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September 10, 2009

Orioles: Mickolio sore

As if the Orioles need any more good news, reliever Kam Mickolio is returning to Baltimore to have his sore arm examined by orthopedic specialist Dr. John Wilckens. Mickolio has been experiencing some tenderness in his right bicep, but team officials expect him to rejoin the club in New York for the weekend.

Here's a hunch. Mickolio will be shut down for precautionary reasons and won't pitch again this season. I mean, what's the point?

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 12:23 AM | | Comments (40)
Categories: Just baseball


Pete, If they shut down Kam, could they bring up another pitcher. I'd like to see Arreita, though I know it probably isn't going to happen.

Kudos on your roulette and Riverdance quips. Vintage Schmuck.

Pete's reply: I would be surprised if they brought up Arrieta, but they could recall somebody else.

I was somewhat kidding about the need to use 8 pitchers everyday when I made my comment about a week ago but I guess I was right on.

So are we going to see 50 pitchers in spring training next yr since 30 something didn't work this year?

The Orioles need to make some dramatic changes if they want to ever get some respect. If it wasn't for the Pirates 17 yrs of futility the Orioles would be the most embarrassing team in baseball with 12 yrs of losing.

They have to get a quality veteran starter and a quality veteran 30+ HR hitter otherwise it will be another 90+ loss next season. Obviously they made no attempt to compete or even try to be respectable since their attempts included players such as Eaton, Hendrickson in the rotation, guys like Simon as a SP, Zaun as a starting C, etc.

You said the move for Sean Henn was nothing but a minor league move yet he ends up pitching in the game tonight? Maybe you should be more deligent with your research. I know the O's suck but your job is to know what is going on woth the club period. you dropped the ball again. i think its time u and Mora retired to Aruba or something.

Pete's reply: It was a minor league deal, then Henn was added to the roster when Adam Jones was placed on the 60-day DL. You need to read more carefully and understand the rules before mindlessly ripping me and looking stupid.

Cannot wait till Trembley gets fired. And I'm sick of hearing this argument about "well if you fire him, who are you gonna replace him with." As if it's not possible to fire a manager simply because they're doing a poor job. Finding a replacement manager is management's job and one of the many reasons why they make the big bucks. I really don't think it would be that impossible to find a manager who understands when to leave in and when to pull starters and relief pitchers.

Nice reading ability swankdawg..... Idiot! Pete said it was a minor deal........... not a minor league deal. Apparently it's not your job to be able to read or comprehend.


At this rate, the Orioles may try to shut you down for the rest of the season. Just warning you.

The season ends Sunday at 12:59 p.m., right??

Pete's reply: Rob, I've been fighting the urge to shut myself down, but maybe the Ravens season will pep me up.

Is Koji Uehara still expected back this season?

Pete's reply: I think we'll see him make a couple of late-inning relief appearances during the final two weeks.

Um, Scott, read the story and not just the headline.

Pete's reply: Nevertheless, it WAS -- technically -- a minor league deal.

Cal's statue update: The number 8 is now on it's way to New York to be erected in front of the new Yankee Stadium in honor of Yogi Berra. Said Yogi, "At my age, I'm proud to have an erection of any kind."

Pete's reply: Now, that was just unkind...but funny.


Koji feels he is not close to being ready to pitch yet. He threw in front of Kranitz yesterday. They are looking at him throw on the side a few more times before they throw him back out there

Tough year for the 34 year old rookie. Too bad, he could have been a nice feel good story this year. Probably look for him in the bullpen next year.

I don't think blaming Trembley for Luke Scott's lack of situational hitting is fair, nor Ty Wigginton's situational hitting is his fault. Nolan Reimold had his chances: I will give him reprieve on this one, but next year he will have to produce. Which brings me to Markakis who just seems to come up small against big-time pitchers in big-time moments. He has to be able to get clutch two out hits when the ball club needs them. Last night he really failed. And Baez let this team down.

Use Baez, Scott and Wigginton as trade bait for a really good reliever. I don't want them in the Oriole uniform next year. Let Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder have there shot the rest of the year. I would rather watch them struggle and learn then watch so-called veterans like Scott and Wigginton. They are brutal!!!

Pete's reply: Dan, logic check. You say those two guys are "brutal" and then want to trade them for a good player?

There will be good relievers available this winter. The Orioles will not move Scott or Wigginton for one, Wigginton is cheap and although Scott had a dismal second half, they will keep him. Baez will not be back.

Some of these starters that they have should be moved to the bullpen, that would take care of the pen, while they get a few new guys that can shut down a team when called upon.

They do miss Sherrill, badly. I think Albers is most done. Chris Ray, who knows if he ever will be reliable again. Hendrickson is under contract. Johnson is strong. Mickolio it is hard to say, pitching in the bigs is different, and maybe he over did it these last few weeks, trying to do more than he can and that is not about the number of innings, it is how he pitches when he is there.

For those of you who keep wondering whether or not the O's will bring up Arieta: NO, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. To do so would mean clearing a space on the 40 man roster and they are having a difficult time as it is protecting the players they want to keep through spring training.

As to 'good relievers available this winter' I remind you that Danny and Jamie and insert the name of your choice were also good relievers when the O's signed them. Relief pitching seems to be the least predictable as to future reliability. Strategy has changed over the years resulting in increased use of relief pitching. The sometimes daily use of relief pitching is the biggest reason that so few of them are reliable for any extended length of time. I believe it would be a good idea to expand the roster to 27 to permit additional bull pen help and reduce the wear and tear on these guys.

Based on this team's cautious logic, we need to shut the Orioles down for the remainder of the season.

Besides, the Ravens start their season on Sunday.

23 games left which means the Orioles need at least 207 more innings from the pitching staff, which in itself, is a grisly thought.

The season can't end fast enough for the players, the organization, and the fans.

The more I reflect about the season, Macphail sent every signal from the start that this was a throw away year, and that we should have very low expectations. The pitiful pitching staff that the team broke Spring Training with should have told us all we needed to know.

Nonetheless I hoped for at least a competetive season, but that was never really a main concern as far as the warehouse was concernend. To Macphail, this was a transition year and a key year for the rebuilding plan. Winning was never a priority, and probably won't be as far as he is concerned next year. Player development is on Macpahil's mind and nothing more.

That apparent mindset concerns me a great deal, considering Macphail's prior rebuilding projects and the time he spent managing to lose while attempting to rebuild through player development.

I think we deserve better and I want to hear some declarative statements from Macphail and Peter Angelos that 2010 is not merely another player development year. I want to hear them say that next year the Orioles are playing to win.

Is that so difficult for this organization to say?

The code words to listen for from the organization during the offseason will be putiing a "competetive" team on the field in 2010. That will mean that Macphail is planning to lose again in 2010 while "working the plan"

I want to hear the word "win". Let's see if we can sort through his year end physchobabble for clues.

HI Gil,

I agree that should happen. Not only do the fans deserve a winner on the field, guys like Roberts and Markakis and the younger talent deserve to have new players come in that have proven talent, desire to win and to be as dedicated as they are.

Also they do not have 207 innings to pitch they have 207 innings potentially, remember when the Orioles are away, they do not have to worry about pitching in the 9th inning very often, like the last two nights.

CB Coach,

What really concerns me is Macphail's prior rebuilding track record. You and some of the other posters alluded to it so last night I examined it.

My God CB Coach, we are in deep trouble if he follows those patterns and gets the same results. I may not live to see even a .500 season. I am really depressed now because Macphail has done the same type of things here that he did early on in his other projects. The player moves are eerily similar. There was never a serious attempt to upgrade the talent level by bringing in outstanding proven talent to supplement player development.

I think as fans we may be screwed and left to wait until next year when next year comes.

Pete's reply: I don't think you can draw direct parallels because the personnel and situations are different. But Andy does have two World Series rings and came within a deflected foul ball of taking the Cubs to the Series for the first time since 1945. Compared to what has gone on here, I'd say he's had a pretty good career.


They did treat the roster this year like it was a 27man roster, and how come the Redsox do not have a problem with a 25 man roster. We have a major lack of qualified starters and a even worse bullpen. You want the major leagues to change rules for the Orioles? Just look at how many times they sent Albers down and back up, same with Hernandez and Ray. The team has managed this pretty well, considering the lack of experience and major lack of talent. Having seven or eight guys in the bullpen should be able to handle it, in a normal situation, but things are not normal here.

You cannot predict when a guy will blow an elbow out (Baez,) or when a guy will lose total effectiveness (Walker). The Orioles have used like 25 to 30 pitchers this year. It is imperative that MacPhail goes back to the drawing board on "the plan" and fills the holes, protect the young arms. Give the players and fans hope. MacPhail threw everyone a bone, by bringing up all the young prospects. But there has to be a commitment for improvement for 2010, fill in all those empty seats.

with all of these pitchers having arm problems and shutting down the others makes a huge case for the nolan ryan approach to get pitchers in shape to prevent all of the different types of problems they are developing. dave johnsn has been saying the same thing about the pitching. with koji saying he is not ready to come back. the impression i get is mental problems.

"I think we deserve better and I want to hear some declarative statements from Macphail and Peter Angelos that 2010 is not merely another player development year. I want to hear them say that next year the Orioles are playing to win."

Well, let's see. Let's take the best case scenario where the Orioles sign a top veteran pitcher, able to trade for Uggla and sign another veteran batter.

In that far-fetched scenario, the Orioles would be starting with a rotation that has three pitchers with less then one full year experience. The offense would be better, but they still would need a DH as well as a cleanup hitter. The bullpen would still be a mess.

Mind you, this team would be competitive, but probably not as good as the Yankees or Red Sox. Possibly maybe even probably a .500 team.

Now, that's if the Orioles go all in, there are no injuries to any pitchers or crucial hitters, etc etc. If they don't do this, then they'll have even fewer pieces.

I'm not sure that this team can win in 2010. I think this team will be able to win in 2011 though.


I hear you but you have to look at what you have, if they do not make any moves they will lose 88 to 99 games again. I do not think the fans can handle another season like this. The attendance and media ratings have proven that for several years. The attendance is half of what it was 13 years ago. .

Who said they would go after Uggla? He is a second baseman, we have one of them. I guess I missed something there, did MacPhail say he was going after him? i guess he could move him to third or first? I just did not know they were pursuing him.

Another O for series on the road for Melvin. Still no home runs on the road this season. Does anyone need any more proof that this is it for him in Baltimore after this season? Besides a man his age and all those young kids at home should be thinking about his future not still out trying to compete with the youngsters.

A lot of talk today about pitching. Are we forgeting the lack of any hitting. the O's could havde won at least 15 more games with an occasional timely hit, sac fly or even ground ball with runners in scoring position. Not to mention baserunning errors, missing cutoff man, etc.
Why is Melvin Mora, who everyone in baseball knows is washed up, continues to be in lineup?

"I do not think the fans can handle another season like this. "

Why do you think they can handle 12 but not 13? Especially if Matusz and/or Tillman makes a credible run for ROY?

"Who said they would go after Uggla? "

Rosenthal reported that we have interest in him. It makes sense that the Marlins would want to trade him as he should be making 7-8 mil after arbitration next year. If the Marlins have reasonable trade demands, we could make a deal. We'd use him at third base.

Pete's reply: I would certainly take Uggla. To answer the question about 12 or 13 seasons, losing is a progressive disease that saps your revenue and attendance. I agree with those who feel the Orioles can't afford another horrible season. I don't know if they have to play .500 ball next year, but they have to compete all year to prove they are moving in the right direction.


No one is forgetting the hitting. But when teams score between 7 and 10 runs against you, it is going to be tough for any team to win games. The Orioles have the worst ERA in the league. Not sure if you saw that they replaced Cleveland at the bottom of the list. Take this stat for what it is worth the Seattle Mariners have only allowed 612 runs the Orioles have allowed 740 runs. The Mariners have scored 555 runs we have scored 637. How does that translate? The Mariners have 16 more wins than the Orioles. Could the Orioles use a good stick in the lineup, of course, do they need better pitching, it is obvious. Can some of these young pitchers start dominating next year, it is highly doubtful, but if someone can it may be Matusz. If they move guys to the pen like Berken, Hernandez and Tillman, and keep Guthrie, Bergessen and Matusz in the rotation and sign two really good starters that makes them a better team. Getting a good power hitter will add more wins also.

But the real issue is pitching, and has been for many years, even when they had success in the 96 and 97 seasons, the approach was to beat a team into the ground, remember they were setting home run records then, not pitch to win, even though they had some good pitchers, they had four starters with ERAs over five runs a game. I know it was the steroid era, but that is what the facts are.

Pitching, speed and Defense are going to win games.


MacPhail's plan if there is one, is to grow own pitching and buy bats. However this is the same plan every team other than the Yankees also have. So were do you set yourself apart from the rest?

This is the same plan that failed in Chicago. As far as buying bats, you will never see any Texeira caliber players or anything like that. You might get mediocre batters at the end of their career. They want to build a team around Roberts, Markakis and Jones. That's the problem right there. I love these guys, but they are second tier players at best. This is why we will never compete with the Yankees, Angels, Redsox, WhiteSox and on and on. These teams can hit, year in and year out. And not just spray the ball around like Cakes, B-Rob and Jones. They have potent lineups that can hit for power. Unless we have that, we will never see a World Series in the future.

Gil & CB,

I agree completely with you both about next year. I've known this year was going to be a dud, but there was at least the silver lining of seeing the youth movement kick in.

Next year can't be another year where we take our chances with a bullpen by default as opposed to a bullpen by design. Especially if there isn't at least one significant starter added.

Unfortunately there isn't enough time to "evaluate" the new core of pitchers we saw this year again next year. This winter should be time to fish or cut bait (a phrase used a lot lately) and just accept that you may take a risk trading someone with untapped potential away a la the Curt Shilling deal. I don't feel so bad if it takes a Tillman to get a real impact position player. There are guys lined up in the system now that are effectively blocked until some moves are made anyway.

I know he's almost 100, but I watched some of the Dodgers game last night and Thome is a FA this year right? He's someone that has just about every quality the Orioles are looking for (power, winner, leader), plus he might be more agreeable to a shorter contract than some of the other guys heading out there.

Just a thought from an otherwise lost night.

Hey Pete,

Maybe Swank Dog should learn how to hit the post button correctly. As a respondent to a blog it is our job to be able to know how to hit the post button ONCE.

Pete's reply: He was just in a hurry to rip me. I prefer guys like Wayne and Slugger, who at least take their time and put some thought into it.

Slugger, I hear you. However the three that you speak of are not second tier players, they are very good players. They are not the type that will hit 40 home runs and drive in 120. Roberts, Markakis and Jones have tremendous skill at what each does best.

Matt, Thanks, I missed that. Uggla played some games in the minors at third years ago, why not?

Just to change the subject - does anyone else have the feeling that Nick isn't what he is cracked up to be? After watching him K with the sacks loaded last night, it just confirmed my belief that this guy is not a clutch 3-4-5 line-up guy for a winning team. (Compare him to others in the past for the O's - not even close). If we ever do make a run, he looks to me like a #6 guy. Yeah, I know his RBI's look good, but they don't "feel" good. The only guy I ever feel optimistic about in a clutch spot now is BRob (and Huff when he was here). And I don't see him as more than above average fielder (excluding his arm which IS all it's cracked up to be). Am I wrong to be disappointed? Am I the only one? Isn't it easy to see Jones and Reimold well above him in the pecking order 2-3 years down the road?

Pete's reply: I don't know. The guy is going to drive in 100 runs with -- at best -- Aubrey Huff hitting behind him. I'd like to see what his numbers look like with great 4 and 5 guys behind him. I hope they don't have to trade him to the Red Sox for me to find that out.

I have family in Florida, who are season ticket holders for the Marlins so I've seen Uggla play for quite a while in person and he is a good player. His avg. is up and down, but his power #s are consistent. I didn't hear the report that the O's had interest in him to play 3B, but if that's true, they should expand any deal to include Jorge Cantu. The guy has lived up to his potential in Florida and would be an upgrade over anyone we have at 1B.

The O's have to avoid keeping Baez because the guy is like a yo-yo, he's up and down plus if the game is on the line, I don't have any faith in him. I wouldn't mind seeing Hendrickson back, as he's been very good out of the pen.

I know that I will get trashed for posting this because the O's are rebuilding, but given the #s that Thome puts up at OPACY, I would sign him to a two year deal if he would come here because a DH in my opinion is where you can have an aging player, as long as he is still productive and no doubt that Thome batting behind Markakis, would put some serious fear into opposing pitchers because we don't have anyone that is a threat to go deep at a moments notice.

Maybe you can answer this. Since the Red Sox use our pitching staff like a punch n' judy show...has it ever occured to anyone on the pitching or coaching staff...or even in a bullpen DUST SOMBODY OFF....??? Especially Youuuuk??? Maybe, just maybe it could light some kind of gets embarrassing...ya know....

Pete's reply: I don't know if you go there when you're this bad. I mean, the Sox aren't showing up the Orioles. They're just hitting a lot of high fastballs.

Trembley is inconsistent?

Trembley is dedicated to using everyone in the bullpen, but when it comes to his bench, he's overly dedicated to the vets.

1. I would have left Berken in to finish the 6th. He's seems to have figured a few things out in his head, and I was curios to see if he could get in and out of the trouble.

2. Trembley is trusting relief pitchers who bring gas cans with them, everytime. Another reason to stick with the starter, cause I don't trust the bullpen, maybe next year will be diferent.

3. Trembley should have pinch run for Wiggington, and pinch hit for Izturis in the 8th. Wiggington is the slowest runner and Cesar is in the 9 hole.

The use of the pen and non use of the bench is inconsistent.

Todd -

I like the idea of trading for Uggla and Cantu. Unfortunately, Florida's not too far away from seriously challenging Philly for the top spot in the NL East, so I don't think they'd be too keen on giving up a couple of guys who are in their prime unless they get some solid big league talent in return.

And Thome's actually not a bad idea as long as he's a cheap, complementary acquisition.


Roberts and Nick are **second tier players at best.** You are kidding, right. There are precious few teams in baseball that would not love to have either of them.

The 'grow pitching buy bats' theory sounds good but that isn't what we've really been doing. Many of our pitchers have been brought in from other teams and many are injured(Patton, Albers, Sarfate, Hill). There are a few that our 'own' like Matusz, Bergesen, Hernandez.
The only bats we have bought so far under the MacPhail regime have been average-Wiggington/Itzuris(although he has brought in for his defense). So where are the other bats that we can buy? The free agent crop doesn't look all the great.
The more you look at it, the primary reason this franchise is in such sad shape is the terrible job the scouts have done over the last 12 years. It's pretty bad when you can't even find more than a handful of 'bats' to promote in the dog days of Sept. Off hand, we have Fiorentino, Turner and Aubrey and for some unknown reason, DT is still basically going with vets like Mora, Scott and Wiggy, when he should be giving some playing time to those who actually might be around in '10 and beyond.
Still, it's amazing that after all these losing seasons, we have to rely on prospects from other teams to fill holes. Who's scouting these guys to make sure we aren't getting other teams' duds? Our scouts can't even get it right internally so hopefully, MacPhail is correcting the deficiencies in the scouting dept. There's no excuses from hereoin with respect to some of our top picks becoming full-fledged productive regulars or even stars. We aren't going to compete with the big boys if our starting lineup consist of only 3-4 guys(Roberts, Markakis, Weiters, Jones?) that would even start for teams ahead of us. Sending out Mora, Wiggy, Scott, etc on a daily basis is a recipe for losing.


Roberts, Markakis and Jones are "second-tier players"?

Roberts, 31: .283/.350/.454, Gold Glove quality defense
Markakis, 25: .305/.355/.473, Gold Glove quality defense
Jones, 23: .277/.335/.457, Gold Glove quality defense

Thanks for playing, but we're out of time.

Join us in seven minutes for the next episode of "Who Wants To Be The Most Pessimistic O's Fan!?"

Hey Terry,

There are a few more pitchers that have been in the Orioles system; Berken, Arrieta, Erbe, Spoone and a few others. The ones that have been brought in by MacPhail have not been too shabby. There was Sherrill who is gone now. Patton may be okay still, Mickolio has been good until this late season soreness started. Tillman has good potential. Who knows, could work out real well for them. Baez, Albers and Sarfate are the type of pitchers that can make you crazy, they all have good stuff but rarely are able to locate the pitch. If you watched Billy Wagner last night, he is all over the strike zone when he wants to be, he will get up 0-1or 0-2 and will miss just off the plate and watch you chase his pitch. But unless you can locate those first two pitches, you cannot use that strategy. Maybe next year they should bring in Wagner so the young guys can watch how he works. Even though he does not throw 99 any longer still brings it 95 to 96 and can locate his pitches. But then again, some of these guys are 26-28,when Wagner was that age he was mowing em down.

The Orioles knew that Patton was injured before they acquired him. They just thought there was a lesser injury.

I do not know, I like the fact that Trembley is letting these veterans have a chance to play everyday to see if there is a chance that they can get out of their slumps. And some of hese guys are getting split time like the other night. But still with a game on the line who do you want up to bat, Scott or Turner? I go with Scott, and he drove the ball, but it was not enough

I hear you though, the Orioles need to find a creative way to get these guys at bats.

B, James and Bob C,

Do not be so hard on Slugger. You have to know slugger translation to understand what he is saying, so I will help
Slugger:"They want to build a team around Roberts, Markakis and Jones. That's the problem right there. I love these guys, but they are second tier players at best. This is why we will never compete with the Yankees, Angels, Redsox, WhiteSox and on and on"..
Translation: Although we have some pretty decent hitters that I like a lot, they maybe should think of adding a legitimate run producer that can drive Roberts, Jones and Marakis in. It is a shame to see those three work so hard to get on base, just to see them be stranded.

I hope that helps!

CB Coach;

With respect, I am sure Slugger can speak for himself.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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