If someone had bet you that Chris Ray would have more saves on July 17 than Mariano Rivera, would you have taken it?
The Orioles promoted outfielder Val Majewski from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk to take Jon Knott's place on the Tides' roster.
Majewski was batting .295 with 23 doubles, three homers and 42 RBIs in 91 games with Bowie. He was hitting .415 in his last 10 games.
A left-handed hitter, Majewski is batting .319 vs. lefties this year, and .286 vs. righties.
Meanwhile, outfielder Nolan Reimold remains in Sarasota, Fla. with the Gulf Coast Orioles while recovering from a strained oblique muscle. He's appeared in only 19 games at Bowie, batting .329 with three homers and 14 RBIs.
He's played in one game in Sarasota, going 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. He'll didn't play yesterday, but is scheduled to be in the lineup today.
The Orioles remain super-cautious with Reimold. "We're not going to throw him in there everyday," said Dave Stockstill, director of minor league operations. "He's doing a lot of work in the cage, building himself up. He's coming along."
There's no timetable for Reimold's return to Bowie.
The Orioles will consider sending him to the Arizona Fall League or having him play winter ball. He'll definitely get his at-bats after the season.
Brian Burres turned in another typical performance. He allowed 11 baserunners in six innings, but he also limited the damage and kept the Orioles in the game until Yuniesky Betancourt's tie-breaking double in the sixth. With more offensive support, he could have gotten a win.
I have absolutely nothing against Burres. Major props to him for doing a solid job at the end of the rotation. But I see nothing wrong with having him pitch out of the bullpen and perhaps making him a starter again if Steve Trachsel is traded.
Andy MacPhail wants to evaluate the young talent. Keep Olson up here and give him more starts.
The Orioles also are playing for 2008. They're always a year ahead, aren't they?
MacPhail has seen what Burres offers as a starter. Let him judge if Burres is more useful as a reliever, or as a swingman.
Olson is 23, a supplemental pick in the 2005 draft and the sixth-best prospect in the organization according to Baseball America. Burres is 26, a 31st round pick in 2000 and a pitcher claimed off waivers last year.
They're not the same guy.
The Orioles are getting more out of Burres than they probably imagined. He's got heart. He's not wasting an ounce of talent. He's giving the Orioles everything he has, and a little more. But he shouldn't block Olson at this point.
There might be room for both of them later. But not right now.