Pondering Millwood

Pondering Millwood
We don't know for sure how hot or cool the O's trade talks are for Kevin Millwood. That doesn't stop us from expressing a few opinions and facts about the right hander. One reader suggested (without any documentation I may add) that the pitcher the O's are considering sending to Texas for Millwood is Brandon Erbe. If that is true, no thanks to that deal. Especially after Bowie manager Brad Komminsk told me recently he had Erbe as rated better than Jake Arrieta. If it would be a...
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Not overwhelmed by the Granderson deal

Not overwhelmed by the Granderson deal
Let me understand this, or try to. The Yankees, who are looking to cut payroll some this year, acquired a player owed $23.75 million over the next three years and gave up three young players earning less than $1 million combined so far. Oh those misers in New York. I know that as an O's fan we might look to criticize anything the Yankees do, but I'm not sweating their Curtis Granderson acquisition.
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Chris Ray: "I haven't heard anything"

Chris Ray:  "I haven't heard anything"
Chris Ray has now been mentioned as an Oriole that could possibly go to Texas in a deal for Kevin Millwood. But that's news to Ray himself. "I haven't heard anything. I'm not surprised I haven't heard anything. I don't think my agent would know anything about this either," Ray said by phone from Baltimore's ESPNZone where today he took part in the O's annual Christmas party for kids.
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A Rangers' broadcaster talks about Kevin Millwood

A Rangers' broadcaster talks about Kevin Millwood
To find out about more about the likely soon-to-be newest Oriole Kevin Millwood, I put in a call to my friend Josh Lewin, former Baltimore radio broadcaster. Josh, one of the top broadcasting talents in the game, is the Texas Rangers' TV play-by-play broadcaster so he knows Millwood well and has seen him pitch often. He provided some excellent insight. Here is what Lewin said about the right hander.
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Steve Johnson awaits the Rule 5 draft (taken by Giants)

Steve Johnson awaits the Rule 5 draft (taken by Giants)
Thursday morning Johnson was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft. The next few hours will certainly be interesting for O's minor league hurler Steve Johnson. Traded by the Dodgers to the O's in July in the George Sherrill deal, Johnson has not been placed on the Orioles' 40-man roster and he could be taken by another team in Thursday's Rule 5 draft at the Winter Meetings. "It's exciting, because if I do get picked I have a chance to stay on...
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Duran's stats (updated)

Duran's stats (updated)
With the third pick in the Triple-A phase of today's Rule 5 draft the O's selected RHP Jose Duran from the Houston organization. Duran is a 6'1", 205 pounder from the Dominican Republic. He is 16-19, 4.08 in his career in 101 games, 39 starts. Duran is 24 years old. Last year, with Lancaster of the California League, he went 2-5, 8.06 in 27 games, 7 starts. Over 63 2/3 innings, he allowed 89 hits with 29 walks and 43 strikeouts.
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Talking to the newest San Francisco Giant

Talking to the newest San Francisco Giant
Steve Johnson, it turns out, was playing it rather cool today during the Rule 5 Draft. So cool that he was sleeping when his name was called by the San Francisco Giants. His dad, MASN broadcaster and former Oriole Dave Johnson, was listening live to the draft and rushed upstairs to tell his son he'd been taken by a Major League team. "I got up kind of early the last few days, so I was sleeping today and he came in and jumped on the bed and woke me up to tell me. It was confusing when I...
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Dave Johnson on Steve's selection in the Rule 5 Draft

Dave Johnson on Steve's selection in the Rule 5 Draft
Here are some comments from MASN broadcaster Dave Johnson. This morning Dave's son Steve was selected from the O's organization by the San Francisco Giants in the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings. Dave says Steve was sleeping at the time. "I didn't want to wake Steve up before the draft because I knew if he didn't get taken he was really going to be bummed. I knew that would make it a depressing day around the Johnson household. I barely slept last night, I was at my desk at 5 a.m....
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Stockstill sizes up Jose Duran

Stockstill sizes up Jose Duran
If it's a long shot for a Rule 5 Draft pick to stick with the Major League team that selects him, then the odds must really be against a player taken in the Minor League phase of the draft ever making it. That didn't keep the Orioles from taking RHP Jose Duran from the Houston organization in today's Triple-A phase of the draft.
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Good news on Bergesen

Good news on Bergesen
O's pitcher Brad Bergesen is no longer worried about his left leg injury. In fact, he now pronounces himself completely healed as he gets ready for the 2010 season. "Everything is good. It finally feels 100 percent. It took awhile, about three months it turned out, until I felt this way. I've been working out now doing my normal routine for five weeks and everything feels good. Can't wait for spring training.
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In MacPhail fans can trust

In MacPhail fans can trust
There is probably a reason you don't hear much criticism of Andy MacPhail in the Baltimore media. He hasn't done much to criticize. No, I'm not drinking any cool aid or spouting any homer comments, just an honest opinion. MacPhail's pickup of Kevin Millwood this week could turn out to be big during the 2010 season and if Millwood is the positive influence on the young pitchers some say he will be, the O's could reap benefits long after Millwood is gone from the team.
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More beef for Tillman

More beef for Tillman
It's not like he plans to begin a steady diet of double cheeseburgers, but O's right hander Chris Tillman, at the urging of club officials, would like to add a few pounds for the 2010 season.
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Not lacking in their rotation

Not lacking in their rotation
Should we worry that John Lackey, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester are a combined 24-5 in their careers vs. the Orioles? If and when the Red Sox complete the deal for Lackey, they will have the most formidable top three starters in the game. Who is the number one and number three? Are they just interchangeable? Remember the O's went 2-16 vs. Boston last year and they didn't have Lackey then.
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Looking back at the 2009 Bowie Baysox season with Brad Komminsk

Looking back at the 2009 Bowie Baysox season with Brad Komminsk
Today we continue our look back at O's minor league teams from the 2009 season with a feature on Double-A Bowie of the Eastern League with comments from Baysox manager Brad Komminsk. Komminsk has been in the O's organization for two years. His 2008 team went 84-58, made the playoffs and he was named Eastern League manager of the year. Last season, Bowie was 3rd in the Southern Division at 73-69 and a wild-card contender until the season's final days. The Baysox were 7th in the league...
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Erbe gets a clean bill of health

Erbe gets a clean bill of health
O's pitching prospect Brandon Erbe says the sprained right pinky finger that limited him to nine innings in the Arizona Fall League is no longer a problem. "It's doing well. Everything is fine. I'll start throwing here in the next week or two, just now, give it a little rest. There has been plenty of time to let it heal. I'll be ready for spring training." The 21-year-old Erbe says an O's hand specialist looked at the finger and pronounced it fine. He'll now have a normal winter...
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Andy MacPhail talks about Billy Rowell

Andy MacPhail talks about Billy Rowell
Since he hit .328 in 2006 between Bluefield and Aberdeen, the career of Billy Rowell has been on a downward spiral. While he's still very young, and the O's management remains solidly behind him, Rowell has put together back-to-back mediocre years at Frederick. Rowell w-Fred, 2008: .248-7-50....315 OBP.....368 slug......104 K's Rowell w-Fred, 2009 .225-9-39....284 OBP......336 slug.......122 K's
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Talking Baysox pitching with Brad Komminsk

Talking Baysox pitching with Brad Komminsk
Today we continue our review of the 2009 Bowie Baysox season with a look at some of the Bowie pitchers and how they fared during this past season. All stats in bold are from Bowie only and all the quotes in this article are from Baysox manager Brad Komminsk.
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Moreland had a big year in 2009

Moreland had a big year in 2009
There is a pitcher in the O's minor leagues who had a sparkling record, a 2.74 ERA and a 6.8 to 1.0 strikeout to walks ratio in 2009, yet he is seldom talked about and for sure went under the radar this past year. This is nothing new for right hander Kenny Moreland. If you spend a few minutes talking to the 23-year-old Moreland you can sense he's rather grounded and would much rather pile up outs than accolades.
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All I want for Christmas is a winning season

All I want for Christmas is a winning season
Come on, Santa. Twelve straight losing seasons is enough. I'll leave extra cookies. You know O's fans have been good all these years. Well, for the most part. They've certainly been better than those Yankee and Red Sox fans that parade into the Yard every year. Maybe Santa won't be able to leave a winning season under the tree. How would you wrap that anyway. Still, the O's seem to be sticking to the plan this winter and have made some nice pickups.
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Rowell's big chance

Rowell's big chance
Last weekend in this space, I presented quotes from Andy MacPhail about Billy Rowell and the likelihood that Rowell will play at Double-A Bowie in 2010. This despite the fact that most of Rowell's stats and his performance decreased in 2009 even though it was his second year with the Frederick Keys. Rowell has become a bit of an issue for the club. A player with big power potential taken in round one in 2006 that has yet to deliver.
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