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January 28, 2011

Beimel goes to Pittsburgh; Orioles still searching for a lefty

The Orioles are still in search of the second left-hander for their bullpen.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a deal with Joe Beimel, beating out the Orioles and Boston Red Sox, according to an industry source.

The Pirates did not really enter the mix until Wednesday, but they hold a certain appeal for the 33-year-old lefty. He is from Western Pennsylvania, went to school at Duquesne in Pittsburgh and was selected by the Pirates in the 18th round of the 1998 draft.

He spent three of his 10 big league seasons with the Pirates. Last year he was 1-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 71 games for the Colorado Rockies.

The Denver Post first reported the signing.

The Orioles are still looking for a second lefty to join Michael Gonzalez in the bullpen. Potential candidates include recently signed Clay Rapada as well as Pedro Viola and Troy Patton. Mark Hendrickson, who is a free agent but has been offered a minor league deal by the Orioles after pitching the past two years with the team, is also a possibility.

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 8:50 AM | | Comments (14)


MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Orioles have signed Nick Bierbrodt. He was a first round pick of the Diamondbacks back in 1996 and Buck Showalter is familiar with Bierbrodt from his time as manager.

Bierbrodt spent all of last year in the Rockies organization and has not pitched in the majors since 2004. He has a 6.66 ERA in 144 2/3 innings.


Signing not officially official. Not decided whether he even gets a spring training invite. He's not in the big-league plans for now.

Bierbrodt? Shouldn't he be playing for Milwaukee?

I can barely contain my excitement.

Rapada's numbers against LH batters would indicate that he could be used as a lefty specialist. RH batters tag him for a near .300 batting average.

I was hoping for an upgrade over Henderickson, but there are not a lot of lefties out there to be had now. I'd assume Mark will be in camp, he's sitting in York waiting for a better offer, just like last year.

Gonzalez is a pretty darned good lefty when healthy, and now he's not being expected to close, so he'll be available to use as a lefty specialist as well. So it's not like the cupboard is totally bare.

Patton is also a guy that I think could win a BP job. He'd give Buck the flexibility to use him as a long man as well as matching him up against lefties in spot situations. But he's got almost no ML experience.

Bierbrodt would probably be seen as an organizational depth guy. A semi-warm body to fill a spot on Norfolk's staff.

With a name like that, if he doesn't work out, maybe he can work with Boog out in the plaza!

When a player chooses the Pirates over the Orioles, personally, I would be concerned over the team's perception. I still believe they should re-align MLB and create a seperate division containing only the Yankees and Red Sox.

He chose the Pirates over the Red Sox, too.

The can sign Nicholas Raymond Bierbrodt who hasn't pitched in the MLB since 2004. However, they didn’t want to give Capuano or Tankersley a chance.
Can anyone here provide the rationale for this? Ken any thoughts on the matter? I know this is from the other story from the other day, but I predict 98 wins. This management team of the O's is "Outstanding"!

The team is vastly improved from last year. And while it is disappointing not to get a few players that would have helped, it is not that critical.

Cantu, Beimel, and Vlad (assuming he goes elsewhere) surely would have improved the team even more, but it still comes down to the starters, not them.

Can they keep up the pace they set in the last 2 months? If so, then we are competitive, if not contending for a wild card spot. If not, it doesn't matter and .500 is a reach. Their performance and the 5th starter decision are the keys right now, not the "upgrade" additions.

Too little experience or too many past injuries for the lefties in the pen. Hendrickson is streaky but has plenty of experience and is versatile-although I never thought of him as a LOOGY. The competition will be great,let them earn their way onto the club. Injuries and performance will all shake out the roster in the spring. I have a feeling Hendrickson will be on the roster Opening Day. "Curiosity" as far as team perception; Peter A. has never cared about building a winner only turning a profit. Spend some MASN money and we easily compete with Boston and New York.

I thought Mahay and Bobby Seay were on the list of guys the O's were targeting?

Mark Hendrickson gives the O's versatility, but I don't think he is the answer.

Any news on the search for another starter?

Mahay and Seay (and Schoenweis) are still out there. I'm not sure they are close on another starter. But we're always trying to find out.

Why aren't the Orioles very high on Freddy Garcia? He looks to be one of the more consistent pitchers out of whats out there. Does he cost too much or have a desire to play in a specific region?


I would argue that more pressing than the 5th starter situation is, where's the pitcher that is going to protect the young starters and Guthrie. I will be concerned if Guthrie starts off the season as this team's #1. I really like Guthrie and think he's a good decent pitcher, but we've seen what he can do as a number 1 and it wasn't above .500 material.

I know Millwood's record and drop off last year was horrendous, but a lot of those losses were in games where he got no or close to no run support. I would be in favor for bringing him back one more year if no trade scenarios work-out.

IT is hard to imagine the orioles turning down a bat like Vlads after our offense last year, Even if he did a second half fade, if the o's are out of it he could bring something in july.. Although I like reimold it might put him in norfolk til july or an injury. If he is producing we will find a spot to bring him up. I would rather give maine or duchscherer with some upside a try than most others. GO ANDY I still think you are doing the best you can. Please find us another starter some lefty relievers and any other tweaks you can find.. Then let Buck sort out the lineup.


Hey, this guy Beimel obviously has to be a little too conscious of his own numbers by choosing "Under The Arm Pitt-sburgh" over the O's. What other reason could it be about,...WINNING? He's apparently fully afraid to pitch against the best hitters in the game, in the AL, especially the AL EAST. Too bad! Way to SAC-UP, Beimel!! Mr. Mahay, aren't you next in line? Please don't accept the D Backs offer. Surely you are man enough to accept the challenge. This is not MISSION IMPOSSIBLE after all, even though many would say Mark THE STORK Hendrickson appeared to self destruct like the tape last year. I wouldn't recommend calling Mark for advice on that one. DOES ANY LEFTY, WHO CAN MAYBE GET OUT 1 LEFTY HITTER PER GAME, HAVE THE GRAPEFRUITS TO STEP UP AND TAKE THE CHALLENGE??? Good grief!!

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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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