Wednesday, June 30, 2004

From today's Baseball America Prospect Report:

"Oakland OF Nick Swisher is hitting .243 in June . . . with a .544 slugging (5 2B, 7 HR) and a remarkable .521 on-base percentage (43 walks against just 74 at-bats)."

Swisher is in Triple-A and could see time in the majors during September. He's well known to those that have read Moneyball. Sounds like he's a perfect fit for the Oakland style.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Nice piece from Baseball America on D-Rays prospect Delmon Young. The toughest pitcher he's faced so far? Montreal's Clint Everts,

"The first two times we faced him, it was basically fastball-slider and he just dominated us. He shoved it back in our faces. It only got worse the third time--which was like five days later. He broke out a changeup like I've never seen. It wasn't just a changeup--it was Eric Gagne-like. He had 10 strikeouts that day. We just couldn't figure him out. He just keeps getting better every start."

Sunday, June 27, 2004

The O's have replaced pitching coach Mark Wiley with former pitching coach and manager Ray Miller. The Baltimore Sun has an article today that explains the situation. The biggest reason for the change:

The Orioles came out of Tuesday's game on pace to walk 778 batters over the full season, which would shatter the 50-year-old club record (688) and challenge the all-time major league record that had only stood since the Philadelphia Athletics walked 827 in 1915.


Saturday, June 26, 2004

From the Boston Herald:

A number of scouts were on hand in Pawtucket Thursday night to watch Ramiro Mendoza [stats, news] make what was supposed to be a three-inning stint for the Triple-A PawSox. However, a stiff neck restricted Mendoza to just one inning and also scuttled a deal the Sox thought they had with another team, believed to be the Orioles, for the disappointing ex-Yankees reliever. . . .

Mendoza has been crap since he left the Yankees. If the O's do the deal they better not give up anyone of value. They've already lost one prospect on a deal for a reliever this week, we don't need to lose another.

Javy Lopez was asked how he likes playing for the Orioles in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article today:

"I can't complain, the way Baltimore has treated me," the former Braves catcher said Friday, a few hours before his first game against his old team. "They've treated me like a king here. The fan support is great, even though we're in last place."

Lopez also said that his knees have been hurting:

"I haven't had a day off," said Lopez, who has started 59 of Baltimore's 69 games at catcher, and eight others as a designated hitter.


Friday, June 25, 2004

The Stats That Matter Most at Birds in the Belfry

An update of Pythagorean Theorem (of baseball). See which teams aren't as good as their record might indicate.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Monday, June 21, 2004

Yikes! What a terrible trade.

In case you haven't heard the O's traded prospect Denny Bautista for reliever Jason Grimsley and then gave Grimsley a one-year contract extension. A propect for a journeyman reliever. Never sounds good. If you keep reading you'll see it doesn't look good either.

Grimsley, 36, is 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA, an 18/15 K/BB ratio and a 1.46 WHIP in 32 appearances for the Royals this season. His high WHIP indicates that his ERA is coming up and will probably end up closer to his career ERA of 4.76. Grimsley has never been a great control pitcher (he'll fit right in). His best year was 2001 when he had a 61/28 K/BB and a 1.23 WHIP. Since then (and before then) he's been nowhere near those numbers. He had a 58/36 K/BB and 1.65 WHIP in 2003 and a 59/37 K/BB and 1.42 WHIP in 2002. Chances are he'll be around those numbers again this year and in a mop-up role next year.

Bautista aged a couple of years in the offseason putting a damper on his prospect status. The O's gave him a shot this season for 2 games (despite his not being ready) and he was promptly shelled. Hopefully that performance did not influence this decision. It seems that even if Bautista doesn't end up as a major league starter he could have a career as a reliever. I'd have rather taken my chances on that happening and looked into signing Curtis Leskanic rather than trading for Grimsley.


Sunday, June 20, 2004

What a great end to the game today. I was hoping Chacon was going to be brought in to the game today because he has been terrible this year. Roberts made him pay for the walks (something we usually end up paying for with our staff). Julio's inning of work was a bit sketchy as usual but at least he got the save. I would still prefer to see BJ Ryan in the closing role.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The latest Ask BA at Baseball America breaks down the history of the MLB draft to see what rounds produced the most Hall of Famers, MVPs and Cy Youngs. The vast majority come from the first two rounds of the draft.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

It Doesn't get any Worse Than This - Kerry's Calculus Check out the latest article from Kerry at Birds in the Belfry. Good read on the sad, sad state of the O's.

If you saw Sportscenter a few days ago you probably saw the highlight of the jerk who stole the baseball from the little kid. Read this and you'll see the kid got pretty lucky to have his ball taken away.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The O's have moved Rodrigo Lopez back to bullpen

This is the right move considering Lopez is rather ineffective after his second and third times through a lineup. The best place for him is in the role that he occupied so well earlier this season.

The O's will now go with a rotation of Sidney Ponson, Eric DuBose, Daniel Cabrera, Matt Riley and Erik Bedard. Riley starts tonight after a successful stint in the minors. Hopefully he has turned things around and can become a decent starter over the rest of the season.

The Orioles sent Rick Bauer back to Ottawa to make room for Riley.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Monday, June 14, 2004

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Back from Israel. Great time. I highly recommend it. Don't be fooled by media coverage. Israel is a lot safer than it seems.

I don't have much to say today since I am suffering from some serious jet lag. Here's Baseball America's comment on O's first rounder Wade Townsend.

Wade Townsend, rhp, Rice

Many scouts are projecting Townsend as a big league closer, but he has the stuff to pitch in the front of a big league rotation. His fastball velocity has fluctuated this spring, sitting at 87-89 or 90-91 mph at various times, but he has also hit 95. He also throws the nastiest curveball among the Rice trio, though sometimes it breaks so much that he can struggle to control it. He'll throw an occasional changeup to lefthanders, a pitch that needs refinement.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I am going to be in Israel until June 13th so there won't be any posting going on here for the next week and a half. For all your Orioles needs check out my favorite O's site The Birds in the Belfry and be sure to check out the message board.

Last thing before I leave. The O's May Farm Report from Birds in the Belfry.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I thought this was pretty cool: Hit for the Cycle - 2004 Baseball Park Bike Ride. Charlie Hamilton is bike riding across America hitting all 30 major league parks and raising money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institue along the way. He is going to be in Baltimore on 9/12 for a Yankees-Orioles game and he's looking for places to stay along the way. Check out his site and give him a spot on your couch if you have the space. I would, but we don't have a team in DC.