KANSAS CITY, Mo. - One member of the coaching staff has been fired, and as the Orioles' struggles continued to mount this weekend, it led to the question: Is the rest of the staff safe? When asked that question yesterday, Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie offered strong reassurance.
"Nobody else's job is in jeopardy because of the way we're playing," Beattie said. "It's not even something that we're remotely considering."
The Orioles fired pitching coach Mark Wiley on Saturday, replacing him with Ray Miller. The team went on to lose the final two games of its series against the Atlanta Braves to fall a season-worst 11 games below .500 at 30-41.
Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli inherited the entire coaching staff when he got the job last November, but for now, there are no signs of this team making another abrupt change.
Gibbons to have MRI
Right fielder Jay Gibbons said he would probably undergo another magnetic resonance imaging exam today to get a better diagnosis of his left hip flexor injury.
Gibbons has been playing with lingering pain and stiffness in the hip flexor for about a month and a half - a problem he linked to the herniated disc in his lower back that put him on the disabled list in late May.
The injuries have made it tough for Gibbons to run, which is why he has spent three of the past four games as the designated hitter. And they haven't helped his hitting, either. Gibbons hit .277 last year and his 1-for-3 last night only lifted his average to .223.
Mora still hurting
The pain in Melvin Mora's left foot has become a pain in the rear for the Orioles.
After straining a ligament in the foot on June 17 in Los Angeles, Mora left that night's game in the first inning. Had the team put him on the DL the next day, he would have been eligible to return on Saturday.
Instead, the team has been playing a man short while Mora sits in day-to-day purgatory. He returned to the lineup on Friday and hit a home run against Atlanta, but left that game after four innings and has been back on the bench ever since.
"We'll see how it is [today]," Mazzilli said. "You don't want to look at the DL. But if I can't play him, and then he plays, and then he sits out for two or three days, you can't do that, either. So if I put him in, he's got to go."
Still looking to strengthen their bullpen, the Orioles have been scouting Boston Red Sox right-hander Ramiro Mendoza. But a high-ranking baseball official said the Orioles probably won't deal for him. Mendoza, who is making $3.6 million this season, left his start Thursday at Triple-A Pawtucket after three innings with a stiff neck.
B.J. Surhoff (strained left calf) is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, and he said he should be ready. "It's gotten better," he said.
The Orioles' talks with first-round draft pick Wade Townsend have been ongoing, but baseball officials said Townsend will likely wait to sign until he sees what fellow Rice University pitchers Philip Humber and Jeff Niemann get from their respective teams.
Humber was the third overall pick by the New York Mets, Niemann was the fourth overall pick by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the Orioles made Townsend the eighth overall pick.
Ultimately, Townsend will probably sign for about $2.1 million - somewhere between the $2.2 million No. 5 pick Mark Rogers got from the Milwaukee Brewers and $2.025 million No. 10 pick Thomas Diamond got from the Texas Rangers.
Kansas City switched its pitching rotation for the last two games of its series with the Orioles. After right-hander Mike Wood pitches tonight, left-hander Brian Anderson will pitch tomorrow, followed by right-hander Zach Greinke on Thursday.
Around the horn
Byron Gettis' single in the fifth inning broke an 0-for-13 streak, and Ken Harvey's second-inning double broke an 0-for-11 skid for Kansas City. ... The Royals obtained infielder-outfielder Jose Bautista from Tampa Bay for cash. ... Royals third baseman Joe Randa was put on the DL with torn cartilage in his right knee. He'll undergo arthroscopic surgery today.