07/25/12 11:32 PM ET
Showalter can relate to Ripken kidnap scare
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
"My mother had somebody break in, middle of the night, tied her up with the cord to the radio," Showalter said of the break-in which occurred in his childhood home in Century, Fla. "She was listening to the game. We were in Atlanta, I think, a few years back. She found out later she knew the guy. She took him around and showed him where all the cash was. That dog [she had] didn't stay around much longer, didn't do a very good job."
Vi Ripken, 74, was kidnapped between 7-8 a.m. on Tuesday by a man who forced her into her car, according to multiple reports. She was found unharmed nearly a full day later, around 6:15 a.m., in her car near her home in Aberdeen, Md.
"Obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ripken family," Showalter said. "It's tough. Crazy world. But I know the Ripken family and I know the stock, not only [Cal Ripken] Sr. but Vi."
"This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy," the Ripken family said in a statement. "We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly. This is [an] ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time. Thank you."
Reynolds prepared to turn on the power
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles lineup is scuffling, and with trade rumors swirling that the team is looking to add a corner infield bat, first baseman Mark Reynolds said Wednesday he is optimistic he can regain his power stroke and help jump-start the team's lagging offense.
"Here's the thing, I don't know what's going to happen in the future," said Reynolds, who led the team in home runs (37) and RBIs (86) last season and is in the longest power-outage stretch of his career.
"I don't know if tonight I'm going to get four hits, or what. But obviously I feel like I am going to be able to revert to my old self and be that guy at the plate that this team can count on. And if I can contribute over these next two months of what I know I'm capable [of], I think we'll be in a good spot at the end of the day."
Reynolds entered Wednesday's game against the Rays with eight homers and 31 RBIs through 72 games -- not having gone deep since July 16 -- and is averaging one home run every 29.1 at-bats, his highest percentage in six Major League seasons. By comparison, he averaged a homer every 14.4 at-bats last year.
Reynolds has typically been a streaky hitter -- reeling off 13 homers in a 27-game span last year -- and both the 28-year-old infielder and manager Buck Showalter hold out hope that he can turn things around.
"I'm waiting, too," said Reynolds, who has three homers in his last 27 games. "Trust me, it's been frustrating. In the first half I had some inconsistent playing time with the [oblique] injury and not playing well and I deserved it.
"I'm getting some consistent ABs right now. It's just a matter of me going out there and night in, night out, being able to put them together. It's on me now. Buck is doing all he can by throwing me out there. It's on me to perform and produce for him."
Showalter said Joel Pineiro's surgery was "more extensive" than initially thought. Dr. James Andrews operated on Pineiro, who was diagnosed with a SLAP tear in his right labrum, on Tuesday and he will be out the rest of the season.
Robert Andino (left shoulder strain) is progressing better than expected, with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells reporting to Showalter that the infielder is ahead of schedule. The plan right now is for Andino to head to extended spring training in Sarasota, Fla., when the team leaves for its road trip on Sunday night.
Brian Matusz tossed eight innings for Triple-A Norfolk Wednesday night, allowing one run -- a solo homer -- on three hits. Matusz struck out five and didn't issue a walk.
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.