Monday, May 31, 2004

Hey all,

My site has been entered into the World Series of Blogs on The View From The Bleachers. If you like my site please check their site out and vote for me. You may have to hit refresh up to 6 times on their page to get to the AL East poll. I'm up against some very tough competition in the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog and Firebrand.

The O's are on a three game win streak and have a very tough game against the Red Sox today on ESPN at 1:00 EST

I'm going to be heading out for a vacation from June 3-14 so I probably won't be able to do much posting. It got me thinking that maybe I should try to add another writer to the site. It's a thankless job that pays nothing but you can say pretty much whatever you want here as long as it isn't racist. If you are interested in writing about the O's here send me an email at (even if it is only for while I am on vacation).

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Matt Riley struck out five in four perfect innings last night in his first start for Triple-A Ottawa since being sent down on Tuesday. Riley would be eligible to be called up on Friday but my hope is that they leave him in the minors for at least few more starts since they wasted an option on him. Hopefully when Riley is ready the O's will put him back in the rotation and move R-Lo back to the pen where he belongs.

Who could help our pen?

Aaron Rakers is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA and a 32/2 K/BB in 26 innings at Triple-A Ottawa. You've gotta love the control that he is displaying with only 2 walks in 26 innings. His only problem has been giving up 4 home runs in those 26 innings. Despite the gopheritis Rakers, 27, would be a better option in the pen than Mike DeJean.

Mark DiFelice is 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA and a 26/8 K/BB in 28 2/3 innings at Triple-A Ottawa. It wouldn't hurt the O's to give DiFelice, 27, a shot over Darwin Cubillan in the pen.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Friday, May 28, 2004's Orioles Draft Preview

According to the article, the Orioles "are projected to take Old Dominion pitcher Justin Verlander with their pick. Verlander, a right-hander, is 6-foot-4, 190 pounds and is 6-5 with a 3.33 ERA for the Monarchs. He is considered a hard thrower who has trouble with command."

Kerry's Calculus - The DeJean Diaries is a breakdown of just how terrible Mike DeJean has been this year. We need to cut this guy. He has been terrible. Give Aaron Rakers the call!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The O's made a number of roster moves on Tuesday. The best of them was dumping catcher Keith Osik and adding Robert Machado as the backup. Machado is a superior hitter to Osik (that's not saying much) and should at least be able to get a hit here and there when he gives Javy Lopez an off day (which is more than Osik could do).

Rick Bauer was also optioned to Triple-A Ottawa to make room for Jose Bautista in the O's pen. Bautista pitched 1 2/3 innings last night and pitched well initially before getting hammered. When asked about rushing Bautista executive vice president Jim Beattie said, "We probably are, but under these circumstances, it's the right thing to do. We really felt it would be nice to have a power arm in the bullpen. And we wanted to give him a chance." The O's still believe Bautista can be a starter but after seeing him last night it looks like he'll need to put on some more muscle before he could throw 180+ innings in the majors. The best place to do that, in my opinion, is in the minors and not in a major league bullpen.

The O's also recalled Jose Leon from Ottawa yesterday. He'll be used off the bench and will make the occasional start at first base.

The only move I wish we didn't have to make is the designation of rule 5 pick Jose Bautista for assignment. He definitely wasn't going to get much playing time on the O's bench this season but since the O's think they have a shot in the division right now they've dumped him to use that roster spot on a major leaguer (or someone closer to a major leaguer than Bautista is right now). If Bautista doesn't get picked up by another team he'll go back to the Pirates to play in High-A or Double-A.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Rumor has it that the Orioles are considering promoting prospect Denny Bautista to the majors to potentially serve as a right-hander out of their pen. Bautista is 2-4 with a 5.10 ERA and 42/24 K/BB through 42 1/3 innings at Double-A Bowie this season. Bautista’s command is not where it needs to be to succeed in the majors at this time. He'd be better off left in the minors to continue to develop. I hope the rumors prove false.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Baseball America released their predictions for the first round MLB draft to be held June 7-8. Here is their prediction for the Orioles pick at #8 overall:

8. ORIOLES. Baltimore targeted Maryland prep righthander Nick Adenhart for this spot, but had to explore other options when he took himself out of a start in early May and faced injury questions. The Orioles turned their attention to Pennsylvania high school catcher Neil Walker and Princeton outfielder B.J. Syzmanski. But they would have a difficult time passing up Verlander or Drew if one were to slide.

PROJECTED PICK: Justin Verlander.

If you want to know about the rest of the draft and the minors in general, subscribe to Baseball America. It's well worth it.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Short article in the Sun about Daniel Cabrera and the O's Dominican Republic prospects.

"Cabrera signed with the Orioles at age 17 for $10,000. And he's not the only Dominican product on the team's horizon. At Delmarva, Fredy Deza is 3-5 with a 2.23 ERA. At Bowie, Sendy Rleal is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA. And Eddie Rodriguez is 1-0 with 4.74 ERA.

Like Cabrera, each of them throws his fastball 93 mph or harder."


Friday, May 21, 2004

Luis Matos has finally turned things around. After dropping to .200 Saturday Matos decided to start hitting and has gone 8-for-15 in the last four games raising his average to .236.

According to the Sun, "Matos said he was trying to pull too many pitches, but he has changed his approach at the plate, purposely trying to stay back and hit to right field."

Kurt Ainsworth gave up four runs on seven hits over four innings last night against Triple-A Toledo. Not a great start in his attempt to get back in the Baltimore rotation.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a minor league ballpark? Me either but I still think you will find this article on Baseball America interesting. I know I did.
Cabrera vs. Riley

Manger Lee Mazzilli was asked about potentially having to decide between Daniel Cabrera or Matt Riley for the rotation once Riley is healthy. Mazzilli said, "It's very hard for me to take the kid [Cabrera] out right now. I'm going to cross that bridge when I get there." Translation - Cabrera stays in the rotation as long as he continues to pitch well and Riley would move to the pen.

Luis Matos is starting to heat up. He was 3-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season last night and is 7 for his last 12. Now he just needs to start stealing some bases and he will be back where we need him to be.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Stats That Matter Most - Birds in the Belfry

I think Bill James' Pythagorean Theorem is really great. This article has calculated all the numbers to show what a teams expected wins should be according to the Theorem and what the teams actual wins are on the 2004 season. It will be updated monthly and I will try to post the link when it is updated.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Rodrigo Lopez makes his first start of the season this week on either Wednesday or Thursday.

I'm not a huge fan of this move because I think R-Lo is in the right spot when he is pitching out of the pen. He can usually make it through a lineup once without any problem but then gets hit the second and, if he makes it, the third time through a lineup. I suspect we will never see the Lopez of 2002 though, as the Sun points out, there is precedent here.

"Lopez was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in a similar role [to this season] when he was promoted to the starting rotation in 2002. He went on to win 15 games and finished second in the balloting for American League Rookie of the Year."

Repeat performance? Don't count on it.


Monday, May 17, 2004

Tommy Arko Retires

Tommy Arko has decided to retire. Arko, a third-round selection in the 2000 draft out of Abilene (Texas) Cooper High School, was once considered a decent prospect in the Oriole system. His .152 AVG with 16 strikeouts in 33 at-bats gives you a small indicator of just how poorly things have gone for him since he hit 14 homers in 57 games at rookie-level Bluefield in 2002.

Frederick Keys manager Tom Lawless said, "He's been in the game for five years, and he's been struggling with his hitting. He knew, and we knew, that it just wasn't working out for him. That's just part of the game."

The top catcher in the O's system today is Eli Whiteside, currently at Double-A Bowie hitting .314 with 4 home runs and a .352 on-base percentage through 17 games. The O's hope he can reach the majors in a few years but he doesn't project as anything more than a backup at this point.


Friday, May 14, 2004

New owner Stuart Sternberg with new ideas for the Devil Rays

"Sternberg has other ideas that will be implemented quickly. He spoke of building a team with young players that will stay together for years rather than spending money on free agents, of implementing some of the data-driven baseball concepts popular with other teams and publicized in the book Moneyball, of bringing in executives to 'augment' various departments, of looking into changes to make Tropicana Field more fan-friendly."

I actually like the D-Rays team. Their pitching is terrible but they have some great young hitters in Huff, Baldelli and Crawford.
The Orioles are planning to give Jerry Hairston Jr. some playing time in the outfield. Hairston can play left or center field. He's more likely to see time in center thanks to the season-long slump of Luis Matos (hitting .207). The O's are still exploring trade options as well.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

David Segui will miss 4-6 weeks after his latest operation. Segui underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee yesterday in Kansas City. He has played just 188 games over the course of his four-year, $28 million deal. Quite a poor investment.

Marty Cordova is scheduled to have an operation on his elbow tomorrow and probably won't play for the Orioles again. He was another waste of money.

Good riddence to both after this season.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Daniel Cabrera was called up yesterday when Matt Riley went on the 15-day DL. He will make his major league debut tonight in a start against a White Sox team that put 15 runs on the board against the O's last night. Cabrera was 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA for Bowie with 35 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. He's likely only up for one start so get a look at this guy before he heads back to the minors.

Obviously Rodrigo Lopez can't be too happy about being passed over for a start. Manager Lee Mazzilli explained this as a temporary move to Lopez. According to the Sun, Mazzilli told Lopez that if he gets moved into the rotation it would be in the No. 2 spot and not the No. 5 spot since the latter often has his starts skipped due to rainouts or open dates in the schedule.

John Maine was considered for this spot start as well but he pitched in Triple-A recently and the O's would like to see him get a more innings there before making a big league debut.

Riley is expected to rest for a few days before starting a throwing program. He is expected to rejoin the O's rotation when healthy.

Ponson sucks. Actually, I don't think he is as bad as he looked but I definitely do not think he is an ace of a major league staff. I hope he can find the control that he displayed last year before going to San Francisico but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

A Walk in the Park - Kerry's Calculus on Birds in the Belfry.

Assessment of the O's young pitching staff to date (not included is Ponson). Aptly titled due to all the walks our pitchers are allowing this season.

Emerging Roberts second to none with Orioles - Baltimore Sun

The Sun's assessment of the Hairston trade situation:

Hairston dropped strong hints again Sunday that he thought a trade is imminent - the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are two teams that would love to upgrade at second base - but Orioles officials seem more inclined to keep Hairston and Roberts for the foreseeable future.

I don't see LA as a trade partner for the O's but I guess it is possible. I also can't see the O's waiting until the deadline if other teams are expressing interest.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Two news items today.

Jerry Hairston is due back Tuesday. He is expected to return to the O's lineup at DH and to bat 9th. Hairston will likely be traded within a month as Brian Roberts has secured his hold on the 2B job with his strong play. Potential trading partners? Yankees, Red Sox, Rockies, and Twins are a few that come to mind.

Marty Cordova has a torn flexor tendon which will require another surgery if he wants to continue playing. He is effectively done as an Oriole. Cordova is in the final year of his three-year, $9 million contract.

What a game yesterday, hope you didn't miss it. Jorge Julio should be a set-up man. BJ Ryan for closer!

Saturday, May 08, 2004

I am going to today's Orioles game with my roommate. It's the first O's game I'll have gone to all season. I've already seen games at Philly and in Woodbridge, VA where the Potomac Cannons play (in a pretty nondescript stadium).

Speaking of the Phillies game, I highly reccomend a trip to go see their new stadium if it is in driving distance for you. It is beautiful. I like it better than Camden. Most of the concourse area gives you an open sight line to the field meaning you can stand in line and still see the game. It's great. Check it out.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

The Flat Earth Society is a must read for those of you that saw the Harold Reynolds rant against on-base percentage the other night on Baseball Tonight. Even if you didn't see it you should read this article.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

You'll probably need to scroll down but there is a nice piece on Orioles OF prospect Val Majewski on Baseball America. A good read and a guy to keep your eye on.