Trade winds abrewin’?

From the Sun:

Another possibility beyond Stern and Bynum is Kansas City Royals outfielder Reggie Sanders. The Orioles and Royals have had several discussions about the veteran right-handed hitter in recent days, according to an industry source. Kansas City is seeking a reliever, but any deal most likely would hinge on the team’s picking up most of Sanders’ $5 million contract for 2007. The Orioles, in turn, would have to make sure they could provide enough at-bats for Sanders to keep him happy.

Early estimates have Payton missing one to three weeks.

It appears Todd Williams is the name being mentioned in the Sanders talk. I really don’t care for this. Sanders is 39 years old and would just be another one of the Conine-esque veteran presence things. I don’t think he’d get enough at bats when Payton gets back to keep him happy either. I say we just suck it up and have Gibbons play left for 1-3 weeks, have a 5 player bench with Stern and Knott and let these guys show they can or can’t play at the major league level before we trade for someone who won’t have much use in a couple weeks. It’s not so much giving up Todd Williams, it’s just making moves that make more sense over the course of the season.

Also from the same article:

Meanwhile, the Orioles optioned pitcher Sean Tracey to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned outfielder Jon Knott and catcher Eli Whiteside to minor league camp. They also announced that outfielder Ruddy Yan, infielders Cesar Crespo, Mike Cervenak and Terry Tiffee, catcher J.R. House and pitchers Andy Mitchell and Steve Green will remain with the club through the rest of the exhibition schedule before being reassigned.

Here’s the full article.

 

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Payton hurt

In today’s against the Twins, Jay Payton strained a hammie running to third base. Good news that it’s the lowest level of strain. Bad news? It may help Freddie Bynum’s chances of making the 25 man.

The Sun says that he could miss one to three weeks, meaning that he’s likely missing opening day. I’m sure there’s way I could blame this on Sidney Ponson.

Spencer Fordin has plenty of notes today.

– Sean Tracey is happy to an O.

-Rob Bell wasn’t stunned at getting sent to minors, despite a stellar spring.

– The opening rotation looks to be

against the Twins: Bedard, Cabrera, and Wright

against the Yankees: Loewen, Trachsel, and back to Bedard.

Trachsel against the Yankees is scary. Spring training numbers or not, that’s going to be a game that will scare me to watch. But maybe he gets together when the season starts.

-Adam Donachie was sent back to the Royals, after clearing waivers and the O’s not able to work out a deal with KC. I’m not crying over this one.

The O’s are not very happy with their opening schedule, says Peter Schmuck.

The Sun has a cool thing going where fans at spring training write pieces.

Sloppy Saturday

Miguel Tejada and Ramon Hernandez had two errors apiece in yesterday’s split squad loss to the Dodgers.

Says Sam:

“We were awfully sloppy today,” manager Sam Perlozzo said. “I know it’s late and guys are kind of anxious. They’ve had a tough schedule. So we’ll write it off to the schedule and see if we can get them on track tomorrow.”

More cuts were made today.

Brandon Fahey, Hayden Penn and Kurt Birkins will be starting the season in Norfolk. Interestingly, Birkins will go back to being a starting pitcher since the Jamie Walker signing fills the void of bullpen lefty.

Rob Bell and Jon Leceister were also given assignments to minor league camp.  Sendy Rleal was also sent to minor league camp so he can continue rehab on his shoulder.

The Bell assignment looks to clear the way for Jeremy Guthrie to be the long reliever.

The question remains about the bench, will we see a 12 or 13 man pitching staff? I looks now that Freddie Bynum, Adam Stern, and Jason Dubois are the remaining fighters for that spot.

Bynum has 18 strikeouts in 37 at bats this season with 5 hits and .137 average. I’d much rather have Stern or Dubois.

Another Long Reliever in the mix

The Orioles signed Sean Tracey, strike that…rather, they CLAIMED him off waivers today from the Chicago White Sox.

I’m assuming that Tracey will thrown in the mix to compete with my boy Jeremy Guthrie, the Phoenix known as Todd Williams, and the rebound trail bounded, Rob Bell.

Judging by his stats (I love thebaseballcube.com for minor league stats), up until he got his major league call-up last season, he was used as a starter. I’m just guessing here, but I’m wondering if he’s going to be looked at as Trachsel insurance. Todd Williams certainly can’t be used as a 5th starter, likewise Rob Bell. You can make a strong case for Guthrie. I’m guessing they want Hayden Penn to get more time in the minors (or they’re shopping him), because he’d seem like a fit as long relief until/if Trachsel gets the hook.

I don’ t think this is bad move. It could be one of those under the radar moves that works. Or it could mean absolutely nothing and Tracey is nothing more than a warm body. I just find this surprising with pieces like this on the O’s website saying how crowded and heated the competition is this last season.

Here’s what I’m guessing:

Todd Williams- makes the team. Perlozzo’s familiar with him and that’s going to count for A LOT.

Jeremy Guthrie- makes the team, his spring has been too good.

Rob Bell- Norfolk bound, if he has that option…and I’m not sure he does.

Kurt Birkins- I’ve forotten all about you, but he’ll be in Norfolk.

Sean Tracey- Him and Guthrie are interchangeable here. Only one of them will make the 25 man and I’m guessing Guthrie because he has to be on it, otherwise he’s waived. I’m not sure of Tracey’s status with that…but I’m guessing if he has any stuff, we’ll see him Baltimore soon enough.

To make room for Tracey, Kris Benson was put on the 60 DL. Thus making his season look more and more over.

What a swell Birthday present

I’m over at the folks and saw today’s recap and figured I’d throw a quickie up here.  

It’s not just Spring Training anymore… 

The O’s took down what was basically the Dodgers opening day roster 8-0

Nick Markakis had a monster day going 4 for 4 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. Tell me this kid is not going to have a monster season.

Corey Patterson batted lead-off (scary as it is, I know), went 1 for 2 and managed to get a WALK.

Miguel Tejada went 2 for 4, driving in 2.

Freddie Bynum went 0 for 1, striking out again, bringing his total to 12 strike outs in 25 plate appearences this spring. I will be massive upset if this stiff makes the 25 man.

Steve Trachsel defied my recent resentment and wenta very respectable 6 innings and allowed no runs and gave up 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out one. So maybe it won’t be complete debacle I thought it would be.

Jeremy Guthrie went 2 scoreless frames and struck out three…

BUT Todd Williams will not be denied, although he allowed one hit….he struck the other 3 Dodgers he faced, showing that Todd Williams is a phoenix rising from last season’s ashes just to spite me and that 1.23 ERA of his proof. I’m not a believer yet, Todd…last season hurt.

Here’s your MLB.com recap.

By the way, I got a kick out of the Orioles.com headline for the recap. ‘Mark of the Beast.’ Thanks Spencer, but I think you might be trying a little too hard on that one. Does that Mean Nick Markakis is the anti-Christ?

Happy Birthday to ME

March 22nd is my birthday (may the downside of my 20’s officially begin), so I’m gonna do a late post tonight because chances the next two days will be busy.

Here’s my BOLD predictions for the season

Steve Trachsel will not be in the O’s rotation all season

Jaret Wright will have a decent season

Sam Perlozzo will make it through the season and not the next

Jay Gibbons will be traded

Hayden Penn will make it the big club before the break and he will ultimately traded

Nick Markakis will have no sophomore slump and cement his status as a cornerstone for the franchise

The bullpen will be among the best in baseball

From SI’s Jon Heyman:

The moral of this story is that maybe the Orioles were the smart ones by stockpiling relief pitchers. Chad Bradford for $10.5 million over three years looks like the steal of the winter right now.

Melvin Mora will have a slight rebound, but the effects of aging will still show.

Aubery Huff and Jay Payton both will prove to be good signings. But Huff will have the better year.

Corey Patterson and Brian Roberts will reek havoc on the bathpaths

Corey Patterson will have yet another uneven season at the plate

The bench will consist of Payton, Bako, Gomez, and Millar/Gibbons… because we all know Perlozzo is going with that 4 man bench.

Tejada will regain his old form.

We will see a big trade

Erik Bedard will have a big, big year.

Loewen and Cabrera will have great years.

The Orioles will finish at .500 or better

That’s what I see in my crystal ball.

Thanks to Anthony, Ian, and Jason for having me on their radio show ‘The Hits Keep on Coming.’ Go over to Oriole Post for download options.

My sympathies to Rob after my Tigers nearly blew what was a 17 point lead and managed to squeeze by Syracuse. Clemson makes the trip to New York where they’ll hopefully win the NIT and cement their status as the 66th best team in college basketball.

Happy Birthday to the Central

I completely forgot about this, but I ventured back to the old blogspot  site today and apparently this is the site’s 1st birthday. The archives only go back to March 31st, but it’s not the first post. So March 2oth is the site’s birthday.

I never really intented to do this, but my friend Chris told me I should. The idea actually came about on a smokey Tuesday night at Dougal Maguire’s, the Irish Bar in town. I’m not Irish, but it’s a swell spot for a drink or four. And no, I’m not a fan of Guiness. But it’s something he said I should try. I figured I’d give it a shot, but I didn’t think that I would have enough to talk about. Some days I have absolutely nothing to say so I either don’t post or I do something like I did today, but it’s been fun to do. There’s been a few times where I let things go to hell and not post for a week or three, but in the end this is my little space where I show my loyalty to my beloved Orioles, win or lose.

I remember trying to figure out a name for the blog. I’ve actually never actually been fond of ‘Oriole Central.’ But thinking of a name isn’t as easy as it seems. My first thought was O’s-gasm. That would probably get me plenty of hits, but not the kind of traffic I like. But the name is here and it works.

I still get excited when I check out the site traffic and see that I got linked to a different. Last night I got in and saw that I linked to Oriole Magic and I was a giddy as a mouse in a cheese factory. Maybe that makes me a geek, but I don’t care.

So it’s been a year.

Thanks to everyone who drops by here on a regular basis and check things out. Thanks to those all of those who’ve left comments (comments are swell), Thanks to all of the other great blogs who’ve linked to me. Thanks to everyone I didn’t thank.

And of course, Thanks to me…otherwise this moment wouldn’t be possible.

Hopefully this year will be a better year than last to blog. I hope there’ll be plenty of great games and wins to talk about. Maybe this year Bedard, Cabrera, and Loewen have amazing years. Maybe this year Tejada will blast 40 homers and have improved range. Maybe this year Corey Patterson gets that ellusive patience at the plate and makes him complete player. Maybe this year Jay Gibbons will be completely healthy. You get my point. Last season was rough, but we made it through it…and by God, we’ll do it again.

Thanks again everyone, you’re the best. Here’s to the first, to the second, and many many more.