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July 17, 2011

Orioles roster continuing to evolve

Each day seemingly brings more uncertainty to the Orioles' roster. Today, the Orioles added outfielder Matt Angle and reliever Troy Patton and subtracted designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero (disabled list) and reliever Pedro Viola (optioned to Double-A Bowie).

TOMORROW: The Orioles will add Triple-A reliever Mark Worrell and Triple-A third baseman Josh Bell. Mitch Atkins was optioned to Norfolk after today's game, and the other roster spot will open when the club officially places Alfredo Simon on the restricted list. Simon will head back to the Dominican Republic for a hearing related to his offseason legal troubles. The Orioles will have to add Worrell to the 40-man roster, and they'll likely do that by moving Brian Roberts (concussion) to the 60-day disabled list. It's expected that closer Kevin Gregg could start serving his suspension tomorrow as well, but the Orioles won't be able to replace him on the roster.

TUESDAY: Left fielder-designated hitter Luke Scott, who went 1-for-2 with a homer and two walks tonight for Double-A Bowie, will likely be activated from the disabled list. You would think Angle will be in the most jeopardy when Scott returns simply because the Orioles would already have three left fielders in Scott, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold. Even if Scott primarily serves as the DH with Guerrero out, Pie and Reimold should be enough to hold down left field. If all goes well with Simon's hearing and he returns to the United States, he'll need to be activated from the restricted list. Worrell or Bell would probably be the two guys considered for demotion with Simon's return.

SATURDAY, JULY 23: If everything remains on schedule, infielder Cesar Izturis, who hasn't played since May 13, could be activated from the disabled list this day. He'd probably replace Blake Davis, who is serving as the team's utility infielder.

TUESDAY, JULY 26: Vladimir Guerrero (cracked bone in right hand) will be available to come off the disabled list.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 8:55 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Minors


I don't know about roster changes, but I offer these changes in my own opinion. Floppy hat night is approaching. Let's shelve that along with bobble-head and t-shirt nights. Forget promos and just lower ticket prices and concession prices. Try to boost the fan base and also get a lot more younger fans involved. Next I'll go out on the limb and suggest Uhara (sp) as starting pitcher. Maybe he's what is needed in that spot.

At this point of the season, what is the point of bringing back Izturis?

Shouldn't we see if Blake Davis can hold his own in the big leagues instead?

Does izturis really mean that much? Given Andino hasn't done much this season besides today with 4 rbi's, what's the point of having two utility infielders who have little to no-future value on this team? You're 18 games out, 16 under .500; besides stop-gapping, what is Andino doing for this team? he constantly loses balance by swinging his back foot and still can hit to the right side with an emphasis to advance runners, so what good is he?!?

Why not leave Angle here and send down Pie? Pie has been so bad, why is it he hasn't been demoted, released or traded for a pack of gum??

Jeff, can we get your opinion on some of this?

Why is this team continually shuffling youngsters to protect dead weight? Why not release Gonzalez and give one of these young guys a chance? Or trade Pie or Scott, even if it is just for peanuts, and give Angle an extended shot?

Do you foresee some trades this week to let some of these young guys stick around? I'm not concerned about 'value" at this point in trades, just shedding some extra weight and letting young talent show what they've got.

Jeff Z's reply: Some of these guys being talked about aren't exactly projected as big league regulars. I understand your poiint, but the reality is that most of these guys who have been called up aren't exactly tearing the cover off the ball at Norfolk or wherever. Most of them have clearlly shown that they need more seasoning.

It's a good thing that Samuel Morse "invented" the telegraph. And thanks be to Theophilus Van Kannel for inventing the revolving door.

How does Elizabeth Griscom keep up with sewing all of the name changes on the uniforms so quickly ?

"Next I'll go out on the limb and suggest Uhara (sp) as starting pitcher. Maybe he's what is needed in that spot." (Ruth)

Done that when Koji first got here. He'd never last 3 innings in the August heat. Koji is fine just where he's at. I hope he's the new closer, though.

Been a while but I (still) Sit Anywhere At Os Games. Ok, must say this...Francoeur doesn't look so bad now. I was pushing for him before spring training.

As for the state of the O's, they need to rethink their philosophy. Growing the arms and buying the bats is not working. We need to acquire veteran starters with the back end of the rotation for the Britton's and Arrietta's. My reasoning is simple: We play 57 games a year against the Yanks, RedSox and Jays (not to mention the Rays). The younger pitchers seem to get flustered in the big time. If we had even a Bud Norris, Lohse, or Correia (see Pittsburgh--grow the bats, buy the arms--to a degree) as our front 3, followed by Britton, Matus or Arrietta, we would be more formidable.

We need solid veteran pitchers to compete with the big closed.

If not, you can buy all the bats you want and it won't make a difference...excluding Francoeur, of


Getting more specific on the Uehara idea as a starter. I know he is unable to pitch for long. I was thinking more along the lines of the energy he brings. Maybe that 'spark' is what's needed at the beginning of our games even though it would be limited. Agree with CurlyC he would make a great closer, also.

Jeff Z's reply: Good thought Ruth, but it's just not an option. Physically, Koji just couldn't do it anymore with the state of his elbow.


With all these roster moves, what are we trying to accomplish? Angle, Patton, Bell, Worrell...none of these guys are playing at a high level in Norfolk. So is it exposure, and trying to get them ready for 2012? Britton being demoted... we seem to be in a state of flux. Very clouded picture right now, and I'm just not sure what we expect to achieve with all these moves.

Both short term and long term don't look promising.

Jeff Z's reply: Maybe in Bell's case, but I'll be honest, the rest of them are basically just trying to fill roster spots, give guys opportunities adn throw something off the wall and hopefully it sticks.


Based on some comments in the National press, I believe more than ever that Peter Angelos is responsible for the snail's pace approach taken by Andy Macphail during the past four years. There has not been an all out rebuilding effort, nor has the organization made the necessary financial investment to scout the caribbean, which would obviously been a first step in rebuilding the minor league system. In addition, Andy has not aggresively gone after marquee FA talent. The organzation has just sort of drifted along, mainly by bringing in and moving out marginal free agents.

Jeff, you know that I have been one of Andy's biggest detractors since he was hired, but honestly, I don't think the lack of direction and dynamics is all his fault.

It appears to me that Andy has been more of a caretaker than a tree shaker, and really doesn't know what is expected of him by the owner.

Do you think there is some validity to those thoughts?

Jeff Z"s reply: Maybe a little, but not that much.

Jeff, Scott and Pie have done little offensively or defensively this year. I doubt that the Orioles can get anything in return. I think moving Guthrie to a contender is the best chance at getting a prospect.

Roberts ever have that talk with Ripken? A 6 month long concussion? Trade him. He's a permanent DL guy now. And how hilarious is it to watch the parade of relief pitchers come into games including tonight. They all have ERA's over 5.00. It's downright funny. No other team in baseball can do that. Not even if they tried. A horrid team. They will lose by 8 runs tonight.

When do we unload Mike Gonzales? He can't get big outs when needed. He continuiously walks people...when least affordale to walk them. Flailing off to the 3rd Base Side impresses no one and certainly doesn't fool any MLB hitters.
I realize he hasn't given up runs lately, but he isn't serving any purpose, on THIS team. And I'm tired of hearing cheering when an Oriole player makes an out because Boston or New York fans buy up tickets. NO MORE , for me !

Jeff, hate to correct you, but the roster is not evolving. It is doing the exact opposite ---devolving.

Ask Mr Glib how he thinks it's all going.

I can only imagine the conversations that must go on between Buck and AM.
"Well, we stink and it's about to get worse.
"How much worse can it get?"
"Hey you've been around. You think I'm hiding the real major leaguers somewhere? Believe me, if I had a couple, you'd have a couple".

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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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