O’s Trade For Backup Catcher

December 1, 2011

UPDATE: Greg Miclat was named as the PTBNL. That downgrades the trade for me. I had Miclat rated as the Orioles 16th best prospect heading into next season. I was fine with giving up an arm or two like Henry but a guy like Miclat is too much for a guy u can usually sign as a free agent. Not the end of the world but it’s a little disappointing. Duquette may just be getting rid of players he doesn’t like for whatever reason so he can bring in his own guys.

The Orioles traded RHP Randy Henry and a player to be named later to the Texas Rangers for C Taylor Teagarden. LHP Pedro Viola was removed from the 40 man roster.

Dan Duquette decided to trade for our backup catcher instead of signing one of the free agents out there. Depending on the player to be named I like the trade. Henry is a 21 year old hard throwing reliever who pitched for A Delmarva and A+ Frederick this year while missing some time with an arm injury. Hes had injury issues the last couple years. For Delmarva he had a 1.67 ERA over 37.2 innings with 29 strikeouts and 6 walks before getting promoted and pitching to a 3.60 ERA over 15 innings with 11 strikeouts and 2 walks for Frederick. If he can stay healthy he could make it to a big league bullpen by the end of next year, but thats a big if. He also has to improve his secondaries. Apparently the PTBNL will also be from the lower minors. Who it ends up being will determine how I really feel about this move.

Teagarden is regarded as a good defensive catcher who calls a good game. He was a third round pick and was a well regarded prospect at one point. In the minors hes put up some good offensive numbers but hasn’t been able to maintain that at the big league level. He has some power and is a definite upgrade from Craig Tatum as backup catcher, plus he has upside. For AAA Round Rock he hit .285/.376/.589 with 4 doubles, 3 triples, 12 HR, and 22 RBI over 151 at bats. He didn’t fare as well with the Rangers, hitting .235/.278/.294 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI over 34 at bats. If nothing else Duquette seems to be trying to add depth to the organization, which is something we’ve sorely missed over the years.

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A Couple Minor Signings

November 28, 2011

UPDATE: Chong decided to stay in Korea, accepting a three year deal from one of their teams. Not a big loss but it would’ve been an interesting signing.

The Orioles have signed 2B/3B Matt Antonelli and Korean RHP Chong Tae-Hyon to major league contracts.

Antonelli is a former first round pick and was once a highly regarded prospect for the San Diego Padres. He gets a one year deal with a chance to be a starter at either second or third base. Most likely he’ll be a solid option off the bench but if Mark Reynolds starts at first base or Brian Roberts isn’t healthy to start the season he has a chance. He has a solid glove and is good at getting on base. He has decent power for a second baseman. Over 300 at bats for AAA Syracuse he batted .297/.393/.460 with 19 doubles, 3 triples, 8 HRs, 30 RBI, and 6 stolen bases. After coming off an excellent 2007 season, he struggled in 2008 including a brief stint in the majors. He battled injuries in 2009 and 2010 before having a bounce back year last season at age 26. I like the signing for bench depth.

Chong is the first South Korean player to get signed directly to the major leagues. Hes 33 years old and pitched for Korea in the World Baseball Classic with some success. He was a late inning reliever with very good stats over there in his career. Last season he had a 1.48 ERA over 52.2 innings with 39 strikeouts and 28 walks. Thats not a great K/BB ratio but hes a groundball pitcher and the year before he had 47 strikeouts and only 8 walks over 45 innings with a 1.40 ERA. Hes a submarine style pitcher that will probably profile as a right handed specialist in the majors. Apparently the deal is for two years for a total of $3 million. I’m not convinced he’ll be a great pitcher in the major leagues but I like the fact that Dan Duquette is taking chances and looking at different avenues for talent. He said he was going to put more emphasis on international talent and so far hes lived up to his word.

Dan Duquette Replaces MacPhail

November 6, 2011

The Orioles have announced that former Expos and Red Sox GM Dan Duquette has replaced Andy MacPhail as executive vice president of baseball operations.

Duquette hasn’t been heard from since he was fired by Boston following the 2002 season. He has had success in the past, building a championship caliber team in Montreal before the strike ruined their season in 1994 and putting together most of the 2004 world series winning Red Sox roster before he was fired. He traded for Pedro Martinez twice, signed Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. He has legitimate credentials and has alot of ties to Japan and South America which is a big need for the Orioles. His style won’t be too much different from MacPhail’s aside from the international market, but he probably won’t be as conservative. I’m just worried his time away from the game will have him playing catch up while other teams are making their moves. The Orioles strung along the process of hiring the new GM in traditional Peter Angelos fashion. Taking forever to get the process started, dragging out the initial interviews. He waited until right before free agency started to offer the job to Toronto assistant GM Tony LaCava, only to have him turn down the job and forcing the O’s to go through the whole process over again. Another one of our candidates, Jerry DiPoto, took the Angels GM job. This team is the biggest joke in baseball and its embarrassing. Duquette seems like a good baseball guy but hes gonna have his work cut out for him working for this organization. If hes allowed to do his job we might have a chance for some good years but I don’t think we’ll ever be truly competitive again until Angelos sells the team. The sooner the better.

O’s Knock Boston Out Of Playoffs

September 30, 2011

Game One: Orioles 6, Red Sox 3

– With the Red Sox season in the balance in the last series of the year, the Orioles played as hard and as good as they have all season. Tommy Hunter had to limit his innings coming back from his injury and was only able to go five but he only gave up two runs. The bullpen buckled down and only gave up one more run over four innings.
– Matt Wieters hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the 2nd. Chris Davis knocked in a couple of runs and had a double in the game. The big hit came in the bottom of the 6th inning when Robert Andino hit a line drive to the wall in center field. Jacoby Ellsbury made a leaping attempt at the catch but the ball came out when he hit the wall. It rolled away from him and a relay throw to home went past the catcher resulting in an inside the park three run homer for Andino. I thought it should’ve been a triple and an error but I’ll take it.

Player of the game: Robert Andino – 1-2, 3 Run HR (5) (.266 AVG)

Game Two: Orioles 7, Red Sox 8

– The offense came to play in game two but starter Zach Britton had nothing. It was the first time hes pitched this late into the season and hes had a few minor issues during the year so while he was most likely fatigued it was a good experience for next year. He gave up five runs in 4.1 innings. Jason Berken gave up two more and Zach Phillips another.
– Matt Wieters connected with another homerun in this game, a two run shot in the 4th inning this time from the right side of the plate. He also singled in another run. Adam Jones doubled and hit a solo homerun, Nolan Reimold tripled, and Vladimir Guerrero singled twice and doubled. Chris Davis and JJ Hardy each singled twice, Hardy also walked. Nick Markakis doubled and walked.

Player of the game: Matt Wieters – 2-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR (22) (.264 AVG)

Game Three: Orioles 4, Red Sox 3

– The Orioles got to be a part of the craziest day maybe in the history of major league baseball, knocking the Red Sox out of the playoffs. Alfredo Simon gave up three runs over 4.1 innings before an hour and a half rain delay. After the delay the bullpen was able to shut down the powerful Boston lineup. Troy Patton, Willie Eyre, Pedro Strop, and Jim Johnson combined for 4.2 shutout innings.
– Against John Lester, who owns the Orioles (14-0 lifetime), the Orioles were able to stay in the game heading into the rain delay. JJ Hardy connected on a two run homer, his 30th, in the bottom of the 3rd inning. It wasn’t looking good heading into the 9th. The Red Sox were undefeated with a lead after eight innings and Jonathon Papelbon quickly got two outs without any trouble. Then Chris Davis doubled, Nolan Reimold doubled him in, and Robert Andino ripped the game winning, season ending single into left field as a celebration erupted on the field. Less than ten minutes later the Rays completed a historic comeback from a 7-0 defecit with a 12th inning walk off homerun. It was an incredible end to a poor season overall, but it was a nice consolation. Maybe the team will learn from the playoff like experience.

Player of the game: JJ Hardy – 2-3, BB, 2 Run HR (30) (.269 AVG)

O’s Split Series In Detroit

September 28, 2011

Game One: Orioles 6, Tigers 5

– Zach Britton’s control abandoned him in this game. He walked four batters and gave up five runs over five innings but still got the win thanks to the offense. Adam Jones hit a two run homer and JJ Hardy a solo homerun. Vladimir Guerrero and Nolan Reimold each had sacrifice flies, Reimold also hit an RBI single. Chris Davis and Nick Markakis each had two singles in the game.

Player of the game: Adam Jones – 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR (24), SB (12) (.284 AVG)

Game two: Orioles 3, Tigers 4

– Alfredo Simon came back yet again from a poor performance with a strong outing. He was able to get through eight innings with five strikeouts only allowing three runs. The game went into extra innings until Willie Eyre allowed the game winning run in the 11th. Matt Wieters, Vladimir Guerrero, and Nick Markakis each drove in a run. Guerrero and Markakis doubled. JJ Hardy had three singles in the game.

Player of the game: Nick Markakis – 2-4, RBI, double (29) (.284 AVG)

Game three: Orioles 6, Tigers 5

– Matt Angle was the catalyst in the Orioles win over AL Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander. He led off the game with his first career homerun and ended it in the 9th with a go ahead safety squeeze. Nick Markakis and Chris Davis each singled twice. JJ Hardy knocked in two runs with a single and Mark Reynolds hit a solo homerun. Jeremy Guthrie gave up four runs over six innings and Kevin Gregg notched the save with a scoreless 9th.

Player of the game: Matt Angle – 1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR (1) (.181 AVG)

Game four: Orioles 6, Tigers 10

– Brian Matusz keeps going out there and he keeps getting shelled. At least he was able to make it through five innings which he hasn’t been able to do for a while. He gave up six runs though and dug the O’s into a hole too big to get out of. Nolan Reimold hit a three run homer in the top of the 5th. Pedro Florimon had a two run double and Craig Tatum an RBI single. Robert Andino singled, walked three times, and stole a base. Jake Fox got a rare start and singled, doubled, walked, and was hit by a pitch.

Player of the game: Nolan Reimold – 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR (13) (.246 AVG)

O’s Play Spoilers, Take Three From Boston

September 23, 2011

Game One: Orioles 6, Red Sox 5

– Jeremy Guthrie gave up four runs over six innings but the bullpen held the Red Sox to one run after that and the offense did the rest. Robert Andino and Nolan Reimold each hit homeruns. Matt Angle and Matt Wieters each doubled, Wieters also walked twice. JJ Hardy had two singles and an RBI.

Player of the game: Nolan Reimold – 2-4, 2 R, RBI, HR (12) (.240 AVG)

Game Two: Orioles 9, Red Sox 18

– The offense was able to knock John Lackey out of the game early in game two of the double header. Matt Angle, Nick Markakis, Vladimir Guerrero, and Chris Davis all had multiple hits. Unfortunately Brian Matusz started and gave up six runs over 1.2 innings. I’ve never seen someone go from potential staff ace to abysmal so fast. He know holds the major league record for highest ERA with at least 40 IP at 10.68. Chris Jakubauskas gave up five runs over an inning and Jeremy Accardo four.

Player of the game: Nick Markakis – 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, triple (1), SB (12) (.278 AVG)

Game Three: Orioles 7, Red Sox 5

– Rick VandenHurk dug the O’s an early hole, giving up five runs over three innings. The bullpen held Boston scoreless over the next six innings and allowed the offense to claw their way back. Robert Andino hit the game winning, bases clearing double in the 8th inning. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones each had three hits and Mark Reynolds had two.

Player of the game: Robert Andino – 3-5, R, 3 RBI, double (22), SB (11) (.269 AVG)

Game Four: Orioles 6, Red Sox 4

– Tommy Hunter gave us a very Tommy Hunter like performance, giving up four runs over 6.2 innings. He throws strikes and gets deep into games but most times out seems to give up three or four runs. He keeps us in the game at least. Mark Reynolds was happy he did because he hit a pair of homeruns, the second one giving us the lead late in the game. Nick Markakis doubled and walked and JJ Hardy singled twice in the game.

Player of the game: Mark Reynolds – 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR (36) (.223 AVG)

Two More Wins, Over Angels

September 20, 2011

Game One: Orioles 8, Angels 3

– Tommy Hunter had his best outing as an Oriole throwing seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Kevin Gregg came in with an 8-0 lead and proceeded to give up three runs before ending the game. JJ Hardy drove in three runs on a single and a double, Nolan Reimold hit a two run homer, and Mark Reynolds hit a solo homerun. Robert Andino had a pair of singles and a walk.

Player of the game: Tommy Hunter – 7 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, W (4-4) (4.81 ERA)

Game Two: Orioles 6, Angels 2

– Zach Britton followed Tommy Hunter with an equally as good performance. He only gave up one run over seven innings with seven strikeouts. Its nice to see him finishing strong as the season is coming to an end. JJ Hardy hit a two run homer and Mark Reynolds hit a three run homer in the win. Matt Wieters doubled and walked twice.

Player of the game: Zach Britton – 7 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 7 K, W (10-10) (4.28 ERA)

Game Three: Orioles 2, Angels 11

– Alfredo Simon had one of his bad starts, allowing six runs over five innings. Hes like Jekyll and Hyde out there on the mound. I’d say his time as a successful starting pitcher has come to an end but every time I feel like that, he comes out and throws a gem so we’ll see. Vladimir Guerrero drove in the only two runs of the game for the O’s on an RBI triple and a solo homerun. Nick Markakis and Chris Davis each had a pair of singles in the game.

Player of the game: Vladimir Guerrero – 2-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, triple (1), HR (13) (.293 AVG)

O’s Take Two of Three From Surging Rays

September 15, 2011

Game One: Orioles 2, Rays 5

– Zach Britton started but struggled alot with his command, walking four batters. He ended up allowing four runs over five innings with only two strikeouts. The offense consisted of an RBI double by Robert Andino and a solo homerun from Matt Wieters. JJ Hardy singled twice and Vladimir Guerrero and Kyle Hudson each singled once.

Player of the game: Matt Wieters – 1-4, solo HR (18) (.260 AVG)

Game Two: Orioles 4, Rays 2

– Alfredo Simon was fantastic, holding the Rays to two runs over sevens innings with nine strikeouts. He continues to come up with these types of starts just when you think hes finally fallen back to earth. Matt Wieters hit the homerun that gave us our lead, a two run shot, in the 8th inning. Jake Fox had a pinch hit RBI double in the 7th to tie the game and JJ Hardy had a single and double.

Player of the game: Matt Wieters – 1-3, BB, 2 Run HR (19) (.260 AVG)

Game Three: Orioles 6, Rays 2

– Matt Wieters owned this series. He hit his third homerun in as many games and his 20th of the season, a two run shot to give us some insurance runs. He also hit a double earlier in the game. Chris Davis hit a three run homer in the bottom of the 4th to give us the lead and Nolan Reimold hit a solo shot in the 3rd. Vladimir Guerrero had three singles and Matt Angle singled and doubled. Jeremy Guthrie had a great game as well, striking out ten batters and holding the Rays to two runs over seven innings to earn his 8th win of the season. Jim Johnson pitched the last two innings to earn his 6th save.

Player of the game: Matt Wieters – 2-4, R, 3 RBI, double (26), HR (20) (.262 AVG)

Blue Jays Take Two of Three

September 13, 2011

Game one: Orioles 2, Blue Jays 0

– Jeremy Guthrie, Pedro Strop, and Jim Johnson combined to shut out Toronto in game one. Brett Cecil pitched good as well but Nick Markakis and Vladimir Guerrero each had RBI singles and that was enough to win the game. The both singled twice in the game. Robert Andino, JJ Hardy, and Ryan Adams also singled.

Player of the game: Jeremy Guthrie – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, W (7-17) (4.29 ERA)

Game two: Orioles 4, Blue Jays 5

– Rick VandenHurk got a start and couldn’t make it out of the 3rd inning. He gave up three runs over 2.1 innings. The bullpen did a great job keeping the Blue Jays off the board until the 9th inning when Kevin Gregg blew another save and handed Toronto the victory. Chris Davis singled, doubled, walked, and drove in two runs. Vladimir Guerrero drove in a run with two singles and a double. Matt Angle singled twice and knocked in a run.

Player of the game: Vladimir Guerrero – 3-4, R, RBI, double (27) (.288 AVG)

Game three: Orioles 5, Blue Jays 6

– Tommy Hunter continued his trend of pitching well until he reaches the later innings. He gave up three runs over the first three innings before settling down. He then gave up three runs in the 7th which was enough to give Toronto a permanent lead. Nick Markakis singled, doubled, walked, and drove in two runs. Chris Davis doubled, walked twice, and stole a base. Matt Angle singled, walked twice, and drove in a run. Nolan Reimold singled twice and walked.

Player of the game: Nick Markakis – 2-4, 2 RBI, BB, double (26) (.284 AVG)

O’s Split Another Series With New York

September 9, 2011

Game One: Orioles 10, Yankees 11

– Brian Matusz gave up five runs in less than two innings and continues his and the Orioles nightmare season. The offense couldn’t climb back from the early deficit despite homeruns from Mark Reynolds, Nick Markakis, and Robert Andino. Reynolds and JJ Hardy each doubled. Ryan Adams had three hits.

Player of the game: Mark Reynolds – 3-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, double (25), HR (32) (.226 AVG)

Game Two: Orioles 3, Yankees 5

– Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, and Vladimir Guerrero each had two hits but that was about it for the offense. Wieters hit a two run homer, Markakis and Guerrero doubled, and Markakis drove in a run. Mark Reynolds walked twice. Tommy Hunter had another solid but not spectacular outing, giving up four runs over 6.2 innings with six strikeouts.

Player of the game: Matt Wieters – 2-4, 2 Run HR (17) (.269 AVG)

Game Three: Orioles 5, Yankees 4

– Zach Britton started and didn’t have his best stuff. He gave up four runs over five innings. Seven relievers combined to throw six scoreless innings to end the game and allow the offense to take the lead. Nolan Reimold walked four times and hit a two run homer. Robert Andino had three hits including a double. Mark Reynolds hit the go ahead RBI single in the top of the 11th inning.

Player of the game: Nolan Reimold – 1-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, 4 BB, HR (9) (.231 AVG)

Game Four: Orioles 5, Yankees 4

– Robert Andino tied the game in the 8th with an RBI single and then proceeded to win the game in the bottom of the 10th with another RBI single. Vladimir Guerrero had two doubles and a solo homerun. Nick Markakis, Nolan Reimold, and Chris Davis each had multi-hit days. Davis and Reimold with doubles. Alfredo Simon struggled with his command, walking six and allowing four runs over four innings, but the bullpen was great again throwing six scoreless innings.

Player of the game: Vladimir Guerrero – 3-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 doubles (26), HR (12) (.282 AVG)