Entries Listing

Will the O’s miss Cruz’s 40 homers? (plus a take on Connaughton)

One concern that has come up repeatedly about the Orioles for this year is how will they make up the 40 homers lost when Nelson Cruz signed with Seattle. My answer is this: Don’t worry about the Orioles hitting homers. They do that as well as any team in the majors. Over the last three years, there are seven instances of a team having a

Pat Connaughton tells Boston radio station he may not report to O’s this summer

Coming off a college basketball season where he helped lead Notre Dame to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight, it looks like Orioles minor league pitcher Pat Connaughton may not yet be ready to put basketball in his rear-view mirror for good. Connaughton was drafted by the Orioles in the fourth round last June and signed for a slot bonus of $428,100. He reported to short-season

MLB Network analysts size up the Orioles

MLB Network made its annual stop at Orioles spring camp in Sarasota, Fla., and its “30 in 30” broadcast on the Birds aired last night. The O’s coverage began with former Oriole Harold Reynolds live at Ed Smith Stadium talking about shortstop J.J. Hardy’s injured left shoulder. He is expected to have an MRA on the shoulder today. Reynolds speculated whether Manny Machado would move

The Orioles cut four players from minor league camp

The Orioles have released four players from their minor league camp: Right-handed pitchers Tim Gustafson and Brad Duffy, infielder Tanner Rust and first baseman Casey Haerther. Gustafson, Duffy and Haerther were all in their first seasons in the organization after playing independent ball in 2014. Rust was with the Orioles the past two years. Gustafson was originally drafted in round nine out of Georgia Tech

Tyler Wilson shows you don’t need prospect hype to pitch well (plus AL East notes)

“That’s what they look like,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter will say from time to time. He’s usually referring to a young prospect when using that phrase. While Tyler Wilson is 25, not 21, Showalter certainly could have used the phrase after Saturday’s game when Wilson buzzed through a mostly first-string Yankees lineup over four scoreless innings, needing just 43 pitches. Optioned to Triple-A after Saturday’s

What if Kevin Gausman starts the season in the bullpen?

It is the most interesting and perhaps among the most important questions surrounding the Orioles - how will they reduce six starters to five to begin the 2015 season? It appeared we may have gotten a clue on Thursday when Kevin Gausman pitched in relief and manager Buck Showalter said he may be shortened up in upcoming spring training outings. Does that mean Gausman will

O’s release pitcher Matt Price, two others from minor league camp

The Orioles have released three players from their minor league camp: right-handed pitcher Matt Price, outfielder Jake Luce and catcher Zane Chavez. Price was drafted by the Orioles in round seven in 2012 out of the University of South Carolina, where he played on two national championship teams. He was taken three rounds after the O’s drafted his college teammate, first baseman Christian Walker. Over

Adam Jones on new outfielders, chemistry and more (plus over-unders)

During my time in Sarasota, I asked Orioles center fielder Adam Jones what he would need to get done for this to be a successful spring training for him. “Injury-free. It’s a successful spring training no matter who you are if you get through it without injuries,” he said. Point made. While spring training results may be important for players fighting for roster spots or

After solid debut, an even bigger Jomar Reyes readies for second season on O’s farm

At just 17, the Orioles felt Dominican-born prospect Jomar Reyes had progressed enough this time last year to bypass playing in the Dominican Summer League and move right to the minor leagues in the United States. That decision proved to be the right one. Reyes played third base for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles and performed well in 2014. Over 53 games, he batted

Follow-up act: After breakout season, Steve Pearce will try to do it again

So what will Steve Pearce do for an encore? Coming off the best year of his life, what can he do to try to repeat the amazing success he had during the 2014 season? Consider that going into last year, Pearce had hit 17 career homers in 743 at-bats over parts of seven seasons with four different teams. Last season, he hit 21 in 338

A look at pace of play rules coming to the minors (plus O’s minor league notes)

Minor League Baseball issued a press release today detailing pace of play rules coming to Double-A and Triple-A games this season. One big difference I see between earlier rules announced in MLB is that offenders in the majors are subject to fines while offenders in the minors can have a ball or strike issued against them. Here is the release: Minor League Baseball today announced

Ripken brothers talk Orioles, IronBirds and more at Aberdeen event

ABERDEEN, Md. - Former Orioles Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken see the 2015 Orioles making another run at the playoffs. In fact, they predict it will happen. Before an Aberdeen IronBirds Hot Stove dinner event last night at Ripken Stadium, where they were scheduled to take fans questions, the brothers sized up the Orioles with less than two weeks to go before their opener.

Injury bug hits Orioles, plus a few more Florida quotes

Just when it looked like the Orioles were having a strong spring training in terms of few injury concerns, on came the news that catcher Matt Wieters will most likely start the year on the disabled list. So will minor league right-handed pitching prospect Hunter Harvey. The Wieters news is not surprising, as April 17 will be when he is 10 months removed from surgery.

O’s minor league Pitcher of the Year impressing in spring training

SARASOTA, Fla. - Several young pitchers from the Orioles minor leagues have done well in major league camp this spring. But only Tyler Wilson has posted eight scoreless innings in O’s exhibition games. A 10th-round draft pick in 2011 out of the University of Virginia, Wilson has pitched in four games working two scoreless innings each against the Rays, Phillies, Blue Jays and Twins. “I

Duquette on Wieters, Graham on Harvey, Bundy on his outing today

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles got a bit of a scare earlier today when 2013 first-round pick Hunter Harvey had to leave his minor league start early in Fort Myers against the Twins. Pitching for Single-A Frederick, Harvey was hit by a combacker and was taken out of the game. Orioles director of player development Brian Graham got the news in Sarasota at the club’s

Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey pitch in minors today (plus other notes from Twin Lakes Park)

SARASOTA, Fla. - It’s the fourth day of Orioles minor league exhibition games at Twin Lakes Park and for the first time, top draft picks Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey will be pitching in minor league exhibitions. While Single-A teams Delmarva and Frederick are on the road in Fort Myers playing against Minnesota, Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie are home today at noon against the

Healthy Manny Machado playing with enthusiasm at O’s camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - It has been a welcome sight for the Orioles this year to see Manny Machado back at third base, healthy and playing with great enthusiasm. “Just playing baseball. That is all it is,” Machado said simply. Manager Buck Showalter put it this way after Machado led off Thursday’s game with a single and stole a base as part of a 1-for-4 day.

Wrapping up Orioles’ 11-5 win over Boston

FORT MYERS, Fla. - As the reserves entered this game, it got wild over the final innings. The Orioles scored nine runs in the last three innings to beat Boston 11-5 at JetBlue Park. The Orioles won for the fourth time in five games and improved to 7-12 in front of a sellout crowd of 9,981. No cuts were announced after the game. Manager Buck

Brian Matusz on trade rumors and his outing today (O’s win 11-5)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP Score: Orioles 11, Boston 5 Recap: Brian Matusz had another strong spring outing, pitching four scoreless innings and allowing just two hits in his second spring start. He has allowed just one run this spring. The O’s took a 3-1 lead to the last of the seventh, but Boston scored four runs to lead 5-3. The O’s got the lead back, scoring

Brian Matusz pitches four scoreless innings against Boston (updated)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Brian Matusz may be the subject of trade rumors, but it certainly hasn’t hurt his pitching today. The left-hander pitched four scoreless innings as the Orioles lead Boston 1-0 at JetBlue Park. Chaz Roe came on to pitch in the last of the fifth for the Orioles. Matusz allowed baserunners to lead off the first two innings, but pitched around a

Mike Wright optioned to Triple-A and other pregame notes from Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Orioles have optioned right-hander Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk, reducing their spring training roster to 44 players. In four spring training games, Wright allowed two runs on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. More cuts could be coming after today’s game. Manager Buck Showalter also said that Matt Wieters will not serve as the

Shooting for 200: O’s starters look to get deeper in games this year

SARASOTA, Fla. - When the 2015 season begins, Orioles starting pitchers have a goal in mind - to pitch more innings than last year, get deeper in games more often and pursue the goal of a 200-inning season. Last season, while O’s starting pitchers ranked fifth in the American League with an ERA of 3.61, the Orioles were 10th in starter innings at 953 2/3.

Henry Urrutia continued his strong camp with a tiebreaking homer today

SARASOTA, Fla. - A strong spring training continued this afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium for Orioles outfielder Henry Urrutia. He entered today’s game in the top of the sixth, taking over in right field for Travis Snider. Two innings later, he did something he’s never done in 58 regular-season major league at-bats or in 204 at-bats at Triple-A Norfolk last year. He homered. And it

Chris Tillman talks about his strong outing against Pittsburgh

SARASOTA, Fla. - Chris Tillman’s steady progress toward what will likey be another opening day start for the Orioles continued today at Ed Smith Stadium. In was his third start of the spring and his third good one, as he went four innings against the Pirates. The right-hander allowed four hits and one run with no walks and five strikeouts. He threw 65 pitches, 43

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on meeting with Orioles players today

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles clubhouse was closed to reporters this morning as the players met with Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. He makes the rounds and meets with players at every camp and today he saw the Orioles. “These meetings are an opportunity to share with guys a state of the union of sorts,” Clark said. “But

Q&A with Elier Leyva, the O’s newest Cuban outfielder

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have done pretty well when it comes to signing and developing Cuban outfielders. In December, they added another Cuban to the organization. Henry Urrutia was signed in 2012, was the O’s minor league Player of the Year a season later and is having a strong spring camp this year. So is Dariel Alvarez, who was signed a year after Urrutia

Brian Graham on Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey and Pat Connaughton (Travis Seabrooke returns to pitch)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Fresh off their time in major league camp with the Orioles, first-rounders Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey have reported to minor league camp at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park. O’s director of player development Brian Graham said this afternoon that he was not certain yet when they would pitch in a minor league exhibition game. “We’ll see. They

A few notes from Twin Lakes Park, where O’s minor league games start today

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today is an important day at the Orioles minor league facility. It is the first day of exhibition games at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park. The Orioles’ two highest-level affiliates, Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie, are on the road playing against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. The O’s two Single-A clubs, Frederick and Delmarva, play here at

Nolan Reimold has returned to the Orioles, looking for health and an opportunity

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold was drafted by the Orioles in 2005 and spent his entire career in the organization until last summer. Designated for assignment by the club last July 1, he was claimed off waivers by Toronto and also played with Arizona. For the first time, he was an ex-Oriole. Now Reimold is back with the club - where he wanted to be

Matt Wieters talks about his first spring game behind the plate

SARASOTA, Fla. - There were no steal attempts and it was not a very eventful day for Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. But his comeback from Tommy John surgery took a significant step today when he caught six innings in the Orioles’ 10-9 loss to Minnesota at Ed Smith Stadium. This was not a B or intrasquad game and he was in live game action against

Bud Norris on today’s start against Minnesota

SARASOTA, Fla. - So far for Orioles starter Bud Norris, he is increasing his innings total each start and working on his pitches. But he has not gotten solid results yet during spring training. Norris gave up five hits and three runs over four innings today. He walked one, fanned one and allowed two homers against the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium. A brisk wind

Now healthy, Steve Johnson is showing some of his old form at O’s camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles started this camp with six non-roster pitchers, and now only Steve Johnson and Chaz Roe remain. Johnson said his right shoulder feels good following surgery in September to shave down a bone spur. He has looked good in three spring appearances, at times looking like the pitcher the Orioles saw in 2012 when Johnson went 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA

Travis Snider on his new team, strong 2014 second half and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - He is a former top prospect that had a solid year in 2014 and now he may be playing a position where he is one of the players replacing a fan favorite in Baltimore. Nick Markakis is gone and Travis Snider, acquired in a January trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, may get some of the starts in right field this year. What

Miguel Gonzalez on today’s outing against the Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. - After going two and three innings over his first two spring starts, Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez stretched out to four innings today against the Phillies at Bright House Field. He retired the first nine Phillies in order on 34 pitches, before allowing two runs in his fourth inning. “Good. Better than last time,” Gonzalez said. “I was staying tall over the rubber.

Mike Wright among young O’s pitchers making a positive spring impression

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Some young pitchers from the minor leagues continue to show well in major league exhibition games with the Orioles. Mike Wright, Hunter Harvey and Tyler Wilson have combined to pitch 11 2/3 scoreless innings over their last seven appearances. Wright was the latest to take the mound and tossed 2 2/3 scoreless frames yesterday in Bradenton against the Pirates, allowing just one

Chris Davis on his future, the Orioles’ future and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said he was not questioning the direction of the team in recent comments he made. But he does understand that 2015 will be a critical season for the organization, which has 11 pending free agents. This could be the last hurrah for this current group of Orioles, who lead the American League East with 274 wins and

After catching back-to-back days, Matt Wieters ready for the next step on Tuesday

SARASOTA, Fla. - It was only a B game and it won’t count in the stats, but Matt Wieters, who is 0-for-20 in exhibiton games, did get a hit today in the contest against Pittsburgh. Then he got ribbed for it. Wieters went 1-for-3 with a ground single off pitcher Francisco Liriano’s glove in the last of the first. “It was nice to get on

Gausman on his slider and more, Britton on his outing from today’s B game

SARASOTA, Fla. - Players use spring training to improve and Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman did some of that in a nearly-empty stadium this morning. Pitching in a B game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium, Gausman faced a decent Bucs lineup, one that included Pedro Alvarez, Greg Polanco, Francisco Cervelli and former Oriole Steve Lombardozzi. The Orioles and Pirates tied 2-2 in a

O’s-Pirates B game update and Chris Davis on lack of offense this spring (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Kevin Gausman gave up one run over three innings this morning in his third spring outing as he faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in a B game at Ed Smith Stadium. Gausman got off to a strong start, pitching a scoreless first, working around a leadoff single by former Oriole Steve Lombardozzi. He then retired the Pirates in order with two strikeouts on

Harvey handles himself like veteran, draws praise from his manager

SARASOTA, Fla. - His time in major league camp may soon be coming to an end, but Orioles 20-year-old pitching prospect Hunter Harvey has made a very nice impression over the last few weeks while hanging out with the major league players that he someday wants to join. When asked about how Harvey has done in this camp, manager Buck Showalter said just three words

Wieters on catching, Tillman on outing today against Puerto Rico

SARASOTA, Fla. - The opponent was not close to being on the level of a major league team and it was on a back field, but Matt Wieters got behind the plate and caught six innings today as the Orioles played the Puerto Rico Development Team. Puerto Rico agreed to not steal bases, even though they had very few baserunners to even try anyway. Wieters’

Dylan Bundy says his arm feels great, talks about pitching with his brother

SARASOTA, Fla. - Until Thursday, the last time the two Bundy brothers saw their names in the same box score it was April 2008. Dylan Bundy was a freshman and Bobby Bundy a senior at Owassa (Okla.) High School. But on Thursday, two Bundys pitched in one game when the Orioles played in Jupiter, Fla., against St. Louis. Dylan went two innings, allowing two hits

Zach Britton looks to multi-inning outings for more chances to work on his pitches

SARASOTA, Fla. - This is quite a different spring training for Orioles left-hander Zach Britton. This time last year, he was a young pitcher out of options and just trying to make the team in any role. Now he is in spring camp as the established closer, coming off a big year. The 27-year-old Britton took over as closer in mid-May in 2014 and went

Showalter on Jimenez: “We’ll see what the end product is”

DUNEDIN, Fla. - On a day that Ubaldo Jimenez pitched three scoreless innings and one frame where he gave up three runs, Orioles manager Buck Showalter saw signs of progress from the right-hander. “Yeah, a little bit,” Showalter said after the Orioles’ 5-3 loss here to Toronto at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. “There are some things that he is doing that I’m not going to

Ubaldo Jimenez talks about his outing today (Orioles lose 5-3)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP Score: Blue Jays 5, Orioles 3 Recap: Ubaldo Jimenez pitched three scoreless innings and became the first Baltimore starter to pitch four innings this spring. But he allowed three runs on three hits in the second as the Orioles fell behind 3-2. He gave up an RBI single to Daric Barton and two-run double to former Oriole Chris Dickerson. Jimenez allowed five

Toronto takes lead in second (Jimenez first to go four)

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Ubaldo Jimenez had a very strong first inning followed by a shaky second inning today against the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto scored three times on three hits in the second to take a 3-2 lead on the Orioles at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. The O’s had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Jimenez, who gave up seven runs

A few pregame notes from Dunedin

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said right-hander Ryan Webb is getting closer to pitching in a game and it could happen next week. The Orioles reliever has been recieving treatment on his left knee. “Webb threw today and felt a lot better. He’s close to throwing a bullpen,” Showalter said. Meanwhile, Paul Janish has been fully cleared for baseball activities and will probably

For Orioles, AL East was not a beast in 2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - As I arrive at spring training, the Orioles are 3-8, have lost six of their last seven games and have scored just eight runs in the last five games. Should we be concerned? Of course not. Moving on ... I will be in Dunedin later today to see Ubaldo Jimenez make his third start of the year after he gave up six

Final winter edition: 10 questions for O’s fans

Here is one final preseason edition of 10 questions for O’s fans. You may be worn out of answering my questions by now, but I always enjoy reading through the responses. As usual, answer one, a few or all 10. Provide a short answer or longer, the choice is yours. Please number the answers to make it easier to follow. On to the questions: 1.

Quick take on Manny Machado, prospect news and another AL East injury

A few thoughts and observations on the Orioles and another pitching injury as I count down the hours unitl my flight leaves tomorrow for spring training: * It was just one midweek exhibition, but Manny Machado looked in midseason form against the Yankees yesterday. He was spraying line drives all over the field and making plays all over in the field. The arm - well,

Can Orioles rotation match 2014 starters?

New year, same rotation. For the Orioles, the same five starters that begin 2015 with the club will very likely be the same five that ended 2014 there - unless Ubaldo Jimenez works his way into the top five. Either way, the rotation returns basically intact. No new additions. No trades were needed to try to improve the starting five. That is a good thing.

Will inevitable pitching injuries have a trickle-down effect on Orioles?

Former Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail said often that pitching is expensive and fragile. Thus, it was better to “grow the arms,” producing as many young, homegrown pitchers as the organization could. No doubt that every year, the health of pitchers seems to factor into the pennant race. The loss of a key starter hurts one team, while another staff that is fortunate to stay

Remembering an Orioles broadcast legend

An anniversary passed without too much notice on Friday, but it certainly should be noted. It was 10 years ago that day - March 6, 2005 - that legendary Orioles and Baltimore Colts broadcaster Chuck Thompson died at age 83. Thompson was a Hall of Fame broadcaster and for many of us, the voice of sports in Baltimore in our youth. He received the Ford

One publication ranks Orioles schedule as toughest in majors

Is strength of schedule important in baseball? Even if it is, how do you quantify it? For me, yes, there is some importance to it, but the quantifying part is the difficult part. Strength of schedule can have some significance with an unbalanced schedule as it relates to getting one of the two wild card berths. Since all teams play more than 50 percent of

O’s gear up for draft, Rule 5 duo off to a good start and looking for a spring surprise

This is going to be a very different First-Year Player Draft for scouting director Gary Rajsich and his staff. The Orioles have more picks early in the draft and are allotted more money to spend in their bonus pool from MLB. After not having a selection last year until the 90th overall pick, which came in the third round, now the Orioles have five of

A look at AL East outfields

So how do the Orioles rank against the rest of the American League East in terms of outfield play? They have an All-Star in Adam Jones and some questions after that. They are trying to replace Nick Markakis, who started 147 games in right field, and Nelson Cruz, who had 60 starts in left field when he was not serving as the O’s designated hitter.

Orioles’ minor league spring camp roster and schedule

The Orioles have a group of 72 pitchers and 14 catchers scheduled to report to their minor league spring training camp at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park on Friday, March 6. They will be joined by 40 infielders and 26 outfielders due to report on March 10. That group of 152 players is due to begin minor league exhibition games on

O’s reach agreement with former draft pick Pedro Beato

Once a high draft pick of the Orioles, right-hander Pedro Beato has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with the club, pending a physical. The deal does not include an invitation to major league spring camp. The 28-year-old Beato, who has pitched in the majors with the Mets, Red Sox and Braves, was the 32nd overall selection by the Orioles in the 2006

A look at some possible reasons for predictions the O’s will have a poor season

Don’t worry, Orioles fans, I am honestly not trying to get your blood pressure elevated and I’m not trolling you. But I do want to spend some time today discussing this topic: O’s season predictions. Keep in mind this very, very important fact: Predictions are interesting to look at and debate, but they mean nothing. If you don’t believe me just go back to some

O’s don’t steal much, but maybe Everth Cabrera can change that

When it comes to the Orioles offense, one much-discussed stat category is on-base percentage. We know the O’s are somewhat lacking there. Their .311 team OBP last year ranked 11th in the American League. But the Orioles were at least within sniffing distance of the league average mark of .316 in that category. But in another stat category, the Orioles ranked last in the AL,

Will Moncada signing push MLB even closer to an international draft?

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Drew Smyly drew some reaction for a comment he posted on his Twitter account recently. After the Red Sox signed Cuban-born amateur Yoan Moncada for $31.5 million, Smyly made this remark: * It’s not right that a Cuban 19yr old gets paid 30m and the best 19yr old in the entire USA gets prob 1/6th of that. Everyone should have to

« February 2015 | Main Index | Archives | April 2015 »