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Andrew Triggs is a name Orioles fans need to know

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Andrew Triggs is a name Orioles fans need to know

If you’re looking for a sleeper for your fantasy league team, you might want to consider Andrew Triggs.

Who’s Andrew Triggs? He’s a right-handed pitcher, who’ll be 27 in March and has faced just one hitter in Triple-A.

Yet, the Orioles thought so highly of him that they added him to their 40-man roster and brought him to Sarasota earlier this month for their three-day minicamp.

Triggs was quietly acquired last April from the Kansas City organization, sent to Bowie, where he was a key reliever on the Eastern League championship team.

In 43 games, Triggs had an ERA of 1.03, a WHIP of 0.869 and more than six times as many strikeouts as walks. And, he didn’t allow a home run in 61 innings.

Triggs has given up just seven home runs in four minor league seasons.

Buck Showalter has noticed.

“He bounced around a little bit, came over here and took off and did well. In his mind, he's sitting there thinking this might be my one chance. But it won't be, because he's coming to big league camp and he's on the roster. He knows that. He's a sharp kid,” Showalter said. “

“Triggs is interesting. He can throw it over the plate, which is always good. You see where he is on the rubber, he'll be a challenge for right-handed hitters. I like the fact that he throws it over."

Showalter likes Triggs’ maturity and thinks that Darren O’Day will take a liking to him, too.

Triggs didn’t start playing pro ball until 2012, but this looks like his first real opportunity. He’s aware of Showalter’s feelings about him.

“It’s obviously nice to hear, and I think every guy in this room, every pitcher out there has to believe he can contribute at the major league level. It’s nice to hear that as some confirmation, but I don’t get wrapped in anything along those lines. I know I still have things I need to improve on and go out there and work on, today, tomorrow, next week, then all through the spring and carry that into the season,” Triggs said.

MORE ORIOLES: LOUGH GETS A SHOT ELSEWHERE

Triggs, Parker Bridwell and Christopher Lee, teammates on the Baysox, were all added to the 40-man.

“I try not to get too wrapped up in playing GM and looking at roster moves and things like that, but I know I had a good year. I knew this was my protection year where they were going to have to make a decision one way or another, so I was hopeful. I wouldn’t say surprised, but I was really pleased when they made the decision to add me,” Triggs said.

Triggs, Lee and Mychal Givens had something in common in Bowie. In a combined 156 1/3 innings, the three combined to allow just one home run.

“I think there is, in most clubhouses around baseball, everyone wants to keep the ball in the ballpark more than they want to keep it out of the ballpark. I think working two-seamers in there is part of my game. I want to get as many groundballs as possible, and there are a lot of really good arms in there and guys who have similar if not identical pitching styles. I think there is some overlap in the way that different guys in this room pitch. For any team, obviously it’s better to keep the ball in the ballpark, on the ground,” Triggs said.

It’s logical to think that Triggs will start the season at Norfolk to give him some exposure to Triple-A.

“I’ll let them make all those decisions. I’m trying to go out here and work on a few things, here and there throughout the spring. I think that’s the logical next step, but I think that no one in here is trying to do anything less than break with the major league club. I’ll let them make those decisions down the line,” Triggs said.

Showalter thinks that Triggs can pitch in the majors this year.

“It probably sounds silly, but I’ve tasted it since I was 12 years old. I mean, it’s nice to be this close. If you look at it objectively, as an outside observer, you are a little bit closer. For me, this has been in my head longer than I can remember. I’m just going to continue to do what I’ve been doing for the last 10-plus years and keep picking out one or two things every single day to work on and keep working toward that goal. I honestly don’t look at it much different from any time in years past, but I’m not silly enough to think that things aren’t different than they were at this time last year or the year before,” Triggs said.

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

Buck Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, who made three playoff appearances under his guidance but this year staggered through the worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.

Showalter confirmed the dismissal Wednesday in a text message to The Associated Press.

A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter ranks second on the Orioles' career list with 669 victories, trailing Earl Weaver. He took over in August 2010 and orchestrated the resurgence of a team that suffered through 14 straight losing seasons.

Once hailed for making baseball in Baltimore relevant again, the 62-year-old Showalter is out of a job after a season in which the Orioles finished 47-115, 61 games behind Boston in the AL East. His contract expired at the end of October, and the Orioles opted against a renewal as they continue a major rebuild that began in late July, when they traded stars Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman for minor league prospects.

Those deals were made by Dan Duquette, the executive vice president of baseball operations, whose future with the organization is up in the air.

Showalter earned AL Manager of the Year honors in 2014 after taking the Orioles to the AL East title and a berth in the Championship Series. He was also named Manager of Year with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. His career record is 1,551-1,517, including 669-684 with Baltimore.

"I just think ever since he came here, the franchise just gained a little more accountability, gained an edge for some time," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said before the final game of the season. "It's the end of an era. A great manager, a great tenure. I don't know if he's going to coach or manage again, but he's got grandchildren. Go golf. Relax and go sit on the golf course."

With his future in doubt, Showalter appeared undaunted during the final series of the regular season.

"You know how good they've been to me? I'm not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens," he said.

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin was asked before his team's playoff game against the Yankees on Wednesday night whether Showalter was victimized by the trend toward analytics.

"I don't think Buck was a guy that ignored analytics," Melvin said. "I think it was probably a combination of how they did this year and maybe some relationships."

After the Orioles brought Showalter out of retirement, he offered renewed hope by fashioning a 34-23 finish in 2010 for a team that was 32-73 upon his arrival.

Baltimore ended a 14-year playoff drought in 2012, advancing to the AL Division Series following a victory over Texas in the wild-card game. Playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016 followed.

Last year, however, the Orioles fell to 75-87 after losing 19 of their final 23 games. Baltimore hoped the addition of starters Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner would enable the team to be a contender this year, but a horrid start quickly dispelled that notion.

The Orioles' deficit in the AL East reached double digits by April 18 and they were 8-27 on May 8. By the end of July, Baltimore fully entered rebuilding mode, leaving Showalter with the dubious distinction of overseeing a team that finished with the poorest record in the majors and one that surpassed the 1939 St. Louis Browns for most losses in franchise history.

Showalter never offered an excuse. He just grinded forward, working to prepare the team for 2019 even though he knew he might not be around to follow through.

At the outset of a season-ending series against Houston, Showalter was asked if he was thinking these might be his final days in the Baltimore dugout.

"We all have some private thoughts and emotions about that, but I don't think it serves the organization well for me to be worried about that right now," he said. "We've got some things to do these last four games that need to get done."

Showalter has a reputation as a no-nonsense manager, but his players appreciated his baseball knowledge and skill at handling a team. He made a point of talking to each of them on a regular basis, almost always offering encouragement.

"He gave me a chance," said catcher Caleb Joseph, who played six-plus years in the minors before arriving in Baltimore. "He believed in me in 2014, ran me out there and gave me a chance to be part of a championship team. He's really vouched for me ever since. I owe a lot to Buck and his loyalty. He's been a main figure here for a long time."

Sensing the end was near for the only big league manager he had ever played for, first baseman Trey Mancini said: "It's been an absolute honor to play for Buck. He's been incredible."

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

The Boston Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory on Monday night, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.

Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Orioles batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.

The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It's the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.

Boston scored four in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, an RBI single from Christian Vazquez and Betts' two-run homer over the Green Monster. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Betts, a new career high.

Betts also singled and scored in Boston's two-run fourth, moving him into the major-league lead with 125 runs scored. In his last three games, he is 10 for 16 with three homers and four doubles, and he leads teammate J.D. Martinez (.328) in the AL batting race.

Renato Nunez had three hits for the Orioles, who fell to 2-15 against Boston and 18-61 on the road this season.

FOR STARTERS

Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Yefrey Ramirez is scheduled to start on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to give him an extra day or two. "I think Yefrey will pitch again, I just don't know when," Showalter said.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after feeling soreness in his left shoulder during a swing and leaving Sunday night's game. ... INF Eduardo Nunez ran on Sunday to test his hamstring and was scheduled to run again on Monday with the goal of having him back in the lineup by Wednesday or Friday.

UP NEXT

LHP David Price (15-7) tries to bounce back from a rough start in Yankee Stadium in the second game of the series in what could be his last start of the regular season.