06/28/12 12:53 AM ET
O's hoping to send multiple players to ASG
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Manager Buck Showalter said -- as long as the rotation stays on turn -- Hammel's final start before the break will be on July 7, which makes him a viable option for AL manager Ron Washington.
While Hammel's career-high eight earned runs allowed in a season-low 3 1/3 innings during Baltimore's 13-1 loss to the Angels hurt his case, the Orioles' All-Star hopes are still high.
Baltimore -- led by a surprisingly strong pitching staff -- is expected to have multiple representatives at this year's All-Star Game, which will be played on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
In addition to Hammel, closer Jim Johnson and starter Wei-Yin Chen have made strong cases, along with outfielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters, who can be voted in as part of MLB's online voting. The Orioles have not had more than one All-Star since sending four players in 2005, including two starters in Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada.
"It's pretty fair, I think," Showalter said of how the squads are selected. "The bottom line is the fans are voting in who they want to see, but at the same time, it's not an exhibition, because there's a lot of meaning in what happens in that All-Star Game. It will be for good fodder about who should and who shouldn't [make the team]. I'm very biased about our guys, but I get to see them all the time."
Showalter -- who didn't plan on reaching out to Washington before Sunday's All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS -- managed the AL squad in the 1995 All-Star game and said it was a challenge to make sure no one got injured and to not run out of players while remaining competitive.
"I know how tough a job it is," he said. "It's different than when I did it, it's kind of taken out of the manager's hands mostly, which I'm sure Ron's OK with.
"[Washington is] aware of who's having worthy seasons around. It's more League-oriented."
With voting for the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game ending Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET, the Orioles will conclude their two-month #VoteOrange campaign with Vote Orange T-shirt Thursday. The first 10,000 fans age 15 and over in attendance at Thursday's game against the Cleveland Indians will receive a Vote Orange T-shirt.
The Orioles' Vote Orange promo team has made numerous appearances in neighborhoods throughout the city, and will make one final stop along with the Oriole Bird at the Inner Harbor on Thursday from noon to 2:00 p.m. The promo team and Bird will also be at Oriole Park that evening to register fans. Those who sign up to vote the maximum 25 times on Orioles.com will receive an "I VOTED" sticker as well as a $5 voucher for a future ticket purchase, good for up to eight tickets.
Lindstrom activated from 15-day DL
BALTIMORE -- As expected, the Orioles reinstated right-hander Matt Lindstrom from the 15-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game, optioning infielder Steve Tolleson to Triple-A Norfolk to clear room on the 25-man roster.
"He's done a good job for us against left-handed pitching. Obviously, if it stays on schedule, we have seven of nine right-handed pitchers against us," manager Buck Showalter said of Tolleson, who is 2-for-16 against righties this year.
"Some of the things we are going to have to do in our rotation, [we] want to make sure we have some length and we're covered. We could get back to position players, sometime after the weekend, to where we were."
In addition to Lindstrom, who pitched to a 1.29 ERA before going on the disabled list with a right middle finger injury, the Orioles welcomed back reliever Dana Eveland on Wednesday. Eveland left the team after Saturday's game due to the birth of his second child and, due to some plane problems, returned to Baltimore a day later than expected.
Both Lindstrom and Eveland pitched out of the bullpen on Wednesday, while right-hander Tommy Hunter -- who is still an option to start Saturday's game -- could be used in relief again on Thursday if needed.
Lindstrom entered with one out in the fourth in relief of starter Jason Hammel and recorded the final two outs, allowing one run on two hits and a walk.
Eveland came on in the eighth and gave up only a hit in two scoreless innings.
The Orioles are in a stretch of 13 games without an off-day heading into the All-Star break, and Showalter has been careful to keep from overusing a bullpen that has been the best in the Majors all season.
"I knew there was going to have to be a move today, I just didn't realize it was going to be a position player," said Tolleson, who batted .220 with two homers and six RBIs in 17 games. "But whatever can help this team win games is what I'm all about. Unfortunately, again, it was me. I look forward to the time where I can be a fixture on this team, but just because it's not right now doesn't mean that I won't be here to help the team in the second half."
Orioles closer Jim Johnson celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday.
Wilson Betemit's eighth-inning homer in Tuesday's game marked his 10th of the season, giving the Orioles five players with 10 or more home runs, joining only the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees in that category. Chris Davis, Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters are the other four players.
Triple-A Norfolk right-handers Jason Berken and Miguel Socolovich have been named to the 2012 International League All-Star Team. Berken is 1-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 14 outings, while Socolovich is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 21 relief appearances. The Triple-A All-Star Game will take place in Buffalo, N.Y., on July 11.
The Orioles agreed to terms with their 29th round pick, right-hander Jake Pintar. Twenty-four of the club's 40 picks have agreed to terms.
Although Dana Eveland threw two innings on Wednesday, manager Buck Showalter said the left-hander is still an option for Saturday's start. Eveland needed just 18 pitches to get through his two innings, including a five-pitch eighth. The Orioles used five relievers on Wednesday, but Showalter said he was happy the team was able to rest Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson, while keeping Tommy Hunter available if the need for a long reliever arises later in the week.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.