In anticipation of tonight's series opener against the Red Sox (a 7-7 tie in the 7th) the Orioles were forced to make a flurry of roster moves. Pitcher Alfredo Simon was placed on the restricted list yesterday afternoon to attend a hearing on his legal problems in the Dominican Republic. According to the Baltimore Sun, Simon is on his way back to the United States and is expected to be back with the team by tomorrow if all goes well with his travels. Vladimir Guerrero was also placed on the 15-day DL (retroactive to July 11th) prior to yesterday's game with a broken hand. To top it off, Mitch Atkins was sent back to Norfolk after yesterday's game.
Hold onto your hats, here come the corresponding roster moves. Josh Bell was called up from Norfolk to take Simon's spot (whether or not he remains with the team following tonight's game remains to be seen). They also called up Mark Worrell and Troy Patton, both as relievers. Again, any and all of these moves might well be temporary in light of the fact that things always seem to be happening with this team. Luke Scott is currently making some rehab starts in the minors, so he could in theory be ready to re-join the team at some point in the near future. At the moment, the Orioles probably need the depth in the bullpen because Uehara's worked on three straight days, as has Jim Johnson. Further compounding the situation is the fact that Kevin Gregg began serving his truncated three-game suspension tonight, so the Oriole 'pen is short-handed.
Ultimately this all boils down once again to pitching. Brad Bergesen made tonight's start with mixed results, but that's another gu that's in theory come out of the bullpen to make a start. The starting rotation was to be Guthrie, Matusz, Arrieta, Tilman/Bergesen, and Duchscherer. Now we've reverted to Guthrie, Arrieta, Simon, and...who else? I suppose you can pencil Bergesen in there again now, however who really knows. My point has been and will continue to be that the pitching really went south when Mark Connor resigned. I don't want to make this into a conviction of Rick Adair, however the evidence is somewhat incriminating.
Thus far, the O's have lost the lead and then come back to get it again. That's a great sign! Even one week ago this team wouldn't have had the moxie to come back and take the lead after Boston beat them down. (Odds are they wouldn't have had the lead in the first place.) At the moment the game hangs in the balance, however the Orioles have struck back at Red Sox nation. And everything that I said above is exactly the kind of attitude of which we need to rid ourselves. Game after game we sit here and talk about moral victories and how much small progression that the Orioles make in games. That means nothing. Teams like the Red Sox are more concerned about wins than moral victories. There's no doubting that the Orioles' comeback tonight meant something, however if Boston ends up winning it goes down as another hard-fought loss. Teams like the Red Sox don't care if you fight back or not, so long as they end up on top at the end. (And if you don't fight back they merely scoff at your apathy.) So from the Orioles' standpoint, they need to truly give these guys a reason to dislike them...beat 'em.