jones deal?

Rain delay at Fenway: This game went into a rain delay tied at 3-3 after the bottom of the fifth. That could make it a suspended game to be resumed at some later date from this point if they can’t resume play tonight at Boston.

It has been another frustrating night for Arrieta, mixing in moments of very solid pitching with moments of poor command. Meanwhile the No. 8 and 9 hitters are 0-for-4 tonight and that makes the last two spots in the order now batting .127 on the season at a combined 7-for-55 and Brian Roberts has five of the seven hits.

Since we are delayed, feel free to post any comments and questions and I’ll answer any that are asked as best I can.

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