Snyder eager to get into first big league game

Notebook

But infielder is enjoying view from the bench

Hernandez, Patton, Viola added to roster

September 07, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

NEW YORK — It has been six days since Brandon Snyder got his first major league promotion, and he is still eagerly waiting to make his big league debut.

But the 2005 first-round draft pick said his brief stay with the club has been "an absolute blast" and a big-time learning experience.

"It's been great to be able to sit back and see how guys go about their business," said Snyder, a 23-year-old infielder whom the Orioles picked 13th overall. "It's amazing to watch how [manager Buck Showalter] goes about managing a baseball game. I'm trying to pay as much attention as I can. It's very, very impressive. He definitely keeps your mind going the whole game. It's been a lot of fun.

"He's always bringing up new points on different things, stuff you'd never think about on your own. He's always trying to engage everybody in thinking about the game in a different way. Even just sitting on the bench, you can't get lost. You have to always be in the game, always be thinking."

Showalter hasn't asked much out of the Orioles' Sept. 1 position-player call-ups. Shortstop Robert Andino made his first start Tuesday night, and outfielder Nolan Reimold has started just three of seven games, including Tuesday's against New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia. However, Showalter has said he could give them more opportunities in the next two series, against the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, two teams that are essentially out of the playoff picture.

"I don't expect anything other than to be ready when I'm needed," Snyder said. "Obviously, it's tough being a guy that never really has come off the bench. But that's my role right now. I'm happy to accept that role and just try to be ready for the opportunities."

Snyder acknowledged that this series carried extra meaning to him because he had never been to either the new Yankee Stadium or the old one and his father, Brian, grew up in New Jersey as a Yankee fan. "Being here is pretty special," he said.

Three added to bullpen

With the minor league season over for their top two affiliates, the Orioles reinstated David Hernandez from the disabled list and recalled Troy Patton from Triple-A Norfolk and Pedro Viola from Double-A Bowie.

Hernandez, who is 5-8 with a 4.52 ERA and two saves this year in 33 appearances for the Orioles, including 25 as a reliever, hasn't pitched in the big leagues since he sprained his left ankle Aug. 4. He made two rehabilitation appearances for Bowie, allowing one hit and striking out three in two scoreless innings.

"The uncertainty was the toughest part, not knowing when I was going to be able to come back," Hernandez said. "I was able to watch a lot of games on TV, and they were playing well. I kind of wish that I was a part of that, but we still have a month left of the season. I just want to finish strong and get some momentum towards next year."

Patton, a 25-year-old left-hander, had two prior stints with the Orioles, but he didn't pitch in any of the eight games for which he was with the team. He went 9-11 with a 4.43 ERA in 25 starts for the Tides.

"They gave me a month and they gave me a shot back up here, so it's good, and this time I'm pretty sure I'll get to pitch," Patton said. "This is my third time, without having pitched an inning yet. So it's been weird."

Viola, a 27-year-old lefty whom the Orioles picked up off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds this season, went 3-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 23 games for Bowie, including 10 starts. That came after he compiled a 17.65 ERA in 11 relief appearances for Norfolk. Viola pitched in nine games for the Reds last year, allowing four runs in seven innings (5.14 ERA).

Viola likely won't be available until the Detroit series, which starts Friday, after he pitched six innings for Bowie on Monday.

More rotation juggling

While the Orioles are going with a six-man rotation, Showalter said it would be re-evaluated after this weekend's series in Detroit. Jeremy Guthrie and Kevin Millwood will start this weekend on six days' rest, and that's not ideal.

But that could change if the Orioles shut down one of their young starters, and that will likely happen soon with rookie Jake Arrieta, who isn't expected to make more than one or two starts after Tuesday night's.

"Right now, there's nobody where there will be an imminent move to get them out of the rotation, but that could come. There are still going to be some adjustments made. We're going to make this as normal as possible. We know and you all know who is pitching in Detroit. After all that is over, we'll step back and take a look at it."

Around the horn

Center fielder Adam Jones (left shoulder bruise) returned to the lineup, starting for just the third time in 13 games … Catcher Matt Wieters didn't start for the second time in three games, but he's expected to be in the lineup for Wednesday afternoon's series finale. … Outfielder Lou Montanez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Norfolk, though he's headed for minor league free agency anyway. … Guthrie was announced as the Orioles' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, presented annually to a major league player who has combined a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field. …Single-A Frederick first baseman Tyler Townsend was named Carolina League Player of the Week for a second consecutive week.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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