In the fifth inning of his Orioles’ debut Thursday night, Wade Miley was hit in the left calf on a sharp grounder by the Rangers’ Rougned Odor.
After a 5-3 loss to Texas, Miley said he was glad that happened because it likely saved a run. While Miley admittedly had an uneven performance, it’s that type of toughness that should make the left-hander a valuable part of the Orioles’ rotation.
“I didn’t have very good command at all,” Miley said. “Had to battle to make some pitches. It happens. It’s baseball. Overall, it’s not exactly how I wanted to go out and throw, but at the same time, it’s baseball. You’re never going to do your best every time out, but I was able to make some pitches in some jams and get out of some stuff. But it’s something to build on and get the first one out of the way.”
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Miley allowed four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts over five innings. However, he endured some hard luck when when a soft grounder by Ian Desmond got by first baseman Chris Davis jersey on a ball shielded by Shin-Soo Choo, leading to a run. One batter later, Carlos Beltran jersey hit a blooper that second baseman Jonathan Schoop couldn’t handle in shallow right that gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter was impressed by Miley’s performance. He said the final stats didn’t tell the true story.
“I thought it was competitive,” Showalter said. “Plays we normally make we didn’t make. The runner did a great job of shielding Chris on the one, and some ground balls snuck through. But I liked what I saw on wholesale MLB jerseys.”
After the game, Miley was not concerned about his calf and authentic jerseys. He confirmed that no X-rays were going to be needed, and he would be ready for his next start.
Maybe the Cubs will wind up re-signing Dexter Fowler. They didn’t officially say goodbye when they signed Jon Jay, even if he became the sixth veteran outfielder on a 2017 roster that’s also expected to include Albert Almora Jr jersey.
But come on. Lightning is not going to strike two years in a row. Not when Fowler has become the best outfielder on the free-agent market.
The Cubs got lucky last year when Fowler surprised virtually everyone by signing with them, and his presence proved crucial when they lost Kyle Schwarber in the third game of the season. His leadoff homer in Game 7 of the World Series put an exclamation point on two highly productive seasons in Chicago.
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But Fowler’s due to get paid, and Theo Epstein’s front office knows how to separate sentimentality from business decisions. The Cubs won’t commit four or five years to an outfielder entering his age-31 season when they have Jake Arrieta in his walk year and so many young players moving toward big paychecks.
Now that Yoenis Cespedes jersey has re-signed with the Mets, Fowler tops a list of available outfielders that includes Jose Bautista jersey, Ian Desmond, Mark Trumbo jersey, Carlos Gomez jersey and Michael Saunders.
He’s a switch-hitting leadoff man who played well in center field last season and would be a defensive upgrade for almost any team if he slid over to left field. He’s an unselfish clubhouse leader whose production has ascended since he joined the Cubs with cheap MLB jerseys at the same time as manager Joe Maddon and Jon Lester jersey– in other words, at the exact right time.
Using OPS+ as the barometer, Fowler has been better than the average player six years in a row, and he was at his best (126 OPS+) last season. He keeps himself in great shape and crossed the threshold of age 30 gracefully, delivering an fWAR of 3.3 in 2015 and 4.7 in ’16.
In a market where the Astros committed $52 million over four years to Josh Reddick, Fowler’s market would seem to start at $60 million over four years. It could grow from there if one of multiple teams looking for outfielders decide he’s the guy who will get them to the World Series or back to the postseason.
It was a welcome return for the fans at Camden Yards as well, who chanted O’Day’s name while he was on the mound.
“That was cool. I didn’t notice it until [there were] two outs. It’s pretty neat,” O’Day said.
“I love it cause if they are doing it, that means I’m pitching well. It was a lot of fun. I don’t know if I could have written it any better. The team, the walk-off homer, Vance [Worley] — our starting pitching has been awesome the last few days here and they make it a lot easier on the bullpen — so you can’t talk about the game without talking about Vance and cheap jerseys.”
O’Day, who earned the win, is now 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA on the year. He’s struck out 28 batters in 21 innings and is a major boost to an O’s ‘pen that entered Sunday with the fourth-best ERA in the majors (3.10).
To clear a roster spot, the Orioles optioned left-hander Donnie Hart to Double-A Bowie.
Hart, who was recalled July 15 for his first Major League stint, pitched in three games with the Orioles. He didn’t allow any runs in 2 2/3 innings.