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Tuesday morning leftovers from Guthrie trade

Pitcher admits he's a lousy hitter, while former skipper wishes him well

By Eduardo A. Encina

The Baltimore Sun

6:00 AM EST, February 7, 2012

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It’s not every day when the team you cover trades its No. 1 starter, so it was a pretty busy day here on the Insider. But since the water-cooler talk about the Orioles dealing Jeremy Guthrie might carry over for 24 hours, we wanted to throw a couple more Guthrie-related tidbits to digest with your morning coffee and Cheerios.

Guthrie had an interesting answer when asked by Rockies reporters Monday evening about hitting now that he’s in the National League. He admitted he’s a poor hitter and added a little self-deprecating humor – maybe a little too much:

“You know what, I’m not good. I swung at every pitch I saw last year. I got a double on my first swing of the year. I beat out a bad bunt one time. I’ve only been asked to bunt one time in nine interleague games, if you can believe that. I’ve had nobody on base every other time or I’ve hit with two outs. I guess that’s kind of an indictment of our offense, but last year was the first time I was ever asked to bunt. ... I’m not a good hitter. I need to work on it. I don’t even know if I’m a good bunter because I’ve only tried it once. I have room to improve there.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter wished Guthrie well. He said he spoke with Rockies manager Jim Tracy and told him he’s getting a good player. Here’s what Showalter had to say about Guthrie:

“Jeremy is a good man. I’m happy for him and his family. He’s going to a good place. They’re going to be competitive, they have a good staff. I thank him for is contributions both on and off the field. He represented himself and his family well with the Orioles. I feel really proud about the opportunity the Orioles gave him to establish himself in the big leagues.”

In Colorado, Guthrie’s catcher will be former Oriole Ramon Hernandez. The two were teammate in 2007 and 2008 in Baltimore, but they weren’t often on the same page. But Guthrie said he’s looking forward to leaning on Hernandez again:

“I’ve had eight or nine starts against National League teams. I think the biggest factor for me will be with facing the new hitters. I’m going to have to trust in Ramon and that’s nice because I came up with Ramon when I was a rookie in Baltimore and I really had no idea about the American League hitters at that time. He really guided me through that. So I’m excited that he’ll be there to help me make that adjustment.”