Cintron Up, Burres Demoted

photo from the Baltimore Sun

photo from the Baltimore Sun

Alex Cintron was called up and Brian Burres was sent_to_Norfolk. Burres will be going to Norfolk as a reliever, since he’s lost his spot in the rotation for the second straight season.

Brian Burres on the demotion:

“I’ve been struggling lately,” said Burres, who has been told he’ll pitch in relief for Norfolk. “It’s not like it’s out of the blue. I haven’t had too many good outings in the last month or two. I’ll just go work on stuff. I can’t really say anything. I didn’t do well enough to stay.”

At least he’s saying the right things. He hasn’t been good lately and he’s really been struggling.

Trembley on the matter at hand:

“I thought he pitched a whole lot better last season,” Trembley said. “Right now, it’s a matter of him going down in a less-pressure environment and getting some success, getting his confidence back. I told him to get some success under his belt and get back up here.”

With Alex Cintron coming up, it means the O’s have three “shortstops” on the 25 man with Cintron, Castro, and Fahey. This also marks the first time that the Orioles have had a four man bench since the Pre-Perlozzian days.

Also in the Burres/Cintron article, the deadline to sign 4th overall draft pick Brian Matusz is August 15th.  8 of the top 10 picks are unsigned presently, so Baltimore’s not the only team dealing with this.

Joe Jordan says:

“I’m still very confident,” Jordan said “We’re just going to have to get things going and make some progress in [the] next week or so and see what happens. I expect him to be signed. I think our offer will be more than fair, and he’s a smart kid. I think he ends up signing.”

Remember last season it took to the very last minutes of the deadline to get Matt Wieters signed. Andy MacPhail wants to build this team around pitching and defense, so he’s going to do everything he can do to sign this kid. I wish it would have happened already, but a lot can happen in two weeks.

Sarfate Debut: He did better than the Rest of them

The game’s still going, but I decided that silence is a more welcome sound on a rare afternoon off rather than Yankee bats. Dennis Sarfate debuted in the rotation. A move that I’m not sure about in its duration. The trade deadline is tomorrow, so perhaps the O’s need a spot start from somebody until a move is done or more likely, its buying some time for another couple of starts in the minors for Bergesen or Hayden Penn. Its times like these that the Matt Albers injurys really hurts.

Dennis Sarfate, starter, happened today. He fared better than I thought. The good part of it all is that he struck out 5 and gave up only 2 hits. The bad part of it is that he went only four innings, walked three, and wasn’t done any favors in the first inning by the defense. Sarfate gave up 5 runs, but only 3 of them earned. One run was a result of a throwing error by Nick Markakis and the other a passed by Guillermo Quiroz, in a bloody first inning. He threw 68 pitches, 39 for strikes. Since it was his first start in the majors, it’d be foolish to expect him to throw 90-100 pitches in his first start. If nothing else, he didn’t embarrass himself out there and for that alone, he ought to get a second start until the rotation gets settled down.

Meanwhile, the pitcher Sarfate replaced didn’t fare as well today. Brian Burres came on in long relief in the 5th and got knocked around to the tune of 4 hits and 4 runs in only an inning and a third of work. The O’s would end up losing by a 13-3 final. On a bright note, Juan Castro hit a pinch hit solo homer today.

Burres….8 innings…wow.

Brian Burres apparently scoffs at the idea of going back to long relief. Today he shutdown the Chi-Sox with a mighty mighty outing.

8 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 BB, and 4 K’s and all in a mere 98 pitches (66 for strikes)

The O’s won 5-1.

Matt Albers loaded them up in the 9th and then George Sherrill came in hit a batter which brought in a run and then notched his 9th save of the season.

I’m a Jay Payton hater, but hats off to him thus far. .308 average with a 1-3 today. Quiroz hit his first homer and drove in two runs, which is more than we’ve seen from a back up catcher since the hallowed day Paul Bako hit a 3 run homer in Yankee Stadium.

I couldn’t watch the game due to FOX, but I watched the NFL Draft. I would have watched it anyway. My Carolina Panthers had a good first round. At 13 they got Oregon RB Jonthan Stewart and then traded to get Philly’s 19th pick and got OT Jeff Otah. The price for Otah was steep (2nd and 4th this years and next year’s 1st rounder). If he plays great, then I can deal with that cost. Obviously, the team has to win now other wise there’s going to be some changes next season.

As for game 2, its in progress right now…tied up 5-5 in the top of the 8th. Steve Trachsel went only 3 innings, gave up 5 runs, and walked 8…one 85 pitches. If he keeps this up, you gotta wonder how long he’ll stay around. He’s going to kill the pen. Good thing Burres pitched a gem today, otherwise they’d have to duct tape their arms on tomorrow.

In Game Thoughts- O’s at M’s

A few things before I go to bed and turn off this nonsense.

  • Home plate umpire Brian Runge’s strike zone is a joke. Markakis struck out on a ball that was 4 or 5 inches outside of the plate.
  • Luis Hernandez might have met his end tonight. He, Luke Scott, and Adam Jones were all in the territory of a popup. It was a ball that any shortstop should call as their own, seeing as to where he had the easy play on it. He backed completely off and Luke Scott had to charge on it to try to catch it, but he couldn’t get to it in time. I’m not seeing this “plus defense” that we’re supposed to be getting from him. Alex Cintron, see you next week.
  • Jim Palmer really like Brian Burres. I mean really really really likes Brian Burres. I don’t think Burres is bad, but I think he’s an average swingman. Palmer thinks he’s the second coming of..well…Jim Palmer.
  • Horrible base running in the 5th. Ramon hits the world’s longest single. Huff tries to go to home from second via the Juan Samuel wave. Huff is dead in the water because he gets a horrible jump. The jump was so horrible that Adam Jones gets to third while Huff is trying to get back to third. Samuel starting to become a windmill.
  • So far, so good from Daniel Cabrera. Once again, the defense has messed him over some. I’m impressed with his number of pitches so far. Through 5.1, he’s only at 67 pitches with 3 Ks. Good night….so far.
  • Hey, we tied this game up. 2-2.

Catching up

A few things to catch up on:

Despite yesterday’s lackluster finale, the O’s took 2 out of 3 from the Yankees. A sweep would have been nice, but this is good enough.

-Daniel Cabrera

If I’m ever on the fence about whether to go out or stay in and watch the game, Daniel Cabrera is a pitcher who lets me know pretty quick as to what my plans should be.

First innings, he gives up 2 runs or strike out the side.

Second Innings, he’ll follow it up with another run or two or he’ll strike out of the side again.

By the top of third, I usually know whether to go or stay. If anything, I thank Daniel Cabrera for him letting me know quick whether he’s going to stink or not.

 

-Jim Johnson

Hey, I was wrong. I thought bringing Johnson up was a bad move. He’s been good in long relief. Saturday he went 3.1 innings of scoreless ball. It looks like he’s staying. But we need another bat on the bench…bye bye Greg Acquino?

-Brian Burres

He’s swell in 4 innings, but once that 5th starts….he’s a big inning waiting to happen. 5.2 innings 5 H 0 R 4 BB and 2 Ks.

-Luis Hernandez is no friend of Daniel Cabrera at the moment. He did the pitcher no favors by his defense on Friday, resulting in a long inning and a run on Cabrera.

Trembley uses the term ‘fielding slump’ for Hernandez’s woes.

“Fielding slump” must be Tremblian for “Cintron will be here quickier if you don’t remember how to field.”

Spencer Fordin once Alex Cintron gets in a groove in Norfolk, he should be up here very soon.

Also in the aforementioned mailbag…

Jake Arrieta is off to go start in Fredrick. 4 starts, 1-0 record, 2.75 ERA, 26 K, 12 BB, 10 H.He likely won’t see Bowie til the end of season, meaning that he isn’t going to be rushed to Baltimore like the pitching prospects of years gone by.

Speaking of rushed pitching prospects, Hayden Penn has pitched 7 innings in his last two starts (1-1 and a 4.88 ERA). Garrett Olson is 1-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 4 starts. These two should be in the rotation at some point this season. Olson’s getting first look the way’s he’s pitching. Of course, whose spots would they be taking? Steve Trachsel would be an easy guess. Brian Burres would be too. You have to factor in injuries.

My guess for the end of season rotation.

Guthrie

Cabrera

Olson

Albers

Penn

Steve Trachsel will be traded, released, or sold for scrap some time this season. Brian Burres is best suited for long relief and that’ll happen soon enough. I’m betting, not hoping, that Adam Loewen will probably have an injury some point this season. Radhames Liz will be called up to take Albers spot in long relief. I could be right…I could be wrong. That’s the beauty of guessing.

Matt Wieters is killing it. .422 and 4 HR in 15 games. Your starting catcher for your 2009 Baltimore Orioles…Matt Wieters.

-Steve Trachsel didn’t pitch bad Sunday, but he didn’t pitch great either. 6.1 innings 7 hits, 3 runs, 5 Ks, and 3 BB. That’s more than you’d expect actually…

-George Sherrill….ouch. 0.2 innings- 2 hits, 3 R, 2BB, and 2 Ks. His ERA is at 6.23 after now 2 rocky outings in the past week. Its not time to hit panic button on him. He’s a setup guy made into a closer who has 6 saves. If it keeps up who you do plug in? Jamie Walker? He’s a setup guy. Chad Bradford. ditto. Dennis Sarfate? Would be a nice guess, but he’s got to get his control under control. The closer spot isn’t something really to worry about at the moment.

Garbage Homer Follow up-

Had a good solution for the garbage homer from Daniel

Perhaps Corey Patterson and Jay Gibbons just aren’t very good hitters (shocking, I know) so when a team has a huge lead, the opposing pitcher is OK with throwing fastballs in the zone (which these guys can actually hit) and when the game is close, they throw breaking-pitches and paint the corners (which they can’t hit). I don’t think it has anything at all to do with “clutchness” but is rather a general lack of talent. I question whether or not it is actually the case that these players do hit a lot of “meaningless” HR, so I’ll take a look at that sometime soon and post something about it. If you already did that, then I will defer to your conclusions (I assume it’s just your impression of what happens).

Yeah, its just an observation. I didn’t crunch any stats, but it is the lesser players who crank out those homers. Of course, the factors that  you mention definately seem to set up the perfect storm for a garbage homer.

Blowout game=bullpen scrub + junk pitch + lesser player= garbage homer

If I had the time, which I doubt, I’d like to look up who Jay Gibbons and Corey Patterson homered off of over the course of their time in Baltimore. I’m sure there’s more washed up relievers, 5th starters, and last bullpen options than aces, closers, and good setup guys…especially Gibbons.

Daniel runs the blog Frost King Baseball.

Not to have a knee jerk reaction here, but Iam Kennedy and Phil Hughes are supposed to be the future of  the Yank’s pitching staff. So far this season, they’re not exactly killing it. They both got killed by the mighty bats of O’s this weekend. Of course, I’m taking into account that its going to take them 10-12 starts to get acclimated to the major leagues. You can’t just throw them in there and on the first day expect an eight inning shutout from them. But let’s say they are what they, you think heads might roll because they could have got Johan Santana?

I was watching ESPN yesterday and surprise, Steve Phillips said something stupid. They were talking about possible landing spots for Frank Thomas and one of the 4 teams he thought was Baltimore. His reasoning was something along the lines “As long as they keep playing the way they are, a bat like Thomas would really help them out.” Frank Thomas is almost 40. We’re rebuilding and trying to shed players the wrong side of 30. What would adding Thomas do for the O’s? He might heat up and hit 20 homers. But that means you have play him everyday at DH, which means you’re giving up a spot in offense that could be used to get a young player playing time, whether it be at DH or moving a Huff/Millar/Mora to DH any given game to have a Scott Moore at 3rd or DHing Luke Scott every now and then. If Thomas isn’t hitting homers, he’s like a boulder on the base paths. That’s certainly not Trembley’s style of ball. It’s not going to happen, but I thought it was a stupid suggestion. If Thomas plays again, my money’s Seattle first. Maybe Tampa or the Twins. I could even see the Rangers. But not the O’s.

 

 

O’s continue rampage—make it 6 and 1!

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

The O’s ruined the Rangers’ home opener by spanking them 8-1. That’s now 6 wins in a row, as our ORIOLES HAVE THE BEST RECORD IN ALL OF BASEBALL, BABY!

Luke Scott continued his tear, by going 2-4. In what was sure to be an angry response to Miguel (no longer Miggi) Tejada’s homer last night, Scott hit his first homer as an O. It’s amazing that we have a real life left fielder now. Scott’s done more in the past 9 games than those bunch of jokers in left over the past few seasons have ever done.

Speaking of Scott, Scott Moore got his first in a trifecta of starts. He spelled Melvin Mora at third today and led it off with a homer. He did seem to be swinging for the fences all day, I’m sure that’s because he’s trying his hardest to stay up here and get at bats. After this, I’m sure Trembley’s going to make more time for him.

Aubrey Huff went 4 for 4 today with 4 RBIs. Its awesome that he’s not doing his usual “I’m a slow starter” schtick. Keep that bat hot Huff and the boos will cease.

Brian Burres wasn’t bad. He worked his way out of a few ugly jams a couple times, but I’ll take 6 innings with 7 hits (6 of ’em singles), 3 K’s and 2 BB and 1 ER. That’s far better than I thought he’d do. Happy Birthday, Burres.

The bullpen again was solid Matt Albers pitched 2 innings and struck out 4. Greg Aquino, acquitted himself from his debut, pitched a scoreless ninth. Before the game, the bullpen ERA was 0.84. Unbelievable.

I feel like I’m in a bizzarro world. The first 7 games have been the complete absolute polar opposite of what usually happens in an Orioles game. Usually one of the following scenarios happen:

1) Good performance by starter, bullpen blows it.

2) Good performance by starter, but zero offense

3) Good performance by offense, but starter has awful start.

4) Decent performance by all parties, but after 7 innings the bats get shut down and they lose by 1.

5) Sloppy defense proves costly in 1 run loss.

So far this season—

Starting pitching– Nothing amazing, but for the most part, its been decent. Decency keeps the ballgame close (and pure).

Bullpen– Lights out awesome

Offense– The offense has been a murderer’s row, nor will it be, but its been all about timely hitting. During the M’s sweep, we never plundered them….but got a hit when it mattered. The O’s of the past few years would have refused to have done so.

Defense– Pretty good. I’m not on the Luis Hernandez bandwagon by any means, but the past few games his defense has been nice, not to mention some well-timed hits.

Will it last? Who cares. These O’s are giving it their all and watching games are a blast right now.

Let’s say it one more time…..

The Baltimore ORIOLES HAVE THE BEST RECORD IN ALL OF BASEBALL. Take that Joe Girardi.