Notes: Orioles recall Bell, Shuey
Millar takes broadcaster to task, changes mind on meeting
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles reached down to the Minor Leagues to swap relievers on Tuesday, sending two lightly experienced arms down to Triple-A Norfolk so they could purchase the contracts of two cagey veterans. Jim Hoey and Cory Doyne were in the former half of that transaction, swapping spots with Paul Shuey and Rob Bell.
Bell, who has pitched in parts of six seasons in the big leagues, is expected to serve as a long reliever. Shuey, on the other hand, represents a stirring comeback by even returning to the big leagues. Shuey hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2003, but he's spent the last few years trying to combat a hip injury that caused a premature retirement.
"We added Rob Bell and Paul Shuey," said interim manager Dave Trembley. "Playing the National League clubs, it's great to have a long guy in Bell. And I think Shuey's a great story. If you can't pull for a guy like Shuey, then you don't have any passion for the game. There's a guy you have to respect, and he's earned it."
Shuey has undergone four operations on his troublesome right hip, and the last one he got took him out of the country. The veteran had a hip resurfacing procedure that was unapproved in the United States, but it worked to alleviate the pain and allow him to reach a semblance of his old velocity. That, to Shuey, was worth its weight in gold.
"It was hard not having an outlet for competition," he said in Spring Training. "That was the hardest part. I just missed the juice of that phone ringing in the bullpen and the adrenaline rush. That's what I missed the most."
Shuey's hip problems trace all the way back to 1999, when he had the first of his four operations. He pitched another four seasons after that, but the condition worsened and made it impossible to throw without pain in 2003. After a few comeback attempts, retirement was the only option -- at least until he learned about the resurfacing procedure.
This spring, Shuey injured his Achilles tendon and later spent time on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. He nursed himself back to health, though, and notched a 4.70 ERA in 21 games at Norfolk. His return is a sign of the times for Trembley, who can recall managing against a young Shuey more than a decade ago.
"I managed in Charleston, S.C. -- in 1991, I think -- and he made his pro debut coming out of North Carolina State against me," he said. "He was a starter, a No. 1 pick for the Indians [playing] in Columbus, Ga. I always admired his tenacity, and seeing him in Spring Training this year, I think he's a great buffer for the guys down in the bullpen. ...He's got experience and he's been through the wars. He's got great makeup."
Out of line: First baseman Kevin Millar, one of the most media-friendly players in any professional sport, took a shot at an ESPN broadcaster on Tuesday. When asked about the dismissal of manager Sam Perlozzo, Millar redirected the conversation to address former player John Kruk, who made disparaging comments about the O's on the air.
"I thought he challenged the organization in an unprofessional way," said Millar, who took the comments personally. "You're allowed to have an opinion, but I think it was tired the way he went about the situation, almost like he's never put in a uniform. This team was .500 on May 31. Now he wants to come out two weeks later and blast an entire organization, blast the players and challenge the integrity of this clubhouse. I thought was very unprofessional for a guy who was supposedly a baseball player but has obviously forgotten what it's like to play this game at this level."
Change of plans: Millar, who was vocal about wanting to call a players' only meeting as recently as Sunday, backed off that plan after the Orioles inserted Trembley as manager. After that move, he said, there was virtually no reason to hold an extra team meeting when virtually everything had already been said.
"It's a monkey wrench in that situation," he said. "Those comments were made before all this took place. We already basically had a team meeting. I think now we just go out there and we roll."
Quotable: "I thought he crossed the line yesterday because he's friends with Sam Perlozzo. That wasn't fair to this team [and] that wasn't fair to guys in this clubhouse, especially when you're not going to be around the next day."
-- Millar on Kruk's comments, which aired on ESPN's Baseball Tonight
Coming up: The Orioles and Padres will meet again Wednesday night at 10:05 p.m. ET, pitting Jeremy Guthrie against San Diego's Justin Germano. Guthrie has pitched at least seven innings in seven straight outings.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.