Orioles 2B Adams suspended for banned amphetamine

Orioles 2B Adams suspended for banned amphetamine

NEW YORK (AP) Baltimore Orioles second baseman Ryan Adams was suspended Friday for the first 25 games of next season after testing positive for a banned amphetamine.

The 25-year-old Adams played in 29 big league games for the Orioles in 2011 and spent most of last season with Triple-A Norfolk. He was on Baltimore's 40-man roster at the time of the test.

Adams was assigned outright on Sept. 14 to Norfolk, where he hit .224 with four homers, 18 doubles and 20 RBIs in 65 games this year. He was an All-Star two years ago in the Double-A Eastern League.

Since infielder Neifi Perez was suspended twice and outfielder Mike Cameron once for banned stimulants in 2007, the only major league player other than Adams penalized for a stimulant violation was Milwaukee pitcher Mark Rogers in August 2011.

Adams' suspension was announced by the commissioner's office.

There have been five players suspended this year for performance-enhancing drug violations under the big league testing program: San Francisco outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitcher Guillermo Mota; Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon; Philadelphia infielder Freddy Galvis; and free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd.

Tillman goes for six straight wins against Astros


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.


Matusz had some great moments in Baltimore, but not enough


Matusz had some great moments in Baltimore, but not enough

It was a long, strange trip for Brian Matusz and the Orioles. In the spring of 2009, manager Dave Trembley was excited because, in his words, “The cavalry is coming.” 

After a long spell of losing seasons and an even longer minor league career, the Orioles and Trembley hoped to reap the benefits of a group of talented minor league pitchers. 

More than seven years later, only Chris Tillman remains from that group. 

While Matusz and Tillman stayed with the team the longest, Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken and David Hernandez all had their shots. 

Strangely, Trembley probably got to see Matusz at his hottest. 

After 19 minor league starts in 2009, the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft was rushed to the Orioles and teased Trembley with a 5-2 record and 4.63 ERA.

By June of the following season, Trembley was gone and Matusz was back to teasing. When Buck Showalter arrived two months later, he teased the new manager, too. 

Matusz went 7-1 under Showalter, and then 2011 happened.

A 1-9 record with a horrifying 10.69 ERA, and back to the minors.


After another chance in 2012, Matusz was sent to Norfolk by midseason and when Troy Patton was injured in a freak accident, he hurriedly re-invented himself as a situational left-hander, and nearly four years later, that’s where he stands—against his will.

It was ridiculously early to typecast Matusz as a situational lefty at age 25, but the Orioles were left with no choice. 

Matusz hasn’t started a major league game since July 1, 2012, and that gnawed at him. He thought he would be traded in March 2015, but that never happened, and while he played the good soldier, he looked forward to free agency this fall so he could show another team that he was a legitimate major league starter. 

Ironically, the team that traded for him, the Atlanta Braves, employ Trembley as their minor league guru, but he won’t be stopping there. 

The Braves didn’t want Matusz to join their cadre of ex-Orioles: Nick Markakis, Bud Norris, Jim Johnson and Kelly Johnson. They really wanted the Orioles’ pick in the Competitive Balance round, the 76th overall, and they’d gladly eat the nearly $3 million that was remaining on Matusz’s contract. 

The Orioles picked up two decent, but not show stopping prospects to add to a farm system badly in need of more arms. 

Most important, they rid themselves of Matusz, who manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to use. Matusz had to start his season on the disabled list, and stayed longer on a rehab assignment than expected because he didn’t perform well in Bowie. 

He gave up eight runs on 11 hits and walked seven in six innings, and the Orioles simply couldn’t go with him any longer. 

Almost immediately after the trade, the Braves designated Matusz for assignment, and once he clears waivers, will search for a team that will allow him an opportunity to start. 

For the Orioles, Matusz was a disappointment. Much more is expected from the fourth overall draft choice, but Showalter found ways to use him. 

He was terrific against David Ortiz, who was 4-for-29 with 13 strikeouts, and Nick Swisher had just one hit in 22 at-bats. He was also great against Brett Gardner and Josh Hamilton (a combined 3-for-33). 

But, in the end there weren’t enough hitters Matusz was successful against, and his time in Baltimore ends. 

He leaves behind many friends through his work with children’s charities, and many who will be rooting for a fresh start as a starter.


Recap: Orioles make flurry of moves on a day off


Recap: Orioles make flurry of moves on a day off

For an off day, it’s been an interesting one for the Orioles. Not only was it Buck Showalter’s 60th birthday, but they traded left-hander Brian Matusz to the Atlanta Braves along with the 76th pick in the draft for two minor leaguers. 

The Braves, who are looking to stockpile draft picks, quickly designated him for assignment. 

In essence, Atlanta gave the Orioles two minor leaguers and took on what was remaining of Matusz’s $3.9 million salary for a pick in the Competitive Balance B round.

No announcement on who will take Matusz’s roster spot has been made, but the team will apparently purchase the contract of left-hander Ashur Tolliver from Bowie. 

Tolliver was a fifth round draft choice in 2009 and has never pitched above Double-A, but the 28-year-old intrigued the team. While the Orioles didn’t protect him, they thought enough of Tolliver to invite him to January’s minicamp and spring training. 

In 18 games for the Baysox, Tolliver is 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA.  


Tolliver would give the Orioles another left-hander in the bullpen, and they could freely option him to the minors. 

The Orioles also signed veteran left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing to a minor league contract. 

The 33-year-old is 41-37 with a 4.13 ERA in seven seasons with Minnesota. He had been pitching with Triple-A Omaha, but opted out of his contract earlier this month. He hasn’t pitched since May 13. 

Later on Monday night, the Orioles acquired right-hander Franderlyn Romero from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for two International Signing Bonus Slots. 

Romero is 23, but has never pitched above Class A ball. He’s the third minor league pitcher acquired in the last few hours. Right-hander Brandon Barker and left-hander Trevor Belicek, picked up from the Braves for Matusz, will be added to an organization badly in need of additional pitching prospects. 

“With today’s moves, we have added to the pitching depth of the our organization,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. 

“The pitchers we have acquired today are very competitive and have very good instincts. They have excellent control, keep the ball in the ballpark, and consistently keep the ball over the plate. Not only have we stocked the pitching in our farm system, but we also added three potential major leaguers. 

“We’d all like to thank Brian Matusz for his contributions to our team, both on the field and in the community.”