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July 21, 2011

Scott has big night at Bowie; Gregg thinks Johnson could start

After taking a couple of days off to rest his sore right shoulder, Orioles outfielder Luke Scott continued his rehab assignment tonight for Double-A Bowie, and the Baysox were happy that he did.

Batting third and serving as the Baysox designated hitter tonight against the Trenton Thunder, Scott is 3-for-4 with a double, two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored.

In his first at-bat, Scott hit an RBI groundout to score Xavier Avery. In his second at-bat, Scott drove a Craig Heyer pitch over the wall for a two-run homer. In his third at-bat, Scott doubled to plate Avery and Greg Miclat, and then in his fourth, he drilled his second homer, this one against reliever Josh Romanski.

Scott drove in all but two of the Baysox's runs in a 8-6 victory.

We'll see tomorrow if Scott feels comfortable enough to be activated and play tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Angels.

In other news, I wrote a profile on Orioles reliever Jim Johnson that will be in tomorrow's paper. You can read it online right here.

The story was more about Johnson off the field and his status as one of the Orioles' lower-profile players despite the fact that only Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis have been in the organization longer. I think plenty of ink has been spilled on Johnson's possible transition to a starter, but here are a couple of more quotes about it from Johnson, and then closer Kevin Gregg, who is also a former starter and has talked quite a bit with his teammate about the transition.

First from Johnson who has never campaigned publicly to start but most people think that's what he wants: "Honestly, I have no idea on where it’s going to go from here," Johnson said. "Like I said, I feel like I can do whatever they ask me to do. The preparation is going to be different, but that’s something that has to be figured out down the road. But I know what I’m doing now. I have nothing much more for you on that."

Now, here are the thoughts of Gregg: "I think the last couple of years, I don’t think it would have been a good idea. But I think now, we’ve talked a bunch about his mindset, where he’s at mentally. I have no dobut that he could do it now. He’s learned more about himself this last year and how to pitch out of situations. He’s continually in the tough innings. When you are a starter and you’re cruising, cruising, cruising, you eventually hit that tough inning. Now, he knows how to get out of that inning. That’s what he does, that’s his job now. I have no doubt that he could start at this level. He’s got the pitches, that big heavy sinker. He’s learned that curveball, when to throw it, how to use it. He’s definitely got that good changeup that is progressing and the more he throws it, the better it’s going to get. I think he could definitely handle it."

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 9:04 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Minors


Wow, he can hit AA pitching. I can understand no one like surgery and Scott is no youngster but the bottom line is the injury is no going to go away. He might few ok for a few days but then will have issues again. Get the surgery or write him off.

Hopefully Arrieta will do the same with his minor elbow issue.

I would leave JJ alone. Why does this smell like another Oriole debacle about to go wrong??? Bring some better arms into the system and you won't have to resort to these desperation moves all the time.

Luke, write this year off and go and get the surgery you need so you'll be ready to play baseball next year instead of waiting and then you aren't ready to play again next year. Who knows you may be playing for a different team!!!

Desperation forces any business to try pretty much anything. So it is that the Orioles are considering risking the health the best late inning reliever they have as a starter.Johnson's herky jerky delivery is not built for a high pitch count. It makes no sense since the team is buried in last place. Send him to winter ball and let him stretch out there to see if he can take it.

Hmmm...Craig Heyer and Josh Romanski...don't seem to rhyme with Cy Young do they?

Scott goes 3-4 and hits two homers and all I hear is "it's double A pitching or these guys aren't Cy Yount". if he had gone 0-4 with three strikeouts all anyone would have said was " He can't even hit double A pitching". Can't win either way with most of the posters on this site. If you don't like the team and want nothing to do with them other than bash them then find another team.

Go Orioles!!!

Well guys, would you rather Luke Scott had gone 0-fer-4 and hit into four double plays?

@Walt and Maxmorf-Yes I would have rather seen Luke go 0-4 with 4 strikeouts,because then they would have shut him down and tried to get him ready for next year.Having had 3 shoulder operations I can tell you,if they shut him down now,he MIGHT be ready for next year.The longer they wait,the longer it takes him to come back healthy.Shows you how sad this organization is,the players tell the team,who is paying their salary,when they want to play and when they don't,unless it's somebody like Britton,who the cheapskates will shut down,just so they can save a year on his contract.

Johnson as a starter is not a desperation move. I have long suggested that he should be a starter. He has the stuff of a starter and I think the Orioles are wasting his talents if they are not going to use him as a starter or a closer. I like him as a set up man, but the O's need to look for someone else for that role. JJ needs to have a bigger role, and I think that starting is the best spot for him. A pitching staff with Guthrie, Johnson, Arrieta, and Britton would be very solid going into next year. The fifth starter could be either Matusz, Tillman, or a free agent/trade. I think that would be a strong staff. Simon would be better in the pen than starting. Starting Simon strikes me as more desperation then JJ. Pitching is this team problem. In April and May the O's were staying around .500 even with an poor offense. The offense improved in June and July, but the starting pitching fell apart, and so did the record. Starting pitching is the first priority. McPhail said that his biggest concern going into the season was whether the young pitchers could step up. That concern seemed unfounded in April and May, but Mcphail was right to be concerned. Starting pitching is the most important concern for the O's and a talent like JJ needs to be used. If JJ were traded, I guarrantee you that no other team in the Majors would use him as a set up guy.

Well put, Gil. Jim J is superb in his current role, absolutely key to holding potential wins for this weak hitting team. Koji as well, and in closing. I still say put Gregg out there as a starter, to eat up innings at least. The guy just isn't reliable in relief, esp as closer--I have to leave the room every time he comes in.

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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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