Mark Reynolds is making his first start at first base this season this afternoon, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the move is simply another measure in taking advantage of the team's positional flexibility.
Closer Jim Johnson is back in the Orioles' clubhouse, after spending four nights in the hospital with an illness that was eventually diagnosed as a severe case of food poisoning. Johnson left St. Agnes Hospital this morning. He played catch on Friday is listed as day-to-day.
With the Orioles minor league affiliates¿ seasons well under way, we introduce a new weekly feature. Each Thursday, we¿ll give you updated stats and information on the Orioles¿ top 10 prospects, as determined by Baseball America.
On Wednesday night, Jason Hammel shut down a Blue Jays lineup that has scored the fourth-most runs in the American League, dancing mid-90 fastballs through the strike zone and missing Toronto bats all night, leading the Orioles to a 3-0 win at Camden Yards.
Of course, there's no such thing as a must-win game in April, and -- for that matter -- there hasn't been a must-win game involving the Orioles in a long time, but today's series finale against the Los Angeles Angels is one of those games that make a difference in a team's self-esteem.
Orioles left fielder and leadoff hitter Nolan Reimold, who entered Wednesday's game against the White Sox with home runs in each of his last four games, said he's made a small adjustment at the plate that is helping him see the ball better.
The Orioles and Blue Jays combined for seven solo home runs, but it was Wilson Betemit's two-run single up the middle with two outs in the eight that proved to be the biggest hit in the game, propelling the Orioles to a 7-5 win over the Blue Jays.
It would be easy to criticize Tommy Hunter after Friday night's 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, but let's praise him instead. He certainly didn't overpower the Jays. He didn't fool them, either. He gave up four home runs over six innings, and he still did a heck of a job.
Wilson Betemit is hoping to establish himself as a regular with the Orioles. The veteran who hasn't found a set position or a city to call home is aiming to stick as the Orioles' primary designated hitter.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter talks a lot about "passing the baton," but he usually is referring to hitters having the patience to take a walk and trust the next guy in the lineup to keep the rally going. Apparently, it also applies to the starting rotation, which has strung together three terrific performances in the Orioles opening series against the Minnesota Twins.
Fourth and foremost: Orioles need better production in cleanup spot to be successful. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters are the top candidates to fill what has been a weak spot in the lineup in recent years.
In Sunday's night game against the New York Yankees, the 25-year-old Ryan Flaherty made his first start for the Orioles in right field. The day before he started in left — in front of the replica Green Monster wall at the Boston Red Sox spring facility, JetBlue Park.
Right-hander Armando Galarraga, who is hoping to make the Orioles after missing much of last season because of injury, tired after a solid early performance and ended up allowing four runs in four innings as the Boston Red Sox beat the Orioles, 7-4, in a split-squad game at JetBlue Park.