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April 16, 2011

Couple of quick pre-game notes

It's coming down pretty hard right now at Progressive Field and the tarp is on the field. However, from what I'm hearing, the forecast does improve steadily throughout the day. I'll let you know any weather updates as I get them.

Through his translator, reliever Koji Uehara has notified manager Buck Showalter that he is ready to start pitching on back-to-back days. Uehara threw only five pitches last night, so he's probably available today. However, Showalter said that the club will still be very cautious with the reliever. "Keep in mind the short spring that he had," Showalter said. "We’re trying to keep him around for the long haul. He just got to the point yesterday where he needed to pitch."

Jake Fox is catching Jeremy Guthrie today because it's a day game after a night game and Showalter felt it was important to have Wieters catch rookie Zach Britton last night. "Jake is our second catcher and this is where he has to catch and needs to catch. That’s why we caught him an inning last night. It’s in fairness to Matt as much as anything to protect him," Showalter said.

The club still hasn't decided whether Brian Matusz will join the team on the home stand, which begins Monday. As Showalter said yesterday, Matusz will have to be cleared to start throwing from the mound for him to rejoin the club.

Showalter isn't a big believer in juggling the batting order just because of a small sample size so I wouldn't expect any major changes with the Orioles lineup any time soon. "Keep in mind with the batting average, one hit, it will go 20 points," he said. "You can look at every batting lineup and you’ll find a guy like that. A guy gets a couple of hits then [you] move onto the next thing. It’s not going to be a perfect world where everybody is going to be in tune every day, every game. It’s too difficult. But I have a lot of faith in their track record and it will be there for us. We don’t seem to talk about things that guys do out of the ordinary. Nobody expected Brian Roberts to have 10 RBIs or whatever he’s got. I don’t dwell on those things. That’s something I’m not really concerned with at this point.”

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 11:34 AM | | Comments (7)


This whole thing about Koji not being able to pitch on back-to-back days was a bunch of drivel Buck Showalter came up with as part of his lame excuse for using Gregg the other night against the Yankees when Koji clearly has been more effective this spring. Even assuming Koji can't pitch on back-to back days, he had not pitched on Wednesday so he should have been in there for the ninth on Thursday. I thought Buck was all about winning and not about trying to justify the contract Andy MacPhail gave Kevin Gregg to close. We might as well have Dave Trembley or Sam Perlozzo back in the dugout if Buck is going to make decisions based on contracts rather than performance.

Are you serious, Ray????
Buck's been saying since early in spring training that Koji can't pitch in back-to-back games yet. And you say Koji was so much more effective this spring. You mean in those THREE games that he pitched in??? And he gave up a run in one of them. He was sidelined for a large portion of camp.
Try paying attention before firing off such a ridiculous accusation. Or is that asking too much???

His translator screwed up and left out the word 'can't'.

Gambare Uehara-san!

Yes, Pete J., I'm serious. What does Buck saying since early spring that Koji can't pitch in back-to-back games have to do with not using him Thursday when he had not pitched for several days before that? If Buck wants to use Kevin Gregg as his closer, that's his prerogative, but he should at least be honest about the reason, which had nothing to do with Koji being unable to pitch in back-to back games. And if you really think Gregg gave the team a better chance of closing out a 5-4 game on that night than Koji, you're the one who needs to start paying attention.

Gambare Uehara-san! (Go Uehara!)

Actually, Koji hadn't pitched in a week before that Yankee game, pitching a perfect inning against the Tigers on April 7th. Back-to-back my arse!

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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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