What in the world is the holdup?
Jemile Weeks is waiting for the Orioles to recall him as Machado’s replacement. Rather than sit in a hotel room and drum his fingers on a table, he actually led off for short-season Single-A Aberdeen last night and went 1-for-4 as the designated hitter.
He’s come a long way from Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles appeared to be better equipped to deal with Machado’s suspension because they had an extra reliever on the staff. However, manager Buck Showalter isn’t keen on the idea of optioning Brad Brach or Evan Meek, who have earned the right to stay in a bullpen that’s allowed one run in the last 29 2/3 innings. Also, he still could end up short a reliever if T.J. McFarland is chosen to start Tuesday night.
At this point, the Orioles just want a resolution so they can get on with their season.
Machado is 9-for-26 (.346) with two home runs in the last seven games.
Chris Davis has five hits in his last 33 at-bats, seven in his last 51 and 10 in his last 69 to lower his average to .215.
Today’s starter for the Orioles, Miguel Gonzalez, is 2-2 with a 3.10 ERA and three quality starts in five outings at home. He’s 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA in 10 career starts against the Rays.
Desmond Jennings is 6-for-22 (.273) with four home runs and seven RBIs against Gonzalez. Ben Zobrist is 3-for-24 (.125).
Alex Cobb is 3-1 with a 1.36 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles. He’s 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in two outings at Camden Yards.
On June 18 at Tropicana Field, Cobb rationed the Orioles to an unearned run and four hits over seven innings in a 2-0 loss. He tied his season high with four walks.
See, the Orioles can be patient at the plate.
J.J. Hardy, who had two of the five hits yesterday off Erik Bedard, is 4-for-13 (.308) against Cobb. However, Machado (0-for-13), Davis (2-for-11), Adam Jones (3-for-16), Nick Markakis (2-for-10) and Nelson Cruz (1-for-9) are a combined 8-for-59.
The Orioles didn’t turn any double plays yesterday - the Rays were too elusive while circling the bases on home runs - but they still lead the majors with 95. Closer Zach Britton actually leads the pitching staff by inducing 10 GIDPs, one more than starters Wei-Yin Chen, Ubaldo Jimenez and Bud Norris.
Chris Tillman has induced seven and Gonzalez six. You won’t find another reliever on the list until Tommy Hunter with five.
Asked about Britton’s team-leading total, Showalter said, “You know what’s tough is a lot of his balls aren’t like pure ground balls. They’re kind of chopped. That really requires a third baseman who can make that play on the move.”
Britton ended Game 2 of Friday night’s doubleheader by fielding a comebacker and starting a 1-6-3 double play.
“Zach and Brian (Matusz), they’re doing some things defensively that they haven’t done in the past and it’s fun to watch. They’re getting a return,” Showalter said.
“We had some points of emphasis that we needed to get better at this spring and that was one of them. Zach made that play as good as you want to see it to end the game, and he couldn’t have done that a year or so ago. I’m telling you.”