We know Ty Wigginton won't be going down to Triple-A Norfolk. Wigginton belted his ninth home run of the season in the top of the eighth inning, a two-run shot off Yankees reliever Sergio Mitre that landed in the second deck in left field and cut the deficit to 6-3. Too little, too late? That's my guess, but we'll find out. Instant update: It's now 7-3 in the bottom of the eighth. I'll continue to trust my instincts. Interesting comments today from president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail in an interview with The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. They're getting a lot of play on MASN. "There is going to come a time where we're going to be obligated to keep making changes in terms of offensive personnel and they're going to get the opportunity to head to Norfolk and hone their swings because they're not doing anything to help us now," MacPhail said. "I would say there isn't a great deal of time left before they have to start doing more than what they're doing now. I'm not staying with them forever. It's not a suicide pact. They either have to start performing or they'll go to Norfolk." The "suicide pact" line might be my favorite of the year. MacPhail isn't going to single out anyone publicly, but if you have options left, you've been put on notice. That includes Nolan Reimold (.188), Adam Jones (.225), Luke Scott (.177) and Lou Montanez (.118). Julio Lugo's batting .194. Rhyne Hughes' average is down to .258, though he's Eddie Murray compared to the rest of the group. Cesar Izturis is batting .230, but isn't he here for his glove? Same theory applies to Craig Tatum (.077). He's on the roster for his work behind the plate, not beside it. MacPhail appears to be cooling the seat under manager Dave Trembley by suggesting that the players must be held accountable, that they're the ones failing. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but that's the impression I'm getting. Here's the rub: You don't have anyone beating down the door at Triple-A unless you count Corey Patterson, who's batting .344 in a grand total of eight games at Norfolk and hasn't proven to be a real difference maker up to this point. Jeff Salazar's batting .287 with three doubles, one triple, four homers and 13 RBIs in 24 games. He's a career .232 hitter in 168 major league games. Josh Bell's hitting .253 with six doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs, but it's been a slow climb to respectability and the Orioles aren't looking to rush him. He also plays the same position as Miguel Tejada, though you could conceivably work around that one. Robert Andino homered twice yesterday, but he's batting .228 in 23 games. And most of you were done with him in spring training. Michael Aubrey's hitting .221, Joey Gathright .202, Brandon Snyder .198. The Orioles have dipped into Double-A Bowie's roster in the past, but is Paco Figueroa (.345) the answer? Robbie Widlansky (.323)? Tyler Henson (.299)? Brandon Waring has five home runs, but he's also batting .228. Sending guys down might be the easy part. Finding suitable replacements is the headache.
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