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Orioles think Jason Garcia is worth this risk


Orioles think Jason Garcia is worth this risk

Since there was no game on Thursday, Orioles fans had nothing to worry about. That was until late in the afternoon when the team announced they had reinstated Rule 5 draft pick Jason Garcia from the 60-day disabled list.

That was expected. What fans didn’t expect was that Mychal Givens would be returned to Bowie after allowing just a single hit in his four major league appearances.

Givens was impressive, and manager Buck Showalter likes him. He’ll be back, but there weren’t many choices if the Orioles wanted to keep the Rule 5 draft choice.

In order for the Orioles to keep Garcia next year and have the three options that go along with him, they have to nurse him through the rest of the month. Rule 5 players need 90 days on the active roster, and Garcia is about three weeks short if you count the days beyond Sept. 1 when the rosters expand.

The Orioles had Garcia on the active roster for a little over five weeks before he came down with shoulder tendinitis, and it was clear that in his limited appearances that he wasn’t ready for the majors.

But, the Orioles think that Garcia will be a legitimate big league pitcher, perhaps in 2016 or 2017.

Counting spring training, they’ve already invested nearly six months in him. Clearly they see something.

And for those who think that he’s costing them a spot in the bullpen, well maybe he is. But, having him in the bullpen for the first five weeks of the season didn’t seem to cost them anything.

In seven of the eight appearances he made, the Orioles were already trailing, and in three of them, he didn’t give up a run. In the other four, he allowed one or two runs in games they lost by four, six or seven.

He seemed most out of sorts on Apr. 26 when he allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings—in a game the Orioles won 18-7.

For nearly a month, Showalter managed to keep Bud Norris out of crucial situations, and that was with the team short a position player for much of that time.

He’ll try to do the same with Garcia for the next 24 days.

If Orioles starters go deep in games, there probably won’t be much call for Garcia, and if they don’t, and they need a seventh man in the bullpen regularly, the season is probably lost anyway.

That’s not to minimize the role of the 12th pitcher. Givens or T.J. McFarland, who’ll probably return to Norfolk sometime this month because of this experiment, is a more comfortable alternative than what amounts to a rank amateur.

The Orioles are just betting that a year or two from now, this move will pay off for them—hugely.

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 


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David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense


David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."