O's news, notes and opinions - updated
Orioles injured reliever Jim Johnson (slight tear in right elbow) threw from 120 feet today and said that he felt no problems. Johnson is expected to graduate to throwing from the mound next week and then work into rehab games the week after that. “I’ll get a better idea of where I’m at next week after throwing bullpens,” Johnson wrote in a text message. “I’m pretty positive about the outlook so far, but I’m not setting any dates yet.”
Brad Bergesen, who was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday to make room for Alfredo Simon, will start for the Tides on Thursday. He'll probably make at least two starts for the Tides before he's re-evaluated for a potential callup.
The Orioles have agreed to terms with eight more draft picks and 23 of their 49 selections in total. The recently signed players are Riley Hornback (12th round), David Richardson (17th), Scott Copeland (21st), Tanner Murphy (22nd), Christopher Clinton (23rd), Timothy Adleman (24th), Austin Knight (Boys’ Latin, 37th) and Travis Strong (39th).
• Bobby Valentine’s comments to ESPN.com on Monday about his interview with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and owner Peter Angelos only reinforced my belief that he won’t be the team’s next manager. I don’t know Valentine other than what I read, but it’s well documented that he’s a bombastic personality, and I have my doubts about how that would mesh with MacPhail and Angelos in the long term. MacPhail was again very tight lipped about the managerial process Monday, saying only that it won’t be settled until the All-Star break at the earliest, he’d prefer an experienced candidate, and he has no current interviews scheduled but that probably will change when the team returns home next week. He wouldn’t comment on specific candidates, but it’s well documented that Buck Showalter is on the team’s list. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s at Camden Yards for an interview next week. Still, I haven’t swayed from my belief that former Cleveland Indians skipper Eric Wedge is the favorite for the job.
• Speaking of MacPhail, he made it clear Monday that while he is getting plenty of calls about a couple of the team’s decently performing veterans, he has no interest in dumping guys like Ty Wigginton and Kevin Millwood for the sake of salary relief. “We’re not in the salary dump business,” he said. Unless the Orioles make Jeremy Guthrie available or Millwood rediscovers his April form, it appears that Wigginton will emerge as their top trade chip and I’ve heard multiple teams are interested.
• I spoke to former Oriole Aubrey Huff at length Monday and much of the conversation was on his former team’s struggles. I’ll have more from Huff on the site later today, but he essentially agreed with multiple other evaluators and scouts that the club put too much pressure on some of its younger players and didn’t surround them with enough productive veterans. “You have a lot of young players over there that just don’t have a lot of veteran guys to protect them,” he said. “It’s a hard situation to win in when you are going against the best in baseball and your bringing a lot of young guys up and you expect them to save the franchise.”
• Did Oriole pitchers really walk former farmhand Eli Whiteside three times in one game Monday night? Add that to a growing list of unimaginable and dubious feats performed by the club this season. Allowing opposing starters to register quality starts in 17 of the past 18 games may be at the top of that list.
• Finally, here’s a feel-good story definitely worth reading about Cody Young, the Orioles’ 47th-round draft pick and a cancer survivor. Young has already agreed to terms with the club.