Carroll County Times

Orioles Notebook: Another new arm in bullpen

BALTIMORE - All season long, the Baltimore Orioles have shuffled players up and down from Class-AAA Norfolk, particularly pitchers.
Add another one to the list.
On Friday, the Orioles brought up right-handed reliever Jairo Asencio from Norfolk. The reason for the move was that Baltimore wanted Josh Stinson to pitch Friday for the Tides and keep a ball in his hand, something he wasn't getting a chance to do as a long reliever for the Orioles.
Asencio, 30, has very limited time in the majors in parts of three big-league seasons. He pitched for the Braves in 2009 and 2011, and both the Indians and Cubs last season.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.23 ERA in 39 career relief appearances.
For the Tides, Asencio has been solid, serving as the team's closer. He was 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA and 20 saves in 34 appearances.
Asencio was excited to be back in the majors when he arrived in the Orioles clubhouse Friday.
"It feels good, it's so great," Asencio said. "It's one of those things that makes you say, 'What?'"
The Orioles acquired Asencio during Spring Training in a trade with the Brewers. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said he and Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette want to see Asencio and determine if he fills a the spot in the bullpen adequately.
If so, the club may not have to be in search of a reliever later in the month at the trade deadline.
"Asencio's been pitching well all year down there and we want to get a look at him and get a feel for what we have there," Showalter said. "Make sure if there's something we're going to need there that he can't provide it for us from within."
As for Stinson, he'll go back to Norfolk without ever getting his second appearance with the Orioles. But Showalter is glad he'll be able to get some more time on the mound.
"I don't want him sitting around up here," Showalter said. "I just felt like it'd be good for him."
To make room for Asencio on the 40-man roster, Baltimore designated pitcher Jair Jurrjens for assignment. The Orioles will have 10 days to either trade, waive, or release Jurrjens.
SMALL UPDATE: Showalter said outfielder Chris Dickerson, who has been out with an injured shoulder, will avoid the disabled list. Dickerson hit in the batting cage Friday.
Dickerson was a late scratch for Wednesday's game.
JUST LIKE OLD TIMES: Brian Roberts was in the leadoff spot of the Orioles lineup for the first time this season against left-handed starter Mark Buehrle. Entering Friday, Roberts had hit leadoff in 1,115 of 1,214 career starts.
Showalter said he liked the matchup, as Roberts as a .302 career average against the Blue Jays left-hander.
INCREDIBLE DAVIS: Chris Davis entered Friday with 86 RBIs. That would have led 17 teams in Orioles history.
His 34 homers would have led Baltimore in 47 of the past 59 seasons. In the near future, Davis may become just the fifth Oriole to hit 40 or more homers in a season, joining Brady Anderson (50 in 1996), Frank Robinson (49 in 1966), Jim Gentile (46 in 1961), and Rafael Palmeiro (43 in 1998).