As Baltimore’s roster stands right now, there’s a bit of a redundancy at left field and DH. Manager Dave Trembley said Monday that it’s a nice problem to have, and he downplayed the possibility of solving the problem by playing Nolan Reimold or Luke Scott at first base.
Scott auditioned for the role in September, but Trembley said Monday that he’d much prefer to slot the veteran at either left field or designated hitter. The only problem there is the twin presence of Reimold and Felix Pie, who figure to split time next season.
“I think it’s a nice thing to be able to sort out, especially the way Pie played the second half of the season,” he said. “Unfortunately, he got to play a lot because [Adam] Jones was hurt. But I know there is a lot of interest in Pie [and] you’ve got to like what Reimold did. You still have Luke Scott. I think as we get closer towards Spring Training, it will all sort itself out.”
Pie represents the best defender out of the three, as well as the player with the highest upside. The Orioles will likely allow him to take the lion’s share of at-bats in left, and Trembley said that he doesn’t want to try to convert Reimold to first base in Spring Training.
“I’m not totally against it,” he said. “I just don’t know how practical that is in a short period of time in Spring Training, teaching a guy to play first base at the Major League level who has never done it before. I think in a perfect situation, it probably would’ve been better — if he had been healthy — maybe we could have sent him to Instructional League or Winter Ball. …I’m sure that’s probably going to be discussed in the next day or so about Reimold.”
— Spencer Fordin
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
Adam Jones was involved in a strange play at first base on Tuesday night that forced him to leave the game early. Baltimore’s center fielder hit a ground ball to third base, and the resulting throw got past first baseman Mark Teixeira. Jones appeared to make the turn toward second and hustled back to first, stepping wrong on the bag as Teixeira applied a tag.
Jones was called safe, but he immediately hit the ground and began pounding the turf. Jones sprained his left ankle, and though he stood up soon after a few moments and talked his way into temporarily staying in the game, he relented when the Yankees made a pitching change. Jeff Fiorentino ran for Jones and went out to left field, switching Felix Pie to center.
— Spencer Fordin
Felix Pie received a high honor on Saturday,
when an emissary from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in
Cooperstown, NY asked for some of his game equipment. Pie,
who had hit for the cycle on Friday night, chose to donate
his cleats to the museum. Pie’s cycle was one of seven in the
Majors this season and 290 in the history of the
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley had his batting order decisions made for him on Friday, when Luke Scott had to sit out due to an illness. Trembley had wanted to get Felix Pie in the lineup, and Scott’s brush with a virus gave him the perfect opportunity.
“It was a 50-50 thing for him the other day [and] he wanted to play,” said Trembley of Scott, who is experiencing flu-like symptoms. “I called him early today around noon, and he saw the doctor yesterday and got some antibiotics. He’s going to move around a little bit and see how he is, but I think he’ll be better after the antibiotics get in his system for 24 hours.”
Scott, who has complained of a sore throat and a nagging fatigue, has struggled mightily since the All-Star break. Baltimore’s designated hitter has batted .149 with a .230 on-base percentage and a .250 slugging mark, so the extra day off may do him well in the long run.
kinda groggy, throats been sore;
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.