I always forget about Jay

When I did my little piece last night about the make up the team next season, I forgot about Jay Gibbons. I guess it’s easy to forget sometimes because he’s a touch injury prone. What I’m curious about is, what will be his role on the 2007 Orioles.

I think it’s safe to say that the rightfielder’s job is taken by some kid named Markakis. Leftfield is open, but in all of volumes and volumes of O’s articles that I consume on a daily basis, Jay Gibbons in not mentioned as a possible solution, nor should he be.

Gibbon’s outfield defense is scary. Most of the time it managed to be just good enough, but there were balls he should have caught. There were errors and all the like there. His defense was what almost killed him in LA against the Angels.

So scratch leftfield off his list of positions to play

Maybe it was the Sun or the Post that mentioned a day or two ago that Perlozzo said Gibbons would be getting an extended look at 1st base in Spring Training. That’s good, I know he doesn’t want to be a full-time DH, and if you’re not 300 lbs, who wants to be? First base is a lot safer for Gibbons and his fragile body, but let’s see how good those hands are. Remember the Javy Lopez fiasco last spring?

We could always DH, but after he came back from his multiple injuries he said that he didn’t mind DHing for the rest of this past season but he doesn’t want to be a full-time DH. I don’t blame him. I’d want to be on the field too.

So if we don’ t trade him and I doubt that. After a couple injury plagued years, Gibbons’ trade value is low. One thing to consider too, since he’s best friends with Brian Roberts, I don’t think the O’s would trade him until AFTER they sign Brian Roberts to a contract extension. That is IF they are able too.

I’d rather see Gibbons at first than some retread dinosaur that’s still on the free agent market.

 Here’s what’s left on the first base market

Craig Wilson (I’ve made my position clear on him)

Erubiel Durazo- Would be nice to have if healthy, but I’d DH him

After those two..nothing

There’s Dmitri Young, who is shipwreck, wrapped in a trainwreck, hit by a plane crash and smothered chemical spill.

Shea Hillenbrand- pass

Travis Lee- pass

Jeff Bagwell- a couple years too late on that one

That’s really it basically.

Check it out if you don’t believe me.

Howie Clark is on that list. Remember him from last season? For the Orioles? Yeah, no one really does.

Baseball mastermind Ken Rosenthal took a couple shots at the O’s today. I’m guessing he watched exactly 0 minutes of Orioles baseball last season with a quote like this:

The World Series demonstrated that it actually might be preferable to construct bullpens on the cheap if you’re got quality young arms — which, to an extent, the Orioles do.

Most of the young quality arms we have are either in the rotation (Loewen, Cabrera) or not quite ready (Liz, Erbe, Olson). The only young arm we could that with would be Penn. But I don’t want Penn on the Opening Day roster. We do have Hoey and Burres, who could fill the last two slots in the pen, or they could wait and let them get some time in at Norfolk and not rush them.

Rosenthal does say this:

If the Orioles succeed with their bullpen binge and add one quality starting pitcher and one big slugger, they could be a dangerous team in the ever-competitive A.L. East.

BUT….wait for it…

More likely, they’ll fail to obtain the other players they need, endure another losing season and wonder why the heck they spent more than $42 million on middle-inning relief.

Thanks, Kenny.

Good article in the Sun today about what to do from here. I agree with the fact that we don’t need to be really spending many more bucks from here. We don’t really need much else for the bullpen, though I think we could sign Alan Embree or someone like him cheap. Aside from picking up maybe Wilson and hopefully signing Mark Mulder to an incentive laden option-triggered deal, we need to look to the trade market to get the rest of the holes filled.

Hey, If Rosenthal’s got you down, Buster Olney gave the Orioles a little praise today

 The Orioles had a busy day, writes Jeff Zrebiec, signing four players, including backup catcher Paul Bako. The Orioles have spent about $45 million this offseason, in bullpen help, and the Cubs have spent about $240 million — and there is really no question that toward the end-goal of making the team better for 2007, Baltimore has, so far, made more progress, because the O’s have improved their pitching. They had a serious bullpen hole and they’ve worked to fill it (The Cubs did well in addressing their bullpen issues last year, but all the money spent on offense will be wasted in 2007 if the team doesn’t fundamentally improve its starting pitching).

Remember, good pitching always beats good hitting. But with all the cash we’ve spent on the pen…it’s useless if our starting pitching can’t hand them the lead (ask the 2006  Cubs…except for Ryan Dempster, who blew every lead  he got).

That’s it for me today, unless we sign a couple more relievers.


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