04/03/12 6:58 PM ET
Orioles cut reliever Neshek, outfielder Miller
By Chris Girandola / Special to MLB.com
Neshek, who is healthy after having Tommy John surgery in 2008, recorded one save and allowed three hits over nine scoreless innings in 10 spring appearances. He had eight strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
Manager Buck Showalter said he based his decision on the fact that the 31-year-old Neshek is without an option and once the team adds him to the roster, it could not send him to the Minors. By re-assigning him, the Orioles can allow Neshek to prepare himself more for when the team eventually recalls him.
"Talking to Pat, going through the history, it's the first time in a while, little by little his increments have jumped, even since last year in San Diego," Showalter said. "Listening to him talk today, we think he can impact our club this year. I'm happy that we have him.
"Since I've been here, we're doing things with the pitching we haven't been doing. It's going to be intriguing picking up that Triple-A report to see. ... He's not very far back from a guy who was very effective in the big leagues. He had the Tommy John behind him. He's crossed that threshold you wait on with the time removed from it. He touched 90 mph this year, and that's something he hasn't done in a while."
Neshek appeared in 25 games last season with the Padres, compiling a 1-1 record with a 4.01 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 24 2/3 innings. He issued 22 walks and gave up four home runs.
Miller went 10-for-43 (.233) with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 17 games this spring.
Miller can choose to refuse the re-assignment and become a free agent. Showalter believes Miller will go to Norfolk.
"I know what he has said as far as what he's thinking he's going to do, so we'll see if that will transpire or not," Showalter said.
The 27-year-old Miller spent most of the 2011 campaign in the Oakland Minor League system, but did appear in seven Major League games, batting .250 (3-for-12) with a home run and two RBIs.
With Alfredo Simon being claimed on waivers by the Reds and Tsuyoshi Wada being placed on the 15-day disabled list, the Orioles now have 26 active players in camp and 37 players on the 40-man roster.
Infielder Nick Johnson, a non-roster invite, and catcher Ronny Paulino appear headed for spots on the 40-man roster. Showalter said the final decision on the roster would be announced sometime before the MLB deadline on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET.
Former O's pitcher Johnson eyes comeback
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Former Orioles pitcher Jason Johnson was at the Spring Training complex in Sarasota on Tuesday, hoping for a chance to latch on with a team. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound right-hander, who had surgery to repair a torn labrum two years ago, tossed a bullpen session and said his velocity was "near 90-91 mph."
"Hopefully I can show that I'm completely back to full strength," said Johnson, who compiled a 34-53 record with a 4.84 ERA over five seasons from 1999-2003 with the Orioles. "We'll see what they have to say. I just have to wait while they sort things out, and maybe I can get a spot in extended spring training."
Johnson, who worked out with the Giants two weeks ago, received an invite from Orioles special assistant Brady Anderson to showcase his arm at camp. The two were teammates when Anderson was at the tail end of his 14-year career with the Orioles.
The 38-year-old Johnson had the surgery performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who is well known for performing operations on professional athletes. Johnson, who has played for eight teams over 11 seasons, last pitched in a Major League game in 2008 with the Dodgers.
He attempted a comeback last season, but was informed by Dr. Andrews to wait another year before doing so.
"I tried to pitch, but I felt a little bit of discomfort, so I talked to [Dr. Andrews], and he said if I wanted to be 100 percent, I had to wait two years [after the surgery]," said Johnson, who has a career 56-100 record with a 4.99 ERA over 221 starts and 255 appearances.
Johnson, who had his best year in 2003, when he went 10-10 with a 4.18 ERA, said he has added a split-fingered fastball to his arsenal of pitches. He has had three 100-plus strikeout seasons, two of them with the Orioles.
Maine topic illuminated in Orioles camp
SARASOTA, Fla. -- After further review, former Oriole Mike Bordick, who went to high school in Winterport, Maine, informed media members on Tuesday that there have been several position players from the state who played in the Major Leagues. On Monday, Ryan Flaherty told reporters he was the "only other position player" from Maine besides Bordick to play in the big leagues.
According to baseball-almanac.com, there have been several position players who were either born in Maine or who resided in the state who played Major League Baseball, most notably Del Bissonette and Clyde Sukeforth.
Bissonette, who was born in Winthrop and attended high school in his birthplace, went to the University of New Hampshire before playing five seasons as a first baseman with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Bissonette, who passed away on June 9, 1972, batted .305 with 391 RBIs in 2,291 at-bats.
Sukeforth, who was born in Waldoboro, made his Major League debut in 1926 with the Reds as a catcher and split a nine-year career with Cincinnati and Brooklyn from 1926-1934. He returned to the Dodgers in 1945 as a fill-in player during the World War II manpower shortage.
Sukeforth batted .264 over his career and had his best season in 1929 with the Reds, with whom he had a .354 batting average, 33 RBIs and 16 doubles.
There have been a plethora of pitchers from the state of Maine, including former Red Sox great Bob Stanley, who had a 115-97 record with Boston from 1977-89, and Bill Swift, who had a combined record of 94-78 with three different teams from 1985-98.
More recently, Padres pitcher Tim Stauffer, who was born in Portland, Maine, was drafted by San Diego in the first round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and made his debut in 2005. He has compiled a 23-31 record with a 3.92 ERA over six seasons.
Moving day: Orioles pack for trip back north
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Spring begets change, and Tuesday signaled moving day for the Orioles.
With the Grapefruit League having wrapped up on Sunday and exhibition games completed against two college programs -- one on Monday and one on Tuesday -- the only thing left on the table for the organization was prepping the club for the move up north.
One of the biggest logistical requirements involved transporting the vehicles for the players, coaching staff and administrative personnel. The process began Monday night, with several auto-transport semi-trailers lining North Euclid Avenue next to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla.
One by one, 22 cars were loaded onto three trucks on Monday night for the trip back to Baltimore.
In addition to the cars, equipment manager Jim Tyler organized and prepared the uniforms, bats, gloves and other equipment for transport in two moving trucks, one that left on March 30 and one that was scheduled to leave Tuesday.
"The whole process actually begins at the beginning of spring," said Orioles travel secretary Kevin Buck, who has been with the organization since 2003. "There are many logistical things that need to be taken care of throughout the spring, and it's important to have everything planned accordingly."
Buck works in coordination with Tyler on arranging the entire move, which includes arranging hotel rooms in Baltimore for players who have not yet rented or bought a place to live.
Chris Girandola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.