Orioles' news and notes
The Orioles will have until three days after the World Series to decide whether or not to exercise a $1.2 million club option on the contract of veteran reliever Mark Hendrickson. They likely won’t make an announcement until then, but it’s a mere formality that they’ll decline the option and pay the $200,000 buyout. There is still a chance that Hendrickson returns and is given an opportunity to compete for a bullpen role, but it will be at a reduced price.
It was mostly overshadowed by the Orioles’ doubleheader sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Oct.1 and the assurance that the club wouldn't lose 100 games, but Adam Jones’ failure to run out a groundball in the seventh inning of the nightcap certainly appeared to get manager Buck Showalter’s attention. To review: Jones came up with the bases loaded and one out in a 2-0 game. He hit a routine double-play ball right at Will Rhymes and then half-heartedly jogged to first base. It probably wouldn’t have been noticed as much had shortstop Ramon Santiago’s throw to first not been in the dirt and bounced out of the glove of first baseman Don Kelly. But with Jones not running hard, Kelly had time to pick up the ball and step on first for the inning-ending double play. Jones, who acknowledged his mistake, then was not in the lineup for Saturday’s game, though Showalter said that he was just giving him the night off after he played both games of the doubleheader. I respect how Showalter didn’t throw one of his players under the bus to the media, but I’m not buying it. And my suspicions were pretty much confirmed when I learned that Showalter had a closed door meeting with Jones for about 15 minutes that same day.
Not only is Showalter’s coaching staff awaiting word from the manager on whether they’ll return next year, the organization’s minor league managers and coaches are also on alert for the announcement as well. The makeup of the minor league coaching staffs, specifically the higher-level ones, are heavily dependent on what Showalter does at the Major League level. For example, if third base coach Gary Allenson doesn’t remain on the big league staff, he could return to Triple-A Norfolk as the Tides’ manager. That would inevitably cause more shuffling. Mike Bordick, Bobby Dickerson, Brian Graham and Mike Griffin are other Oriole minor league coaches who potentially could join Showalter’s staff, creating even more movement on the staffs of the affiliates.
In case you are wondering, former Oriole relievers Chris Ray and Danys Baez are not on the National League Divisional series rosters of their respective clubs. Ray went 3-0 with one save and a 4.13 ERA in 28 outings for the San Francisco Giants after he was acquired July 1 from the Texas Rangers for catcher Bengie Molina. Baez went 3-4 with a 5.48 ERA in 51 games this year for the Philadelphia Phillies.