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A dizzying day ends with three new Orioles


A dizzying day ends with three new Orioles

Wednesday was a dizzying day for the Orioles. They added three players, subtracted four, and the Winter Meetings don’t start until Monday.

Mark Trumbo was the biggest name added, C.J. Riefenhauser the longest, and Francisco Pena the most unknown.

On the conference call introducing Trumbo, Dan Duquette promised that his addition wasn’t going to be the last move the Orioles made this offseason. It wasn’t even the last move they made in the evening.

Pena, the son of the excellent major league catcher and Yankees coach, Tony Pena, was added as a third catcher. He replaced Steve Clevenger, who was dealt to Seattle.

Clevenger, Paul Janish, Steve Johnson and David Lough are no longer with the club, though perhaps one of them will find their way back.

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Janish, Johnson and Lough were non-tendered. The Janish move was a surprise because the team could have let Rey Navarro go instead. But, Navarro, who didn’t receive a callup to the big leagues in September remains on the roster, and Janish, who received plaudits for his professionalism everywhere he played last year, did.

It is possible that Janish signs a minor league contract here later, but he’s also a highly intelligent man who’s a semester off from his economics degree from Rice.

Johnson made it back to the big leagues last September for the first time since 2013, and didn’t pitch well. His 10.13 ERA in six appearances didn’t bode well for his retention.

The son of the popular former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson, now an admired broadcaster, Johnson needs a fresh start.

In 2012, he was 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 games, and plagued by injuries in recent years, it’s best he gets an opportunity away from his hometown.

Clevenger, who we’ll hear from later today, is a fun guy, who enjoyed playing for his hometown team and will get an opportunity with the Mariners.

Lough’s non-tender was hardly a surprise. He was a disappointment in his two seasons. Acquired for Danny Valencia in Dec. 2013, the Orioles hoped Lough would be a replacement for Nate McLouth, but he was not an adequate one.

He had a few good moments. His game-ending, 10th inning home run against Boston in April was probably his best, but they were few and far between.

In two seasons with the Orioles, Lough batted .227 and wasn’t nearly as good an outfielder as the team hoped. They also wanted speed, but in two seasons, he was thrown out nearly as often trying to steal (nine times) as he was successful (10 times).

With Clevenger gone, it’s unlikely that the Orioles will carry three catchers, but if something happens to Matt Wieters or Caleb Joseph, Pena, who’s played just a handful of big league games, is around.

Pena and Audry Perez, who was re-signed as a minor league free agent, can be veteran catchers at Triple-A as Chance Sisco learns the trade.

Riefenhauser is another left-hander for the bullpen. He joins Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, T.J. McFarland and rookies Tim Berry and Christopher Lee on the 40-man.

Matusz was one of eight arbitration eligible players the Orioles offered contracts to. So were Britton, Trumbo, Brad Brach, Ryan Flaherty, Miguel Gonzalez, Manny Machado and Chris Tillman.

Two other arb-eligibles, Nolan Reimold and Vance Worley, agreed to one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration.

Some interesting names were non-tendered. Oakland’s Ike Davis, who has been linked to the Orioles in the past, was. And so were Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez and Houston’s Chris Carter. They’ll be linked to the team shortly. So might Miami’s Henderson Alvarez, a live arm, who had shoulder surgery last year.

Back in 2012, Davis hit 32 home runs for the New York Mets, but last year hit just three in 74 games for Oakland. He is a left-handed hitter, and the Orioles, with Trumbo’s addition, look awfully right-handed heavy.

Two of the players they lost, Clevenger and Lough were left-handers, and if Chris Davis walks, that’s another big left-handed bat. The only left-handed hitters on the 40-man are Flaherty and outfielder Henry Urrutia. Navarro, Wieters and Jimmy Paredes are switch-hitters. Adding some left-handed hitters has to be a priority.

Alvarez and Carter are both interesting. They could conceivably be first basemen or designated hitters. Alvarez, a close friend of Flaherty’s, is particularly attractive because he is a left-handed hitter.

He’s challenged in the field and makes errors by the dozens (23 at first base last year), but Alvarez hits home runs. He hit 27 last year, and struck out 131 times. Alvarez walks enough to have an on-base percentage higher than the Orioles’.

Carter hit just .199 last year, but had a .301 OBP. He hits lots of homers and in 2013, struck out an amazing 212 times.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles acquire backup catcher from Royals

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

DETROIT - Leonys Martin hit his first big league grand slam, Jeimer Candelario had four hits and three RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 13-8 Thursday to extend the Orioles' losing streak to six.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs to Manny Machado and one to Chris Davis. Zimmermann was pitching for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a line drove off the bat of Cleveland's Jason Kipnis on April 11.

Alex Cobb (0-2) made his second start after signing a $57 million, four-year contract in spring training and his ERA rose to 15.43. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Machado had four RBIs for the Orioles, who were outhit 18-14 in the game and outscored 23-15 in the three-game sweep.

Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the first, but Davis put Baltimore ahead with a two-run homer in the second, his sixth hit and fourth homer in 10 career at-bats against Zimmermann.

Detroit went ahead for good with four runs in the bottom half after third baseman Tim Beckham's throwing error allowed James McCann to reach base leading off. Jose Iglesias hit a two-run triple, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Nick Castellanos a run-scoring groundout.

Machado's homer in the third cut Baltimore's deficit to 5-2, but Candelario's two-run homer extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half. Martin homered off Mike Wright Jr. in a five-run fifth.

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

DETROIT -- Dixon Machado came to the plate with only one big league homer to his name, but the way this game was going, anything seemed possible.

"Walking to the plate I was thinking, `What if I hit a homer right here?'" the Detroit infielder said. "He threw me a fastball away but when he came in with a pitch I was ready for it and I just hit it hard."

Machado led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run , capping a wild final two innings and lifting the Tigers over the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday. Detroit led 2-1 before each team scored three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Baltimore's Luis Sardinas tied it with a solo shot off Shane Greene (1-0) in the top of the ninth, but then the 26-year-old Machado hit a line drive off Pedro Araujo (1-2) that cleared the fence in left field. It was his second homer in 299 big league at-bats.

The game was moved from 6:40 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. in anticipation of bad weather. Although it was a sparse crowd, to say the least , the sun did come out, and those fans in attendance were treated to quite a few homers.

Miguel Cabrera went deep on his 35th birthday, and Jeimer Candelario and John Hicks also homered for Detroit. Hicks hit a three-run shot in the eighth that put the Tigers up 5-4.

Danny Valencia hit a solo homer for the Orioles, who have lost five straight.

Detroit's Matthew Boyd allowed a run, two hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six. Baltimore's Kevin Gausman allowed two runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.

Cabrera's solo homer put the Tigers up 2-1 in the sixth, but Manny Machado and Chris Davis hit RBI singles as part of a three-run rally by Baltimore in the eighth. The drive by Davis was nearly a home run, but it hit the wall and stayed in play.

"There were obviously a couple bad breaks -- our ball hits the top of the fence and comes back and their ball goes over -- but there were four or five breaks we got during the game on bounces or pitch calls," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If you lose focus and start feeling sorry for yourselves, every team you play is going to take advantage and step on your throat."