Orioles Inside Pitch- 5/25

InsideTheO's.com
Posted May 25, 2012


The Orioles might want starting pitcher Roy Oswalt, but is it reciprocal?

The Orioles reportedly have interest in veteran free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt.

The real question that remains un-answered: Does Oswalt have interest in the Orioles?

In the past, the answer has been no, but given the Orioles' strong start and their need for a veteran starter to round out an otherwise promising, young rotation, there might be a match.

A number of hurdles would have to be cleared in order for a union to happen. First and foremost, Oswalt would have to pass on options to join some of the best teams in baseball, as Texas and St. Louis have been rumored to have interest in him.

The Orioles have some promising arms in the rotation, including Jake Arrieta, Wei-Yin Chen and Brian Matusz, as well as left-hander Zach Britton, who is close to returning from a shoulder injury.

Add journeyman Jason Hammel, who has burst onto the scene since joining the Orioles, and there is a solid rotation in place for an acquisition to join.

Oswalt, 34, went 9-10 in 23 starts for Philadelphia last season. The Phillies and Red Sox reportedly are contenders to sign Oswalt, too.

Whether the Orioles are serious about Oswalt or not, the club will have to put forth a good face publicly if it remains in contention approaching the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

After 14 consecutive years of losing, the Orioles players' and fan base will be watching to see how the front office responds to the team's strong start.

NOTES, QUOTES

--LHP J.C. Romero and the Orioles agreed to terms on a minor league contract. Romero, 35, could be used in a situational relief role if he's recalled. He'll report to Class AAA Norfolk. He was released by St. Louis on May 14.

--RHP Jason Hammel will look for his sixth victory in nine starts with he takes the mound for the Orioles against Kansas City on Friday. The Orioles have lost in only two of the eight starts Hammel has made this season. His right leg has been giving him issues for the last three weeks, and his ability to go deep into games is dependent upon the strength of the leg. After going at least six innings in five of his first six starts, he hasn't gone six innings in either of his last two outings.

--CF Adam Jones is putting up MVP numbers as May winds down. Jones enters Friday batting .311 with 14 home runs and 29 RBI. He's on pace for 50 home runs and 100 RBI. Jones ranks second in the league in home runs and third in both runs (32) and slugging percentage (.601).

--RHP Pedro Strop has appeared in four games in the last week, earning three holds and a save. Strop, acquired last season from Texas, has been a huge pick-up for the Orioles. He's allowed only three earned runs this season. Strop has appeared in 20 games, with a 0.93 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.

--C Luis Exposito is only 1-for-17 since joining the Orioles, but the club values the young backstop's defense. The club opted to keep Exposito, 25, over veteran Ronny Paulino when it went from three catchers to two. With Thursday's off day, Exposito might be logging most of his work in the Orioles' bullpen in the upcoming series.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8 -- May home runs for CF Adam Jones entering Friday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's nice get a day off more than anything, just to get the body rested." -- C Matt Wieters, on Thursday's rare break for the Orioles.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--2B Brian Roberts (concussion) went on the 15-day disabled list March 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Bowie on May 23, and he is expected to spend the maximum 20 days in the minors.

--LHP Zach Britton (left shoulder impingement) went on the 15-day disabled list March 26. He threw off a mound for the first time April 23. He threw a bullpen session April 30. He made his third extended spring training start May 21.

--LF Nolan Reimold (bulging disk in back) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 1. He had an epidural injection May 11. He's been dealing with persistent back and neck issues. He said May 15 he was likely headed toward a second epidural injection. He is likely to have it May 25.

--RHP Matt Lindstrom (torn ligament in right middle finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 11. He said May 15 he may be able to return from the disabled list when he is eligible.

--OF Endy Chavez (strained left intercostal muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 9.

--3B Mark Reynolds (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 11.

--LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (torn left elbow ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 28, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 7. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 11.

--C Taylor Teagarden (back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 9. There is no timetable for his return.

ROTATION:

RHP Jake Arrieta

LHP Wei-Yin Chen

RHP Jason Hammel

LHP Brian Matusz

RHP Tommy Hunter

LHP Dana Eveland

BULLPEN:

RHP Jim Johnson (closer)

RHP Kevin Gregg

RHP Luis Ayala

RHP Pedro Strop

LHP Troy Patton

RHP Darren O'Day

CATCHERS:

Matt Wieters

Luis Exposito

INFIELDERS:

1B Chris Davis

2B Robert Andino

SS J.J. Hardy

3B Ryan Flaherty

DH Nick Johnson

INF Bill Hall

INF Steve Tolleson

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Xavier Avery

CF Adam Jones

RF Nick Markakis

OF/INF Wilson Betemit


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Orioles News and Notes 5/23
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 -by InsideTheOs.com  May 29, 2012

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