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Wallace thinks Tillman will return to form in 2016


Wallace thinks Tillman will return to form in 2016

Buck Showalter likes to say he currently has the best coaching staff he’s had in his managerial career. At the head of that class is Dave Wallace, the 68-year-old pitching coach.

Wallace doesn’t like to seek attention, but during his long career, he’s been credited with making some good pitchers great, and some mediocre ones better.

For now, the Orioles have four starters, all right-handed, and they’ve been linked with free agent left-hander Scott Kazmir, though they’ve also spoken to right-hander Yovani Gallardo and others.

“Everybody wants a left-handed starter,” Wallace said. “I would rather have a real quality big league starter than just to get any left-handed starter.”

Wallace knows that Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez reverted last season.

“It always looks worse than it is. There were times last year when sometimes the ball didn’t bounce their way, especially Chris. I think Chris is a victim of a lot of things during the game,” Wallace said. “And then it works on you mentally a little bit. You’re looking for the negative.”

The Orioles will be allowing Kevin Gausman to pitch without restrictions in 2015. As Showalter said, the opponent will decide when Gausman leaves a game, not an innings limit.

“I think it’s time to take the kid gloves off him,” Wallace said. “His understanding of the game is so much better, his understanding of himself and what he needs to do.”

It’s likely that most of the pitchers Wallace works with in 2016 will be the same as 2015. Four of last season’s starters are back, and with Darren O’Day’s return, five of the relievers.

“It’s not 13 or 14 pitchers during the course of the season. You’re always looking for depth,” Wallace said. “That’s a conversation that’s ongoing every day. How can we be a little bit better? How can we get more depth if something happens out of the bullpen?”

The Orioles have added several left-handed relievers, and they recently signed another one. Jeff Beliveau, who has pitched 58 games with the Cubs and Rays in the last four seasons, was signed to a minor league contract.

After last season, his second with the Orioles, Wallace thought long and hard about whether to return for a third.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever retire, but I certainly considered doing something different,” Wallace said.

He enjoys developing pitchers and wants to spend time with his family, and says that Showalter was considerate of him as he deliberated.

“You wonder when you get down the road a little bit how long you’re going to do it. I still love the game,” Wallace said. “Seven o’clock, no one has more fun than I do.”

NOTES: Right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey top Baseball America’s Top 10 prospect list. Catcher Chance Sisco was third and third baseman Jomar Reyes fourth. They were followed by Mychal Givens, left-handed pitcher Chris Lee, shortstop Ryan Mountcastle, outfielder DJ Stewart and Mike Wright.

Besides Beliveau, whose signing was first reported by Baseball America, the Orioles re-signed right-handed pitcher Jason Stoffel, and signed left-hander Zack Dodson and outfielder Rubi Silva to minor league contracts.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles fans who want Davis mega contract, be careful

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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."