The happiest spring training invitee

The happiest spring training invitee
If he isn't the happiest non-roster player that got an invitation to the Orioles' Major League spring training camp, than he's right up there. Less than two years after being drafted in round seven in 2008, catcher Caleb Joseph will rub elbows with the big boys in Sarasota starting next month. He and 11 others have been invited to big league camp.
Continue reading

A few tidbits as FanFest arrives

A few tidbits as FanFest arrives
I'm looking forward to today's Orioles' FanFest. It's a great day to talk baseball, meet fans and even get some new interviews and material for this blog. I believe I will be at the MASN booth for a time in the late afternoon and I will be hosting a fan forum at 5:00 p.m. called "blogging the Birds." So come on by or stop me anytime just to say hello. In the meantime I have some quotes from recent interviews that didn't appear in the original stories this week.
Continue reading

Luke Scott said.......

Luke Scott said.......
He was, of course, pleased that he got his contract resolved recently and is able to avoid an arbitration hearing. "My approach has always been simple. I don't need to be wined and dined that not's me. I just want what is fair. I've had people try to walk over me in this life and I won't let that happen. They were fair with me and I'm happy and ready to have the best season of my life." Scott talked about his improved stats last year vs. lefty pitching. "The key is repetition. ...
Continue reading

Roberts talks about Tejada

Roberts talks about Tejada
Moments ago Brian Roberts talked about the O's likely signing of Miguel Tejada. "I love Miggy, I'm excited. We're excited to have him back if that's the case. We're looking forward to what he brings to the team on and off the field. His personality in the clubhouse and the numbers he puts up." He was asked about Tejada adapting to a move to third base. "If you played shortstop for ten years in the big leagues, you can adapt. Certainly it's not going to be easy. It won't happen...
Continue reading

MacPhail confirms Tejada agreement

MacPhail confirms Tejada agreement
Andy MacPhail says yes, the O's do have an agreement in principle with Miguel Tejada, pending a physical. He just hinted at that during a fan forum here at FanFest and confirmed that part of the deal with a few reporters after his forum. MacPhail also said Tejada's physical has not yet been scheduled. The one-year deal is believed to be worth about six million dollars, but is not heavy with incentive clasues. Most O's players here were not aware of the possible Tejada signing and were...
Continue reading

Mickolio is 100 percent (plus FanFest attendance note)

Mickolio is 100 percent (plus FanFest attendance note)
Reliever Kam Mickolio who was bothered by an inflammed bicep tendon late last year, says he is now 100 percent. "I got it checked here Friday by our trainers and everything checked out 100 percent. They said they were impressed with the range of motion and strength. Everything is looking up right now. "I've been throwing for a couple of weeks now. At first, you just get the cobwebs out, now it's feeling probably better than it's ever felt, I'm real happy about it." Mickolio rested...
Continue reading

FanFest notebook

FanFest notebook
A crowd of around 12,000 was on hand for FanFest Saturday at the Baltimore Convention Center. It was a great day to get autographs, talk baseball, enjoy many fan forums and for some of us to get the chance to interview several Orioles players. Here are some notes from Saturday with a lot to come in the days ahead.
Continue reading

Miggy's return to Baltimore

Miggy's return to Baltimore
Now the O's have Wiggy and Miggy. Miguel Tejada once drove in 150 runs while with the Orioles - that's a single season O's record. Another year he batted .330, that is the second best batting average in team history. Yet he returns to Baltimore older, with more baggage this time (I don't mean luggage) and as a player whose skills must be declining at least a little by this point.
Continue reading

Jeremy Guthrie puts one theory about his 2009 season to rest

Jeremy Guthrie puts one theory about his 2009 season to rest
O's pitcher Jeremy Guthrie says it's too early to predict whether he and the club will avoid an arbitration hearing. Guthrie's agent recently submitted a salary request of 3.625 million for 2010 while the O's countered at 2.3 million if it gets to an actual hearing. "It's so early in the process, we filed numbers. I think the numbers set up the parameters for future negotiations. We'll let the process work out and hopefully it works out where both sides are pleased," the 30-year-old...
Continue reading

The Orioles' streakiest player

The Orioles' streakiest player
Andy MacPhail didn't mince words when asked about Luke Scott during a fan forum at FanFest. He didn't try to put a positive spin on Scott's big ups and downs as a hitter. "He is the streakiest hitter I've ever been around in my life. There was a three-month stretch where he absolutely carried us. As our guys say, it doesn't matter who is on the mound, when he is going good he can hit anybody. "Our job is, and we think we can do it, is to get him to not have the peaks and valleys to...
Continue reading

After the press conference...

After the press conference...
After today's press conference to re-introduce Miguel Tejada to the fans of Baltimore, the team's newest player said the Orioles were not the only team that sought his services. "Before the Orioles, there was another team that I considered and they wanted me to play shortstop. I waited, because I felt this was the time to make the move to third base. When my agent told me about the Orioles, I said to talk to them, I want to go there." Steve Melewski talks with Miguel Tejada about...
Continue reading

orioles, Steve Melewski

orioles, Steve Melewski
A talk-show caller had a question on a Baltimore radio show last night. How many games does Andy MacPhail feel the 2010 Orioles can win? You won't get a straight answer from MacPhail on that one. Almost any answer he could give would upset someone. If he took a real conservative route and said the team could improve to 75 wins, some fans would say "is that all" and bemoan another long season. If he said let's shoot for .500 and 81 wins, some would say "there go the O's, shooting to...
Continue reading

Not drafted but not forgotten: Frabizio had big year at Bluefield

Not drafted but not forgotten:  Frabizio had big year at Bluefield
Vito Frabizio is a guy who left high school during his senior year, almost never pitched as a youngster and was not drafted by any Major League team. So how did this right-hander from West Islip, New York wind up on the mound, pitching well for the Bluefield Orioles last summer? He went 4-4, 2.96 in 12 starts and was third in the Appalachian League in innings and strikeouts and sixth in ERA. In 70 innings, the 20-year-old gave up 57 hits with 16 walks and fanned 64. He's emerged as someone...
Continue reading

Snyder is likely to get another shot at Norfolk

Snyder is likely to get another shot at Norfolk
O's first base prospect Brandon Snyder is smart enough to know that he is likely to begin the 2010 season in the Norfolk Tides' lineup. He'll head to spring training with the Orioles in a few weeks "out to win a job" at the Major League level, but he surely realizes that while his time may come this year, it probably will not be on opening day. One of the mysteries of the 2009 O's minor league season was Snyder's struggles at Triple-A. The O's first-round pick from 2005 hit...
Continue reading

To bop or not to bop, that is the question

To bop or not to bop, that is the question
It has been an oft-debated topic this winter. Do the Orioles need a big home run bat in the middle of the lineup? There are varying opinions on that one. A - The O's just don't have a true four-hole hitter. B - The O's can't win without one. C - To keep up in this division, you must have one. D - What if a team has several mid-range homer hitters but not one huge bopper? E - Is it buy the bats, grow the arms, or grow the bats, buy the arms? Just kidding about that last one. I'd like...
Continue reading

Jonesy's potential

Jonesy's potential
When fans and media talk about some young Orioles players and how they can improve in the future they seem to mention players like Nolan Reimold, Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz. It almost feels like Adam Jones is a veteran after two years and 251 O's games. But at 24, Jones points out he still has plenty of room to grow as a player. At FanFest, a reporter referred to him as a veteran. "You say, veteran, I'm only 24, I'm still young. I like that part, the leadership and all that stuff. ...
Continue reading

Should O's fans have concerns about Chris Tillman?

Should O's fans have concerns about Chris Tillman?
The one pitcher in the O's projected starting rotation for this year whose position seems a bit shaky heading to camp is Chris Tillman. Some feel he needs more minor league experience and have concerns that he seemed to struggle last year after some initial Major League success. After going 8-6, 2.70 in 18 starts at Triple-A, the right hander made his Major League debut July 29 versus KC and went 2-5, 5.40 in 12 Orioles' starts. But after going 1-2, 4.24 in seven July and August outings,...
Continue reading

A conversation with the Orioles new closer (with audio)

A conversation with the Orioles new closer (with audio)
Like his idol, Nolan Ryan, new O's closer Mike Gonzalez is a strikeout pitcher. Last year, with Atlanta, Gonzalez fanned 90 in 74 1/3 innings. In his career he averages 10.6 strikeouts for every nine innings pitched. The great Ryan averaged 9.5 per nine. With some young starting pitchers on the staff, O's president Andy MacPhail said the O's needed a reliable closer to hold their leads and help their collective confidence. As a free agent this winter, the 31-year Gonzalez researched the...
Continue reading

A swing change has Rowell excited about the 2010 season

A swing change has Rowell excited about the 2010 season
After struggling for two straight seasons with the Frederick Keys of the Carolina League, O's minor leaguer Billy Rowell is making a change. He made some adjustments with his swing during instructional league workouts in September and October. "I went back to my old swing from high school. You have to stick with what works. There are a lot of ideas but at the end of the day it's what works for you. This swing is the most consistent and most natural. "I had more power at instructional...
Continue reading

The future Orioles payroll

The future Orioles payroll
There are those who call the Orioles "cheap" because they didn't spend on a big name free agent this year. Others say this wasn't a top free agent class and the time wasn't right for the O's to make a move like that. Some look at the Orioles' payroll and see plenty of room for future spending. I won't argue that point. I expect the O's payroll, which was reported to be about 67 million last year, will probably be in that neighborhood again this year. There are a couple of...
Continue reading