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July 2, 2010

Samuel, Shelby meet with Jones, Britton getting closer, Wiggy switches agents

Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel and third base and outfield coach John Shelby spoke with Adam Jones today about his defense after the Oakland Athletics twice had baserunners go first and third on the center fielder last night.

"That’s some of the conversation that we had with Jonesy today," Samuel said. "We’re trying to get him to charge the ball and not assume that guys are not going to take the extra-base on him. We’re trying to have him get behind flyballs and not assume that guys aren’t going to tag up. We also made him aware that, ‘Hey, we can go into a slump at home plate, but we cannot afford to go in a slump on defense.’"

Samuel also asked Jones to play a little deeper in center field to cut down on the number of extra-base hits going over his head. Jones was on the field about four hours before tonight's scheduled first pitch working with both Samuel and Shelby.

Pitching coach Rick Kranitz acknowledged that pitching prospect Zach Britton, who pitched six shutout innings in his Triple-A debut last night, has got the attention of key decision makers.

Asked if Britton is close to a promotion, Kranitz said, "I would think so. It seems like he’s right on target. I would assume that he’s got to be close. He’s dominated his league so you need to look at him."

Felix Pie had some leg tightness during his rehab game for Double-A Bowie last night, but it isn't serious and he's expected to play for the Baysox again tonight.

Jim Johnson (slight tear in right elbow) will throw a bullpen session tomorrow after being shutdown for a couple of days with elbow discomfort.

Rookie Josh Bell is in the lineup again tonight, this time at designated hitter. Tim Wakefield is starting for Boston and in case you're wondering, Bell has faced a knuckleballer before. He faced Wakefield in spring training and R.A. Dickey in the minors this year.

Infielder Ty Wigginton has left agent Dan Lozano and hired the New York-based Levinson Brothers to represent him.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 5:43 PM | | Comments (6)


Bringing up Britton would be a mistake. We are bringing our young guys up too quickly. I'm not saying that he's not ready, but we don't need more starters, we need more bullpen help. If we want to throw him into the bullpen and let him get his legs under him, then by all means let him do it. I like the classic way of doing things, where guys learn to get Major League hitters out in the bullpen, then get promoted to the starting rotation. We should do it more often. But Britton does not need to be sent right into the rotation right now. Let's give him some more time in AAA before starting his service clock up here.

Here's a good piece about Britton from the Orioles blog over at Yahoo:

Information on Adam Jones: Finally they talked to him.... He is good....he could be great....but not if he isn't open to constructive coaching.

Jones' defensive problems always remind me of the story Bill James relayed about the young Joe Dimaggio. He, too, played very shallow when he was young. Lefty Gomez asked him why he played so shallow. Dimaggio said he was going to make people forget Tris Speaker. Gomez told him if he didn't start playing deeper in center he was going to make everyone forget Lefty Gomez. I'm guessing the Oriole pitchers thing the same way. It's about time someone talked to him. I know times have changed but I'm still surprised he only being "asked" to play deeper.

Getting attention is one thing for Britton but one start is not dominating his league.. If he looks as good 5 or6 starts erom now will be soon enough to consider him and the same for Tillman make him dominate at AAA before you bring him back up.. I am still more interested in our signings in the draft and international market and seeing what trigger we pull on the july trade front.. There are a few players blocked that could really fit in well here and some prospect deals that would strengthen our system.. Take whatever you r knowledge tells you will be the best chance to help us Andy..

Once again: Why are they _asking_ Jones to play deeper, and not _telling_ him to do so?

Jeff Z's reply: This time it was more telling Chas. That was poor word choice by me. Sorry for the confusion.

If possible, the 1st baseman from Texas sounds like a no brainer.Are we scouting him?
Why did we trade for Jake fox, is he our bench coach? Another plater sorry to be here!
Don't we do anything right anymore?

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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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