Adam Jones had a chance at a highlight reel catch for the second straight night on Tuesday, but instead he wound up losing his glove and his breath on a leap at the wall. Jones, who had robbed Kevin Youkilis of a home run Monday night, had a chance to reprise his feat Tuesday.
This time, though, Jones lost his glove over the wall and wound up in a heap on the warning track. Jones wound up playing another inning before the Orioles lifted him due to precautionary reasons. Manager Dave Trembley had compared Jones to Gold Glove outfielder Torii Hunter before the game in reference to his ability to make leaping plays at the wall.
Felix Pie replaced Jones, who is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday.
Center fielder Adam Jones made a spectacular
catch Monday night in the fourth inning, when he leapt at the
wall to make a highlight reel play off a drive by Kevin
Youkilis. Baltimore had already given up a two-run home run
in that inning, and Jones went over the wall to save a solo
shot. That was all the excitement for the Orioles, who got
shut out by Boston.
One night after the death of pop icon Michael Jackson, the Orioles paid tribute to his legacy in a small way. One of the Orioles took a lone batting glove and attached it to the netting in front of the dugout, calling to mind the lone sequined glove that Jackson made famous. Nobody has done the moonwalk yet, but the night is still early.
Pitching coach Rick Kranitz left the Orioles on Friday due to a death in his family and is hoping to return by Sunday. Roving catching instructor Don Werner will join the team during his absence, and bullpen coach Alan Dunn will assume some extra responsibilities.
The Orioles will reportedly announce the signing of first-round draftee Matt Hobgood in a press conference at Camden Yards this weekend, a development that’s pending a physical examination. The Baltimore Sun reported that Hobgood went to Baltimore Thursday for the beginning stages of his physical and that there will likely be a press conference Saturday.
Hobgood, who was named the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year for his exploits at Norco High School, said on Draft day that he didn’t expect the signing process to drag on too long. Hobgood could concievably play in a low-level organized league this year.
The Orioles already have Aubrey Huff, but they may have acquired a namesake. Baltimore has acquired former first-round draftee Michael Aubrey from Cleveland in exchange for a player to be named later, giving the Orioles another candidate to play first base in 2010.
Aubrey, the 11th overall selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, has struggled to become the breakout player many people envisioned. He has made steady progress through the Minor Leagues, though, and is batting .292 in 57 games for Triple-A Columbus.
With Huff playing through the final season of his contract, first base could be wide open next spring. Aubrey may provide one option, as will fellow first-round draftee Brandon Snyder.
Koji Uehara termed himself “lucky” for netting a 1-2-3 double play in the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s loss, and he wound up pulling himself from the game early. Uehara told reporters that he spoke to pitching coach Rick Kranitz after the sixth inning due to arm-strain.
“I noticed that the ball was going up,” he said. “And I noticed I really couldn’t put the strength in my arm, so I asked to pull myself out.”
Uehara has been plagued by hamstring problems both in Spring Training and the regular season, and his endurance has been called into question in games that are hot and humid. This, however, represented the first time he has actually pulled himself from the game.
The Orioles still don’t know when Cesar Izturis will be able to play again, but they can rest comfortably in the knowledge that he’s slowly rounding back into shape. Izturis, who underwent an emergency appendectomy a couple of weeks ago, rejoined his teammates for the first time on Tuesday and ran through a series of light baseball drills.
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said the Orioles won’t know when Izturis will be able to return until next week, and he expected the shortstop to play a Minor League rehab stint. Izturis, meanwhile, said that appendicitis is one of the toughest things he’s dealt with.
“It’s scary, especially when you’re in the room by yourself. On that day, the room was cold and I was sweating,” he said of his bout with appendicitis. “I got Tommy John [surgery], but this one was worse. It was a pain to sleep and move around and stuff. It’s not that easy, especially the first week after the surgery.”
The Orioles had an interesting fielder’s choice on Wednesday night in which Melvin Mora intentionally let a popup drop in order to throw out a runner at second base. Manager Dave Trembley said he’d prefer his player to catch the ball, but gave Mora credit for creativity.
“I think you’re trying to trade a fast runner for a slower runner,” he said of the logic behind Mora’s quickly timed decision. “From that perspective, it’s a good move. But with as much rain as there was on this field the last few days, I don’t think the ball was going to go one side or the other. Give Melvin credit for knowing all the angles.”
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley was in a playful mood Tuesday, and he held court with reporters on his expectations for his pitchers during Interleague Play. Trembley doesn’t care if they’re able to hit — he just wants them to come back to the dugout healthy.
“This is the big leagues. I want to show them how … to get out of the way of a high fastball,” said Trembley. “Make contact. Don’t get hurt. Get the bunt down.”
Trembley went on to say that some of his pitchers have healthy egos and think that they’re good hitters, but he just wants them to make the opposition work hard for their outs.