What’s happened in Birdland this week?

  • Jim Johnson has been shut_down_for_the_rest_of_the_season. Roch says that the team is saying it’s just a combination of wear and tear and inflammation…and not a torn labrum. If that was the case, what a freakish awful coincidence that’d be. Three pitchers in the same season having torn labrums.

           Remember that awesome bullpen the team had for the first 2/3rds of the season? Matt Albers did a killer job in long relief. Randor Bierd had a nice run. Chad Bradford was doing his thing. Jim Johnson was throwing nasty setup heat. George Sherrill specialized in tightrope walking death defying save opportunities. Now Albers is out indefinately, Bierd got hurt and hasn’t been same since. Bradford’s traded. Johnson is out for the season, and Sherrill’s hurt still. The bullpen’s back to its horrid past seasons level. I fulled expect John Halama or Jim Brower to start warming any time now. Seriously.

It’s that bad. Last night, they walked 8_batters_in_a_mere_3_innings. Brian Burres walked 2 and gave up 2 runs without recording an out. Kam Mickolio walked 3 and gave up 3 runs, but managed to record a single out. Yeah, it’s pretty ugly right now.

  • Dave_Trembley_will_back_as_manager_next_season. I’m sure he felt good things got worked out before that drumming the O’s got by the A’s last night (7th straight loss for the record). Trembley returning is fine with me. His bullpen management, when he actually had one, was somewhat suspect but all managers have their shortcomings. Trembley does get the team to play hard and with some spirit. He’s a bit of a rah-rah guy and that’s what the team needs. The extension is only for next season with an option for 2010. It appears that the team isn’t tying themselves down to Trembley yet.
  • Some good news, Troy_Patton_ is working out and feeling good. It appears he’ll be a go for Spring Training.
  • A bevy of minor_moves_happened.

         To recap:

                 Fernando Cabrera was released. When you look at his 5.40 ERA and 9 HR surrendered in 28 innings, it’s no surprise.

Brandon Fahey has been recalled. hooray.

Eider Torres was designated for asssignment. Presumably he’ll return to Norfolk.

The O’s aquired pitcher Brian Bass from the Twins for either a PTBNL or Cash money. Bass is a reliever with some starting experience.

The O’s purchased pitcher Alfredo Simon’s contract from Norfolk, he also has starting experience but will probably go to the pen. Again though, with the rotation duct taped together at the moment, nothing is certain.

Catcher Omir Santas’ contract was also purchased from Norfolk.

Chris Ray has been moved to the 60 Day DL, ending any hope that he’ll play this season.

That’s quite a bevy of minor moves.




Injury News Roundup

Roch has an_injury_news_roundup.

  • George Sherrill is hurting and had an MRI today. Thanks Terry Francota
  • Chris Ray is pitching in the minors and its possible he makes a cameo in Baltimore this season.
  • Matt Albers is trying to avoid the surgery Troy Patton had. He’s throwing pitching off the mound and will do a little batting practice later in the week.
  • I didn’t know Greg Acquino was hurt, but he is. He’s back in the minors rehabbing. I’m hoping that’s where he’ll stay.
  • Hamball Pitcher Danys Baez is looking to be a full go for next season’s spring training. hurrah hooray!
  • Most Importantly, Adam Jones is rehabbing and will do some batting practice at week’s end. There’ll be no more CT scans, so I suppose that’s a good thing.

Updates 7/1

  • Alex Cintron pulled a hammy running to 1st base during last night’s game against the Royals. Cintron went on the 15 day DL. Freddie Bynum comes up from Norfolk and gets a second chance in Baltimore. Its a shame that Cintron goes down right now when he’s been playing pretty good. He’s been getting a few hits and has been looking better defensively as of late. Bynum gets a second chance over the next two weeks to show that he should stick around. The next two weeks we get to see a tandem of Brandon Fahey and Freddie Bynum at short. I’m sure that means Andy MacPhail is going full blast to find a shortstop somewhere and anywhere.
  • Jamie Walker went on the DL and Adam Loewen takes his spot. Loewen goes in the bullpen, where he’ll stay for the rest of season, at least. Loewen’s return is important with the injury to Matt Albers. Albers has done well in the role of long relief and spot starter. If Loewen can come and do 2 innings when the starter goes only 5 and keep the score the same, then he’s doing his job. Tonight, Loewen pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief and gave up only 2 hits and no runs. Walker has had a rough season thus far. He’s sporting a 4.98 ERA and has been very hittable so far.
  • George Sherrill had two blown saves on back to back days. Sunday, against the blasted Nats, Sherrill came in at the bottom of the 12th. 2 outs and with a 1-2 against Ronnie Belliard hit a game winner. Last night, with 2 outs and 1-2 count…the same thing happened to Sherrill and the game went into extras and the O’s lost. Thankfully, Sherrill didn’t pull a repeat as he notched save number 27. It would have been a tragic for Sherrill to blow the save on ‘George Sherrill T-Shirt Night.’
  • Radhames Liz went to 3-0 on the season tonight. I was skeptical on the call-up of Liz, but he’s looking better with each start. Tonight, he went 6 strong innings. He struck out 4, walked on 1, allowed 7 hits and 3 runs. His control looked sharp as he threw 80 pitches with 55 for strikes. He needs to work on going a little longer into games, but you can’t argue with what’s done so far.
  • Brian Roberts hit homer number 6, Aubrey Huff drove in RBI 47, Adam Jones drove in RBIs 30 & 31 and raised his average to .272.
  • Matt Albers goes to see Dr. James Andrews tomorrow. From there, Albers will decide whether he can rehab or has to have surgery.

Liz called up, Luis DFA’ed

Looks like Liz is getting the call up AND the start tonight. To make room for Liz, another wanna be major league shortstop bites the dust. Luis Hernandez gets the DFA. There’s a good very probable chance no team claims Luis and he joins his bench brother Brandon Fahey at Norfolk.

Steve Trachsel is still around. Apparently, he’s now long relief. That’s a move that I’m not very cool with. He was decent Sunday. I’ll give him that. But I do not trust Steve Trachsel’s arm for a single inning, for I know that with every pitch that the odds are stacked that its the precursor to the big inning.

I’m not very stoked about Liz getting the start tonight. I’d rather have Albers get the start and work Liz in long relief or something….but we’re rebuilding. Go ahead and start ’em.


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…..


Patton out for season

The worst case scenario came to frutition with Troy Patton today.

The O’s announced that Patton would go season-ending shoulder surgery, from the big club site.

Andy MacPhail’s take on it:

“He’s given me the old good news/bad news scenario,” he said. “The bad news is he thinks he has to have the shoulder taken care of. The good news is he liked what he saw when he went in there, by and large, and he’s very optimistic that he can have a full recovery and be ready by ’09. Looking at the whole picture, that’s what I anticipated.

“If we can get him back to full strength by ’09, that’s fine by what I was hoping to accomplish.”

Coming back from a labrum tear isn’t going to be easy, but Patton’s only 22. With surgery and some rehab, maybe he can come back and be a productive major league pitcher. There’s no certainities that he come back and be productive after this surgery. This surgery isn’t as common as a Tommy John.

The beauty of a five for one trade, is that when you trade one player and get five back, you can take risks. If Patton doesn’t come back strong after this surgery, there’s still four players who could contribute. Luke Scott will at worst be an average outfielder with a good bat. Matt Albers is vying for the fifth spot in the rotation. Dennis Sarfate has Dave Trembley’s endorsement and will be with the club this season most likely in the bullpen. Mike Constanzo has had a nice spring, but sadly will probably be in Norfolk to start the season.