What’s up with Benson?

 The O’s site has this update.

Chances still are that he doesn’t pitch this season. It can happen, but it’s shall we say doubtful.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. Let’s just say that the rehab works and at the end of March it looks like he won’t need to get knifed. Maybe by May he’d be able to join the team. The question is, who gets bumped?

It’s not that hard of a question. Chances are Wright or Traschel will be our Bruce Chen/Rodrigo Lopez 2006 for 2007. I could be wrong and I hope that I am wrong. I hope that Jared Wright and Old Man Traschel win 20 games apiece. It’s doubtful, but dang it, it can happen.

So what if Bedard, Loewen, and Cabrera are fulfilling their potential and Wright and Traschel are simply doing their jobs? You don’t bump a young starter with potential for an average 32 year old pitcher who is simply there to eat innings.

My Odds

Traschel 3:1

Wright 6:1 (He’s Leo’s boy, remember that)

Cabrera 15:1 (that’s my boy, I put the odds that low in case he might have to go to Norfolk for a stint ala 06. Personally, I don’t think that’ll be the case this year)

Loewen 25:1

Bedard 50:1

Of course, chances are someone’s going to be dinged up. Personally, I want Benson back for one sole reason. He’ll make good tradebait at the deadline.

Here’s a good article on Aubrey Huff and his mom at the Sun’s site.

Two new adds to the ole blogroll

Dempsey’s Army

and this will be the first non-O’s blog I add to the blogroll. BUT I am doing my part to somehow add to the much heated, hate filled rivalry that is the O’s v the Nats.

Distinguished Senators

http://distinguishedsenators.blogspot.com/

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Mix and Mash

Here’s a little bit of quick weekend linkage

Thomas Boswell writes that this is a very important season for the O’s.

Roch writes that Jamie Walker is ok.

Another season, another stupid rule from I’m sure….Peter Angelos.

It might be 2009 before we see another O’s prospect with power potential make it to Baltimore.

Maybe I should have had another pitcher

Me and one of the friends went to a Mexican place where I gorged myself on some kicking fajitas and had a half a pitcher of beer  and I come home and check the O’s news and what do I see?

THIS.

Not a good day for our multimillion dollar bullpen.

Get well soon, Jamie Walker.

Choose less scary exercises Scott Williamson.

Danys Baez…don’t screw this up.

ARGH!!!!!!

Benson goes under the kn–…no, he doesn’t

So…Kris Benson…ah, what’s going on there?

He’s done for the season, he goes for a second opinion. He might be able to rehab it. No, he can’t rehab it. He gets a third opinion. Accupuncture might work. He gets a fourth opinion and thinks greasing it up in butter and leaning on pan might heal it. Now we get this.

Honestly, if this wasn’t a walk year, or a team option year that will likely make it walk a year, he’d have already have had surgery. But the fact that if he goes under the knife and misses the season, he’s going to end up like Mark Mulder and not get that Ted Lily deal. It’s about the money and that’s a bad deal. I’m skeptical that this can heal itself through rehab…I might be wrong.

Linkage

The Roar has some good stuff

Oriole Post has a Frank Robinson update.

Random Reality brings the news that Gary Thorne is the new television voice of the O’s.

The way this works now it Thorne does two thirds of the MASN games with either Jim Palmer or Buck Martinez and a few with Rick Dempsey. The one third Thorne doesn’t do will be done by Boy Howdy himself, Jim Hunter. Fred Manfra apparently goes to the radio with the man Joe Angel. Hunter and Dempsey will be on the pre-game and post-game show and Amber Theodoris will be the on-field reporter. It’s not that I don’t like Hunter, BUT everything that happens is such an epic event. He’s a little too much a homer. Manfra is the exact opposite.

Time to get back to it

It looks like my vacation is over and it’s time to get back to posting regularly. Players have reported and the foreplay of real baseball is amongst us. Of course, we still have six weeks until there is any meaning baseball, but the world for me is a better place knowing that right now in Fort Lauderdale Miguel Tejada is doing batting practice and Daniel Cabrera is perfecting his pitches.

I’m full of optimism right now and why shoudn’t I be? It’s a clean slate for every team. We’re all first and we’re all last. This is an Orioles team that I feel better about. I don’t think this is the best team in the AL East by any means, but this is the most balanced lineup we’ve had in awhile. There’s not the glaring weakspots the were featured last season. I’m hoping for a bounce back year for Melvin Mora and that Ramon Hernandez keeps up his play from last season. The bullpen is vastly improved from last season and Chris Ray should easily have 40 saves this seasons with some experienced and pricey arms setting him up. The rotation has tons of potential. Erik Bedard had a nice year last year and I think he can improve on it. If Cabrera gets his stuff mentally together he will be a top 5 MLB pitcher. Loewen has good stuff, especially considering how he was rushed. I think Jaret Wright could be a surprise. Steve Trashel? I think he’ll be ok but I’m going to make sure to have a book handy on the days he pitches. Hayden Penn isn’t one to write off yet, I’m betting he’ll be in the bigs by mid-season.

All in all, there’s more to happy about with this team than in the past few years. .500 is definately reachable and that’s what we need, some baby steps towards respectability and that’s what I think the team is finally doing.

What a bummer

I’ve been in sleep mode around here until Spring Training started up, unless something happened. Well, something made have to post before I did my ode to Spring Training on Wednesday…and it’s not good.

Kris Benson is out of the season with a partially torn rotator cuff.

Benson is nothing more than an average pitcher who can eat innings, but he’s our average pitcher who can eat innings. With losing him, we lose a veteran presence on the pitching staff, one who Bedard, Loewen, and Cabrera can look to.

But now he’s gone. There’s no chance that he’ll pitch this year and that stinks. Yeah, he went 11-12 last year, but you can argue he could have been 14-10 or something with the way the bullpen failed him. But that’s something you have to deal with.

The front office didn’t waste anytime replacing Benson.

The Orioles are now home to Steve Traschel, who could be a Benson clone. Average pitcher. I guess it’s good we signed him instead of rushing Penn back up or Olson. Let the cards fall where they may in Spring Training and maybe Traschel will be decent. At least this was found out now instead of during Spring Training, so we could sign someone of Traschel’s calibur. I say that half sarcastically, but I’m also serious. The guy has proven he can eat innings over his career and that’s all I want him to do. Just go out pitch 180-200 innings and win more games than he loses.

With this sad news, this means I’m kicking it back up for baseball season. I’m ready for it, even without the emotionless stare of Kris Benson.

If I were a baseball player

I ripped this idea off from Rob’s blog, where he got it from Off Wing Opinion, and I’m just translating it from hockey to baseball.

Team I’d play for: The Baltimore Orioles, of course.

Jersey Number:47

Position: 1st Base (Lord knows we need a first baseman anyway)

Nickname: Big Ben

At Bat Music: Paint it Black- Rolling Stones 

Strengths: High OBP, Great Defense

Weaknesses: A little too daring on the base paths at time, trying to stretch a single into a double.

Injury Problems: A little back issues

Biggest on the Field Enemy: All of the Yankees and Red Sox, but in particular Curt Schilling. This would stem from me calling him a jackass, a coward, and some other more choice words after he threw inside to during the 5th inning of 2-1 game (O’s lead) with two on and one out. He ended up hitting me above my knee and I ended up missing a few games as a result. Thus our hatred has flowed since.

Best Pals on the team: Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, and Miggy. I drink a lot with Kevbo too.

Biggest team scandal involving me: I’m spotting during the bottom of an inning with the Free Birds rally crowd.

Media Darling or Barry Bonds? On a good day, I’d be the media’s best friend but after a bad game, it’d be best to keep a safe distance.

Shining moment of my career: A diving catch in the ALCS, top on the ninth with the bases loaded and one out. I leap and extend for about a mile to steal what would have been a base clearing double by Derek Jeter. Instead, it ends up being a game ending double play because A-Rod gets caught in the base paths.

World Series Foe: The O’s against the Braves. A trip back home to play the team that’s always been a little bit of my ‘hometown’ team.

Hall of Famer? I’d probably in up being in the Hall of Very Good.