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August 2, 2011

Orioles end Duchscherer experiment, claim lefty off waivers

The Orioles released Justin Duchscherer on Tuesday, ending the right-hander's stint with the team without his ever having appeared in an affiliated game.

Duchscherer, who has had three hip surgeries in his career, could never get fully healthy and will have another operation Thursday with hopes of continuing his career elsewhere.

This past offseason, the Orioles signed Duchscherer to a one-year contract worth $700,000 in base salary. The deal would've increased to $1.1 million had he made the team's 25-man roster -- which, of course, never happened.

In other moves, the Orioles claimed lefty Jo-Jo Reyes off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays and made room for him on the 40-man roster by transferring outfielder Luke Scott (shoulder surgery) to the 60-day disabled list.

Reyes, 26, went 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 20 starts for Toronto before being designated for assignment last month. Opposing hitters have batted .306 off him this season.

He gained some notoriety earlier this year, when he ended his personal winless streak at 28 starts on May 30, in the Blue Jays' victory over the Cleveland Indians. His previous victory came June 13, 2008, for the Atlanta Braves. For his career, Reyes is 10-23 with a 6.04 ERA in 61 games (57 starts) over parts of five seasons with Toronto and Atlanta.

Additionally, the Orioles activated righty Brad Bergesen from the paternity leave list after the birth of his and wife Shea's first child. Bergesen will be back with the Orioles in time for tonight's game at Kansas City.

Posted by Steve Gould at 2:29 PM | | Comments (37)


What a way to make $700k !! Anyone want to give a lecture on the Protestant work ethic ?

Isn't Reyes the guy who broke a record earlier this year for most consecutive starts without a win?

The cynic in me says he'll fit right in!

The optimist says he's young and must have some talent, otherwise teams wouldn't keep giving him chances.

Bergy's wife's name is Shea? She picked the wrong ballplayer to marry!! Gotta be a guy named "Stadium" in somebody's minor league system somewhere.

Hey, can I please have that guaranteed contract?

I'm pretty sure I could fall down in my driveway and need the same hip surgery multiple times.

Please? Pretty Please?

Are you kidding me? Jo-Jo Reyes? I guess when you think about it makes sense to sign the guy with the longest recent losing streak so we can compete with Seattle and Houston for the losingest record this year. Grow the arms? I think we've done a good job of developing starters with 5+ ERA that this guy will fit right in. I'm revoking my fandom until McFail is gone. Also, our new first baseman went 0-6 with 2 strikeouts in a recent Rangers win where they scored 20 runs and everyone else had at least two hits. Were set on the corners now!

Hi Steve,

I have said since pitchers and catchers reported that Duchscherer would never throw a pitch in a regular season game for the Orioles and eventually retire. Typical Andy Macphail. We have needed two top of the line starters injected into the rotation since he got here. So Andy goes out and finds a bargain, and it works out like most of the deals he has made....crap. This time, the player is so broken down that he can't even trade him for a so/so prospect.

I see Hobgood, our first round draft choice from 2009 is working out well, getting shelled back to the stone age the other night at Aberdeen. If the Orioles organization was not so pathetic, it would actually be funny. I guess we picked up Reyes from the Blue Jays so he can give us their signs when we play them next week. He fits right in with our staff.

Steve, save this insider blog to file. With a few edits, you will be able to use it next year about this time. The title is perfect, all you will need to do is change the names.

it is abut time the orioles part wasy with duchscherer. and just another carer minor leagurer in jo jo reyes.

I am totally flabbergasted. I'm on board with the end of the Duchscherer experiment, but can someone tell me what point there is in grabbing Reyes? Do they just need a beating heart down there on the farm? I'd have signed a new ball girl before I signed this guy...

To you and me $700K is a lot of money; in baseball it's peanuts. Why wasn't I born athletic instead of handsome!

Like someone said, Reyes must have something for them to keep running him out there. Of course, we shipped guys to the minors with better receords.


We went dumpster diving !

Ever hear that expression the most expensive suit you buy is the you never wear. This tops Albert Belle; he appeared in no games. ATABOY andy macphail.Why do the O's even have a farm system ?

Larry, maybe they did sign him to be the new ballgirl!

And I'd be willing to bet that the guy that gets farmed out to make room for Jo-Jo "the Batting-practice Boy" is the essentially untried Troy Patton, y'know the guy Showalter said only had "good statistics" at Norfolk.

There had better not be ONE person who says that they didn't know that beforen the 2011 season ended, Duchscherer would be released for his inability to perform. He has the same problem that Albert Belle has for crying out loud!!!
Reyes is the perfect pitcher for the Orioles. His stats say that he should have been for his entire career. The future is looking brighter for this team everyday.

Can't the ambulance chaser take Duchscherer to court and sue for asbestos or mesothelioma?
What a joke.

Uh, actually I think it's "Puritan work ethic" not Protestant...not to "protest" as it were...Hey, I hoped Duke would work out, All-Star pitcher when healthy but, when you're not healthy, as the Emperor said in AMADEUS, "There it is." Funny, when I saw an alert from BleacherReport that we had released someone to make room for Reyes, I immediately though Michael Gonzales, i.e. dump a lefty, sign a lefty. As for Reyes, as I've heard ever since I started following baseball over 30 years ago, if you're left handed, have a pulse and can throw a ball somewhere within the vicinity of home plate, you've got a chance in major league baseball! Well, at least they signed SOMEBODY. My only hope is that Vlad keeps having those 4-for-4 days the rest of this month so we can trade him for something beyond a bag of balls come Aug. 31st. This will be a very interesting offseason if and when Mr. Angelos comes down from Mt. Olympus and deigns to tell everyone whether he plans to actually let Andy (or whoever is the GM at that time) spend some cash. You'd think PA would get tired of his team being a laughingstock (as I've posted before, do you think George Steinbrenner would have put up with this???) and want to make some improvements, but I guess he's more interested in suing people and making coin. Again, "there it is"...


Albert did appear in games for the O's. I distinctly remember booing him when he nonchalanted a pop fly in front of him into a double, then flipped the bird to the fans.


Can you tell us if Reyes will be in Norfolk, and if he's slated to start or relieve? At 26 and a former 2nd rd pick, you'd think he has potential. But too many times, this seems to be MacPhail's pattern - try to save a guy who was a high round pick, and then doesn't pan out. At what point does the scouting dept become accountable to all these misses?
Response from Steve Gould:
Dan Connolly says Reyes is expected to report to the Orioles in Kansas City tomorrow. I'm sure he'll have more in the next day or so about whether Reyes will be used in the rotation or out of the bullpen, but I will point out that of the 61 major league games he has appeared in, he has started 57 of them.

Not sure I understand your question. I assume you're asking about the Orioles' scouting department, but I don't know how they can be held accountable for anything involving Reyes. He hasn't pitched a game for the Orioles yet.

Remember how we were all so eager to get rid of Kevin Millwood? And before that, Kris Benson? If those two were here right now, they'd both be starting every fifth day.

Gil – great points and I loved this line: "With a few edits, you will be able to use it next year about this time. The title is perfect, all you will need to do is change the names”

When I saw Jo Jo Reyes, I seriously thought it was some kind of prank. Seriously, this is a potential find? This is an attempt to “grow some more arms”? Just like adding Duchscherer, huh? What effing plan is this? I was even musing the other day, “What if the O’s were in the pennant race and needed to trade to improve. Who would they move?” The answer is no one, because not only does their major league roster lack anyone of value, who aside from Machado would anyone want? That, more than anything, speaks to MaPhail’s legacy after 4 years. There should be no more patience. Four years is long enough to have solid prospects in the chain, if not on the major league field.
After MacPhail’s first major moves trading Bedard and Tejada, I thought, like many, that this would work. Then, a couple months later he began to shop Brian Roberts for Felix Pie of all people, whom we eventually obtained for garbage. MacPhails’s judgment from retaining Trembly too long to picking Fat Hobgood is so demonstrably flawed, it is a farce to believe that anything he does will work out other than by accident. Jo Jo Reyes? Is he trying to alienate every last O’s fan?

Please, oh please, move on after this season. I woul dlike to see the O's in a pennant race while my children are still young. My own youth has passed without such excitement thanks to the parade of imbeciles filling the GM slot, from Roland Hemond to Syd Thrift to Flannagan to MacPhail (the obvious exception was Gillick). When will it end?

MacFail does it again!!! More moves to dig the Orioles deeper into oblivion. By the way, I have a sore hip and I'll be willing to accept half of what Duchscherer was paid. And I'll give the Orioles just as much as Duchscherer did. Meaning ZERO.

First reaction -- Sheeeoooot; Toronto didn't want him, but Ballmer will gladly take him. It hurts, even if it's been 13 years now, it hurts.

Second reaction -- we need someone, ^anyone^, who'll eat innings. Kevin Millwood, I understand, was good with the young'uns and would have been happy to come back. Sigh.


Could have been spent to even the playing field when it comes to the # of scouts used by the Yanks, Sox and the O's.

The O's currently are getting crushed in this department, and 700K would have helped tremendously.

Duch NEVER had a chance of making it onto the field. I said that from Day One, only to be called negative by warehousers.

Duch helps to DEFINE AM's time with the O's. When you see all the moves AM has made since arriving in Baltimore, it's EASY to see why he has lost more games than any other exec in the game over the last 20 years.

CBS Sports Power Rankings.....

O's #28 of 30 (last in AL). I don't even want to re-print what they say.

When will Baltimore fans be embarrassed? What will it take?

How can prideful people not be embarrassment over the continued disaster called the Baltimore Orioles?

Why do we fans even bother?

I'd be willing to bet that, if the O's played a schedule against all minor league teams, they'd still have a hard time reaching .500.

Duchscherer typifies this team under Peter Angelos. Spend as little money as possible on a guy who might, maybe, possibly, could, perhaps, hopefully, help the team if all the planets align in just the right way. And, as usual, it turns into a disaster.

There is quite simply no hope for this team while Peter Angelos, and any of his family, is in any way associated with it.

Let me be the only person in the Baltimore metro area to be supportive of the Duchscherer experiment.

Duch was a very good pitcher who signed for the minor league minimum. That right there tells you he was a 'maybe', But even knowing the PR fan hit he would take if it flopped, Andy took the chance. That takes stones and I applaud him for doing so..

Sometimes you do the right thing but it just doesn't work out. The payback may very well have been terrific. Though I would prefer a minor league contract, if they want to bring him to spring training next year, that would be fine with me.

All there is to lose is the same thing we lost this year - nothing but a few of Mr. A's bucks.

Anyone agree or am I in outer space?

Replacing a pitcher that's never pitched, for one that has. Seems kinda obvious, but I guess that's missed by some.

Let's try this: which ERA is Jo-Jo Reyes' and which are the rest of the rest of the O's starters ERA's?

a. 5.40
b. 5.05
c. 8.77
d. 5.16
e. 5.79
f. 4.23
g. 4.56
h. 6.22
i. 4.18

(answer A. The rest of those bloated and unseemly ERA's are the youth movement/"grown arms" and the rest of the spot starters the O's have thrown out there. "I" is Guthrie, that "Ace" of ours.)

Guthrie 5-14.
Reyes 5-8.
Duchscherer 0-0.

Seems like a no brainer to pick up a young lefty with AL East experience for nothing.

Maybe Phil Hughes will be waived too...har har har.

Jo-Jo Reyes is a quality addition, don't look at his stats on a crap team... look at his age. He's young, he's got good stuff and he'll learn. Best of all he was free!

Need I remind you that Guthrie was picked up after being DFA by Cleveland?

more of the same from Gill & Wayne. i get sooooo tired of the stuff they spew. Gill i suspect has an axe to grind with the Orioles,maby hes just not good enough of a coach to coach on the farm teams and was told so. it was "fans" like these guys that lost us the colts. just shut up already!


Outer space it is.....

The man had THREE huge issues....

1) A bad hip
2) A bad elbow
3) Was battling depression.......

He pitched 28 innings in 2010, and he missed ALL of 2009.

Saying he was a 'very good pitcher' wins you the Andy's nephew (head of pro scouting) prize of the day.


"Max Weber, the German economic sociologist, coined a term for the new beliefs about work calling it the "Protestant ethic."

Uh, I realize that Max Weber may seem inconsequential to you. "Weber is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science." Wikipedia

Btw, it's not the money ($700k). It's what did he do for the money ?


It's a shame we can't release these whinning fans as well. B'More has the worst fans in the game.

You guys would throw water on a drowning man. Freakin' loosers!!


Losers..... See standing, See 14 years, See no light at the end of the tunnel, See PA, See AM, See AM's nephew....

See the Baltimore Orioles.

Keep cheering though. But let me ask... How's that working out for you?

Justin Duchscherer: yet another one of Andy "There's no such thing as a bad 1-year deal" MacPhail's bad 1-year deals.

It's not the money (although $700k could go a long way for non-player personnel), it's the absence of any other signing of a DECENT veteran starter.

Going into this season the Orioles had need, among many others, for a decent veteran starter. Last year they tried(?) to fill that need with Kevin Millwood, and his career has not recovered since. Granted, Millwood is no Cy Young, but that was part of the problem: he was asked to be the # 1 starter for a team in the AL East, and he obviously was not up to the task.

This season, it was Jeremy Guthrie's turn - as no one else other than Duchscherer was even seriously considered - and we can see how well it's turned out for him.


You're right, paying MLB chump change to sign Duchscherer may have been worth the risk, but his signing was no excuse not to sign any other healthy, decent veteran starter.

I am really amazed by some of the Oriole organization decisions. Most of us armchair GM's can without question predict exactly what will happen with some of these moves-- so, why can't the Orioles? Of course, Duchscherer wasn't ever going to appear in a game, of course this parade of bums out of the bullpen would ultimately be released or sent back to the minors. What a season. Perhaps the most depressing of the last decade.


B'more fans may be "whinning" "loosers," but most can spell a lotter better than you can.

Jo Jo Reyes... I guess Victor Zambrano and Victor Santos can't be far behind.

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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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