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Orioles talk: Samuel, trades, Berken, Markakis

Former interim manager Juan Samuel arrived in the Dominican Republic on Saturday to begin his review of the Orioles' academy down there. Samuel's scouting assignment is expected to continue through Sept. 4, and then he'll give Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail a report when he returns. "Things are going good," Samuel said this morning. "I'm just evaluating some stuff so I can let them know what is going on. It's more just taking notes and checking on things." Samuel said he hasn't been able to watch too many games since Buck Showalter took over, but he's following the box scores. "I've been pleased to see how they're playing. You wish you would have seen a little more of that when you were there, but I think getting some guys back has helped, too."

The Orioles are almost done with the waivers process, and according to a team source, it's looking unlikely that they'll make any trades. A couple of their more movable commodities, including Luke Scott, were claimed and have since been pulled off waivers. It's still not impossible that they'll do something minor by the end of the month, but it looks like the guys that have been talked about the most – Scott, Ty Wigginton, Jeremy Guthrie – will finish the season as Orioles.

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While the first opinion that Jason Berken got on the tear in his right labrum was that surgery is not necessary at this point, the reliever is still expected to get a second opinion. That could happen later this week from New York Mets team physician Dr. David Altchek. Nothing has been set up yet, but that appears the direction the Orioles and Berken are headed.

Nick Markakis' double in the 11th inning last night was the 200th of his career, moving him into 12th place all-time in doubles among Orioles. Markakis' teammate, Brian Roberts, is currently fifth. Markakis is four doubles away from tying Rafael Palmeiro for 11th all-time, and 17 away from tying Al Bumbry and cracking the top 10. That's not a bad feat for a player who still hasn't finished his fifth year with the club.

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