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Orioles Say They Haven't Given Up On 2017 Season

July 29, 2017
ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Jeremy Hellickson won’t report to the Orioles until July 31 because on his way to the Philadelphia airport, he was involved in an automobile accident. The right-hander, who was acquired from the Phillies in a July 28 trade is fine, but his girlfriend is in the emergency room.

Manager Buck Showalter said the 30-year-old Hellickson would meet the team in Baltimore after it returns from Texas. He’ll have a bullpen session July 30 at Oriole Park. Until the Orioles get home, Showalter won’t reveal his plans for Hellickson.

"All things are on the table until we find out where he is physically," Showalter said. "I know where he was statistically over there, and where he was last year. I know what he was like when he was with Tampa. We’ll see. Fastball, changeup, added a cutter, curveball, athletic, holds runners."

Showalter didn’t commit to using a six-man rotation, but pointed out that right-hander Chris Tillman, who started on July 29 and allowed eight runs on nine hits, was suffering from body cramps during his start.

The Orioles sent outfielder Hyun Soo Kim to Philadelphia along with Bowie left-hander Garrett Cleavinger and international bonus signing slots.

Showalter was sorry to see Kim go. He didn’t learn of the trade’s completion until after the Orioles’ 8-2 loss to Texas.

"I didn’t really like the way it happened. I’d like to spend a lot of time with him, but by the time I got word of it I had to pull him off the bus," Showalter said. "Which I didn’t like."

Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette knew that Kim, who had a far better 2016 than 2017 with the Orioles, was outplayed by a newcomer.

"The emergence of Trey Mancini as a highly capable everyday left fielder cost Kim the playing time he enjoyed in 2016 when he was one [of] our most proficient on-base men," Duquette wrote in a text message.  

Showalter had nice things to say about Kim, who had a rocky start to his Orioles career.

"You remember where we were last spring when he first came into this country," Showalter said. "He had some really nice things to say. And I to him. He’s a good teammate. I wish we could have presented it in a way for him to say goodbye to his teammates. I know they would have liked to."

First baseman Chris Davis was sorry to see Kim go, but is quite familiar with Hellickson against whom he is 11-for-30 (.367) with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs. 

"We know Jeremy, we’ve seen him. He’s got a track record for having success in this division," Davis said. "He’s a solid, veteran pitcher and that is what we need right now."

Davis believes the move showed faith in the team, which entered play on July 29 6 1/2 games out of the wild-card.

"I mean, it can change quickly," Davis said. "There is history that shows you that you can come back. We still have two months left. I don’t know, I think it is too easy to sit back and say 'We’ll start planning for next year.' But to me there is too much baseball left to be played."

Tillman said the players were supportive of the Orioles being in buy-mode.

"I know as far as the clubhouse goes we definitely don’t think we are out of it," Tillman said. "Feel like we’ve been in this position before, we’ve gotten there before. I feel like, the guys in the clubhouse still feel [like that]. I don't know how everyone else feels."

With two days until the non-waiver trading deadline at 4 p.m. July 31, Showalter believes the Orioles haven’t given up on contending in 2017.

"From my standpoint, we’re all wanting to compete and win. I'm sure so is Dan, and I know our owner is," Showalter said.