07/26/10 8:35 PM ET
Wigginton ruling forces lineup shuffle
By James Hall / MLB.com
Saumuel was waiting on a phone call from Major League Baseball's Commissioner's office to discuss the details of first baseman Ty Wiggington's pending suspension.
Wiggington, who was issued a three-game suspension for arguing a missed call by first-base umpire Jim Darling in Thursday night's 5-0 loss to the Twins, formally appealed the suspension shortly after it was issued, therefore postponing its effects.
Following batting practice, Wiggington and Samuel were informed that the league was willing to reduce the first baseman's suspension from three games to two, if he would serve the suspension immediately.
"To be totally honest with you, I just know I got a phone call saying it was going to be reduced to two games and if I was willing to do it," Wiggington said about the process. "I said 'yes'.
"I didn't really know [how the agreement came to fruition]. I'm just trying to put the whole thing behind me. The sooner I can get back on the field the better."
With Wiggington out of the lineup for Monday and Tuesday's games against the Blue Jays, Jake Fox -- the Oriole's only backup catcher -- will assume duties at first base, leaving only two position players on the bench -- outfielder Corey Patterson and infielder Julio Lugo.
It was a situation Samuel did not want to face, especially with his club currently carrying a 13-man pitching staff.
"We will have to play Fox at first base and be short a couple of guys," Samuel said. "Hopefully nothing happens, but that's the way it's going to be."
Wiggington, the subject of several trade rumors as of late, was hitting .249 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs prior to Monday's two-game suspension.
Roberts back in lineup after day off
TORONTO -- Second baseman Brian Roberts was back in the starting lineup for Monday's contest against the Blue Jays -- his third start since being activated from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday.
The 32-year old, who missed 91 games with a herniated disc in his lower back, was kept out of Sunday's lineup in the Oriole's finale against the Twins, and according to interim manager Juan Samuel will likely miss Tuesday's contest against the Blue Jays.
"We got Brian Roberts back in the lineup today [and] we'll see how he feels after [Monday's] game," Samuel said of his decision to start the second baseman back-to-back days on Friday and Saturday. "My plan is to give him tomorrow off and then play him here [Wednesday]. Just trying to give him some rest off the turf and hopefully after tonight's game he'll feel good."
While Samuel was also hoping to limit the playing time of outfielder Luke Scott and catcher Matt Wieters -- both coming off the 15-day DL earlier this week -- on the Rogers Centre turf, with Ty Wiggington's two-game suspension taking effect on Monday, the two mending Orioles will likely be in the starting lineup for consecutive games.
O's look to begin producing in RISP situations
TORONTO -- It is no secret that the Orioles have struggled to produce with runners in scoring position this season -- particularly as of late.
Since the All-Star break the O's have hit just .159 with RISP, .064 lower than their already subpar seasons' average of .233 -- a problem interim manager Juan Samuel wants to rectify immediately.
"Hitting is contagious," Samuel said of his club's struggles. "We hope that Luke Scott [American League Player of the Week July 19-25] can provide some of that spark for us. The guys are trying here and we've faced some good tough pitching. Guys are changing speeds on us and keeping us off-balance. The schedule has a lot to do with it -- we're facing good clubs."
The O's have played three teams over the .500 mark (Blue Jays, Rays and Twins) since the break, and have been outscored by a 64-30 margin entering Monday, including an 11-10 victory over the Rays July 20. Opponents are hitting .323 with RISP over the Orioles recent 2-8 stretch.
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.