Manager Buck Showalter said he found four teams, including the Red Sox, who have more players on the disabled list than the Orioles. But did anyone exceed the Orioles’ 22 player moves in one week?
Joel Pineiro is scratched from his start at Triple-A Norfolk and isn’t listed among their upcoming starters, and I immediately wonder if he’s headed to Camden Yards. Dana Eveland tweets that he flew back to Norfolk and then drove to Baltimore, and I immediately assume that the Orioles changed their plans to take him off the 25-man roster.
No wonder my left eye has been twitching for two days.
The Orioles’ payroll is a little over $81 million. They have a little over $29 million on the disabled list.
Why don’t I trust weather forecasts? I read where there was a 100 percent chance of rain last night, with thunderstorms arriving in the late afternoon and staying through the evening, but the Orioles and Yankees played nine innings uninterrupted. The start was delayed an entire 14 minutes.
To be fair, it did rain throughout the night, but I was expecting something a little heavier. It’s like having a date with Wynonna Judd and getting Ashley.
And I also was expecting, you know, thunder.
It all starts with starting pitching. The Orioles have two quality starts in their last nine games. The debate over why they’re not playing better should end there.
Well, the errors are a real problem, too - specifically at the infield corners. Might be a good idea to give Nick Johnson more starts at first, though he’s hitting .167 and Showalter is trying to keep him healthy. He’s the best glove - or mitt - they’ve got at first.
The Orioles are growing more concerned about Nolan Reimold, who isn’t making sufficient progress in his recovery from a herniated disk in his cervical spine.
Maybe a second epidural will do the trick. Or it might take a third. Either way, it’s an unfortunate development for a player who finally had a chance to become a regular in the majors. Injuries keep getting in the way.
Anyone who questions Reimold’s toughness should get hit in the face by a fastball and time how long it takes to step back into a batter’s box.
Trust me, toughness isn’t the issue here.
And anyone suggesting that it’s only some tingling in his fingers and he should play through it might want to try hitting a 95 mph fastball with tingling and numbness. And then time how long it takes for the injury to worsen.
Reliever Luis Ayala, who allowed his first home run of the season last night and took the loss, offered these words of wisdom:
“There are some things you can’t control. Sometimes errors, sometimes walks, sometimes the umpire doesn’t make a good call. You can’t control this. You still have to throw quality pitches. Sometimes the umpires don’t call them. Errors, umpires, home runs. Everything is a part of the game. Some things you can’t control. You can control your emotions, your feelings, your stamina and when you make pitches.”
As if we haven’t received enough news on this beat lately, we got word yesterday that former first-round pick Billy Rowell was suspended 50 games for a second violation of minor league baseball’s drug prevention program for a drug of abuse. That’s not a PED.
Showalter said he’s never actually seen Rowell. I wonder if any of us will see him after this suspension.
Rowell didn’t pan out as the third baseman of the future, or as a utility player of the future. He didn’t pan out as a hitter, leading the Orioles to try to make a pitcher out of him. And now he’s failed two drug tests.
I’m not exactly sure what’s in it for them at this point. The man who drafted him is gone. The man who was in the front office when the Orioles drafted him is gone. I don’t see any way to salvage this pick.
Three of the Orioles’ minor leaguers have been suspended for a drug of abuse since spring training. These guys do know they’re being tested, right?
Eveland gave up a single, hit a batter and walked a batter in the eighth inning last night, but he didn’t allow a run. He gave up a hit, walked a batter intentionally, hit a batter and gave up one run in the ninth.
You may not get a lot of clean innings out of Eveland, but he often finds a way to minimize the damage. He’s just got to do a better job of living up to his reputation for pitching to contact. Too many walks in two appearances.
I’m not sure if hitting a batter counts as pitching to contact. Then again, I don’t think he actually hit Russell Martin, who dropped to the ground as if he had been tased.
Wei-Yin Chen starts tonight against the Yankees. His parents are here to watch him.
“That’s pretty cool,” Showalter said. “I talked to them through an interpreter. They’re pretty excited. They saw his last outing. They’re going to see this one (tonight). I think we flew them over for his last two starts. I don’t know if they’re going to Kansas City or not. They may go to Washington. They’re all smiles. Very happy with him.”
CC Sabathia starts for the Yankees tonight, and he’s 16-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 23 career starts against the Orioles.
Robert Andino is 7-for-18 with a double and home run against Sabathia. Wilson Betemit is 3-for-8 with a double. Adam Jones is 12-for-36 (.333) with a double, triple, two homers and nine RBIs.
Before you rush to put Bill Hall in the lineup, consider that he’s 1-for-14 against Sabathia. Matt Wieters is 4-for-21 with a homer and eight strikeouts.
Did anyone notice Jones grabbing the back of his leg as he ran to first base in the ninth inning?
Showalter used the infield shift again last night against a few of the Yankees, something he’s done with more regularity this season.
“As you gather more and more information, you feel more comfortable about it,” he said. “I know (advance scouting coordinator) Ben Werthan and some people we have working in advanced scouting have been gathering material to make us old grunts feel more comfortable with it.
“I think another byproduct of that is we feel like we have more pitchers that can locate the ball where they want to throw it. I think that’s what a lot of people miss about Tampa. The one thing they all share in common for the most part is the fastball command, and that’s what allows you to do some of this.
“It creates some problems that you have to practice, how you cover second base, the pivot on the double play. We had a couple balls that J.J. caught that would have been base hits, but he couldn’t turn the double play because of the configuration. We spent a lot of time in the spring, because we knew we were going to step up on it, of practicing shift defense. You’ve got a guy stealing second base and the third baseman’s covering the bag, second base, and the runner pops up (out of his slide), who’s covering third? We talk about it in advance meetings. Your relays are different.”
If you’re free, check out “Sports Legends Museum presents Jon Miller” on Tuesday, May 22 from 5-7 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Central Library.
Miller will share behind-the-scene experiences throughout his career, as well as memories from the early years (1992-1996) doing play-by-play for the Orioles.
(And no, his departure isn’t the reason for the 14 straight losing seasons. The play-by-play guys don’t wield that kind of power. Besides, the Orioles went wire-to-wire in ‘97.)
Miller was the 2010 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He currently works as a broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants.
A cash bar will be available from 5-6 p.m., followed by a program and exclusive Q&A session with Miller from 6-7 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by contacting Whitney Edmonds at WhitneyE@babeRuthMuseum.com or calling 410-727-1536, ext. 3033.