Before Friday nights game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter updated the media on two rehabbing players pitcher Troy Patton and designated hitter Jim Thome.
Both could be playing in instructional league games in Sarasota, Fla., within days. And we could see them back in the majors before the season is out.
"We are hoping at the worst we get Patton in Boston next weekend," Showalter said, as reported by MLB.com. "And Jimmy hopefully right behind him.
"They were part of some good things that we'd like to take advantage of again. So, it would help anytime. But this time of year, it's as many bullets as you can arm yourself with. It'd be two guys we know are capable of helping us."
With the American League East division race showing no signs of loosening up, Thome in particular would be a handy bat to have available on the bench. It could be that the difference in winning the AL East or grabbing a wild-card berth comes down to a single swing by a pinch-hitter in a tie ballgame. And maybe Thome still has a homer or two left in his bat.
The Orioles lost the series finale to the Rays Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards, but there was one silver lining from the matchup, and the silver lining was delivered by second baseman Hanser Alberto.
For the first eight innings Sunday afternoon, none of the at-bats by the Orioles produced a hit, as Tampa Bay’s Ryne Stanek and Ryan Yarbrough combining to not allow a base runner. That was until the bottom of the ninth inning when O's second baseman Hansel Alberto decided that his ballclub would not be on the opposing side of history, and hit a single against the switch, breaking up what would have been the first combined perfect game in MLB history.
Tuesday 7/16: Nationals vs Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Oriole Park
Wednesday 7/17: Nationals vs Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park
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The Baltimore Orioles became the latest MLB team to have plans to extend the protective netting all the way to the outfield foul pole lines in the lower sections, according to reports.
This change appends the Orioles to a short list of Major League Baseball teams deciding to move in this direction, most notably, after the incident that occurred earlier this season in which Chicago Cubs' center fielder Albert Almora Jr. hit a foul ball in Houston that struck and injured a young child in the stands.
The young child suffered a suffered skull fracture and seizure.
“We are currently working with our experts and partners toward finalizing plans to extend the protective netting at both of our ballparks even further to each foul pole,” team spokesman Greg Bader told the Baltimore Sun on Friday. “In an effort to ensure we implement the right plan for those attending games at both venues, we are performing due diligence and will implement the plan our experts recommend as soon as possible."
The Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates have also announced plans to extend their parks netting.
The new netting will be installed at Camden Yards and at the Orioles’ Sarasota, Fla., spring training stadium “no later than the start of the 2020 season, if not at an earlier point in time,” the Baltimore Sun reported.
Before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Orioles extended the netting to a few sections beyond the dugout due to a growing number of baseball fans around the league being injured by balls and bats.
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