Duquette on Romero and rumors (Roberts update)

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette talked about the reasons why he signed veteran left-handed reliever J.C. Romero to a minor league contract earlier today and assigned him to Triple-A Norfolk.

“He’s a solid left-handed pitcher who can be a specialist, and he’s done that job on a championship team,” Duquette said. “He can run his fastball in on left-handed hitters’ hands. He’s had a lot of success with that.”

jc-romero-sidebar-mound-cards.jpgThe Cardinals released Romero on May 14.

“J.C. said he’s ready to pitch,” Duquette said.

Romero could take left-hander Zach Phillips’ spot on the Tides’ roster. Phillips was placed on the disabled list today with a left shoulder impingement.

As for the rumors, I asked Duquette about potential interest in pitcher Roy Oswalt.

“We’re always interested in the pitching market and any developments in the market,” he said.

Duquette wouldn’t confirm whether the club has watched Oswalt throw.

“He’s a quality veteran pitcher,” Duquette said.

Since Duquette didn’t shoot down the idea, I’ll assume that, yes, the Orioles are interested in Oswalt. But is Oswalt interested in them?

Oswalt reportedly wants to pitch for a team that can win the World Series. The Orioles’ reputation has changed rapidly if he now places them in that category.

Miguel Tejada supposedly was in Baltimore yesterday, but that’s news to Duquette and manager Buck Showalter, so he must not be joining the team.

Update: Tejada is starting at third base and batting cleanup again for Norfolk tonight.

Duquette also said nothing is imminent regarding a contract extension for Adam Jones. There have been rumblings in town today that an announcement could be coming tomorrow, but “tomorrow” would be “imminent” by my definition.

Duquette wouldn’t confirm whether he’s had recent talks with Jones’ representative, saying he wants to keep the focus on the team during the season.

Update II: Brian Roberts went 0-for-2, grounding out twice, in three innings tonight at Double-A Bowie.

In his second at-bat, Roberts ran the count full before being retired.

Considering that he walked twice last night, you can’t say that he hasn’t seen enough pitches in his first two games. He’s 0-for-2 with two walks since joining the Baysox.

Roberts fielded a couple of ground balls cleanly, but he also committed a throwing error in the first inning.

Roberts is scheduled to serve as the designated hitter tomorrow night.

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