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July 26, 2011

Britton will start Saturday in New York; Tillman a possibility, also; Worrell optioned; Izturis won't be activated in Toronto

Despite Zach Britton getting knocked around by Double-A Harrisburg for eight runs (four earned) and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings last night, Orioles manage Buck Showalter said that he got positive reports from the outing and the plan remains for the left-hander to start the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees.

In three starts since he was optioned to Double-A Bowie, Britton is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. On Monday, Britton retired 12 of the first 13 Harrisburg hitters that he faced, eight on strikeouts. However, after getting the first out of the fifth inning, nine of the next 10 batters reached base off Britton. That included two fifth-inning doubles by phenom Bryce Harper and back-to-back homers by Bill Rhinehart and Tyler Moore.

“He was actually good,” Showalter said. “I talked to a number of people and [pitching coach Rick Adair] talked to him, too. It’s probably the best that he’s thrown in a long time, the first four innings. Probably, only two of those runs should have scored. He struck out nine and he was very effective. He got in some two or three defensive situations and he had a real long inning and they thought it best to get him out. That was encouraging.”

Because the Orioles have been going with a four-man rotation, they’ll also need a starter for the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader in New York. Showalter said that they’ll either promote a minor leagues or use somebody out of the bullpen for the other. One candidate is Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Chris Tillman, who would be on regular rest Saturday.

Tillman is 3-3 with a 4.17 ERA in 10 outings for the Tides after going 2-3 with a 4.69 ERA in 10 starts for the Orioles earlier this season.

“He’s an option,” Showalter said of Tillman. “So is Oliver Drake. So is [Dylan] Bundy and if we don’t get him signed, we might take his brother [Bobby].”

In other news, the Orioles optioned reliever Mark Worrell to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Vladimir Guerrero. Worrell had a 36.00 ERA, allowing eight runs on six hits, two homers, and two walks in four appearances spanning two innings.

Infielder Cesar Izturis (right elbow surgery) played his fourth game tonight for Double-A Bowie, and his rehab assignment will likely continue until at least the end of the week. “You try to keep in mind, it’s been a long time since this guy has played in a baseball game. He was going to play second [Monday] night and his knee was a little sore. That’s not something that is going to happen overnight. I think he knows that he’s a really rusty and he’s not where he needs to be yet.”

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 6:04 PM | | Comments (15)


The Orioles will be doing great again as
soon as Brian Roberts comes back. He
is the inspiration for the team. Don't trade anyone that we need for the comeback. You can trade Mike Gonzalez, and try to get George Sherrill
back. Keep Jeremy and Koji on board.
It will be great to see Brian Roberts back
at 2nd base popping pumpkin seeds, while getting outs.

The Orioles will be doing great again as
soon as Brian Roberts comes back. He
is the inspiration for the team. Don't trade anyone that we need for the comeback. You can trade Mike Gonzalez, and try to get George Sherrill
back. Keep Jeremy and Koji on board.
It will be great to see Brian Roberts back
at 2nd base popping pumpkin seeds, while getting outs.

Andrew Miller update- Still stinks, unless he's pitching against the Os. 3 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 4 runs. It's nice for a change to see the Red Sox throw rag arms against teams and pay the price for it.

nice inning for jake,,,error, hbp, HR to the cleanup hitter. There just is no accounting for dumb. And he is just plain dumb.
If the Os traded every single one of their starters, how much worse could it be? It's like a AAA pitching staff. You just wait for them to get lit up by a decent team. They really truly stink against teams with a decent offense. They just make horrible pitches at crucial times. They don't command the zone and should all be sent to Bowie until they can do that. They are like a broken record, every single one of them. That is the flaw in the theory- guys are up here and still learning to pitch. Why is there so much on the job training in pitching fundamentals at the major league level?if you have a 5 era, you stink and need to get out of town. You're no better than Andrew Miller. Do I like Jake. Yes. Is he a good major league pitcher? No.
Andy, you get a big fat F in Growing Arms.

It;s really a shame that KC cannot pitch. They are beating the hell out of Miller tonight(7 runs, 9 hits, out of the game) and will probably end up losing the game.
The Red Sox just get away with pitching that garbage every 5th day. It's silly, pathetic, and shows you their arrogance.
That they think they can get away with it.
And sad that they do.

we already have george sherrill on the roster, except his name is now kevin gregg. but everything else i agree with. guthrie is our best pitcher so i can't imagine trading him unless we are knocked over with an offer, which i doubt.

Comment to 1muzzi
Brian Roberts has had a concussion and is on the 60-day DL, out for the season with highly uncertain prospects of returning to baseball. I love the guy, he is a class act and an inspiration to the team, as you say, but the O's cannot plan on his return or expect to build a team around him.


Seattle has lost 17 games in a row...... 17....

And the Baltimore Orioles STILL have a worse record.

Nice try Mariners....but NEVER forget. The O's have a LOCK on losing.

An exec who has lost more games than any other the last 20 years.

An owner voted EACH year in Sports Illustrated as the worst in the game.

A team that scouts say have ZERO position players at AA and AAA who will likely ever be even average major league players.

A fan base that gets jacked up at the trade deadline each year.....even though the O's are always 'dumpers'.

A local media who only gets slightly irritated at times about this horrific team..... instead of doing deep down, dirty journalism that truly spells out the disgusting current failures.

Yeah, nice try Mariners..... but you'll have to lose better than this to be a awful as the O's..... Or, you can just hire AM --- that'll do it....

Britton gave up four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings [against Double-A competition] and Buck says "He was actually good.” How long are we going to be deceived by this nonsense?

The score didn't reflect the game (it was bark in the park night). Britton threw a solid 4 innings (I thought he was going to be held to 4 IP in all AA starts). Bryce Harper smacked a double in the 5th, and everything came unglued after that (and then he hit another one the same inning).

Thanks for chiming in, wayne. I'll let you know when anyone gives a crap.

It's a quandary all right but really Baltimore needs to deal. At least 5 solid players coming back, try and get as many outfielders and pitchers as possible. Guthrie, trade him or not? I'd have to fall on the trade him side, but reluctantly.

Tillman: needs to spot his pitches better and work on his changeup
Matusz: needs to spot his pitches better
Britton: needs experience, that's all, has 4 solid pitches
Arrieta: needs to learn control, and a better curveball

Hope the bullpen is rested for the double header. What's the over/under on 20 for the Yankees for the two? I hate myself for being defeatist.

@Christopher Wayne's been right (if not repetitive) on three things: 1) The Orioles would be in free-fall and seeking to offload Lee at by midseason; 2) critics owuld be prevented from posting on Shmucks Blog (I'm moderately critical, but regardless, nothing is showing up there in comments now); and 3) The team and minor league system constructed by MacPhail was no plan, but a slogan only.

Four years of growing the arms and this is the result? Come on, please. It's not just Wayne or people like me that have complained about the lack of criticism in the media towards the O's, The Sun's OWN TV media critic David Zurawik pointed out a few weeks back that in other markets the GM of such a failure would surely get more scrutiny. This to me was a really gentle way of him putting his co-workers on notice. The problem is that while a great writer, Schmuck writes with zero passion about the challenges the Orioles and their fans face. Even an objective observer would be aghast at once transpired these past four years. A a columnist, Schmuck and Cowherd and others are free to really go at it, as they should.


I know you're the beat writer and not a columnist, and you may not have the time, but isn't there anyone that can do a report on the Orioles player devlopment futility, with an analysis of why the organization has devolved compared to others? 13 years of drafting in the top half has yielded very little. That is the outcome, but what about the flawed processes that led us to this outcome? Now that's a story I'd be interested in reading.

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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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