08/20/10 7:33 PM ET
MLBPAA honors Wigginton with award
By Jeff Seidel / MLB.com
One player from each of the 30 teams gets picked for the award, which honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game and represent its values, spirit and tradition. Each of the players picked is going to be recognized Saturday, with one overall winner to be announced Nov. 5, in New York City.
Albert Pujols won the final award last year.
Former Major Leaguer Dave Johnson will present the award to Wigginton before Saturday's game with the Rangers.
Lugo starts in left to combat lefty Wilson
BALTIMORE -- Julio Lugo sat at his locker before batting practice Friday, working with a glove Luke Scott brought over, getting ready to become an outfielder once again.
Lugo has played second base and shortstop throughout his Major League career, as well as a little bit of third base, but he'll play left field Friday night in the second game of the Orioles' series with Texas. Manager Buck Showalter penciled in Lugo to play left and bat second.
Lugo was tested immediately by a Josh Hamilton line drive in the first inning. Lugo started in, then stopped and leapt as the ball tipped off his glove and went over his head.
"That's a guy that comes from the National League," Showalter said. "He'll play anywhere, but it's not something that's foreign to him. He's a good athlete."
Showalter said he's trying to give some players a break and get others in the game. Lugo played in the outfield in 18 games throughout his career, but none since 2006.
"I haven't played there in awhile," Lugo said. "It's an adjustment, but I'm an athlete and I can do it. I was a little surprised, [but it lets me] stay in the game. Staying in the game is the main thing."
The move also helps Showalter pack his lineup with eight right-handed hitters against Texas lefty C.J. Wilson, who has held left-handed hitters to a .103 average this season -- lowest in the Majors.
Showalter sat Scott and Felix Pie, two of Baltimore's best hitters in recent games, and put in right-handers Lugo and Jake Fox to try to neutralize Wilson.
Healthy Uehara impresses Showalter
BALTIMORE -- Injuries have sidelined Koji Uehara for much of his two seasons in Baltimore, but he's been good when healthy. Uehara is on a roll now, posting a sparkling 0.53 ERA and allowing just one run in 17 innings over his past 14 games.
Manager Buck Showalter has said that he's evaluating everyone now for next year, but said he can see what Uehara can bring to a team.
"I don't throw out what's gone on here for a year and three-quarters-ish," Showalter said. "I know what I've seen since I've been here. I can see why he was somebody that was coveted to bring in. Keeping him healthy, I know, has been a challenge, but it's pretty obvious when he's healthy that he can make a really good contribution."
Uehara closed out Thursday's 4-0 victory over the Rangers with a scoreless ninth inning after Brian Matusz blanked Texas through eight.
In Monday's win over the Mariners, Uehara struck out a season-best four batters in 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He's held right-handed hitters to a .183 average so far this season, but has two stints on the disabled list.
Reimold settling in after rough start
BALTIMORE -- Manager Buck Showalter said there's a chance Nolan Reimold could be back in Baltimore in September -- something that might help the young outfielder, who is playing a lot better than when last with the Orioles earlier this season.
He is one of the young players the Orioles were expecting big things from in 2010 after having a great rookie season last year. But Reimold stumbled from the start and spent most of the season with Triple-A Norfolk.
Reimold was sent down to Norfolk after batting just .205 in 29 games with Baltimore. The Orioles shut him down late in the '09 season to have surgery on his left Achilles tendon, and Reimold had to work on recovering from that.
And when he went back to Norfolk, Reimold got off to a rough start before slowly rounding into form. He's now batting .247 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs in 83 games.
"I think there's been some issues, other than playing the game itself, that challenge all players," said Showalter. "You're up here, you're the so-called flavor of the month, and everybody's extolling your virtues, and then you have some challenges. It looks like he's starting to turn the corner and get that behind him. We all love his potential and what he can bring. ... He's definitely real strong on the radar."
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.