Luke Scott continued Baltimore’s late-season run of injured outfielders on Wednesday night, when he left the game with a strained muscle in his left foot. Scott, who had gone 1-for-3 with a single in the first seven innings, was replaced in the outfield by Ty Wigginton.
The Orioles have seen Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie all go out with season-ending injuries in the last few weeks. The roster crunch has gotten so bad that the team had to activate Lou Montanez from the 60-day disabled list before they wanted to do so, and September callup Jeff Fiorentino has seen more action than expected.
Wigginton spent the second half of 2008 as an outfielder but had yet to play there in ’09 before Wednesday night. The veteran reserve has played at all the infield positions this season, and manager Dave Trembley had said he’d like to avoid spotting him in the outfield.
Baltimore reliever Bob McCrory underwent an arthrogram on his sore right shoulder Monday and is believed to be done for the season. Manager Dave Trembley said he hasn’t seen the results of the test yet, but he said it would be doubtful for McCrory to pitch again.
“I haven’t gotten results back yet on McCrory’s arthrogram,” said Trembley. ”I would say McCrory is in the same boat. I would say that’s highly doubtful as well.”
Brian Roberts tied the alltime MLB record for doubles by switch-hitter in a single season on Tuesday night, when he sent a bouncer skidding up the right-field line. That gave Roberts 55 doubles for the season, tying the mark Lance Berkman set for Houston in 2001. If he gets five more doubles this season, Roberts will tie the alltime mark for second basemen.
Roberts also had a chance at a double in the early innings but was thrown out at second. Baltimore’s second baseman extends his franchise record with every double he nets and is one of four players alltime who have had three 50-double seasons. The only others in that group are Hall-of-Famers Paul Waner, Tris Speaker and Stan Musial.
– Spencer Fordin
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said Monday that he’ll probably give right fielder Nick Markakis a day off on Tuesday to rest and think about something other than his slump. Markakis, who singled on Monday, had gone into the game on a 2-for-26 skid.
Baltimore’s cleanup hitter has played in every game this season, and he’s started all but one. Trembley attempted to give Markakis a day off back in June but had to use him as a late replacement. Markakis played in 161 games in 2007 and 157 games last season.
The Orioles welcomed Brooks Robinson, one of the most beloved players in franchise history, back to Camden Yards on Friday night. Robinson was on hand to honor Melvin Mora, who recently moved into second place on the franchise’s all-time games played at third base.
Mora, who has played in 796 games at third for the Orioles, would have to play 150 games for the next 14 seasons to catch the Hall-of-Famer. Robinson played in 2,870 games at third base for the Orioles, winning 16 Gold Gloves and playing in four World Series.
– Spencer Fordin
The Orioles held their Minor League Appreciation night on Wednesday and chose the occasion to introduce a few of their prospects and hand out a few awards.
Brandon Waring, who had previously been given the Carolina League Most Valuable Player award for his exploits at Class A Frederick, was named the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year on Wednesday. Waring, acquired as a piece in last winter’s Ramon Hernandez trade, batted .274 with 38 doubles and 27 home runs for the Keys.
Brian Matusz, who has been with the Orioles for the last six weeks, was named the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year on the strength of a combined 11-2 record and 1.92 ERA between Frederick and Double-A Bowie. Matusz continued his success upon his promotion to the Major Leagues but was shut down early to protect his arm.
Baltimore also recognized Caleb Joseph for the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award and Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin for the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award. Scout Jim Howard was named the Jim Russo Scout of the Year.
– Spencer Fordin
Brian Roberts set a new career high and a new Orioles record with his 52nd double of the season on Tuesday night, a hit that moved him within eight two-baggers of the alltime record for second baseman. Charlie Gehringer set that mark — with 60 doubles — in 1936.
The Orioles elected to shut down Brian Matusz for the rest of the year Monday. Matusz, who had thrown 157 2/3 innings between three stops in his first professional season, will end his season on a high note and get to work on the finer points of his game in the big leagues.
Matusz, the fourth overall selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, made it all the way to the Majors less than a year after signing his first professional contract. The 22-year-old southpaw started slow but racked up a 3-0 record and a 2.42 ERA in his final four starts.
The Orioles still aren’t sure when Felix Pie’s back spasms will subside enough to let him play again, but they’re not going to make any rash decisions regarding a replacement. Andy MacPhail, Baltimore’s president of baseball operations, said the team can wait.
“We’re hoping to avoid that,” he said of adding another outfielder. ”We’ve got a couple of lefties here so it won’t become as pronounced of a need until we get to the right-handers, which will be on Tuesday. So I think that determination will be made on Tuesday.”
If Pie isn’t ready to play by Tuesday, the Orioles may dip down to the Minor Leagues and bring up Lou Montanez early from an injury rehabilitation stint. Montanez has missed most of the year with a thumb injury and hasn’t faced big-league pitching since May.
As it stands, Jeff Fiorentino is the team’s lone outfield reserve. Baltimore could also use Robert Andino and Ty Wigginton out there if the situation calls for it.
“[Pie] is better today,” said Baltimore manager Dave Trembley. ”I would say tomorrow we’re hoping to get him out and see if he can swing or whatever. But we’re kind of shooting for Tuesday for him to be back in the lineup. That’s probably what we’re shooting for.”
– Spencer Fordin
There may be expanded rosters, but the Orioles have a dwindling supply of outfielders. Baltimore lost Adam Jones for the season due to an ankle sprain and lost Felix Pie to a temporary back injury on Friday night, giving the team three healthy outfielders.
Manager Dave Trembley said he has broached the topic with Andy MacPhail, the team’s president of baseball operations, and that help may be on the way. In that case, Lou Montanez, who’s missed most of the year with a thumb injury, would be the best option.
“I did talk to Andy about that. We probably will discuss that,” said Trembley of his roster’s weak spot. “The possibility does exist that we could add an outfielder.”
– Spencer Fordin