Orioles acquire Pearce again
Always on the prowl for bench help, no matter how late in the season, the Orioles added outfielder Steve Pearce to the 40-man roster for the second time in 2012.
He was claimed on waivers from the New York Yankees on Saturday; the Orioles also purchased his contract from the Yankees on June 2 and Pearce spent nearly two months with the club before he was claimed on waivers by the Houston Astros on July 28.
The 29-year-old Pearce has appeared in 28 games for the Orioles in 2012, hitting .254 with three homers. He had five RBIs against his original team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, on June 14, and a home run against C.J. Wilson and the Los Angeles Angels on July 6.
“He could maybe take a pinch hit, maybe keep them from bringing in a certain guy from the bullpen,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Pearce. “We have knowledge of him. We liked him. We would have liked to have kept him at the time, but we had needs that were a little more pressing. I know we have interest in having Steve in the organization in the offseason.”
Because he was obtained after Aug. 31, Pearce will not be eligible for the club’s potential postseason roster. And because his wife just gave birth in Florida, he will not be joining the Orioles until Monday at Tampa Bay.
Pearce has now been with the Orioles and Yankees organizations twice this season, with the Astros once and started the year in spring training with the Minnesota Twins.
To make room for Pearce, the Orioles placed minor league pitcher Oliver Drake (shoulder) on the 60-day disabled list. The club has now made 178 roster moves this season.
Wolf won’t retire, even if he has surgery
Lefty Randy Wolf (torn elbow ligament) said he will fly to his home in California on Monday and expects to have his elbow examined next week by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels’ team doctor who performed Wolf’s Tommy John surgery in 2005.
After consulting with Yocum, Wolf said he’ll decide whether to have Tommy John surgery -- which would put him out at least a year. The 36-year-old said he has no plans to retire and would expect he could be back pitching by spring 2014, if he chooses to have surgery soon.
“I still feel great. My numbers definitely declined in 2012, but my stuff didn’t decline. I was throwing as hard as ever,” said Wolf, who was 2-0 with a 5.28 ERA in five games with the Orioles after being released by the Milwaukee Brewers. “For me, I have nothing to lose by trying to come back. And I feel if my elbow bounces back, I still have the physical ability to pitch.”
Showalter left it up to Wolf on whether he wanted to stay with the team during its potential playoff run, and Wolf has decided to go back to California.
“I’ve only been here a month, I’ve pitched in [five games] and these guys have been battling for seven months. What they have done is just awesome,” Wolf said. “The camaraderie and atmosphere is pretty special, but at the same time I just don’t want to be in the way. I want these guys to understand this moment is about them.”
Hammel pitches Monday in Sarasota; return nearing
Right-hander Jason Hammel (right knee) will pitch four to five innings in an instructional league game Monday in Sarasota. He will face left-handers and right-handers, and will be caught by minor leaguer Steel Russell, the son of Orioles’ bench coach John Russell.
The outing, assuming it goes well, would set up Hammel to start an early postseason game if the Orioles make the playoffs. Showalter, however, is not entertaining talk about the playoff rotation while the club hasn’t clinched a berth.
“We talked about that in a staff meeting today with the coaches and instead of trying to handicap it, we left it as, ‘Let’s see what Monday brings,’” Showalter said. “It probably wouldn’t be something that would be decided until Tuesday. We want to see how he feels from the outing.”
No transistor radios in clubhouse
Several players were watching the Yankees-Toronto Blue Jays game on one of the clubhouse TVs (others were tuned to golf and college football) before their game Saturday. Showalter said he and the players are paying attention to other teams in the hunt, but are not obsessing over what’s going on in different parks.
“I don’t think somebody’s got a transistor [radio] under a blanket in there, like we used to. But they are aware,” he said.
Around the horn
Outfielder Lew Ford returned to the starting lineup Saturday. He had been out since Sunday with a bone bruise near his hip. Friday night’s one-hitter against the Red Sox marked the second time in club history that the Orioles have held Boston to one or fewer hits. Tom Phoebus no-hit the Red Sox on April 27, 1968. First baseman Mark Reynolds entered Saturday’s game hitting .337 (33-for-98) with 10 doubles, 13 homers and 30 RBIs in 28 games against the Red Sox and Yankees this season. With Chris Davis’ 30th home run of the season in Saturday’s game, the Orioles have their sixth 30-homer duo in a season -- Adam Jones has 32 -- in club history. J.J. Hardy and Reynolds accomplished the feat last season, as did Brady Anderson and Rafael Palmeiro in 1996, Eddie Murray and Larry Sheets in 1987 and Boog Powell and Frank Robinson in 1966 and 1969. Catcher Taylor Teagarden has nine RBIs and nine hits this season, the second time in his career that he’s had as many or more RBIs as hits (17 RBI, 15 hits in 2008).