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June 9, 2010

Arrieta to debut Thursday?

It was widely assumed that if Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Jake Arrieta made his big-league debut on this homestand, it would be on Saturday night against the Mets as the Orioles still haven't announced a starter for that outing after pushing the struggling Brad Bergesen to the bullpen.

However, I'm hearing from multiple sources that Arrieta will instead make his debut tomorrow night against the New York Yankees. Jeremy Guthrie is scheduled to start that game, but he'd be pushed back to Friday with Brian Matusz filling the starter void on Saturday.

We've been told on numerous occasions that the Orioles are just keeping the options open and they haven't made a definitive decision yet, but this appears to be the direction they are headed.

If it's tomorrow night against the Yankees, that would give Guthrie one more day between starts. Guthrie has been dealing with some soreness in the side\oblique area, along with some other general soreness.

I guess the Orioles could skip Guthrie's turn and allow Bergesen to start on Saturday, but that doesn't seem likely at this point, especially since the team's bullpen is running on fumes and Bergesen will likely be needed to pitch in relief at some point over the next couple of days.

Arrieta is 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA for the Tides. He last pitched in relief on June 5, allowing one run in two innings. He's on schedule to start on Thursday for Norfolk so perhaps team officials want to keep him on regular rest for his debut and that's why they are planning to start him in Baltimore that night.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 9:01 AM | | Comments (29)


This is why Washington is on the way up where as the Orioles have lost their way. Instead of waiting to give the kid the best chance to succeed, like the Nats did, the Birds throw Arrieta to the wolves. Even in Baltimore, it's still a home game for the Yanks, plus the pressure of making your MLB debut, oh and that little thing of facing the YANKEES; the only way the Orioles could put more pressure on the kid would be to wait until the next trip to New Yankee Stadium to throw him out there.
I hate to see the team I love continuing to set its young pitching up for failure and then wonder why so many of our young arms have confidence issues.

Mr. Valentine,
Please come and fix this train wreck. Please bring sanity and pride back to Baltimore. This is the challenge of a lifetime and you can do it.

bring him up! and some of the other top prospects sooner than later. Millwood needs to skip a start or go on the DL with a tired arm (near the top of the league in innings pitched). i'm not ready to give up on Bergesen as a starter (he was really good last year). you get better playing against the best! what have the O's to lose at this point?

Do you know what the plan is if tonight's game gets rained out? Will they play a double header tomorrow with this game at approximately 1 pm?

Jeff Z's reply: Not sure on that Brian. Too many factors involved - this isn't Yanks last trip here this season, offday situations, ticket stuff, etc. - to give you an answer on that right now.

Hmmm.. maybe feeling a *little* pressure from D.C. after Strasberg's debut?

It's a shame Arietta can't face a lineup as weak as the Pirates for his 1st two starts -- oh, wait, he can -- trade him to the Yankees and let him debut against the O's.


How did the Nationals wait? Didn't Strasburg pitch last night? He spent two months in the minore leagues. This time last year, he was pitching in college. How is that waiting? Jake has been around longer than him and is pitching extremely well.

I love it. Orioles fans are complaining that the front office is not doing anything to improve the team, but then they complain when moves are made like bringing up Arrieta.

They just want him to see the pinstripes he will be wearing in five years if he turns out to be a quality pitcher.........

I couldn't agree with Wilson anymore; when I read the headline I came on here to write exactly what you did. Why in the world would you make a young pitchers debut against the Yankees. Even if it is at home; like you said it's a home game for the Yanks.

I had the chance to attend Strasburg's game last night and it was electric and the excitement around the stadium was amazing... Does anyone think we will have that same feeling at The Yard again? Because I am really starting to doubt it.

As much as I would typically agree with JWilson, I believe this is the type of start that Arietta would relish. This kid from everything that I have read is cocky/confident and nothing would make me happier then for him to bring that attitude up here and punch the yankees in the mouth. Sure he will be nervous but maybe this is the type of attitude we want our guys to have. Someone like Shilling in his prime is the type of attitude that we need, brash, cocky...of course he had the stuff to back it up, that always helps. We'll see what happens and good luck Jake.

I think Grady Little would be a great choice to lead the Orioles back to where they need to be. He probably has the highest winning percentage of any manager available. Great communicator and would work well with this team. What do you think? And do you think they will make a hire before the end of the year?

I have no problem with him debuting against the yankees. No baby step BS. I like it.

Tired of all the retreads....try something new, hungry and will not tolerate the listless baseball we see....Wally F-in Backman for manager please!!!!!

From everything I've read, Arrieta is quite capable of handling the pressure. The guy could have been called up last year and this year, quietly went out and showed why he is one of the top prospects in the game.

Is he Strasburg? No, no one is. That guy is a one in a million type. But Arrieta isn't bad either.

And as for him being thrown to the wolves, well, gang, the Orioles play in the American League East, nothing will change that. So he might as well get used to it.

His coming up opens another spot in Norfolk, and both Britton and Spoon have been pitching well lately and one of them could move up. Pat Egan, too, for that matter. Looks like Erbe could use a break.

People, relax, the Orioles are not devoid of talent, the pipeline is far from dry. Let us give them a chance to succeed before calling them failures, whaddya say?

I agree 1,000,000,000,000 percent with Jwilson.

Why not let the Tieds staff have the time they need to marinade. The O's aren't going anywhere. There's nothing to gain with thesek inds of call ups, but plenty to lose. Ain't a one of them worked yet.

In response to Brian's question about rainouts - The Orioles will not call this game in advance. They want to get as many people to show up tonight and spend some money on concessions before they cancel the game. They know that the ticket you hold in your hand will get you into the makeup game. The O's want to get the NY fans money while they can - I think they would like to open the gates tonight, delay the game for a couple of hours, then call it and reschedule it for later in the season. There are only a handful of games left this season that will have more than 20,000 people and this is one of them - rain or shine.

The Nats GM, Rizzo, was a very successful scout for many years. A great judge of talent.
He's put the Nats on the baseball map with a competitive team plus Strasburg and company. Catcher Pudge R, for example.
I really don't get what's so great about Andy MacPhail. Maybe he's seen his better days.
Rizzo has surrounded himself with veteran baseball minds, including Davey Johnson,
Who and where are such minds in the O's system? The O's are going down hill fast and I see no bottom.

who cares if he can't hit for power or leadoff he's of no use to this terrible team

This franchise really goes out of it's way to do everything wrong, don't they?

Why call up your top minor league pitching prospect whose one weakness is walks to pitch against the Yankees offense, which aside from being very good, is very patient. It's literally the worst possible match-up for him.

Fire Angelos
Fire Arietta
Fire Crowley
Fire Trembley again
Fire MASN.

Since the Orioles play the Yankees and other elite clubs so much, holding Arrieta back to face a lesser club is pointless. Strasburg's dbut was done mostly for marketing. At home against a terrible opponent. The Orioles don't have that luxury - Guthrie needs an extra day, and two other pitchers (Matusz and Tillman) in the rotation are also rookies. Get a grip please...let thes players come up and see what they have.

Too bad Arrieta can't debut against the O's instead of for them against the Yanks.

If I were him, I might have a fall in my bathroom tonight or trip going out of the clubhouse.

Several posters are saying "Why not throw him to the wolves and let him face the powerful Yankee line up" These posters will be the first to turn around and say he stinks if he gets hit. It only make sense to have him face a lesser team to build his confidences. The O's in the 70's use to use pitchers in the bullpen for a while before moving them to the starting rotation. Seems more logical to me to let them get their feet wet slowly but then baseball has changed in the last 30 to 40 years.

Someone mentioned Wally Backman...what a great choice. Hey, if he's ok with punching out his wife, then he'd have a field day with our pansies & their lack of hustle.

I'd love for someone to explain to me why we are bringing this kid up.

Seriously. What's the point?

I love that we keep talking about the future, and then we keep ruining our future by bringing kids up too early.


I'm starting to get used to that reality.

Possible Arrieta line for tonight:

4 IP / 9 H / 7 R / 6 ER / 2 BB / 1 K

Sadly he's probably an upgrade over Tillman.

The Orioles are in trouble. Yes that is obvious, but now they risk losing all of their hard earned regional fans to the excitement the Nats are brewing with Strasburg and Bryce Harper. While Northern Virginia and DC always were naturally going to be the source of most Nats fans, many suburban Maryland fans grew up with Eddie, Singleton, Palmer and Cal. Before 2005, if you were a kid your dad was buying you an O’s jersey if you lived in PG, Montgomery or Charles Counties, no to mention places like North Carolina with a ton of O’s fans. Baltimore is still Maryland’s big city, and the Orioles are Maryland’s team. But any residual good will has probably been evaporated. Once it is gone, it will never be back. The O’s can win back Baltimore Metro region fans, because it is the home team, but for those in between, once they go over to the Nats it is too late. They need to do something now.

This is why the Orioles should try to have some fun by bringing up these prospects now. Arrieta is more than ready. He played on the Olympic team, so he knows expectations. He’s 24, so he is physically mature. And finally, he is dominating AAA. His free agency is 6 years hence so let him rip. He would have been called up earlier but for the fact they don’t want 2010 to count as a full season towards free agency. Mussina was 22 when he was called up, and it didn’t hurt him. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it. Strasburg is 21 for goodness sakes, with only 52 minor league innings, Arrieta has pitched 336 minor league innings over 3 different seasons. Time to jettison Albers, Atkins, Lugo and anyone else not interested in giving 100%, so we can at least have the curiosity of seeing what these prospects have got.

Still don't see the logic in starting Arrieta against the Yanks. The point has been made, his only weakness is to many walks, so we start him against a team that has professional hitters who run long counts. Here's a vote for letting the kid debut against the Mets.

I agree with the comment from Nic. I like the idea of starting some of the younger guys out in the bullpen and letting them get their feet wet. I remember the Orioles doing this years ago and it certainly can't hurt.

Confidence is a major factor with starting pitchers. However, they are grown men playing professional baseball so they should be able to overcome being thrown to the wolves in their first start. If they have the stuff to do it then the manager and pitching coach should be able to coach them up and provide the info and confidence they need to succeed.

If we had lost 6 more games in 09 then we would have drafted Bryce Harper. If we had lost 10 more games in 08, Steven Strasburg would be pitching now for the O's. The idea is to deal with the inevitable pains of growing through youth, and Arrietta has paid his dues. He might be over matched against the AL East. Great! The O's will lose enough to get the top draft pick next year, and evaluate Arrietta against the competition of the division in which they play. Who cares if he's a triple A phenom? We want Yankee killers.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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