Friday, July 23, 2010

O's win in Roberts's return

It took longer than expected, but Brian Roberts finally made it back to Baltimore. And though Roberts went 0-4 in his first game back, Jeremy Guthrie picked up the offense's subpar performance (three runs on seven hits and no walks) by giving up just two earned runs in seven strong innings.

Guthrie allowed six hits while striking out six and walking none to earn his fourth win. The two Twins runs came on a two-run homer by Joe Mauer in the sixth. Will Ohman, David Hernandez, and Alfredo Simon combined to pitch the final two scoreless innings, with Simon earning his 14th save on the season.

Luke Scott stayed red-hot since coming off the disabled list by collecting two more hits, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to give the O's a 3-2 lead (also the final score).

Playing without Nick Markakis, who got the night off, the O's seemed rather impatient at the plate -- except for Roberts, who saw a team-high 24 pitches in four at-bats. In four at-bats of his own, Miguel Tejada saw just 11 pitches (though he did have two hits and scored two runs). Adam Jones, Felix Pie, Craig Tatum, and Corey Patterson all didn't do a particularly good job of working the count either.

But, hey, on this night, because of Guthrie, three runs was good enough.


To make room on the roster for Roberts, the O's designated Scott Moore for assignment. While speculating about potential roster moves the other day, I figured the O's would cut ties with Julio Lugo before getting rid of Moore.

In actuality, this isn't a big deal. Moore could easily clear waivers, and if he does so he could go back to Norfolk and return to Baltimore at a later point in the season. Or maybe another team will take a chance on him.

Anyway, here was Juan Samuel's quote on the move:
"We wanted to keep somebody who would give us a hand at short, and [Julio] Lugo was that guy," interim manager Juan Samuel said. "We talked to Scotty Moore and he understood that situation."
Samuel's right; Moore can't really play shortstop well enough at such a high level. But Cesar Izturis's name is in the lineup every day; why can't Tejada fill in for Izturis at that position once in a while? Is it really worth keeping Lugo around just for that purpose, especially since Roberts is back now to play second base?

At this point in his career, Lugo is a 34-year-old utility player without the ability to get on base often or hit for much power. He doesn't hold that much value on an American League roster, though his speed does come in handy occasionally late in games. And while Moore isn't necessarily that much better than Lugo, he is younger (26) and is still someone who can play multiple positions (first, second, and third).

Again, it's really not a big deal. But some of the moves the O's make baffle me at times. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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