Well, after an awful start to the series in Cleveland, the golden arm of Jeremy Guthrie and the big bats of Aubrey Huff and Nick Markakis helped the Orioles down the Indians, 6-1.
Guthrie, who has been by far the team’s most reliable starter and in a way – the team’s ace – won his 10th game by going seven strong innings, only giving up a single run. Sadly, he left before the eighth inning due to his back tightening.
The Orioles held a slim 2-1 margin until the ninth inning, and then busted out four runs to put the game away thanks to hits by Huff and Markakis.
In the second inning, Huff hit a solo home run – his 25th. Melvin Mora and Markakis each had three hits.
As I surmised, with only a day or so left with draft picks being available to sign with their teams, it looks like the Orioles and Brian Matusz are close to signing to a deal.
Obviously, this is all good news. I had no doubts that Matusz would sign, as he seemed to really want to start his professional career – however, also wanted to be assured of certain amount in his contract negotiations.
From the Baltimore Sun: Orioles first-round draft pick Brian Matusz is scheduled to be in Baltimore today to take a physical, one of the final steps to the pitcher and the team reaching an agreement on a contract.According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the two sides are closing in on a deal that could be finalized within the next 24 hours.
The Orioles have until midnight tomorrow to reach an agreement or they'll forfeit the draft rights to the University of San Diego left-hander and get a similar compensatory pick in next year's draft.
Orioles president Andy MacPhail said last night that "there's no agreement yet, but we are making some progress."
Orioles director of scouting Joe Jordan did not return calls seeking comment, and Matusz's agent, Marc Agar, declined to comment. Both sides have been mum about the type of signing bonus Matusz has been seeking, but it is believed he originally was looking for a majorleague contract in the neighborhood of $5million
The vast majority of the top ten picks have not signed yet, and perhaps they were all waiting on the chips to fall before putting the ink on the dotted line.
I know the Orioles really want to take their time with Matt Wieters; however, at this point, could he be warranted for a cup of coffee in the majors? Read this post by Peter Schmuck, and take a glance at his numbers – we might as well see what he has in September.
Honestly, he should not be rushed and I think he might be held back in the minors right now, not because of his hitting – he may simply need to learn to catch and manage the game at the major league level.
Thus, other than that, I cannot imagine why he’s still in the minors. In light of everything, the kid has had an amazing year, and unless he really stinks in spring training next year, it’s looking more and more everyday that might will be on the major league roster in 2009.