29-year old lefty swinging 1B Travis Ishikawa has opted out of his minor league deal with the Orioles and he has become a free agent. Ishikawa played in 49 games in AAA-ball this year for the O’s and he was 56 of 177 (.316 avg, .939 OPS) with 29 runs scored, 7 homers, 31 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He last played in the majors in 2012 with the Brewers. He has played in 375 games in his first five years in the majors and he is 199 of 755 (.264 avg, .733 OPS) with 99 runs scored, 19 homers, 110 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Ishikawa will have no problem finding a new team in the very near future.
29-year old righty starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez has been sharp so far in June for the O’s. He has started 2 games for the Orioles so far in June and he is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP. He has only given up 9 hits and 2 walks while whiffing 12 batters in his first 14 innings this month, which is impressive. He has now pitched in 11 games (all starts) for the Orioles overall this year and he is 4-2 with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. The Orioles hope that Gonzalez stays sharp as they have been having problems lately in the rotation.
30-year old righty swinging SS J.J. Hardy had a rough April, but he has been making up for lost time. Since May 1st, Hardy has played in 36 games in which he is 45 of 140 (.321 avg) with 18 runs scored, 10 homers and 24 RBIs. Hardy has now played in 63 games for the Orioles overall this year and he is 66 of 244 (.270 avg, .794 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 13 homers and 39 RBIs. Hardy’s bat has really jump-started the offense for the Orioles as of late.
The Orioles have acquired 27-year old lefty swinging 1B Seth Loman from the White Sox for cash considerations. Loman played in 39 games in AAA-ball for the White Sox this year and he was 27 of 121 (.223 avg, .861 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 8 homers and 19 RBIs. He has whiffed 49 times already this year, so he does have some holes in his swing. Loman has played in 668 games in his first 8 years in the minors and he is 672 of 2,387 (.282 avg, .891 OPS) with 398 runs scored, 123 homers, 424 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. This was a depth move for the Orioles.
25-year old lefty reliever Jason Gurka has been electric in AA-ball for the Orioles. He has pitched in 14 games (0 starts) in AA-ball for the Orioles so far this year and he is 2-1 with 4 saves, a 2.01 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He has given up only 24 hits and 11 walks while whiffing 35 batters in his first 31 1/3 innings this year as he has been impressive. Gurka has now pitched in 103 games (1 start) in his first five years in the minors and he is 10-9 with 7 saves, a 3.15 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Gurka could get his first taste in the majors at some point in 2013 for the Orioles.
The Baltimore Orioles have placed 25-year old reliever/starter Steve Johnson on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left oblique. Johnson has pitched in 5 games (1 start) for the Orioles so far this year and he is 1-1 with a 8.49 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP. Johnson has now pitched in 17 games (5 starts) for the Orioles in his first two years with them and he is 5-1 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. This is a bad break for Johnson.
36-year old righty swinging outfielder Lew Ford will need groin surgery, which will likely shelve him for most of the rest of the 2013 season. Ford played in 21 games in AA+AAA-ball for the Orioles this year and he was 18 for 79 (.228 avg, .727 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 3 homers and 10 RBIs. He played in 25 games for the Orioles last year (his first with the team) and he was 13 for 71 (.183 avg, .609 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 3 homers, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. This is a bad break for Ford, as he was likely going to get another shot at the show at some point in 2013.
The Orioles have designated 32-year old righty swinging catcher Chris Snyder. Snyder played in 6 games for the O’s this year and he was 2 for 17 (.118 avg, .368 OPS) with 1 RBI. Snyder has played in 712 games in his first 10 years in the majors and he is 467 for 2,084 (.224 avg, .711 OPS) with 227 runs scored, 77 homers and 298 RBIs. The Orioles have activated Taylor Teagarden off the D.L. to replace Snyder as Matt Wieters’ backup. Snyder will likely reject an outright assignment to AAA and become a free agent.
UPDATE: (6/5/2013) - Chris Snyder has signed a minor league deal with the Orioles, so he will stay with the organization in AAA. He could get another shot with them later this year.
26-year old righty reliever Tom Boleska has retired from baseball. He pitched in 16 games (0 starts) in AA-ball for the Orioles this year and he was 2-4 with 1 save, a 5.33 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. Boleska pitched in 198 games (3 starts) in his seven years in the minors and he was 16-17 with 53 saves, a 2.71 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Despite having success in the minors, Boleska wasn’t any closer to the majors this year than he was in the past, which had to frustrate him.
The Orioles have released 26-year old righty swinging catcher Jose Gil. Gil played in 3 games in AA+AAA-ball this year for the O’s and he was 2 for 9 (.222 avg, .586 OPS) with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. He has now played in 538 games in his first 9 years in the minors and he is 428 of 1,825 (.237 avg, .663 OPS) with 203 runs scored, 40 homers, 240 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. Gil won’t be missed by the Orioles.