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July 12, 2011

Guthrie expected to start Thursday; Wirsch has ligament tear

The Orioles' rotation for the first series after the break seems to be set. At least mostly.

Jeremy Guthrie, who threw 3 1/3 innings Sunday in relief, is expected to start the second-half opener Thursday. Jake Arrieta will get Friday’s assignment, and Alfredo Simon, who will leave for the Dominican on Sunday to deal with legal matters Monday, is slated to start Saturday.

The starter for the 1:05 p.m. series finale Sunday is still listed as "to be announced."

In minor league news, short-season Single-A Aberdeen left-hander Aaron Wirsch has been diagnosed with a UCL tear in his left elbow.

He is expected to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Los Angeles Angels team physician and renowned orthopedic surgeon, for a second opinion. Ligament surgery is a possibility.

Wirsch, 20, was the Orioles’ seventh-round pick in 2009 out of El Toro High School in California. He was limited to six games last year because of a back injury. This season, he was 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA in three games for Aberdeen. He had walked 10 and fanned 13 in 10 innings.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 12:24 PM | | Comments (13)


If (and it's a big if) the O's sign Dylan Bundy, when will the O's developmental tactic of decreasing velocity take hold?

Hi Dan,

I have come full circle on my opinion of what is wrong with this franchise. Back before andy Macphail was hired, the fans and even Peter Schmuck were all over Angelos for the demise of the franchise. Angelos doesn't like bad Pub and you can bet the editor at "The SUN" fielded many calls from an irate PA over Schmuck's columns and comments.

But then suddenly Angelos finally relented, went out and hired respected GM and appeared to be willing to stop micromanaging. As fans, we were thrilled for Angelos to get his hands off of the day to day and get out of the way. Even Peter Schmuck stopped ripping Angelos and we all looked forward to the Macphail era. Andy Macphail would become the lightning rod in place of Angelos if the franchise continued to stumble. Clever move by PA.

But a funny thing happened on the way to making the team respectable: Angelos didn't send along the money that Andy needed to do his job. Peter and John Angelos are still micromanaging the purse strings, making Macphail's job an all but impossible task. I don't think Jesus Christ himself could get this team out of last place on the current miserly expense budget. That is why the minor league system is still in the same mess that the major league team is....a lack of a serious financial committment from the Angelos family. This franchise can never succeed until it is owned and operated by an owner or management group that is willing to make a hefty investment in International Scouting, player development and quality free agents.

If the Pirates continue to improve, the Orioles will become the proud owner of the longest current losing streak in professional sports...all because of Peter Angelos.

Andy Macphail and the front office are not the problem with this franchise. It is and always has been Peter Angelos. He should have never gotten his cheapskate, ambulance chasing hands on this franchise. Look what he has done to it. What a disgrace.

Remember one thing Gil: The payroll now is higher than it was when MacPhail took over.

Big Deal that the Orioles payroll is higher than it was when Andy took over,that argument does not hold water.It is higher because of the horrible signings that have taken place,from Accardo,Gonzalez,Rupe,Atkins,Izturis,Vlad,DLee,the big money paid to BRob,by PA no less,11 Mill. to Markakis,and the beat goes on and on.Do you think the Yankees and Red Sox's payroll has gone down over the last 4 years?I surely doubt it.The payroll is loaded with people who have not performed at an average MLB level,much less performed up to their paycheck.And the beat goes on,way to Andy for being another Angelos yes man,and taking the heat off of Pete.That should be his new slogan,which makes a whole lot more sense than "Grow the arms,buy the bats".How's that one working out for you Andy?

It doesn't necessarily matter that the payroll is higher! How much of that is Brian Roberts, Derrek Lee, Vlad, Mike Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg, etc.

I understand that hindsight is 20/20 and that there's no way we could have predicted the complete dearth of results those dollars would bring back, but dollars spent at the major league level is the least of our worries.

The Orioles non-participation in the international market possesses the same quantity of logic as our recently-abandoned philosophy of not negotiating with Scott Boras clients: that quantity is none. All that philosophy did was remove the possibility that the best players would play here because Boras represents many of the best players.

Similarly, most other teams are participating in the international market so all our non-participatory philosophy is doing is keeping us from building a sound farm system. It's not a sound philosophy, it's not smart, it's not competitive. While it might be accurate to say that it's not always money well spent, the point is, most everyone else is spending it. We're not, thus, we lose.

You build a strong ball club by drafting well, being active on the international market, and then developing the talent you've acquired. I give our drafting a C- at best since MacPhail took over and an F for the preceding year, pretty much all the way back to Ripken's debut (I'm pretty sure he's the last Oriole draftee to actually hit 25 HR for the Orioles - pathetic). Our participation on the international market and development of all talent acquired also get grades of F.

With no foreseeable change.

The biggest things wrong with the Orioles this year are: #1 - The young all world calvery of starting starting pitching as a group were supposed to take a nice step forward this year. Instead, under Connor (Buck should have kept Kranitz) they, as a group, turned around and RAN the other way! Holy Cow did they ever run.... like Buffalo being herded over a cliff and jumped to their deaths (and the teams)! THAT is all you need to know about WHY the O's suck this year. #2 - Brian "owww it hurts when I do that, or that, and that and.....KILLED our offense!!! He personally for the 2nd year in a row blew a giant hole in the bottom of our team boat! When right, he was a doubles and base stealing, run scoring game changing machine! Now - not so much! 3rd - Luke Scott's shoulder injury combined with Vlad and Derrick Lee both tanking offensively at the same time in their carears! OUCH! 4th - Buck speaking out of the side of his mouth said of our coaches, including Kranitz who was loved by our young pitchers who were pitching lights out under him the last 1/3 of last season - "they may all come back"..he knew he was lying and knew he wanted all gone and wanted his gang to run the show...hey Buck - how has that worked out??? THAT is what happened to the O's. Now, we are once again...playing for high draft position, as we do every year! SIIIIGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

I have a solution for the team's malaise. Since the good Father/Monsignor Schwallenberg is no longer with us to conduct an exorcism of baseball demons, the Birds should go back to NO facial hair, and maybe even walk into the clubhouse Thurs. BACKWARDS to break this poor pitch/play cycle.


Yes the payroll is now higher than when MacPhail took over, but let's not forget that in his second year, MacPhail lowered the payroll by 30 million. Yes, 30 million.

All of us keep debating why the O's have 14 years and counting of really bad baseball. Until no one from the Angelos family owns the team, we will continue as a bottom feeder. We could get Theo Epstein or Billy Beane as General Manager and somehow the Angelos' would screw them up. We should all accept the O's are a lost cause unless Angelos would do his civic duty and sell the team. I am trying to gt interested in the Nationals as they seem to be making progress.

Ron Washington is such a dope. Why isn't he playing Wieters?! This catch (whoever he is) can't block breaking balls and they are running on him at will.

Nobody asked me, but...release Vlad and Andino...let one of the kids play second...put Markakis at first, let Lee DH full time to see if he can come up with his stroke and get some trade value....put Reimold and Pie in every day and tell them its put up or shut up time for good...sign Hardy for 3 years, he can play short for 2 until Machado is ready and then shift to second if needed, I have absolutely no idea what to do on the mound, but we should have brought back Millwood.

All the talk about the O's being a player for Prince seems to be just that, talk! Unless the O's overbid and I don't mean by a few million, Prince isn't going to want to play for a team that isn't in contention. I wasn't a fan of the Werth signing when it happened nor now, but he has a ring and knew that this was his last chance to hit it big. I don't see Prince signing up for seven years of back luck in Birdland.


I know all the talk is about upgrading the pitching which will be tough, but it seems like KC really likes the kid they have at 1B, plus Billy Butler wants to play the field and not DH, so do you think the O's have anyone down on the farm other than Manny to trade? Butler is a doubles machine and would look good in black and orange. The O's have to get creative because the top notch free agents aren't going to sign here.

Memo to Buck:

Nice move hiring you boy Connors to help the pitching staff regress. Joke in Texas when he was there was that his plan was "if it ain't broke - fix it." He apparently tinkered with the mechanics of several young pitcfhers in Texas and screwed them up before being canned there. Pitching under Kranitz second half last year was great but genius Buck decided to fix it.

Interesting points, gil.

Angelos does have, or I should say, had a reputation of spending money. He has spent the money to signed players in the draft, the Orioles are in the top five in the game in bonus money put out.

And remember when he first got here, all the players he signed. And it was he who in 1996 told Pat Gillick not to sell off the veterans, instead making a couple of small moves that lead to the wild card and the world hearing about Jeffrey Maier.

They went wire-to-wire in 1997, and there was no reason to think the 1998 team wouldn't compete. But they didn't, and that led to the ill-fated signing of Albert Belle to a five year deal before the 1999 season. But, Belle turned out to have a degenerative hip injury, and lasted two years, though they were a very productive two years.

His getting burned by Belle led to the Orioles having some of the most stringent medical exams in sports and kept them from signing Aaron Sele before the 2002 season when Sele's medicals didn't come back strong. Sele had just won 32 games in 2000-2001 in Seattle, but never again won in double figures after that. People complained about Angelos's meddling in the Sele deal, but it turns out he was right.

Angelos spent the money to sign the big three in 2003, ironically, Vlad Guerrero was a major target, but Vlad was unimpressed with the Latin scene here and went to Los Angeles.

So to just flat out say the Angelos is cheap and won't spend money is not exactly correct, at least not when it comes to FAs. But as he has said all along, if he's going to spend the money, he just wants to spend it on the right people. People can blame MacPhail all you want, and we all expected a lot more from his four years here, but the seeds were sown long before he came here.

MacPhail built a contender in Chicago in spite of a notoriously difficult ownership situation. The Tribune Corp considered the Cubs a tax write off, and the man who would be president, Crane Kenney, considered himself a baseball man who thought nothing of insinuating himself in the clubhouse. MacPhail finally had enough, and after a disastrous 2006 year, when the Cubs went 66-96(sound familiar), partly as a result of a horrific injury suffered by Derrek Lee(sound familiar), he resigned.

The Cubs won their division the next years, mainly with the cadre of players obtained during the MacPhail years, supplemented by guys acquired by MacPhail protege Jim Hendry.

So, when an owner who in the past has spent money on players brought in a guy who built first a two-time World Series winner, then a solid contender, in both cases despite serious ownership problems, it seemed as though the Baltimore Orioles had finally turned the corner.

Why the Orioles are still stuck in the same old rut I have no idea. The drafts have to be blamed, no doubt, and while I'm not as worried about the international scene as some people, there's no doubt that again, the Orioles could be more proactive. They did sign Jonathon Schoop, and he's a great prospect who has shown he can picked off during a nationally televised all-star game.

My feeling is that MacPhail will not be back, and I don't think that's a bad thing. Mac's record here is very difficult to defend, but if he does go, maybe the fact he was hired in the first place. followed by a very respected manager means Angelos will do what it takes to bring in a winner. And maybe he'll even make a big splash and sign the Rotund One.

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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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