Quick Links

Second base Orioles' first need for 2013


Second base Orioles' first need for 2013

If there’s one hole the Orioles need to fill, it’s second base. The Orioles have several holdover candidates. None of them are ideal.

They’re saying all the right things about Brian Roberts, but after three injury-riddled seasons, it’s unrealistic to think that Roberts will be the leadoff hitter and bat 600 times in 2013.

Next year is the last one on Roberts’ four-year contract. During the first three years of his deal, the formerly sturdy Roberts has been limited to just 115 games.

Since Apr. 2010, Roberts has missed significant time with a back injury, two concussions and a right hip injury.

He underwent season-ending surgery on his right hip in August, but met the team for its regular season-ending series in Tampa Bay two weeks ago. He traveled with the team for the postseason and now will resume rehabbing the hip.

“I think it’s gone very smooth so far,” Roberts told CSNBaltimore.com during the series with the Rays. “I’m looking forward to having a fairly normal routine of getting ready for the season, I should be ready for the first day of spring training.”

At 35, the Orioles will be happy if Roberts is able to play even some of the time. In 17 games this season, he batted just .182 and had 12 hits—all singles.

“He's working on his rehab and he's doing well on his rehab. He's moving around and he's starting to run and he wants to come back and play ball," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.

Robert Andino played second most of the time during the past two seasons when Roberts wasn’t available. His .211 average wasn’t impressive, but he’s earned manager Buck Showalter’s trust.

He received a huge raise to $1.3 million. The Orioles may feel that Andino is now overpriced for his performance. Showalter wanted to use him as a “superutility” player during the season, but he spent nearly all his time at second.

Showalter might like Ryan Flaherty to earn the job, but his defense was shaky and he rarely walks. While he predicted that Flaherty would be a big league regular in 2013, it’s hard to picture him as the team’s regular second baseman.

Omar Quintanilla was picked up in July when Andino was on the disabled list. He had a hot start with the Orioles, but after he hit a home run against Boston on Aug. 14, he never got a hit, finishing  the season 0-for-35.

It’s highly unlikely Quintanilla will be back.

Showalter really likes Steve Tolleson, who spent much of the season shuttling between Norfolk and Baltimore. Tolleson, who batted .182 in 29 games, could be re-signed to a minor league deal, but it’s hard to see him back with the Orioles in 2013.

The team is high on Bowie second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who turns 21 on Tuesday. Schoop and Manny Machado played together at Delmarva, Frederick and Bowie, but Schoop isn’t nearly as advanced as his one-time double play mate and probably needs a year at Triple-A.

Toronto’s Kelly Johnson and the Los Angeles  Angels’ Macier Izturis are possible free agent targets though Johnson is likely to be too pricey for Duquette.

Duquette may trade some of his pitching to try and acquire a second baseman.


Quick Links

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

AP Images

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. 


Quick Links

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."