Orioles extend Duquette, Showalter contracts

Orioles extend Duquette, Showalter contracts

BALTIMORE (AP) The Baltimore Orioles have extended the contracts of executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter through 2018.

The moves were announced Wednesday.

In his first season with the Orioles, the 54-year-old Duquette put together a club that earned an AL wild-card berth, ended a 14-year run of losing seasons and won 24 more games than in 2011.

Showalter managed Baltimore to a 93-69 record last year. The Orioles beat Texas in a one-game playoff to advance to the second round against the Yankees, who won a five-game series.

The 56-year-old Showalter was hired by the Orioles in August 2010. He is 196-185 with Baltimore and was heading into the final year of his contract.

Matusz will be missed by Baltimore's children

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Matusz will be missed by Baltimore's children

Last Wednesday, Casey Baynes, the founder of “Casey Cares” was doing what she likes best, taking a family her charity helps on an enjoyable outing. 

It was an Orioles game and Baynes introduced the family to Brian Matusz, who has been heavily involved in “Casey Cares” since he became an Oriole. 

Now, Matusz is no longer an Oriole, and Baynes is choosing to think of the nice, unpublicized things her friend did for the critically ill children that “Casey Cares” helps. 

“Brian’s been involved with Casey Cares since he joined the team. I remember going after his first win, going to the hospital the next day,” Baynes said Tuesday morning. 

“That’s what he chose to do the next day after his first win, which is so meaningful and speaks to the character of Brian,” Baynes said. 

“He’s so compassionate with the kids.”

Baynes said that he’d play Xbox for hours with children at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital, and that she would have to urge him to leave. 

MORE ORIOLES: O'S GIVE TOLLIVER A CHANCE

“The smiles on the kid’s faces were amazing because they couldn’t believe they were playing Xbox with a major league baseball player,” Baynes said.

“It’s something those kids will talk about for the rest of their lives.”

Once on a hospital visit, a child died. 

“That was tough. That was really, really tough. He would always say, ‘the struggles that athletes have are nothing compared to what these kids have to go through,’” Baynes said. 

“These kids made an impact just as much on him as he did on them. He never thought he was that impactful on their lives, but he truly was.” 

Of course, she’ll need another player to be the organization’s face. Matusz was set to spread the word about “Casey Cares’” 5k at Oriole Park on Aug. 6. 

“We’re not that easy to get away from, and I know that he’ll still be very involved at Casey Cares,” Baynes said. 

Longtime minor leaguer Tolliver finally getting a chance

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Longtime minor leaguer Tolliver finally getting a chance

As Ashur Tolliver joins the Orioles in Houston, it’s the third in a series of long and fascinating minor league careers that ends with an unexpected promotion to the major leagues. 

In the last three years, Caleb Joseph, Mychal Givens and now Tolliver were added to the major league roster. The three have much in common. 

Though the three have never been teammates until now, they have experiences in common, and some that are quite different. 

Givens, Joseph and Tolliver have played a combined nine seasons for Bowie. Neither Givens nor Tolliver had played above Double-A before their sudden additions, and Joseph had a total of 44 games at Norfolk. 

Joseph was added in 2014 when Matt Wieters was injured and he’s stayed ever since. Givens has had three stints, and has been with the Orioles continuously since last August. 

Givens and Tolliver were both drafted in 2009, but Givens, who was picked in the second round, stumbled as an infielder and was converted to pitching in 2013. 

Tolliver had progressed to Frederick by 2011, but missed the next year due to shoulder surgery, and didn’t get to Bowie until 2014.

The left-hander has been there ever since. 

Each of them was unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and could have left the organization in minor league free agency, but stayed.

Tolliver was invited to January’s minicamp and spring training, favorably impressing manager Buck Showalter. 

It’s not all that unusual for major leaguers to finally debut at 28, but it isn’t common for them to play entirely in one organization. 

Tillman goes for six straight wins against Astros

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Tillman goes for six straight wins against Astros

Tonight's Game:

Baltimore Orioles (26-16) vs. Houston Astros (17-28), Minute Maid Park, Houston, 8:10 p.m.

Starting pitchers:

Chris Tillman (6-1, 2.61) vs. Doug Fister (4-3, 4.22)

Keys to the Game:

Can Tillman win his sixth straight start? The last time he won six consecutive starts was June 4-30, 2013.

Can Adam Jones (2-for-23) and Manny Machado (4-for-37) get hot again?

News and Notes:

Current Astros are batting .229 against Tillman. 

Tilman is 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts against Houston. 

Current Orioles are batting .325 against Fister. Chris Davis is 5-for-13 (.385) with two home runs. Jones is 6-for-17 (.353).

The Orioles are expected to purchase the contract of Ashur Tolliver from Double-A Bowie to replace Brian Matusz on the roster.

Brian Roberts and B.J. Surhoff will represent the Orioles for the June 9 draft.

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