Josh Bell had his first career multi-hit game yesterday, but that’s not all. His ninth-inning single came against Blue Jays left-hander David Purcey.
See, he can hit from the right side.
I kept insisting yesterday that it would make more sense to option reliever Frank Mata than Bell when Luke Scott comes off the disabled list later today. The bench is short enough with a healthy Corey Patterson. Now that Patterson is expected to miss a few games, the Orioles need Bell on the roster.
My opinion didn’t change overnight. Mata threw three innings yesterday (though he needed only 28 pitches), so he’ll be unavailable for a few days. Don’t waste the roster spot.
Brian Matusz’s fastball was routinely clocked at 88 mph. That’s not a drastic drop from the norm, but it was noticeable.
One observer noted the inaccuracy in reports that Matusz’s fastball usually reaches 95 mph.
“The last time he hit 95,” the observer quipped, “he was on the interstate.”
If it makes Matusz and Jeremy Guthrie feel any better, Double-A Bowie’s Ryohei Tanaka is tied for the most losses in the Eastern League with 10.
Kevin Millwood threw another bullpen session yesterday and later did some soft tossing on the field during the annual family game.
I noticed that Millwood’s two sons were mentoring the younger children.
Speaking of Millwood, he could come off the disabled list on Wednesday, which forces the Orioles to clear room in the rotation.
Brad Bergesen’s next turn is Wednesday, so that’s the most logical move. Millwood could replace Bergesen, who hasn’t won since May 12 and has allowed 16 runs and 31 hits in 23 2/3 innings over four starts since his last demotion.
However, does it benefit Bergesen to make another trip to Norfolk? Is the back-and-forth doing more harm than good?
Interim manager Juan Samuel bristled after yesterday’s game when asked not once, but twice, whether he might consider optioning Matusz. That move doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman aren’t leaving. Jeremy Guthrie isn’t being traded by Wednesday.
The ice under Bergesen’s feet appears to be the thinnest. The ground appears to be the shakiest. The leash appears to be the shortest.
You get the idea.
Is there another solution?