Lots of Orioles things going on today:
Let’s start with the aftermath of Tuesday’s brawl between Orioles shortstop Manny Machado and Kansas City Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura after Ventura hit Machado in the side with a 99-mph fastball, which most of the free world, besides Ventura, believed was intentional.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked Wednesday whether he was concerned that Machado is now getting a “hot-headed” reputation in baseball after charging the mound Tuesday night and after his suspension in 2014 for throwing his bat onto the field against the Oakland A’s.
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s brouhaha, some writers and media members lumped together Machado and Ventura, who definitely has a reputation of throwing at players when his emotions are high.
“No, he’s not getting that reputation,” Showalter said of Machado. “So if you’re basing on one person that really doesn’t know, I’d have to read it and think about it. Which really wouldn’t be on my list of things I really need to do today if you consider the sources.”
Showalter also was asked whether he thought there could be a carry-over between his club and the Royals on Wednesday night.
“It’s one of those things where you go out there play the game and try to score more runs than they do in the nine innings. If there’s something that happens along the way, you deal with it,” Showalter said. “That’s why I said last night, you bring it on.”
Through his words, you could tell Showalter believes the gripe is with Ventura more so than the Royals – and he kind of hinted at that with these comments:
“I do think that where you get in a problem is when both clubs think they have just cause, and they’re both right, That’s where things like this continue to bandy around,” Showalter said. “You never know what beats in the hearts of men and what they actually think. You may have 23 people that feel one way and two people feel the other way, then things like that happen again. You deal with them. We’ll deal with them right now, and our focus is right now trying to beat them on the field. They’re good. That’s why they were the last team standing last year.”
When asked what he thought would be a proper punishment for Machado – disciplinary action hasn’t been doled out yet by the commissioner’s office – Showalter didn’t give specifics, only that he was biased. But it’s obvious the Orioles aren’t going to be happy if Machado and Ventura receive the same suspension.
LHP Wandy Rodriguez, who was signed to a minor league deal and was pitching in extended spring training, has asked for and been granted his release so he can pursue a job elsewhere, according to Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette.
The 37-year-old Rodriguez, who was 6-4 with a 4.90 ERA in 17 games with Texas last year, wanted to be in the majors and the Orioles didn’t feel like there was an opening for him.
“Wandy, I think is going to take his leave and I didn’t know what he is going to do,” Duquette said. “But he is going to take his leave. We don’t have a spot for him currently.”
First baseman Chris Davis was out of the starting lineup for the first time all season Wednesday – and it was against right-hander Edinson Volquez, which made the decision even more curious.
Showalter said he’s been wanting to give Davis a day off – and with the Machado decision looming – he said Wednesday seemed appropriate. Davis, Showalter said, is dealing with a few different minor maladies, including a thumb issue, but nothing directly from being in the middle of Tuesday’s scrum.
“I expect Chris will be back in there (Thursday), without getting into some of the things that … are on the medical sheet and what have you,” Showalter said. “Nothing’s gotten worse. It’s just that time.”
Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph will report to Double-A Bowie on Tuesday and will take part in baseball activities, but he may not be activated for a minor league rehab assignment for a little while longer. Joseph, who had testicular surgery May 30 after taking a foul tip to the groin, will not be cleared to catch again until at least June 30. But it is possible, Showalter said, that Joseph can be activated at Bowie and serve as a designated hitter. That’s not been decided yet.
“He’ll start hitting and doing everything else with them, except catching,” Showalter said. “Hopefully, he’ll see the doctor and get that cleared.”
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (right shoulder) was in the Orioles’ clubhouse Wednesday and will go with the team to Toronto to take his work day. It hasn’t yet been decided whether he will be activated to pitch at the Rogers Centre on Sunday or whether he’ll take one more rehab start.
Duquette said that he does expect the Orioles to make a push at the non-waiver trade deadline if they are in the pennant hunt.
“I hope so. I hope so. I hope we are in a position where we can add some pieces to this team to get it over the top.”
The Orioles announced they had promoted Pat Di Gregory to director of pro scouting and special projects. Di Gregory, who is in his fourth season with the Orioles, was previously the organization’s coordinator of baseball operations.