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August 23, 2011

Fox promoted to Orioles

Utility man Jake Fox, who was the club’s backup catcher on Opening Day, is headed back to the Orioles and will join the club today in Minnesota.

With an injury to Chris Davis and the demotion of Josh Bell, the Orioles had just one true corner infielder on the roster, Mark Reynolds, who has become the club’s starting first baseman.

Fox, who has spent parts of two seasons with the Orioles, can play corner infield and outfield and catcher.

The 29-year-old hit .274 with 12 homers and 57 RBIs in 67 games with Triple-A Norfolk. He also hit .188 in 19 games earlier this season with the Orioles.

After Monday’s 4-1 win against the Twins, the Orioles demoted Blake Davis to Norfolk, creating the roster opening. Fox, however, is not on the 40-man roster, so a spot on it will have to be created.

The Orioles could move an injured player – such as Chris Davis – to the 60-day disabled list, but that would end his season and Davis (labrum tear) would like to be back in September.

Another option would be designating a player for assignment. One possibility could be right-hander Mitch Atkins, who has struggled recently at Norfolk.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 11:57 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Minors


I could have sworn that we let Fox go. Goes to show how much I really pay attention these days.

He was taken off the 40-man roster, but not claimed on waivers, so he joined Norfolk.

My biggest regret was trading Jake Fox to the Oakland A's. I admit, I had no idea as to what I was doing back then. Quite frankly, it came back to bite me. That's why I am no longer the GM of the Chicago Cubs.

"Fox, who has spent parts of two seasons with the Orioles, can play corner infield and outfield and catcher. "

None of them well.

Interesting choice. I'd rather see Bell up here, playing every day, with Adams at second for the duration. But where does that leave Andino?

I don't care what anyone says, but in a season with very few bright spots, Andino has been one. No, he's not Ian Kinsler or Robinson Cano, but he's not Cesar Izturis or Billy Ripken, either. He has played solid defense at three positions and has had a few key hits. He is not an instant out. He has earned the right to play, and I would hate to see him lose playing time.

Some people have said the Orioles should have signed Jerry Hairston as insurance for Brian Roberts, but Andino compares very favorably with Hairston and is eight years younger. If you told me that the Orioles were committed to Andino as their every day 2B for next year, I'd be OK with that. The Orioles have more pressing matters than 2B.

And what do they do with Fox? He does bring a third catcher, meaning Wieters can DH from time to time, but do you put Fox at 3B and leave him there? How often will he play 1B for Reynolds? And it is likely both Andino and Fox will see time in LF instead of the under performing duo of Reimold/Pie. Neither Fox nor Andino are exactly ancient, so there is still time for one or both to develop into ML regulars.

Some interesting choices.

Jeff Z's reply: I'd suspect Fox will be used as a backup corner infielder, and as long as Chris Davis is out, Mark Reynolds will start at first and Andino will start at third with Ryan Adams at second. Rosters can expand in about a week and Izturis will be back soon, so the Orioles could probably go with that arrangement for a while.

Glad to have Fox back. He plays all out every opportunity.

He may not be flashy but he homers about every 22 at bats in his career - better than most players out there.

Or they could just dump Pie or Izzy and bring up any of the speedy outfielders that can actually steal a base (Angle, Hudson, Hoes)

Jeff, you mean Andino will start at third, yes?

Jeff Z's reply: Yes.

I'm confused,Andino will start at second,with Ryan Adams on second.Who's on first?Fox is a bif bat,and provides some pop,something we have very little of,in the minors.

Jeff Z's reply: Meant Andino will start at 3rd with Adams at second. my bad.

Since everyone is gushing over Andino, I figured I would add to the conversation. While not perfect, Robert Andino has done a pretty good job throughout the whole season. He’s stayed healthy and quite frankly has been a real pleasant surprise. I would also add he seems to be popular with his teammates and for all the right reasons. Since I forgot to mention it earlier, I will mention it now. I would like to be among the 1st to vote for Robert Andino for Orioles MVO. He saved the Orioles a lot of money by doing a solid job wherever he was needed. They didn’t have to pick up someone via trade or waiver wire. So Robert Andino for MVO.

Happy for Jake - thought Buck threw him under the bus this year. First, in exhibition game he swings @ 3-0 pitch when we're winning big breaking some mystery protocol rule, causing other teams Mgr to complain & Buck sides with the other Mgr against Fox. Then Buck announces that Jake can only make the team as backup Catcher despite his 10 Spring HR's while a spot reserved for Cesar as 3rd SS (only possible rational is that Cesar's a nice guy). Jake is NOT a backup Catcher (had caught less than 15 games before coming to O's). Then, Buck criticzes his Catching (he did catch Bergy's 1-0 shutout, perhaps our best pitched game this year) & buries him on the bench despite Lee's & Vlad's near constant o-fers. Jake deserves better but suspect he's still in Buck's doghouse.

Here's the thing though Jeff, as we sit quaking in our boots hoping the world's not ending because of Earthquake 2011. Wouldn't it better for them to have Bell playing there every day? I mean, the guy did show a little something during his brief time here and it is time for the Orioles to find if they have anything. Plus, Andino's numbers are light even for a second baseman, but not ridiculous, but they are ridiculous for a 3B. We know what Andino is capable of doing, but not so much with Adams and Bell.

My advice to Orioles management, and I know they are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting, is to bring back Bell, when the ten days are up, put him at 3B and leave him there, put Adams at 2B and leave him there, bring back Tillman and leave him there, put Reimold in LF and leave him there, if and when Davis comes back, put him at DH or 1B and leave him there, and release or trade Vladdy.

If Davis cannot come back, bring up a minor league bat, like Snyder or even Mahoney, and leave them there. Tell Markakis, Jones, Hardy, Reynolds, and Guthrie to take the rest of the year off, and bring in Angle, Hudson, Steve Johnson, Vandenhurk, Hoes, B. Davis, or anyone with a pulse and a BA above 228 in the system and let them finish the year. It cannot be any worse than what's going to happen otherwise.

Fox was better than Babe Ruth in spring training, then died on the bench before being waived and landing in AAA, where he hit better than Bell, Hughes, Snyder, etc. Why not give the guy a break and let him play first the rest of the way and let Reynolds take third? We already know what Adino, Izzy and Bell can (and can't) do.

Come September 1st, is it likely that Adams, Snyder, Worrell, and some of those other guys are called back when rosters expand? Maybe even Pie? Any other possible guys we haven't heard about?

Woops I meant Davis recalled, not Adams. Thanks.

I would put Josh Bell at 3B and leave him there. At Delmarva!

Great. Another radioactive boomerang. Jake Fox is like cockroaches and kudzu; the Orioles just can't seem to rid themselves of this guy.

Most of this strikes me as doing something just to do something. They are moving around low quality players to make the fans think something is happening do they can suck a few more bucks from them.

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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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