Conner Greene gets his shot with Orioles; Valdez grateful for chance; Scherzer scratched - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Conner Greene gets his shot with Orioles; Valdez grateful for chance; Scherzer scratched

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—Tyler Wells’ stint on the 10-day injured list gives Conner Greene an apportunity to make his major league debut. Greene, a 26-year-old right-hander, had his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday.

Greene was 1-3 with a 7.39 ERA in nine games with Norfolk. He started three times. He was on the taxi squad for several Orioles’ road trips.

“I haven’t been looking at how it may end up,” Greene said “I’ve been worrying about my own pitching and how I can get better, so that when I am here, I’m ready to deliver and give them what they need.”

A number of pitchers have made their major league debuts — Jay Flaa, Mickey Jannis, Zac Lowther, Isaac Mattson, Konner Wade, Spenser Watkins and Alexander Wells.

“I’m just happy,” Greene said. “They’re all just good guys. Flaa, Jannis, they all spent some time in the minor leagues, as I have to, so we’re all journeymen trying to make it. I couldn’t be happier for them when I did. I’m glad that I’m getting my shot, too.”

The team record for players used in a season is 58 in 2019. Greene would be the 48th player used by the Orioles this season.

“It was something I envisioned my entire life,” Greene said. “I go to sleep dreaming about it.”

Some managers joke with players, trying to make them think they’re in trouble before telling them they’re going to the big leagues. Norfolk manager Gary Kendall was straightforward with Greene.

“This time they purchased your contract. Congratulations, kid, you’re going to the bigs,” Greene said Kendall told him. “I was shaking. I couldn’t wait to tell my dad. We put in years and years of hard work together to be here. [It’s] as much his dream as it is mine. I couldn’t wait to call my pops and share it with him. It was amazing.”

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Greene is friendly with actor Charlie Sheen and appeared as an extra in “Anger Management” several years ago. He’s supposedly known for his sense of humor.

“I’m a little nervous right now,” Greene said. “Maybe you’ll get to see it. Maybe sitcom comedy.”

Because left-hander Keegan Akin and outfielder Anthony Santander are on the Covid-19 injured list, they are temporarily off the 40-man roster, so room didn’t have to be made for Greene.

“This guy’s got an awesome, awesome personality,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We saw him a lot in spring training. He was there almost the entire camp, had a lot of appearances. He’s somebody that’s pitched at the upper levels for a while now. He’s just hasn’t gotten a major league opportunity.

“He was once a high prospect with Toronto. He’s got a really good arm. It’s really about command and being able to throw strikes. A little up and down season in Triple-A, hoping he comes up here and pitches well … With Wellsy going down, we need a bullpen arm, and I like Conner’s stuff. It’s all about command with him.”

Hyde said he anticipated that Wells, who has tendinitis in his right wrist, will be ready when he’s eligible to come off the injured list on July 31st.

Valdez waiting: César Valdez began the season as the Orioles’ closer, recording eight saves with four blown opportunities.

Valdez spent time on the 10-day injured list because of a lower-back strain. Since he came off the injured list on July 4th, he’s pitched four times. In the first two appearances, he gave up five runs on five hits in two innings, but has since thrown five scoreless innings.

He’s 2-1 with a 5.88 ERA.

“I feel well, thank God. I feel healthy,” Valdez said through a translator. “I just feel ready to go.”

Valdez’s last two appearances have been in the middle innings.

“It’s the same,” Valdez said. “I’m trying to take advantage of the opportunity the manager is providing, and hopefully continue to do a good job.”

At 36, Valdez is the oldest Oriole, but this season is his longest in the majors.

“It’s been a big step,” Valdez said. “It’s very gratifying to be here. I’m very thankful for the opportunity the organization has given me despite streaks where things have not gone well. They stick with me, so I really appreciate that, and I’m really looking forward to continuing to help the team any way I can.”

Scherzer scratched: Washington scratched starting pitcher Max Scherzer because of mild triceps discomfort. He’s being replaced by left-hander Jon Lester, who was scheduled to go on Sunday.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Buzz1979

    July 24, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Did you know? Franco has 42 RBI, Johnny Hustle has 39!

  2. Buzz1979

    July 24, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    Valdez, at 36, still needs a translator???

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 24, 2021 at 8:03 pm

      En cuantos idiomas eres fluido?

      Buzz…He’s been playing the Mexican league like forever. English is not the primary language in Tijuana.

  3. CalsPals

    July 24, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    7.39 era, really?…go O’s…

    • Buzz1979

      July 24, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      I predict he will have more ML success than Mike Wright or David Hess, not saying much, I know!

    • BarstoolSleeper

      July 24, 2021 at 6:45 pm

      You wanted the youngens… here they come

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 24, 2021 at 8:10 pm

        BSS….I’m wondering if you could spell “tank”, even if spotted the T and the K. This ingenious promotion probably came from the man himself.

        And BTW ….. A 26 year old major league virgin is not exactly a youngen.

    • CalsPals

      July 24, 2021 at 6:50 pm

      Yep, some I’ve heard of would be nice…go O’s…

  4. NormOs

    July 24, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Wow, 7.39 ERA in Norfolk so, of course, he’s ready to start for the O”s. INCREDIBLE!

  5. dlgruber1

    July 24, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Any idea why not Hanhold? All these other guys are getting chances but not him. What gives?

    • CalsPals

      July 24, 2021 at 7:26 pm

      Control manipulation…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 24, 2021 at 8:12 pm

        Never heard of him either.

    • CalsPals

      July 24, 2021 at 8:21 pm

      Better era than 7.39, still 4 +, I believe he’s 28…still another I’ve not heard of, I forgot to put a ? mark after “Control manipulation “…go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      July 24, 2021 at 8:53 pm

      I just know each of the past 2 spring trainings, tho his overall numbers weren’t great, that the majority of the time he did really well.

    • CalsPals

      July 24, 2021 at 9:08 pm

      I definitely would’ve brought him up over Greene, it’s just funny that their best pitchers are at AA & they keep bringing up guys from AAA with questionable stats…as Boog says, Mikey has a plan…lol…go O’s…

    • BarstoolSleeper

      July 25, 2021 at 12:13 am

      Yeah it’s almost as if AAA is a higher class of baseball than AA. Weird.

    • CalsPals

      July 25, 2021 at 2:24 am

      Generally it is, just not in the O’s minors, did you read guys that were promoted awhile back to AAA stats, nothing that would warrant being moved up, it was discussed at length, if you would’ve read about you wouldn’t make such a crazy statement, but apparently that’s how you roll, or fall off the stool…go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      July 25, 2021 at 2:32 am

      AA has been the level the real prospects of MLB teams spend most of their time at for a long time now. AAA is for guys hanging on, rehab assignments and emergency replacements.

  6. DcOsfan

    July 24, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Tate is handling the 9th in place of Wells. Encouraging to see

  7. Buzz1979

    July 24, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Tate has the stuff to be a closer, nice to see. Not signing Machado is looking better and better, but we traded him a year late!

  8. Icterus fan

    July 24, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Tanner Scott- 2021 version of Don Stanhouse.
    OK, it’s too big of a stretch, but still – those sliders in the dirt are dangerous all the way around.
    Had me nervous!

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