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Matusz back on the mound tonight for the Orioles

When Brian Matusz throws his first few pitches tonight, most of us will turn our attention to the radar gun to check out his velocity. But, just as important for Matusz will be his command and control of his other pitches. All four of his pitches have been finding too much of the middle of the plate recently, as he has given up 14 earned

After tough start, Davis trying to show he belongs

Blake Davis is certainly enjoying his time in the major leagues. He has been with the Orioles since June 18 and is batting .313 (5-for-16) over five games. For Davis, he is in the majors about two years after it looked like he might make it the first time. He was having a solid spring training in March of 2009 with the Orioles and coming

The Orioles are struggling and the schedule is unforgiving

The Orioles may be teetering right now. Teetering on the brink. They have fallen seven games under .500 for the first time this year and their recent play makes it look like it could get worse before it gets better. They need to beat Jaime Garcia tonight to avoid a three-game sweep by the Cardinals. Garcia is 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA on the year

Another night without a clutch hit as O’s fall to St. Louis

The Orioles have failed to follow up their series victory over Cincinnati with more momentum as they have now lost the first two games of the series with St. Louis. Chris Carpenter pitched a complete-game, seven-hitter on 132 pitches as the Cardinals beat the Orioles 5-1. He is now 3-7 with an ERA of 4.00. The Orioles fell behind in the second inning for the

Cardinals make themselves comfortable at Camden Yards

So far, the St. Louis Cardinals are enjoying their first-ever trip to Baltimore. They won 6-2 last night by taking a 3-0 lead in the second inning and they took a 2-0 lead tonight in inning two. Colby Rasmus hit a two-run homer off Chris Jakubauskas to start the St. Louis scoring. It was his second homer of the series, his third in four games

Hardy homer notes

The Orioles public relations staff put out some interesting notes on J.J Hardy today. Did you know his nine homers in June is one off the major league lead for the month. Prince Fielder, Paul Konerko and Carlos Pena have hit 10 to lead MLB in June homers. If Hardy hits one more this month, he will tie Miguel Tejada’s team record for most homers

Simon set for return to Orioles

Right-handed reliever Alfredo Simon returns to the Orioles active roster for tonight’s game with St. Louis. He was out since June 13 with a right hamstring strain. Simon said he feels great. He pitched two scoreless innings for Double-A Bowie on Sunday after spending some time rehabbing the hamstring in Florida. “I just was working in Sarasota and now I’m ready to go,” Simon said.

Luke Scott talks about his injured knee and shoulder

Luke Scott is feeling better today after suffering a right knee contusion when he made a great catch in the top of the ninth last night. But, he is not in the starting lineup against St. Louis. “Yeah (still sore),” Scott said. “I feel better today than when I left the field. I iced my knee a bunch of times at home. I’ve got a

A June swoon for Machado and other notes

Two words: Don’t panic. Manny Machado homered in his second at-bat in the Carolina League, but he is hitting just .158 at 3-for-19 in six games with Single-A Frederick. I don’t think anyone in the O’s organization is worried in the least about a player who is playing in that league at the age of 18. Machado doesn’t turn 19 until July 6. Before Machado

The two-inning reliever

It hasn’t become as rare as, say, seeing a pitcher throw a complete game anymore, but it still seems pretty rare in baseball these days. That is, seeing a relief pitcher pitch not one, but two innings, in an outing. It doesn’t seem like that would be asking too much, but managers are always thinking ahead and know that a two-inning outing for a top

O’s offense stalls in series-opening loss to St. Louis

The St. Louis Cardinals had lost five of six games and 12 of their last 15 before tonight’s series opener at Camden Yards. Plus, they had the highest ERA in the majors during the month of June. Despite that, the Cardinals beat the Orioles 6-2 in tonight’s series opener. Kyle Lohse, who entered with a career interleague ERA of 5.93, pitched five shutout innings before

Adam Jones on the All-Star possibility

With the selection of reserves for the All-Star teams coming up on Sunday, we’ll know soon which Oriole or Orioles will make the American League squad. Most seem to be predicting that just one player from this team will make it, but there are several deserving candidates. They include Adam Jones, batting .294 with 14 doubles, 13 homers and 45 RBIs. “Personally, it’s out of

Showalter on his team’s power surge and Guerrero’s power outage

It probably should not come as a shock to anyone, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter did express concern today over the lack of production from Vladimir Guerrero, his cleanup hitter. Guerrero has just four extra-base hits, two homers and two doubles, over his last 32 games. His current slugging percentage is .388 down from last year’s .496 and his OPS is down from .841 to

Showalter talks about playing time for Reimold

Orioles manager Buck Showalter talked today about the recent lack of playing time for outfielder Nolan Reimold. He did not play in the series with Cincinnati and had just eight at-bats during the recent nine-game road trip. “It’s been a challenge. We keep hoping that Luke (Scott) can get it going and we went through a period where there were a lot of left-handed pitchers,

Which bird will take flight? Pre-series O’s, Cards notes

Checking in with some notes on both teams as the Orioles get set to host the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time tonight. * The Orioles lead the American League with 32 homers in June. They hit nine in the Cincinnati series, and the Orioles have homered 13 times in the last seven games and 27 times in the past 17 contests. * Orioles

In the end, will Markakis prove his critics wrong?

He has been a lightning rod for criticism this year by fans on talk shows and message boards, but in the end, will Nick Markakis prove his critics wrong? Will the 27-year-old Orioles outfielder have a big finish to this season and make up for lost time with his stats after a slow start? Right now, it may be heading that way. Markakis’ bat is

Checking in on Aberdeen’s poor start and other minor league notes

The short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds have gotten their new season off to a terrible start. Since beating Hudson Valley at home on opening night, Aberdeen has lost nine in a row. If Aberdeen loses at home tonight versus Brooklyn, the 10-game losing streak would tie a team record. It took two seasons to do that before, as the 2004 squad lost its last four and

How much does the O’s brass use sabermetrics?

When Orioles president Andy MacPhail and manager Buck Showalter met with season ticket holders at Camden Yards on Saturday afternoon, they were asked a few interesting questions. Among them, one fan asked if the O’s brass uses sabermetrics in sizing up player acquisitions and in their daily preparations. A simple definition of sabermetrics calls it simply “the statistical analysis of baseball data.” Another defines sabermetrics

Sweet 16: Markakis extends hit streak in win over the Reds

Nick Markakis came up with three hits in five at bats in Sunday’s win over Cincinnati. His average is at its highest point since April 9 and he now has a 16-game hitting streak. Markakis is batting .405 (30-for-74) during the streak, which is one off his career best. The batting streak has raised his average from .236 to .277. “I feel like I’m getting

Reynolds on his offense and defense against Cincinnati

When he came to bat in the fourth inning today, Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds had already made two errors, giving him 18 on the year. He might have wanted to redeem himself and he did by hitting a solo homer 443-feet to left field. But he said he wasn’t thinking about trying to turn around his day as he batted against Homer Bailey. “I

The longball again: Orioles use three homers to beat Reds, 7-5

He hit a walk-off homer in the 12th inning on Friday night. Today’s homer came much earlier but was still pretty important. Derrek Lee’s three-run shot gave the Orioles a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning today and they went on to beat Cincinnati 7-5 to win the series, two victories to one. Lee entered this game 6-for-8 in his career versus Reds starter Homer

Guthrie looks to reverse recent trend for the starters today

I am sure Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not at all opposed to Jeremy Guthrie pitching deep into today’s game with Cincinnati. In case you have not noticed, Orioles’ starters have not been pitching deep into recent games. This weekend, Chris Jakubauskas went just five against the Reds Friday and Brian Matusz only 4 2/3 innings last night. Over the last nine games, Orioles’ starters

Minor league notes on Townsend, Davis and Pena

The Frederick Keys will be getting their regular first baseman back today as Tyler Townsend has been activated from the disabled list for today’s 6 p.m. home game vs. Wilmington He has been out since June 8 with a hamstring injury. He has been one of the Carolina League’s best hitters this year batting .317 in 52 games with 19 doubles, 10 homers, 39 RBIs

Confident Jones has been hammering homers

The last two seasons, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones has hit 19 homers each year. His first-inning solo homer last night was already his 13th of this season. He has now tied Mark Reynolds for the team homer lead. After Saturday’s game, Jones, now batting .291, was asked if this is the most confident he’s ever been at bat as a major leaguer. “I wouldn’t say

Wieters and Jones talk about Matusz

After he saw his pitcher, Brian Matusz, give up three homers and six runs over 4 2/3 versus the Reds, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said some of the pitches the Reds hit looked like decent pitches from his vantage point. “Most of the balls they hit were down. Brian’s stuff was probably the best it’s been since he’s been up which is positive,” Wieters said.

Matusz on his outing against the Reds and his fastball velocity

After his latest tough outing, Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz was talking again about his velocity, which has still not returned to its 2010 output. “The velocity obviously isn’t there. Being my fifth start, I feel I’ve made a lot of progress, but just have got to continue working and get a lot better,” Matusz said after giving up six runs, nine hits and three homers

Reds win homer-filled contest, 10-5, at Camden Yards

It was not a home run derby contest tonight at Camden Yards although it looked like it at times. On a night when left-hander Brian Matusz struggled again, Cincinnati beat the Orioles 10-5 in a game that featured nine homers. All but one run scored in the game came via a homer as Cincinnati hit five and the Orioles hit a season-high four in front

Showalter’s take on the Yankees was a big hit with the fans

In case there was any misunderstanding, Orioles manager Buck Showalter made it clear today how much he enjoys beating the Yankees. Showalter gave a most honest opinion on the subject at today’s session with season-ticket holders here at Camden Yards. He was asked by one fan what it would take for the Orioles to beat the Yankees. “I can’t stand the Yankees, OK,” Showalter said.

MacPhail talks contract and Showalter talks Roberts with season-ticket holders

At the “State of the Orioles” address this afternoon with season ticket holders here at Camden Yards, O’s president of baseball operations Andy MacPhal was asked by a fan about his contract. He is in the last year of his deal and the fan wanted to know if he will be staying with the Orioles. “I have always taken the position, unlike one my good

MacPhail addresses international spending with season-ticket holders

Orioles president Andy MacPhail and manager Buck Showalter just spent about 30 minutes taking fans questions here at Camden Yards as part of the latest “State of the Orioles” address with season ticket holders. MacPhail was asked by a fan why the club seems to be outbid by some other clubs in the international market. “We did spend more last year then we did the

The Earl of Baltimore held court in Salisbury

This great game of baseball spans many years and generations, and some of us really got to experience that Tuesday night at the South Atlantic League All-Star game hosted by the Delmarva Shorebirds. Not long after we got to interview some up-and-coming stars of tomorrow, like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, we were sitting in a conference room across from Hall of Fame manager Earl

D-Lee delivers the walk-off for the Orioles

After that recent stretch where he went 11-for-18, it was clear Derrek Lee’s bat was coming to life. Tonight he provided another example with that clutch, walk-off homer to left, leading off the last of the 12th as the Orioles beat the Reds 5-4. Lee entered tonight batting just .128 on the year, going 6-for-47, when batting with runners in scoring position. He is a

Random game notes

Some quick notes with the Orioles leading the Reds 4-0 after four innings tonight at the Yard. * While the Orioles are 20-18 at home on the year and have lost their last two at home, they are 10-4 over their past 14 games at Camden Yards. * The Reds went 5-for-8 batting with runners in scoring position in their last game, a 10-2 win

For Blake Davis, it’s time to get back on the horse

He made a key error that allowed two runs to score Wednesday in the Orioles’ 5-4 loss to the Pirates, but when Blake Davis showed up at Camden Yards today, he saw his name was in the starting lineup and he’s back at second base. “Yeah, it’s nice,” Davis said, two days after his major league debut. “It shows a little bit of confidence in

More pregame Showalter

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is often quite talkative on a lot of subjects during his daily pregame interview with reporters. But today he was not ready to say much about Jim Riggleman, who resigned yesterday as Nationals’ manager. “I’ve known Jim for a long time,” Showalter said. “There are a lot of things with a situation like this, you don’t really know about. I should

Showalter on Davis and Arrieta

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has Blake Davis back in the starting lineup tonight, at second base and batting ninth. He was asked if he was starting Davis to get him right back on the field after his error Wednesday scored two runs in the 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh. “That’s not the only reason. But yeah, it was (a reason to start him),” Showalter said. “I

Some Orioles and Reds notes and stats

Checking in with some stats and facts about both teams as the Cincinnati Reds make their first visit to Baltimore tonight since the 1970 World Series. * The Orioles hit .302 as a team and scored 4.2 runs per game during their nine-game road trip. Over the last six games they have 72 hits, a .324 team average and 28 runs scored. * Nick Markakis

Machado homers on his first night in the Carolina League

He had two hits and scored a run in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game Tuesday night. He got promoted to Single-A Frederick after that game. On Thursday afternoon, he found out he would play in the Futures Game and Thursday night he homered in just his second at-bat in the Carolina League. Just Manny being Manny. As in Manny Machado, the Orioles’ top prospect

Taking a look at one stat and its impact on Oriole wins and losses

Sometimes, baseball can be a very simple game. As the manager in “Bull Durham” said, “You catch the ball, you hit the ball, you throw the ball.” Sometimes it rains of course. Sometimes you get clutch hits and you win. Sometimes you don’t and you lose. In looking at the Orioles’ season, one stat that seems to always figure heavily in whether the club wins

Ty Kelly is getting the job done for Delmarva

Every year, there are players in the minor leagues who seem to fly under the radar, guys who are not considered top prospects or are not high-round draft picks. But they put up good numbers and we should notice that. Ty Kelly at Single-A Delmarva is one of those guys, and I got the chance to meet and interview him before Tuesday’s All-Star Game at

Minor league notes

With the Orioles not playing tonight, let’s take a look at some notes around the O’s minors. The Bowie Baysox have been playing pretty well lately. The Baysox, led by manager Gary Kendall, have won 12 of their last 18 games to improve to 36-34 on the season. Catcher Caleb Joseph takes a 10-game batting streak into play tonight. He is batting .317 (13-for-41) during

Road trip ends with a thud: Costly error leads to loss at Pittsburgh

For the Orioles today, the ball found a player making his major league debut at a key point in the game and the result was not good. Blake Davis, starting at second base, had a grounder go through his legs for an error in the last of the fifth, allowing two runs to score on the play. What should have been the third out instead

Doubles talk (updated)

Seeing Nick Markakis hit two doubles in today’s game at Pittsburgh had to be a nice sight for Orioles fans. Markakis, formerly a doubles machine, had just seven doubles all year and this is his first game of the year with more than one double. Markakis, who had 43 or more doubles the last four years, was on a pace this year to produce just

Delmarva does a great job hosting South Atlantic League All-Star Game as Machado heads for Frederick

SALISBURY, Md. - The only thing that went wrong with last night’s South Atlantic League All-Star game was the home team lost. The South beat the North 6-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 7,410 at Perdue Stadium. The North squad had won four straight from 2006-2009 and last year’s game ended in a tie, so this was the first win by the South

Frederick bound: Machado gets official word after All-Star Game

SALISBURY, Md. - The news that was very expected became official after tonight’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game. The Orioles are sending top prospect Manny Machado from low Single-A Delmarva to high Single-A Frederick. Machado played his last game representing the Shorebirds tonight and went 2-for-4 with a run scored as his North team lost 6-3 to the South in front of a sellout crowd.

South leads 6-2 at Delmarva (updated)

SALISBURY, Md. - After four and a half innings of the South Atlantic League All-Star game, the South team leads the North 6-2 at Perdue Stadium. The South plated five runs in the third, getting two-run homers from Adam Duvall and Cory Vaughn. Single-A Delmarva’s Manny Machado is 1-for-2 with a single and a run scored in the first and he struck out in the

Ty Kelly on Machado: “He deserves all the attention he gets”

SALISBURY, Md. - Orioles top prospect Manny Machado singled tonight in his first at-bat in the South Atlantic League All-Star game. Machado fell behind 0-2 on the count, got back to a full count and drove a ground ball up the middle for a single against Savannah’s Taylor Whitenton. Machado was batting second and his single sent Hagerstown’s Blake Kelso, who had singled, to third

The Earl of Baltimore: Weaver a hit with the fans in Salisbury

SALISBURY, Md - Orioles Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver headlined the Fan Fest festivities today in Salisbury at the South Atlantic League All-Star game and signed autographs for around two hours for a steady stream of fans. Earl said the fans here kept asking him about returning to manage. “Since (80-year-old Jack) McKeon went back, if I would,” Weaver said. “There is no way

Delmarva’s David Walters is unlikely All-Star

SALISBURY, Md. - There are seven first-round draft picks on the rosters here for the South Atlantic League All-Star game, but Single-A Delmarva reliever David Walters is not among them. The 23-year-old, right-hander, who leads the league with 17 saves, was actually signed by the Orioles as a free agent in June, 2009 after the draft out of Francis Marion University in South Carolina. He

Machado on his hot start, his knee injury and tonight’s All-Star game

SALISBURY, Md. - In what is likely to be his last appearance for the Delmarva Shorebirds, Orioles’ top prospect Manny Machado will start at shortstop here tonight for the Northern Division at Perdue Stadium in the South Atlantic League All-Star game. Machado is expected to join Single-A Frederick when the Carolina League’s second half begins on Thursday. Machado enjoys hitting in this park and has

Checking on the O’s offense and preparing for a trip to Salisbury

I am not ready to say the Orioles’ offense has turned the corner or that it’s finally living up to its preseason hype, but I will say it is functioning on most of its cylinders right now. Maybe for the first time all year. The top six in last night’s order all are hitting pretty well right now. That is J.J Hardy, Nick Markakis, Adam

For the O’s, usually the first is the worst

The Orioles, who took a 5-0 lead in the first inning tonight at Pittsburgh, began this game as major league’s lowest-scoring first inning team. They come in averaging just 0.26 first-inning runs per game to rank last in the majors. 0.26 - Orioles 0.29 - Seattle 0.32 - Oakland 0.36 - Kansas City and Washington The Yankees lead the majors in scoring with 0.76 first

Checking on the Pirates past and present

The Orioles have lost two World Series against the Pirates, in 1971 and 1979. Tomorrow night, before Game Two of their series with the Orioles, the Pirates will celebrate the 40th anniversary of that 1971 team. The Orioles won the first two games, by scores of 5-3 and 11-3 at home, but then lost three straight in Pittsburgh. When that series returned to Baltimore, the

No longer under the radar: McCurry got to Triple-A in a hurry

Sometimes in the minor leagues you can find players who actually put up better stats as they move up to higher levels. You wouldn’t think that possible, but some players mature and learn more about the game and themselves, and it happens. Joe Mahoney hit .222 his first year at Single-A Delmarva in 2008. He returned there in 2009 and hit .278. Then in 2010,

Some impressions from the weekend series against the Nats

Some thoughts after the end of the weekend series in Washington. The clubs split six games this year and today’s O’s win keeps the Orioles ahead, 19-17, in the all-time series versus the Nationals. * We’ve said it before, but maybe this team will finally get hot on offense for an extended time. It seems that Nick Markakis and Derrek Lee have heated up and

Orioles get series finale, 7-4 at Nats Park

The Orioles overcame some early frustrations - they hit into three double plays in the first four innings - to beat the Nationals 7-4 Sunday and salvage the final game in this series. The Orioles won for just the second time in eight games and are 2-4 on their current road trip. They ended the Nats’ eight-game winning streak. The clubs wind up splitting six

Updating Lee and Hardy

Derrek Lee is 2-for-3 today with an RBI double through the fifth inning in Washington and the Orioles lead 5-3. That makes him 9-for-12 in this series with three doubles and an RBI and he has raised his average from .214 at the start of play Friday to its current .246. Lee had five hits Friday, two Saturday and has two today. Lee had multi

Are the wheels starting to come off for the Orioles?

In a season filled with ups and downs, the Orioles have hit another bump in the road. This one looks like a crater. In just the last three days both Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz have left starts with injuries. The club has been terrible with runners in scoring position the last week or so and every new game seems to bring another major blunder

O’s lose game, Matusz and Scott to injury at Nats Park

On a day when the Orioles had two players leave the game injured, they also scored just two runs in a 4-2 loss to the Nationals in front of 36,614 at Nats Park. Luke Scott left the game in the fourth with back spasms and starting pitcher Brian Matusz left during the Nats three-run sixth with left hamstring cramps. Both players are listed as day-to-day.

Like most pitchers, Matusz needs the command as much as the velocity

Brian Matusz is having a good start so far today in Washington. We’ll see whether that continues deep into this game, but his outing so far is very encouraging. Some fans will say it’s because he is throwing harder today and his velocity seems up a tick or two from earlier starts. But with Matusz it is almost never about the velocity. It’s about his

South Atlantic League All-Star Game set for Tuesday in Salisbury

The Orioles’ Single-A Delmarva affiliate is getting set to host the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury. The Shorebirds last hosted this game in 1999. We will have full coverage from the game Tuesday on MASNsports.com with pregame, in-game and postgame reports. Orioles Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver will headline Fan Fest that day which

Where to start with this loss?

This had to be one of the ugliest Orioles losses of the year. They had numerous chances to score more than four runs. They had poor relief pitching. They allowed three unearned runs. They had 18 hits and somehow managed to turn that into four runs. It was another game where a Mark Reynolds’ mistake was glaring. After the game, Buck Showalter would not pin

Hot Nats bats provide challenge for Britton tonight

While Zach Britton has to bat in tonight’s game in Washington, how he pitches against a hot team will still very likely be the bigger determining factor in whether he and the Orioles get a win tonight. After giving up 14 earned runs in 16 2/3 over a three-start stretch, Britton returned to earlier form in his last start against Oakland on June 8 when

Bridwell on the mound as Aberdeen begins its 10th season tonight

When the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds begin a new season tonight in the New York-Penn League, hosting Hudson Valley, right-hander Parker Bridwell be the Birds’ starting pitcher. Many fans know his name because Bridwell received the third-largest bonus of any O’s draft pick last year behind Manny Machado and Conner Narron. Taken in the ninth round out of Hereford (Texas) High School, Bridwell got a

Details on a new system for posting comments on this blog

As of 1 p.m. today, there is a new system for commenting on my blog and Roch Kubatko’s blog. The Nats’ reporters have been using the system for a while. We will switch the blog over to Disqus, the popular online commenting system used by CNN, Wired magazine, Fox News, MLB.com, MLB Trade Rumors and others. Chances are, you’ve probably interacted with it somewhere on

Matt Hobgood and Ryan Berry will pitch Monday in the GCL

Two of the Orioles’ top pitching prospects that have yet to pitch in an affiliated game this season, Matt Hobgood and Ryan Berry, will make their season debuts Monday when the Gulf Coast League season begins. Hobgood, who has been rehabbing a strained rotator cuff, and Berry, who has been out with shoulder tendinitis, are both expected to pitch an inning or two Monday. Both

A September call last year might have allowed Britton to pitch more this year

Orioles rookie left-hander Zach Britton said he understands why his next start was pushed back from Tuesday to tonight against Washington. Manager Buck Showalter said Britton is on a 200-plus innings pace and the club won’t allow him to pack on that many innings this year. So there may be more times like this where he gets a start pushed back a few days to

Postgame notes after O’s end Toronto losing skid

Here are a couple of notes and stats coming out of today’s Orioles win in Toronto while we await the Nats series and the latest O’s MRI and injury news, this one involving pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. * The Orioles struggled to hit with runners in scoring position in Toronto, going 1-for-10 today and 3-for-27 in the series. The Orioles are just 5-for-40 (.125) with RISP

O’s overcome miscues and Guthrie’s early exit to beat Toronto

A day that featured another Orioles’ base-running mistake and a key error in the last of the sixth inning, along with Jeremy Guthrie leaving his start with an injury, still ended in a win for the Orioles today at Toronto. The Orioles scored twice in the top of the ninth to snap a 2-2 tie and beat the Blue Jays 4-3 this afternoon. That ended

Hardy homer note

J.J Hardy’s homer, a solo shot in the sixth, gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead on Toronto today at Rogers Centre. Hardy, who hit 26 homers with Milwaukee in 2007 and 24 in 2008, now has seven homers, or one more than he had all of last year with Minnesota. Hardy homers: 2009: 6 in 340 at bats, 1 every 56.7 at bats 2010: 7

Updating Townsend and Mummey

The Orioles initially were hopeful that when the Carolina League All-Star break ended and the second half began on June 23rd that Tyler Townsend and Trent Mummey might return to the Frederick Keys lineup. But it looks like neither will be able to be activated then as both players are rehabbing hamstring injuries and are on the disabled list. Both players got hurt in a

Can O’s beat a pitcher making his ML debut today?

When the Orioles try to break their 16-game losing streak in Toronto this afternoon, they will face a pitcher making his major league debut. Who knows if 24-year-old, right-hander Zach Stewart will be nervous and struggle or pumped up and blow the Orioles away. Stewart has had decent, but far from great numbers pitching for Double-A New Hampshire this season. He is 4-3 with an

MacPhail on the radio

If you didn’t get a chance to hear Andy MacPhail interviewed Wednesday on 105.7 the Fan FM in Baltimore, you missed a good, wide-ranging interview with the Orioles’ team president. He appeared on the Ken Weinman and Vinny Cerrato show that airs each weekday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m on the Fan. Many topics were addressed and here are some excerpts from the interview.

Different night, same result for the Orioles in Toronto

For the Orioles, this was a not-so-sweet 16. Toronto defeated the Orioles 4-1 to take the first two games of this series, beating the Orioles for the 16th consecutive time at Rogers Centre. The Orioles have not won there since Aug. 7, 2009. The Orioles have lost 21 of their last 22 and 25 of the last 27 games in Toronto. Gary Thorne talks with

O’s 15 straight losses in Toronto is a lot, but 16 would be a team record

Another loss tonight at Toronto for the Orioles would make 16 straight losses at Rogers Centre since they last won there Aug. 7, 2009. It would also set a franchise record for most consecutive road losses against one club. Believe it or not, the Orioles have three times lost 15 straight on the road versus an opponent. Here are the two others. * 15 straight

News and notes

Before finding out if the Orioles can end a 15-game losing streak in Toronto tonight, here are some random news, notes and takes. * The Orioles have struggled so much to score runs this year that it’s tough to lose when they do put up some runs. They are now 24-11 on the season when scoring four runs or more. However, they have lost the

Trying to understand Ryan Adams’ lack of playing time

Here is something that is confusing to me: If the Orioles were not planning to play Ryan Adams much at all, why did they call him up from Triple-A? He has played some, but Adams has been on the team for 22 games now and has made just five starts at second base. A caller to my radio show last night said his theory was

Orioles are moving lefty reliever Cole McCurry to Triple-A

Lefty relief pitcher Cole McCurry is joining the Triple-A Norfolk Tides after pitching with great stats this year for Double-A Bowie. The 25-year-old McCurry was a 43rd-round draft pick in 2007. This season for the Baysox, he went 4-0 with an ERA of 0.80. Over 33 2/3 he allowed just 18 hits and three earned runs. He walked 14, fanned 44 and had an opponent

One losing streak will end tonight

One team will end a losing streak tonight at Rogers Centre. The Orioles have lost 14 straight in that park and are just 1-19 in their last 20 games in Canada. They have lost 23 of 25 there. The Orioles’ last win in Toronto was August 7, 2009 by a 7-5 score. Jason Berken got the start and win while Jim Johnson got a save.

Take two: Mahoney hoping second return to Bowie brings health and hits

For first baseman Joe Mahoney, this has been a frustrating season with most of his time spent on the disabled list in a rehab mode. Now he looks forward to having some fun. After two stints on the disabled list with a quad injury, Mahoney is expected to play for Double-A Bowie for the first time tonight since May 3. After several weeks of rehab

Will O’s finally pick up some wins in Toronto?

The Orioles begin a nine-game road trip tonight at Toronto. It’s pretty much about time - or maybe past time - that the Orioles post some wins there. They begin this series having lost 14 straight and 23 of their last 25 at Toronto. They went 3-15 against the Jays last year, including an 0-9 mark in Canada. The Orioles’ records the past five seasons

Narron looks to get his bat going at Aberdeen

As a fifth-round draft pick with a father who played, coached and managed in the majors leagues, Connor Narron was a player many O’s fans kept close tabs on last summer. But after he was drafted out of a North Carolina high school and signed with the Orioles, he struggled at bat, hitting .164 in 19 late-summer games with the Gulf Coast League Orioles and

Bridwell will be Aberdeen’s opening night starter

When the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds begin a new season on Friday night at home against Hudson Valley, 19-year-old right-hander Parker Bridwell will be their starting pitcher. Bridwell was a ninth-round draft pick last year out of Hereford High in Texas. Bridwell was at extended spring training before making a start June 4 for Delmarva where he gave up five runs in 4 2/3. He

Orioles stats and facts

Let’s check in with a few Orioles stats and notes after a disappointing end to the weekend. It began with the Orioles blanking Tampa Bay 7-0 Friday, but they lost a late lead and the game Saturday night and fell behind early in losing Sunday. * Vlad Guerrero had back-to-back games on May 15 and 16 with two doubles each. But in the 22 games

Reynolds on his injury and his defense

The Orioles don’t ever want to lose any player to injury, but now that Mark Reynolds is hitting homers, they’d really like to keep his bat in the lineup. Reynolds is confident he can play Tuesday after leaving today’s game in the eighth with a left forearm contusion. He took a shot off the bat of Sean Rodriguez off that arm in the fifth inning

Matusz: “I’m 100 percent healthy”

Brian Matusz may have had a rough day today and a short outing, but it had nothing at all to do with being hurt or any injury. “I’m 100 percent healthy,” Matusz said. It was the shortest non-injury start of Matsuz’s career, and he gave up four runs and four walks over just 1 1/3 innings today in a 9-6 loss to Tampa. “From the

Rays get to Matusz early, take series finale 9-6

The Orioles won two of their first three series this year against Tampa Bay, and when they beat the Rays 7-0 on Friday, three out of four was looking quite realistic. But the Orioles could not close out the game last night and Brian Matusz exited early today as the Rays won 9-6 to win the series. Matusz faced 13 hitters and 10 reached base

Rays ran wild early today vs. Matusz, O’s

Maybe it was a combination too good for Tampa Bay to pass up. A pitcher who can be slow to the plate with runners on base and a catcher that, well, is not Matt Wieters. Tampa Bay took advantage of that to steal four bases in the top of the first inning today against Brian Matusz. It looked like they had a fifth in the

No June swoon for Reynolds

The term June swoon does not apply to Mark Reynolds. After starting June hitless in five at-bats in the month’s first two games, he is 8-for-24 with five homers and 11 RBIs. His June OPS is 1.244 after he picked up his first two-homer game as an Oriole last night. It was his 10th career two-homer game. After picking up five hits, three of them

Britton is on board with the plan to move his next start back

Orioles lefty Zach Britton said it was not unexpected news. He was told today by manager Buck Showalter that his next start will likely be Friday in Washington and not Tuesday in Toronto. Britton has already pitched 82 innings and the club knew at some point Britton would pitch too many innings this year if he continued to go every fifth day. He pitched 153

Despite not playing every day, Adams is enjoying his first big league chance

For Ryan Adams, the last few weeks have been a bit of a mixed bag. He’s been through the excitement of getting his first call to the major leagues. But also, for the first time in his life, he has not played much. “It’s just kind of part of it when you get called up,” Adams said in the Orioles’ clubhouse. “(Robert) Andino’s been playing

A rare off night for Bundy at Frederick

On the night the Orioles selected his brother Dylan in the first-round of the draft, Bobby Bundy picked up his sixth win for the Single-A Frederick Keys with another strong outing last Monday. But after walking just 13 batters in 62 2/3 innings in his first 11 starts, Bundy struggled with his control last night and took the loss as Lynchburg beat Frederick 3-2 in

Schoop’s three-error inning in Frederick (updated, Keys fall to Hillcats)

FREDERICK, Md. - Single-A Frederick Keys shortstop Jonathan Schoop had a three-error top of the fifth inning tonight at Harry Grove Stadium. The first error came when he was charged with fielder’s interference, ruled by the umpires, that sent a baserunner from second to third base and putting runners on the corners with no outs for Lynchburg. Bobby Bundy then issued his third walk of

Bobby Bundy with a solid four innings tonight for Frederick (updated)

FREDERICK, Md. - The other Bundy is pitching well here tonight. Lynchburg leads Single-A Frederick 1-0 after four innings at Harry Grove Stadium. The Bundy already with the Orioles, Bobby, is on the mound for the Keys tonight, making his 12th start. He begins tonight with a 6-3 record and ERA of 2.73 that is eighth best in the Carolina League. The Hillcats scored off

Mike Devereaux talks about Jonathan Schoop

FREDERICK, Md. - Jonathan Schoop, the 19-year-old infielder from Curacao, was playing to rave reviews earlier this season when he was with the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds. That hasn’t changed in the short time he has been here with the Single-A Frederick Keys, even though he has played in just six Frederick games. Schoop is batting .324 between both teams, the second-best batting average this year

Townsend and Mummey provide updates on their hamstring injuries in Frederick

FREDERICK, Md. - The Keys have the best record in the Carolina League, but for now they are playing without two of their best players. Within about five minutes of each other Wednesday night, the Keys’ Tyler Townsend and Trent Mummey suffered hamstring injuries at Potomac that sent both to the disabled list. It’s still too early to know exactly when either will return to

Givens could be headed to Aberdeen to play SS

When the Short Season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds begin a new season of New York-Penn League play next Friday, there is a good chance that Mychal Givens will be their starting shortstop. The 21-year-old Givens, the Orioles’ second-round pick in 2009, would move to Aberdeen from Single-A Delmarva for two main reasons. One, it would give him a chance to play short. He’s been playing at

Markakis’ night and the pursuit of .500

In the minutes after last night’s game, in his postgame press conference, manager Buck Showalter was not ready to proclaim that Nick Markakis is out of his batting slump. Showalter knows that one game - even one as strong as a six-RBI game for Markakis - doesn’t mean he has turned around his season. But it sure had to be a great sight for Orioles

Joe Jordan talks about the Dylan Bundy negotiations (first pitch at 8:10)

Update: Tonight’s Orioles-Rays game has been delayed due to rain. No word on official start time. Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said today he has not begun contract negotiations yet with top pick, pitcher Dylan Bundy. But he will have dinner with the Bundy family next week and the process should begin soon. Jordan has heard and seen the reports about Bundy seeking $30 million.

O’s have already come to terms with some draft picks

Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said he could not yet give us the names, but that the club has come to terms with some of its draft picks already. “We have actually come to terms, I’m not going to give the names yet, but we’ve come to terms with at least two of our top 10 round picks. We are really, really close on a

O’s enjoying home cooking lately as Tampa Bay comes to town

This stat snuck up on me, but the Orioles are 9-2 over their last 11 home games. They are 4-2 on the current nine-game homestand which continues this weekend against Tampa Bay. The Orioles are 19-16 at home on the season. The O’s are coming off a three-game sweep of Oakland where the pitching led the way. The Orioles’ staff allowed just three earned runs,

Matusz through two starts: No concern over the fastball

After two starts since returning from the disabled list, Brian Matusz is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA. Matusz gave up one run in 5 2/3 at Seattle and two runs over 5 1/3 Monday against Oakland. Matusz said he is certainly not yet in midseason form, but is generally pleased with his progress to this point. Reporters have noted his fastball velocity seems a bit

Dan Klein feels his shoulder soreness will not become a major issue (audio added)

Right-hander Dan Klein, one of the Orioles’ top pitching prospects, feels his current right shoulder soreness will not turn into a more serious problem. Klein is on the disabled list at Double-A Bowie and will have a precautionary MRI Monday in Baltimore so doctors can get a better look at his shoulder. Klein took a red-shirt season in 2009 while at UCLA and had an

Callis on the Dylan Bundy negotiations and O’s draft sleepers

In the final part of my interview with Jim Callis of Baseball America, I asked him about the upcoming negotiations between the Orioles and their top draft pick, pitcher Dylan Bundy. Bundy and his representatives have floated crazy numbers like $30 million for his signing bonus. He will get a fraction of that but nothing close to that figure in the end. Callis fully expects

Taking an in-depth look at the Orioles’ draft with Jim Callis

If you read the entry I wrote last night with Baseball America’s Jim Callis, you know he is pretty high on the Orioles draft. He called it a “very good draft” for the Orioles and said it had the “makings of a terrific draft.” He took some time with me to go over some of the Orioles’ picks made after they tabbed Dylan Bundy with

Keys win, but Mummey and Townsend come up injured

Even though they won their eighth game in a row on Wednesday night, the Frederick Keys were not in a mood to celebrate much after their game at Potomac. Two of their key players, first baseman Tyler Townsend and outfielder Trent Mummey both left the game with hamstring injuries within minutes of each other in the fifth inning of a 6-4 win. Mummey’s hamstring appears

Britton’s bounce back: Rookie pitches Orioles past Oakland

Well, for tonight there will be no talk of the American League catching up to Zach Britton. The rookie lefty had given up 14 earned runs and 25 hits over 16 2/3 over his past three starts, but he was back to his earlier form tonight, getting his sixth win as the Orioles beat Oakland 3-2. For the Birds, it’s their first three-game home sweep

Reynolds homer note

Mark Reynolds hit another homer tonight, a two-run shot in the 5th to give the Orioles a three-run lead that is now 3-1. Reynolds’ 10th homer of the year, a team-leading figure, traveled 398 feet to left center field. It was his third homer in the last five games and he now has 32 RBIs which ties Adam Jones for the team RBI lead. It

Baseball America’s Jim Callis gives the Orioles high marks on the draft

Now that the draft is over, how did the Orioles do? We won’t know for sure on that for a few years, but few analysts know the draft better than Baseball America’s Jim Callis and he gives the Orioles high marks. “They got the best pitcher in the draft and depth after that,” Callis said. “They got tremendous quality and quantity. There’s an expression that

Bowie closer moves to Triple-A

The Orioles have moved Bowie closer Jose Diaz to Triple-A Norfolk. They officially placed pitcher Dan Klein on the 7-day DL and added Pedro Viola from Baltimore along with pitcher Armando Gabino, who leaves Norfolk and joins Bowie. Diaz appeared in 25 games for Bowie, going 0-2 with a 1.48 ERA and an Eastern League-leading 17 saves in 19 opportunities. The right-hander struck out 28

O’s go the John Carroll route again today in the draft

It is not often a team drafts two players from the same school, but this year not only did the Orioles do that, but they drafted two players from the same Baltimore-area high school. Yesterday, they took K.J Hockaday from Harford County’s John Carroll school in the 14th round and today the O’s drafted his teammate, Brendan Butler, in the 50th round with the 1,505th

It’s time to give the Frederick Keys some major props

The Frederick Keys are one of the hottest teams in minor league baseball right now. The Keys beat Potomac 7-2 last night and that extended the club’s win streak to seven games, the Keys’ longest since August of 2005. The Keys have won 12 of their past 13 games and have the Carolina League’s best record at 36-22, a .621 winning percentage. They are closing

Sensing a trend toward college players in O’s draft

If you look at the Orioles’ draft picks this year through 30 rounds, the O’s have certainly grabbed much more college than high school talent with the picks so far. Of the Orioles’ picks through the first 20 rounds, they selected 16 college players. Through 30 rounds, they took 21 college and nine high school players. Over the last three years of drafts combined, from

Jakubauskas, ‘pen hold down A’s in Birds’ 4-0 win

Say it quietly, but the Orioles’ bullpen continues to throw well, at least it has for the last nine games. The Orioles ‘pen put up four scoreless innings tonight in relief of starter Chris Jakubauskas who got the win in the Birds’ 4-0 victory over Oakland. This was the O’s fourth shutout of the season. But about that ‘pen ... Over the last nine games

A happy day for Hockaday: Orioles draft a hometown kid

The Orioles took a Baltimore-area kid among their draft picks today when they selected Kevin “K.J.” Hockaday in the 14th round with the 425th overall selection. Hockaday played high school ball at John Carroll in Harford County and the Joppatowne resident has a college commitment to play at the University of Maryland. His high school coach, Joe Stetka, is also an Orioles’ associate scout. He

Scott’s feeling better and Hardy is getting ready to bat leadoff

Luke Scott is looking forward to his return to the Orioles lineup tonight. He has not played since Friday against Toronto, but he’s in there tonight batting seventh in left field. Scott got a cortisone shot in his ailing right shoulder on Sunday. It seems that shot has worked for him so far. “It feels the best it’s felt in six weeks. That’s a positive,”

Machado heads up five Delmarva All-Stars

The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds will host the South Atlantic League All-Star game June 21 in Salisbury and the team will be well represented in the game. Manny Machado and four of his teammates have been named All-Stars. Machado will be the starting shortstop for the Northern Division team and will be joined on the squad by Delmarva’s Ty Kelly, Michael Ohlman, Jacob Pettit and David

Jordan said O’s had interest in Bradley and talks of bypassing Rendon

Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said he “got the guy he wanted” in drafting Dylan Bundy with the fourth pick in the first round last night. But was Bundy really the guy the Orioles wanted all along? “This was always the guy we had in our sights and that was going to be in the conversation,” Jordan said. “There were just a lot of good

Jordan on Bundy: “He told me, ‘I want to be drafted by the Orioles’ “

Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said first-round draft pick Dylan Bundy was “the best guy on our board when our turn came and we took him.” Jordan just finished a conference call with Baltimore reporters and he was asked how quickly Bundy, who was chosen with the fourth overall pick, could move through the minors to get to Baltimore. “Barring injury, he will be on

Here are some notes and quotes on O’s pick Dylan Bundy

Well, in the end, the Orioles did take Oklahoma high school hurler Dylan Bundy with the fourth pick in tonight’s first round. Bundy is an 18-year-old right-hander out of Owasso (Okla.) High near Tulsa. This year, he went 11-0 with an 0.20 ERA. In 71 innings, he walked just five and fanned 158. He pitched one no-hitter and six one-hitters. Now there are two Bundys

Showalter on high school vs. college in the draft

While he was not talking in any specifics about tonight’s draft, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked his take today on the age-old draft question: Should a team take a college player that can get to the majors quicker, as opposed to a high school player that could eventually be the better player? “I think it depends on who they are,” Showalter said. “If you

Showalter talks draft

O’s manager Buck Showalter said he has talked to scouting director Joe Jordan today and that “Joe feels like he’s going to have to make a choice between two. Two guys are going to be there (that he likes).” Showalter is very interested in all things about the game, including the draft, and was asked about his outlook for tonight where the Orioles have the

Would O’s be saving money with a Bradley pick tonight?

It didn’t take long for some fans to get worked up over the possibility that the Orioles may take high school pitcher Archie Bradley with the fourth pick in tonight’s draft. Before we go any further, please keep in mind that Keith Law has Bradley rated 5th on his latest top-100 board and Baseball America lists him 9th. They would not be reaching into the

Some math on the draft; Law now projects Archie Bradley to O’s

Here is something to keep in mind about the First-Year Player Draft in baseball that begins with round one tonight: The large, large majority of the players taken through 50 rounds will never make the majors. The math says most draft picks have little shot. It’s even dicey for first-round picks. There are no sure things. Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis is one of

Are O’s eyeing another Oklahoma prep pitcher in round one?

Here is a bit of a surprise: The Orioles may be considering another Oklahoma right-handed high school pitcher for the fourth pick in the draft. They have been linked for weeks to pitcher Dylan Bundy from the Sooner state, but now there are indications they are also considering Archie Bradley, a 6-foot-4 inch, 215-pounder, for their first-round pick. Bradley pitched a two-hit shutout and fanned

Pitcher Dan Klein is headed for the disabled list

The latest Orioles minor leaguer headed for the disabled list is Bowie right-hander Dan Klein. Klein has right shoulder soreness and is expected to be put on the seven-day DL on Monday. He was off to one of the best starts of any O’s minor league pitcher. Klein, a third-round pick last June out of UCLA, began this year at Frederick and went 0-1 with

Luke Scott on shoulder injury: “It’s impacting my hitting”

Playing with a labrum tear in his right shoulder, Luke Scott got a cortisone ejection in that shoulder today. He hopes that allows him to begin to play pain free and put up some stats like he did last year when he was the Orioles team MVP. “It still bothers me and subconsciously it’s a challenge to deal with. So this was an opportunity to

Blue Jays use the longball to top O’s 7-4 in series finale

The Orioles had a chance to win a series today against a Toronto team that tormented them last year, by winning 15 of 18 against them. But Yunel Escobar’s three-run homer in the fourth off Jeremy Guthrie broke a 2-2 tie and Toronto went on to a 7-4 win this afternoon in front of 25,431 at Camden Yards. The Orioles are just 7-22 in their

Not a great stat for the Orioles

The Orioles began today with a record of 8-13 on the year against American League East clubs and a record of 18-17 against everyone else. The East is still a bit of a beast and is the only division in baseball that features four teams right now with .500 or better records. The Orioles are not one of those four as you probably knew. While

Machado officially activated

Orioles 2010 first-round draft pick Manny Machado today has been officially activated off the disabled list and is in uniform for Single-A Delmarva against West Virginia. He has been out since May 5 with a left knee injury. Machado injured his left knee on May 5 against Asheville and was placed on the disabled list on May 7, retroactive to May 6. He has missed

Mahoney’s return could start next weekend and begin with Frederick

It has been a tough season for the Orioles’ 2010 minor league Player of the Year, Joe Mahoney. He has been on the disabled list twice this year due to a quad injury and this past week had a hamstring issue that set him back a few days at extended spring training. But, the Orioles have their fingers crossed that Mahoney could finally return to

The ‘pen has gotten mightier

The much-maligned Orioles bullpen has been pretty solid lately. Over the last six games, the ‘pen has combined to allow just one run and 10 hits covering its last 18 1/3 innings for an ERA of 0.49. The Orioles got three scoreless innings out of the ‘pen last night as Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara and Kevin Gregg combined to fan five batters without a walk.

Lee picks up two hits in return to Orioles

After getting two hits last night in the Eastern League, Derrek Lee returned to the Orioles and got two hits tonight in four at bats in the American League. He had been out since May 16 with a strained left oblique and said he came through the game with no issues physically. “I feel fine, felt good,” he said. Batting fifth in the order for

Reynolds talks about the rap that produced four O’s runs

Mark Reynolds came to the plate with the bases loaded in the sixth inning tonight, but he wasn’t thinking about trying to hit a grand slam. “No, I wasn’t,” he said. “That would be the best result possible, but I was trying to get a pitch to hit, trying to barrel the ball. The home run was a bonus. I was just trying to hit

Reynolds slams one out to left as O’s top Toronto 5-3

In his 53rd career at-bat with the bases loaded, Mark Reynolds delivered his first grand slam. His shot to left in the last of the sixth tonight unloaded the bases and gave the Orioles a 5-3 lead. They won by that score over Toronto in front of 20,086 at Camden Yards. It was just the O’s seventh win in their last 28 meetings with Toronto.

Is Hultzen emerging as likely O’s draft pick?

With the First-Year Player Draft now less than 48 hours away, is it becoming more likely that the Orioles take a college pitcher rather than Dylan Bundy, the high school right-hander that so many mock drafts have linked the club with? The answer is: Quite possibly. In a tweet tonight, Baseball America’s Jim Callis said his best projection now has Bundy going with the third

Minor league leaders

Orioles farm clubs have a combined record of 106-114 beginning play tonight after going 2-2 last night. Single-A Frederick has the best record at 32-22 and is leading its division by 2 1/2 games in the Carolina League North. Here are some O’s minor league leaders through Friday’s games. Homer leaders: 9 - Josh Bell (Norfolk) and Tyler Townsend (Frederick) 8 - Ronnie Welty (Bowie)

O’s challenge tonight: Romero is on a roll

If the Orioles are to get their struggling offense going tonight here at Camden Yards, they’ll have to do it against left-hander Ricky Romero, who is pitching very well right now. Over his last four starts, Romero is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.21 and a .194 batting average against. He has needed just 13.9 pitches per inning in that stretch. Romero is 5-4 with

Lee talks about returning to the Orioles

For the first time since May 16, first baseman Derrek Lee is expected back in the Orioles’ lineup tonight. If he comes through batting practice fine, he will officially be back on the roster. He is listed on tonight’s lineup card, batting fifth. Lee spent some time in extended spring training in Sarasota and then played for Double-A Bowie last night, going 2-for-3 with two

Keith Law with a take on Joe Jordan

I published some comments today from ESPN’s Keith Law as he sized up some of the best pitching prospects in this year’s draft, which begins Monday. Law appeared on my radio show this week on 105.7 FM The Fan in Baltimore. While he was on air, I asked his opinion of Orioles’ scouting director Joe Jordan. Law said overall Jordan has a done a good

ESPN’s Keith Law on the top pitchers in the draft

In his mock draft from May 18, ESPN’s Keith Law had the Orioles taking Oklahoma high school pitcher Dylan Bundy with the fourth pick in Monday’s draft. In his mock draft out yesterday, Law now projects University of Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen to be the O’s pick. He has Pittsburgh taking UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole with the first pick before Seattle takes Anthony Rendon of

Jays get early lead on Britton, O’s

The Toronto Blue Jays have taken a 3-0 lead to the bottom of the third tonight against Zach Britton and the Orioles. This would probably be a bad time to remind everyone that Toronto went 15-3 against the Orioles last year and has won 20 of the last 26 games between the teams. They out-homered the Orioles last season 34-8 in the 18 games. It

Are AL hitters making adjustments against Zach Britton?

Manager Buck Showalter was asked today if American League hitters are starting to make some adjustments against lefty Zach Britton, who is pitching tonight here against Toronto. Over his last two starts against K.C. and Oakland, Britton has allowed 19 hits and nine earned runs over 11 2/3 innings as his ERA has increased from 2.14 to 2.93. Buck Showalter talks about if it’s time

Jones on the catch: “If I get an ESPY, we’ll talk about it.”

Adam Jones was in no mood to brag about his great catch against Seattle on Wednesday earlier today in the Orioles’ clubhouse. He was asked what it was like to get national attention over the play where he ran back to the warning track and made a basket catch with his back to the infield to rob Miguel Olivo of extra bases. It was the

Showalter talks about Nick Markakis’ struggles at the plate (with Pie note)

One of the biggest issues surrounding the Orioles lately has been the continued lack of production from right fielder Nick Markakis. Markakis does not have an extra-base hit over the last 15 games and 64 at-bats and has just two over his last 24 games. He has now gone 10 games without a multi-hit contest. Buck Showalter discusses Nick Markakis’ struggles with the media “I

Showalter pregame updates on Lee, Duchscherer, Fox and more

Derrek Lee will bat leadoff and serve as the designated hitter tonight for Double-A Bowie. Showalter said it’s not certain how many games Lee will play with Bowie. He did say the plans for his grandfather’s funeral were finalized and it will be next Friday in California. Lee will leave the team Thursday (he likely would be activated by then) and perhaps be placed on

Is it too risky to draft a high school pitcher?

The debate will rage on at least for a few more days. Should the Orioles shy away from drafting a high school pitcher with the fourth pick in round one of Monday’s First-Year Player Draft? Should they take a college player or pitcher that is likely closer to getting to the majors? The last three times the Orioles drafted a high school pitcher in Round

Steve Johnson gets on a roll at Double-A Bowie

For right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson, the start of the season this year has been quite different than last season. The kid from Baltimore was 3-6 with an ERA of 6.14 in his first 17 starts for Double-A Bowie last year as he battled issues with control and his pitching mechanics. But he had a solid second half last summer and then further retooled his mechanics

Updates on Schoop and Machado

It looks like Jonathan Schoop, the 19-year-old infielder for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds, should return to the lineup soon after missing games Tuesday and Wednesday. Schoop, from Willemstad, Curacao, recently fouled a ball off his foot, forcing him out of the Shorebirds’ lineup. Schoop is off to a great start for Delmarva, batting .305 with 12 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 30 RBIs. He

Will Buck Showalter have input in the Orioles’ draft?

There have recently been some rumblings in baseball circles and some reporters have been wondering whether Orioles manager Buck Showalter will have any input into the team’s selections in the upcoming First-Year Player Draft. The theory is that Showalter wants to win now and doesn’t have time to wait around for a high school player to get to the majors. Thus, he would want the

Matusz pitches, Orioles win

Well, it’s not that simple, but the Orioles are now 9-0 over Brian Matusz’s last nine starts after winning today at Seattle. During that stretch, the Orioles have five wins over AL East opponents. It’s a big lift to the team to have a healthy Matusz back, and, even though he did not get the win today, the team did and that is the most

Matusz, Jones and ‘pen all come up big as road trip ends with a win

Brian Matusz returned to the Orioles today to start what he hopes will be a solid season and Adam Jones saw his solid season continue this afternoon as the Orioles won the final game of their road trip, 2-1 at Seattle. The win snapped the Orioles’ five-game losing streak. Gary Thorne interviews Buck Showalter after the O’s 2-1 win For the second time this year,

Best catch and best sight of the day

The best play of today was that catch by Adam Jones in the Seattle fourth. Running full go with his back to the plate, he reached out to rob Miguel Olivo just as he got to the wall. He had to take his eyes off the ball at the last moment, and I’m not sure how he could see the ball enough to get it

Updating Mahoney, Machado and Tillman; Bergesen Triple-A start set

The Orioles were hoping that 2010 minor league Player of the Year Joe Mahoney could return to the Double-A Bowie Baysox by Sunday, but that is now very unlikely. Mahoney, who has been on the disabled list twice this year with a quad injury and has had just 34 at-bats with Bowie, has suffered a setback at extended spring training. The Orioles were hoping he

O’s offense didn’t produce much in April, and May was not any better

The Orioles have now lost all five games on this road trip by a combined 10 runs. They have lost the last four by two, two, one and one run. It is big-time frustrating to lose close games and they are now 11-11 on the year in games decided by two runs or less. A batting average of .158 (6-for-38) on this trip with runners

Guthrie’s outing spoiled by late homer as the losing streak reaches five

For the Orioles, this was one of the most frustrating losses of the year. On a night when Jeremy Guthrie outpitched former Orioles lefty Erik Bedard for most of the game, one key error and one bad pitch cost him the game as the Mariners beat the Orioles 3-2 to take the first two games of the series in Seattle. The O’s took a 2-0

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