Friday Buffet

Pencil the Baltimore Orioles as a potential trading partner for the Red Sox. Word is the Orioles would move Luis Matos, who could give the Sox some speed off the bench and someone who can hit lefties (.834 OPS last season) while giving them an experienced extra outfielder. The Orioles continue to have some interest in Tony Graffanino as they await word on Brian Roberts’ readiness.Source: Providence Journal
If I had to pick between Graffanino and Todd Walker, I’d rather have Todd Walker.
Two reasons, since we’re not trading for an everyday second baseman, I can deal with Walker’s lack of defense for a week or two. Then when Brian Roberts is back, Walker can spilt time between first and DH. Secondly, I don’t Matos to somehow get good in a new change of scenery and bite us in Boston. I’d rather him go to the Cubs and the NL where it doesn’t matter.

David Newhan has been having a great spring after last year’s nightmare season. Glad to see it. I think he can bring alot in from the bench. As long as he doesn’t let his emotions get the best of him, he can be a good ultity man.

Kris Benson’s Spring has been getting better.

From Joe Sheenan off Baseball Prospectus
Some of these players are here because of things in their performance record, while others because of skills they possess, or changes in their environment. They range from young to old, hurler to hitters, superstars to guys just trying to get some love. All of them, however, are my guys
* Daniel Cabrera: This might have had more visceral impact if I’d run the column before Cabrera threw four no-hit innings against Venezuela on Tuesday. Nevertheless, that outing was an indication of what Cabrera can do when his command is right. He struck out nearly a batter an inning last season, while almost doubling his K/BB and G/F ratio and lowering his HR rate slightly, and he did all of this without being overworked. I believe we’ve mentioned that he has a new pitching coach with some success in his background. I even traded Aaron Hill for him over the weekend.

Cabrera’s upside is “All-Star Game starter,” and I think he could get there as early as July.

* Corey Patterson: This may be an idiosyncratic pick for an OBP-is-life guy. Patterson, though, is capable of being a very good player in the Devon White mold, hitting .280/.330/.450 with very good defense and 10-15 net steals a year. He absolutely had to get out of Chicago, where the Cubs spotlighted their mishandling of Patterson by acquiring Juan Pierre, the player they wanted Patterson to be, over the winter.

In a new league with a new team and a different set of expectations, Patterson–just 26–can get back to being the player he is. The Orioles have to do their part by batting him sixth or seventh, living with the strikeouts, and trying to help him improve on the margins: improving his pitch recognition so that he can get his K/BB ratio into the acceptable 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 range.

I agree. Moreso with Cabrera than Patterson though. Patterson has flopped already, though he was rushed into the show. He gets rattled easily and his “It’s only a game” quote last year makes me wonder if sometimes his heart isn’t it. BUT he has had a good spring and maybe the move to Baltimore is just what he needs. Just as long as he doesn’t bat lead off and we can handle having someone who may lead the league in strikouts, he may finally live up to his hype. Cabrera has only showed flashes of what he can do and with the way he’s pitched in the classic and working with Leo may make him an ace. I think he can win 20 games if he has the run support. He’s like Pedro Martinez and Carlos Zambrano, in my opinion…or can be. I’m glad to see him getting a lot attention. We’ll see how this season plays out for both.
I think Patterson’s numbers will be something like this,
.265 average 23 homeruns 84 RBI and 29 SB, along with 125 Strikeouts.
Here’s Patterson’s strike out numbers over the past few seasons.
2002 142
2003 77 (only played 83 games)
2004 168
2005 118
I don’t see this changing.


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