Trembley says Baez to remain in closer role

The Baltimore Sun

TORONTO -- While there is uncertainty about who will be the Orioles' closer next year with the news that Chris Ray had ligament transplant surgery on his right elbow, manager Dave Trembley said there should be no such ambiguity for the rest of this season.

Even though Trembley removed Danys Baez in the middle of a save situation during Wednesday's 6-3 victory over the New York Yankees, the manager said Baez will remain the team's closer in most situations.

"I don't think there's anybody else," Trembley said. "I know everybody wants [Jim] Hoey to be out there. Hoey's not going to close. We want to do what's right with Jim Hoey and, right now, my honest opinion is he's fine where he is."

Since Ray went to the disabled list, Chad Bradford, Jamie Walker and Baez have had save opportunities. But this month, Trembley said he would rely primarily on Baez in save situations. The right-hander entered this season with 111 career saves, but he has struggled mightily since the end of April. He is 0-5 with an ERA of 6.02.

Baez converted his first ninth-inning save opportunity against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Aug. 3, but he has given up runs in two of four outings since. On Wednesday, Baez entered in the ninth with a three-run cushion. He gave up consecutive singles before striking out Jorge Posada for the first out. Trembley then brought in Walker to face left-handed hitter Bobby Abreu.

"That was a situation that was specifically for that game," Trembley said. "I thought Baez was in trouble and needed help. Whoever is out there, if I think they are in trouble and need help, then we're going to do what we can to help win the game. That's it."

Around the horn

Orioles first-round draft pick Matt Wieters, who was signed right before Wednesday's midnight deadline, is scheduled to take his physical at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday and then have a news conference at 3 p.m. Thursday. He is expected to take batting practice with the club later that day. ... On a rehabilitation assignment, Freddie Bynum was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts for Double-A Bowie on Thursday. ... In town for the owners meetings, Orioles owner Peter Angelos attended last night's game with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.

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