The Orioles designated outfielder Endy Chavez for assignment tonight, calling up Nate McLouth from the Norflk Tides in his place. McLouth had the option to leave the Orioles last night at midnight but decided to stay on, the call up I’m sure played a part in his decision to stay.
Chavez who was signed to a one-year contract has failed to live up to the expectations the Orioles believed he once would, hitting to the lowest average of his career (.190), lower than his rookie season where he hit (.208) with the Kansas City Royals. Once again plagued with injuries that have limited him the last couple years, he has only played in 47 games this year, the same amount of games McLouth has played in Norfolk while with the Orioles (Excluding the games played with the Pirates)
In the limited time played, McLouth has hit to a (.244) avg. and 29 runs with an OBP of .325, Chavez with a (.190) avg., 12 runs and an OBP of .222. McLouth has the pedigree, an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 2008 when with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but struggled early this season, leading to his acquisition on June 5th by the Orioles. McLouth is looking for an opportunity and the Orioles are looking for some consistency in the outfield and at bat.
The Orioles have continued to move pieces around looking for a player to rise to the occasion, ever since Nolan Reimold was placed on the DL. His presence not only in the outfield but at the plate has played a part in what has been a revolving door of players in the outfield. While several analysts saw outfield as a position the Orioles could trade for before the deadline there wasn’t a deal that appealed to them, and they have choose to continually use internal solutions.
McLouth went 2-4 in his return to the majors with a run scored, and helped the Orioles shutout the Tampa Bay Rays behind a strong performance by Wei Yen Chen who is 1-1 versus the Rays this year. A win tomorrow against the Rays would not only give the Orioles a series win, but also a series split at 6-6 this year.
The Orioles will have Gonzalez (3-2, 4.46ERA) who has performed his way into the starting rotation, while the Rays will counter with Price (14-4, 2.64ERA) and has absolutely been lights out. Price has been kryptonite against the Orioles recently, and it will be interesting to see how Gonzalez rebounds from his last outing against the Rays where he gave up 7 runs. The addition of Gonzalez late in the season and his consistency could of factored in to the Orioles not trading for an innings eater pitcher like Blanton.