The Great Northern Exodus of the 2008 Baltimore Orioles continues unabated. Adam Loewen and Brandon Fahey had already signed minor league deals with the Blue Jays, who also offered Kevin Millar a similar deal with a Spring Training invite. Now Toronto has claimed lefty Brian Burres off of waivers from the O's, who had to make room on the roster for Rich Hill. I'm not sure what the plan is for those crafty Canadians, but I thought I'd pay a bit of tribute to #56.
If you were to look at Brian Burres' stats in his 79 games with the Birds (2006-2008), you'd quickly recognize that he's a fringe player who won't be a great loss. 13 wins, 18 losses, a 5.88 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. He's a soft tosser who doesn't have the pinpoint control and movement to get away with it. But that's not to say that B.B. didn't have some great moments in his Oriole career:
September 2006: Allowed two runs in his major league debut, but did not allow a run for the rest of the season (seven and two-thirds innings total).
April 2007: In six relief appearances, compiled a 1.35 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 13 and 2/3 innings.
July 28, 2007: Defeated Roger Clemens and the Yankees with a four-hit, seven-strikeout, six-inning effort in an eventual 7-5 win. Rookie Cory Doyne gave up four runs in the ninth without recording an out before Jamie Walker slammed the door on the pinstripers.
September 14, 2007: Burres blanked Toronto over seven innings of eight-hit ball in a 6-2 O's win that brought his record to 6-5 before a three-game losing streak ended his season on a low note.
April 19, 2008: Brian combined with Jim Johnson to shut out the Yankees, 6-0. He scattered five hits and four walks in clinching a series win for the O's. Poor run support would cost him two other potential wins against the Bombers in 2008; he got no-decisions in 2-1 and 1-0 Baltimore losses.
April 26, 2008: Brian three-hit the host White Sox over eight innings, striking out four and walking none to pick up his third victory of the month, 5-1. The win kept the O's in first place.
So there you have it. One of the greatest things about baseball and its 162-game season is that there are ample opportunities for even Brian Burres and his sort to look like world-beaters now and again. Adios, you lanky Oregonian.