When Michael Almanzar came out of the Sea Dogs game Saturday night, it was not that unusual. Almanzar has been in out of the lineup with various ailments, usually the result of being hit by a pitch (shoulder, hand, etc.).
But this time there was a different reason. Almanzar and Red Sox infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson were traded to Baltimore for infielder/outfielder Jemile Weeks and minor league infielder Ivan De Jesus.
The Orioles know all about Almanzar after picking him in the Rule V Draft last December. Almanzar was in Baltimore's spring training camp but injured his knee. When eventually healthy, he was returned to the Red Sox, who sent him to Portland.
Almanzar, 23, will be a minor league free agent at the end of the season and did not figure in the Red Sox plans. Johnson was recently obtained from the Yankees in the Stephen Drew deal. He also did not have a future in Boston.
De Jesus, 27, played briefly (8 games) for the Red Sox in 2012. He has been in Triple-A all season with the Orioles, batting .282.
Weeks, 27, figured to contend for a spot on the Orioles' roster this year, but played only three games in the majors. Most of his time has been in Triple-A (.280).
Losing Almanzar means the Sea Dogs will not have one of their big bats in the playoffs. Still, Portland went on to win Saturday, setting a record for most victories in a season. See today's story. Justin Haley (3-2, 1.19 ERA) had another dominating performance for the Sea Dogs, pitching seven shutout innings.
Eduardo Rodriguez pitches this afternoon for Portland.
Pawtucket's Matt Barnes (8-9, 3.95) struck out 10 in seven innings, but also gave up five runs in a 6-2 loss.
A couple of impressive starts from prospects in Class A:
Pat Light (6-6, 4.93) pitched a three-hitter over seven innings: 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K.
Trey Ball (5-10, 4.58) pitched a shutout over six innings: 5 H, 0 BB, 5 K.
One more link: today's column.