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Orioles notebook: Buck Showalter says O's don't feel pressure to match rivals' moves

Orioles notebook: Buck Showalter says O's don't feel pressure to match rivals' moves
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter. (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

In the wake of the Toronto Blue Jays' trade for Troy Tulowitzki, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he doesn't feel pressure for the club to make a move to match Toronto's.

Part of the problem stems back to the Orioles' lack of trade chips on the farm system. Showalter highlighted that "Toronto has a lot of players that are attractive down below."

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The sixth-year manager also mentioned the Kansas City Royals' deal Tuesday that saw them acquire Ben Zobrist, a player Showalter said he likes a lot, for two prospects.

"They are giving up some really good players for these guys," Showalter said.

Last season, the Orioles were able to strengthen their roster by adding left-handed reliever Andrew Miller at the deadline, but it took the club's No. 3 prospect, Eduardo Rodriguez, who has carved out a spot in the Boston Red Sox rotation this season.

"It wasn't exciting giving up Eduardo, but we knew we were getting something that was going to give us a better chance to roll the dice," Showalter said. "That doesn't happen very often that guys that impactful are out there available in our situation. We don't have Eduardo to trade this year."

He did add that he would do that trade again. After all, Miller did have a 1.35 ERA in 23 games with the Orioles and tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings during their postseason run.

With the Orioles sitting on the outside of the playoff picture this season, they have to decide whether to sacrifice the future in an attempt to bolster their roster. That can mean prospects or some of the talent on the current Orioles roster that they have locked up moving forward.

"The problem is people are asking for people that are part of what you are trying to do this year," Showalter said. "That's tough. If they go away, then who?

"... We are kicking around a lot of things. Sometimes the best moves you make are the ones you don't make. I could tell you about three or four that we decided not to do in the last two or three years that if we had made them, we would've really regretted them. Of course, I won't tell you about the other ones we wish we had made."

Matusz excelling versus lefties

One of the biggest moments in Monday's 11-inning victory over the Atlanta Braves was Brian Matusz's four-pitch strikeout of lefty slugger Freddie Freeman to keep the game scoreless in the eighth. Kevin Gausman pitched splendidly, but left a scoreless game with runners on the corners and two outs. And Matusz kept it that way.

"It was awesome. It was cool," Matusz said. "The fans were into it. With two strikes, you could just feel the energy in the ballpark. You got the chills. It was almost like a playoff atmosphere on a Monday, so that was pretty cool. To be able to get the job done always feels good."

As the only left-hander in the bullpen besides closer Zach Britton, Matusz has been called on to pitch in different situations throughout the season. But he again has been exceptionally effective against left-handed hitters.

Entering Tuesday, lefties have hit just .138 versus Matusz (8-for-58) compared to a .288 opponents' average for right-handers. Showalter said Matusz's lack of feel for his changeup has hampered his ability to get right-handers out, but he believes the 28-year-old can be effective for full innings — and might return to starting one day.

"When you start comparing him with other left-handers around the league and you look at the batting average against and what-have you," Matusz fares well, Showalter said. "He knows and we know, we've seen it, he's better against right-handers than he has shown."

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Right now, though, Matusz is filling an important role — one that could become more crucial as games become more intense down the stretch.

"I feel like the ball is coming out good right now with good life, good depth on the slider," said Matusz, who had a 2.32 ERA heading into Tuesday night. "This is the best time of the season. A playoff push, the last couple months, we are in this thing. This is the fun part of the year, so you kind of leave it all out there on the line."

Twitter no longer for Parmelee

Along with the looming nonwaiver trade deadline comes the now-annual explosion of rumors and speculation on social media. And though Major League Baseball has embraced social media — the Orioles, for instance, held their annual social media night Tuesday — it's not for everyone.

Orioles first baseman Chris Parmelee, who had been on Twitter since his days in the Minnesota Twins organization, said he closed his account about two weeks ago.

He said he enjoyed the interaction with fans and didn't encounter too many negative comments; he just didn't really enjoy the overall experience anymore.

"I did fine without it — before I had Twitter. Everything was fine," he said. "Yeah it's a great resource, but I just felt like I didn't need it anymore."

He said there was so much information it could be a distraction. And so he cut it out, and doesn't regret it.

"I just didn't really tweet anymore," he said. "Just keep it simple."

There are still a few Parmelee fan accounts, though it appears "Chris Parmelee's Hair" is no longer a Twitter handle, either.

Around the horn

Right-hander Brad Brach entered Tuesday with a season-high 13 straight scoreless innings. … Triple-A Norfolk hitting coach Sean Berry has been assigned to the Peoria Javelinas as their hitting coach in the Arizona Fall League. … Matusz will be the race ambassador for the sixth annual Casey Cares 5K Run/Walk at Camden Yards Saturday at 8 a.m. … Matusz and first baseman Chris Davis will meet, sign autographs and play games with critically ill children and their families at the Extra Innings facility Wednesday morning.

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