O's bring up Adams, Reimold from Triple-A
Second baseman notches first career hit in Major League debut
BALTIMORE -- After demoting two pitchers, the Orioles have called up two position players in time for Friday night's game against Washington.
Baltimore purchased infielder Ryan Adams' contract from Triple-A Norfolk and called up outfielder Nolan Reimold on Friday, after demoting pitchers Troy Patton and Chris Jakubauskas following Thursday's loss to the Yankees. Adams will make his Major League debut starting at second base Friday night in place of Brian Roberts, who is on the seven-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms.
Adams notched his first career hit in the bottom of the fourth, with a single off Nationals starter Jason Marquis.
Adams went 1-for-3 in Norfolk's 9-4 loss to Syracuse and is hitting .303, with 10 doubles, two triples, two homers and eight RBIs in 39 games in the Minors. One of this spring's final cuts, Reimold is hitting .237, with six doubles, six homers and 22 RBIs.
"Ryan is swinging the bat real well," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's doing a good job down there. We need two position players in a perfect world for Derrek [Lee] and [Brian] Roberts. Because of what the two guys did last night, we're kind of back on our feet in the bullpen. Nolan has been swinging the bat as well as anybody over the last four or five days."
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Although Adams has been displaying his offensive power in Norfolk, he said a concern of the organization's coaches was his defense. However, Adams said Friday that he feels much more comfortable in the field.
The 24-year-old New Orleans native left the city with his family when Hurricane Katrina hit. He said his parents will be in attendance tonight for his first appearance and start in the Majors.
"I called them [Adams' parents] last night after [Norfolk manager] Gary [Allenson] told me and they got the first plane out to here this morning," Adams said.
Reimold, who was not in the starting lineup, excelled in his rookie year with Baltimore. In 2009, the right-handed outfielder batted .279, with 45 RBIs and 100 hits. That year, he won AL rookie of the Month for June.
Showalter said that although there is potential for Reimold to play in place of Lee, who is on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique, the Orioles' manager would rather stray away from that option with recently called up Brandon Snyder still on the active roster.
Reimold and Adams take the place of two Orioles pitchers who spent only one day in Baltimore after being called up earlier that day.
Patton and Jakubauskas were both recalled prior to Thursday's game to give the bullpen a reprieve following Wednesday's 15-inning game, in which the Orioles used every reliever as well as Thursday's originally scheduled starter, Jeremy Guthrie. After employing a 14-man pitching staff on Thursday, the O's will revert back to 12 arms to help bolster a depleted bench that is particularly short on middle-infield help now that Roberts is on the seven-day disabled list.
Patton's situation isn't a straight option to Norfolk, as he had to be put on waivers given a quirk in his contractual status. He will remain on the 40-man roster, but he isn't expected to report to Norfolk until early next week.
The Orioles only have 39 players on their 40-man roster, so they didn't have to make a corresponding move to add Adams.
Berken optioned; Simon expected to rejoin O's
BALTIMORE -- Seeking to bolster a depleted bullpen, the Orioles optioned reliever Jason Berken to Triple-A Norfolk following Friday's 17-5 loss to the Nationals and are expected to activate right-hander Alfredo Simon from the restricted list in his place.
Simon, who was scheduled to be added to the 25-man roster on Sunday, will be added a day early given that the Orioles' bullpen is in dire straits. Following Wednesday's 15-inning loss, the Orioles have had consecutive starters go fewer than four innings, thus being forced to dip into their 'pen at an alarming rate. While Berken is hardly the only reliever struggling, he does have an option remaining, meaning he won't have to clear waivers to go to Norfolk.
Simon, the lead suspect in a New Year's Day shooting in the Dominican Republic, will have to stand trial for that case, but he is allowed to pitch in the interim. He went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three Minor League games as part of an agreement with the Players' Association that gave Simon a Spring Training of sorts while on the restricted list.
Simon will be used as a long man and the Orioles will have to make a move to add him to the 40-man roster, with the most obvious choice transferring Cesar Izturis from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Berken will report to Norfolk having allowed 15 runs (14 earned) in his last 8 2/3 innings, a stretch in which he has surrendered 22 hits and eight walks. He entered Friday's game with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and hit Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth with his first pitch. It was an ominous start for Berken, who allowed six earned runs on five hits and a walk, with both Roger Bernadina and Werth homering.
"It's frustrating," said Berken, who has been consistently up in the zone with his fastball and pitched to a 0-2 record and 7.94 ERA in 15 games. "I know I'm better than what I've shown, so it's frustrating at times, but I just have to stay positive and find ways to get better. I have to do that -- no question, there's nobody to blame but myself. I'm not going to sit here and make excuses, it was what it is at this point. I have to pitch better. So that's the main thing here."
Showalter sounds off on HBPs to Yankees
BALTIMORE -- Following a two-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, Orioles manager Buck Showalter shifted gears in Friday's pregame media session when asked about his team's at-bats in the ninth inning of Thursday's 13-2 loss.
"Contrary to popular belief, every time the Yankees get hit by a pitch, it's not intentional," said Showalter, who praised Nick Markakis' approach after he was drilled in the back by New York's ace CC Sabathia. "Every time they take a pitch, it's not a ball either."
Struggling Orioles reliever Michael Gonzalez was ejected in the 15th inning of Wednesday's game for hitting Chris Dickerson in the helmet, and O's starter Brad Bergesen plunked Robinson Cano in the leg in the top of the first on Thursday. Gonzalez has maintained that his pitch was not intentional, and the league is still reviewing his case to determine whether there will be further discipline.
Baltimore reliever Josh Rupe -- who is now with Triple-A Norfolk -- caused a stir earlier this season after hitting Russell Martin in the back in a lopsided 15-3 Yankee win on April 23. While Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Martin and some of his teammates went on record to say they thought the pitch was intentional, Showalter has stood by Rupe, who said at the time that he knew what it looked like -- given that Martin had already homered twice -- but the fateful fastball wasn't a purpose pitch.
Camden Yards the road not taken for LaRoche
BALTIMORE -- It didn't hit Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche until he was on his way to Camden Yards on Friday afternoon: This could have been his everyday routine.
LaRoche, one of the Orioles' targets to fill their first-base hole this offseason, said there were three teams with serious interest in him this winter, although things with Baltimore were not "serious enough" for him to envision Camden Yards as his home ballpark.
"It got serious enough that we were going back and forth a little bit [in negotiations], but it never got to the point where I really had a tough decision to make," said LaRoche, who signed a two-year, $15-million contract with Washington. "If it had gotten a little more heated, [facing Baltimore] probably would feel a little bit different."
LaRoche will make $7 million this season and $8 million the next. He and the Nationals also have a mutual option for 2013, and LaRoche said Friday he has no regrets about how things transpired.
"I like it here," LaRoche said of Washington, which is 20-23 entering this weekend's set. "I like not only where we are at, but what this team is willing to do moving forward and the direction they are wanting to go. So far, it's been a good feeling."
Baltimore ultimately signed Derrek Lee, who was placed on the disabled list Thursday, to a one-year deal, and while Lee has struggled offensively, LaRoche hasn't fared better. He entered Friday's game batting .172, with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 41 games. Asked what kind of reaction he might get from the O's home crowd, LaRoche, who was penciled in the lineup sixth and started at first base, wasn't sure.
"I don't know what the impression here is," he said. "I don't know if there's bitterness or they don't care, I have no idea."
Right-hander Alfredo Simon is expected to be activated from the restricted list Sunday and put on the Orioles' 25-man roster. If this occurs, Baltimore will need to make space on both the 25- and 40-man roster for Simon. ... Brian Matusz, who is on the DL with a left intercostal strain, will make his next rehab start at Double-A Bowie on Saturday, weather permitting. ... Manager Buck Showalter said Friday that third baseman Mark Reynolds has been sick, along with Luke Scott. In his last 10 games, Reynolds has 14 strikeouts and a .162 batting average. ... On Friday, a group of Orioles wives helped out Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, volunteering their time to help demolish a Baltimore row house.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Avi Zaleon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.