The 11th Hour- Trade Deadline Speculation

This afternoon is the trading deadline. There’s not many rumors coming from the warehouse and the Orioles usually don’t do much at the deadline. Last season we saw Steve Trachsel get moved for Rocky Cherry and Scott Moore after the trading deadline when all had to pass through waivers. In the offseason, we saw all the action with Bedard and Miggy. I’m not expecting much action with the O’s today, but if the O’s were to make moves, who would be the ones to go?

  • Brian Roberts- We’ve been on this merry go-round before. He could go. But I doubt this move happens now. If it were to happen, I think it would happen in the offseason. Teams that I’m guessing would interested would be the Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Cardinals, White Sox, and perhaps the Twins. I think he’ll be held onto and whatever moves do or don’t happen (signing Mark Teixiera or not) determines his longterm future in Baltimore.
  • George Sherrill- He’s been a nice surprise, but I have to think MacPhail would want to sell high. I’ve read he’s available, then he’s not, then he might be but only for the right package. Sherrill’s number of saves has made him look more valuable than he is. He’s good, don’t get me wrong…but I don’t think a team should give up 2 top prospects for George Sherrill. I hope they do though.  Brewers, Cubs, Marlins, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Phillies are all teams that could make a run at Sherrill.
  • Aubrey Huff- He’s having a great season, but there’s little to no trade buzz around Huff. While Huff’s mashing the ball, he’s still a DH. Yeah, he plays a little 3rd and 1st on occassion, but he’s no defensive whiz. That rules out most of the NL. Maybe an AL team makes a run at him. I’m pure guessing here but maybe Tigers, Twins, I dunno.
  • Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker- They’re both available, but might not be dealt until the waiver deadline. Walker’s not having the season he had last season, but he’s been hurt for a chunk of the season. Bradford is relible at worst. Pretty much any team could use these guys and it wouldn’t take a ton to get them.
  • Ramon Hernandez- Pennies on the dollar. He’s not the player he was when he signed here. His defense is declining. He can’t throw out baserunners. He’s rebounded somewhat at the plate, but anything the O’s can get for him, take it and run. Marlins need a catcher, Tigers might.
  • Kevin Millar- Need a good clubhouse guy who’s a wacky prankester but also a leader? Call Andy MacPhail. Millar’s having a decent year, but he is what he is. A playoff contender needing a bench guy could do a lot worse. The Rays, Mets, come to mind.

I’m not predicting anything major today, but I’ve got faith in Andy MacPhail. Things will get done, but maybe just not on the timetable we want. A bunch of trades would look cool to come home to today, but I’d rather wait another couple months and have a better trade happen, if that’s the case. I don’t want trades to be made, just to trade. I want some trades to happen that will make this team better in the long run.

Season to Date Grades- Ramon Hernandez and Adam Jones

I wanted to do a season thus recap as the O’s stand close to the 2/3rd mark of the season. The simplest way to do it is the old position, grade, and remarks. I’ve done that before and its just going through the motions. Do I really need to give players letter grades like my 2nd grade teacher? For this post I will. I’m going to break it down and review a few players a pop.

Today let’s look at Ramon Hernandez and Adam Jones in the old Second Grade style.

“Ramon Hernandez, you have not been playing up to your potential this season. I know you are capable of doing better work. Your batting average is a meak .253. The 12 HR and 43 are actually an improvement over last season. Where my concern is, and I’ve called your parents to set up a parent teacher conference over this matter, your defense. Baserunners are running all over you. They’re actually bullying you. Of 70 attempts, you’ve only caught 19. Your errors currently sit at 8 and your fielding percentage is at .985. I’m worried, you’re on the verge of failing this season and I’m writing that on your body for work for this season with this red felt tip pen.”

“Adam Jones, you’ve been improving as the season progresses. The start of the season was especially rough but you’ve gotten better both offensively and defensively. Your fielding percentage is at .993 and you have only 2 errors. Some of the plays that you’ve made in the outfield  have been spectacular. Your offense has been a work in progress. 7 homers and 48 RBI is good work for your first full year in the majors. I am concerned somewhat about the 19 BB to 89 K ratio. Maybe you should spend a little time with Terry Crowley before the game (and if you already are, then stop). I’m very impressed with your work so far, I feel its worth a B. I’m giving you a gold star and a couple for a free personal pizza at your local pizzeria. Keep up the good work.”

Sarfate Debut: He did better than the Rest of them

The game’s still going, but I decided that silence is a more welcome sound on a rare afternoon off rather than Yankee bats. Dennis Sarfate debuted in the rotation. A move that I’m not sure about in its duration. The trade deadline is tomorrow, so perhaps the O’s need a spot start from somebody until a move is done or more likely, its buying some time for another couple of starts in the minors for Bergesen or Hayden Penn. Its times like these that the Matt Albers injurys really hurts.

Dennis Sarfate, starter, happened today. He fared better than I thought. The good part of it all is that he struck out 5 and gave up only 2 hits. The bad part of it is that he went only four innings, walked three, and wasn’t done any favors in the first inning by the defense. Sarfate gave up 5 runs, but only 3 of them earned. One run was a result of a throwing error by Nick Markakis and the other a passed by Guillermo Quiroz, in a bloody first inning. He threw 68 pitches, 39 for strikes. Since it was his first start in the majors, it’d be foolish to expect him to throw 90-100 pitches in his first start. If nothing else, he didn’t embarrass himself out there and for that alone, he ought to get a second start until the rotation gets settled down.

Meanwhile, the pitcher Sarfate replaced didn’t fare as well today. Brian Burres came on in long relief in the 5th and got knocked around to the tune of 4 hits and 4 runs in only an inning and a third of work. The O’s would end up losing by a 13-3 final. On a bright note, Juan Castro hit a pinch hit solo homer today.

Roch Joins MASN

I got an email from MASN with the press release announcing that now former Baltimore Sun beat writer/columist/blogger/vaudeville comedian Rock Kubatko will be joining them. Good for him. I do like Roch’s blog because its updated quite a bit and he has a ton of access within the team. I could do without the “take my wife,please” and “man, I had a long flight from Florida. My arms are worn out” type jokes. But whatever.

And apparently Peter Schmuck is replacing_Roch over at the Sun, and apparently he likes Hawaiian shirts.

Here’s the MASN release.

 

Rock Kubatko Joins MASN

Brings his popular blog “Roch Around the Clock”
to
MASNsports.com
Friday, August 1  


(BALTIMORE, M.D.) – MASN, the local leader in live sports entertainment, has announced that longtime Baltimore sports journalist and personality Roch Kubatko has joined the network as an on-air personality and blogger, bringing his successful Roch Around the Clock blog to MASNsports.com.  Roch’s first blog for MASN will appear on Friday, August 1 at www.masnsports.com.

As part of MASN’s All Star talent team, Kubatko will continue to blog about the Orioles and the Ravens.  MASNsports.com also plans to feature live chats, online call-in shows, and video blogs featuring Kubatko in the future.

In addition to his presence online, Kubatko will appear on O’s Xtra and Ravens Xtra, the Orioles Hot Stove Show and the Anita Marks show.  During baseball season, Kubatko will also co-host selected pre and post game shows for the Orioles Radio network, WHFS.

In twenty-one years with the Baltimore Sun, Kubatko became one of the region’s most talented sportswriters, having won the 2004 Maryland Sports Writer of the Year award from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.  During his tenure at the Sun he covered nearly every major sporting event in North America, including the NBA, the NFL, NCAA lacrosse, boxing, the World Series, the CFL Grey Cup and the MLB All-Star games. This is his twelfth season covering the Orioles.

In November 2005, Kubatko began writing Roch Around the Clock , a blog which quickly became a central internet destination for sports fans in Baltimore and nationally.  Attracting more than 100,000 page views every week, Kubatko’s blog rapidly became the most highly trafficked blog at the Baltimore Sun and was often the most visited sports blog within the Tribune Company of newspapers.
 
With player and talent blogs, up to the minute video clips, two beat writers, series previews and game statistics, MASNsports.com provides maximum access to the Orioles twenty four hours a day.
 
The new Roch Around the Clock can be found at www.masnsports.com.

Burres to pen, Sarfate to rotation

Yesterday Radhames Liz got the bus ticket to Norfolk and today Brian Burres gets bumped out of the starting rotation and into the_bullpen. Dennis Sarfate will take his spot in a bit of a shocker. I’m not going to criticize the move because Brian Burres has struggled for a long stretch here lately. I think Burres is a good arm in the pen and a good spot starter, but this is the second season he’s gotten a shot as a starter, and neither has panned out.

As for Sarfate, I think this is a short term deal. Sarfate has came into games and has been lights out but the next game, he has no control. He came up as a starter, so its not some hairbrained scheme like trying to start Chad Bradford. Hayden Penn will probably get the call up in the next couple of days since he’s pitching well.

 I wouldn’t be surprised to see a starter come to the O’s at the deadline. Nobody that great, but someone who’s been around awhile and can pitch some innings.

Liz down, Walker back

According to O’s.com,_Radhames_Liz_is_being_sent_back_to Norfolk and Jamie Walker returns to Balitmore after a month long bout with left elbow inflammation.

With his stats_as_my_evidence, Liz has looked worse and worse with each start. His ERA is a rotund 7.47. His strikeouts to walks ration is nearly dead even at 33 to 32 and he’s allowing over a hit an inning. It looks like he might have been rushed up, but with Steve Trachsel and Adam Loewen’s pitching careers ending…someone had to come up. Maybe some time in Norfolk helps out. Liz’s demotion results in an opening in the pitching rotation. His spot can be skipped this week, but what about next week? I’m thinking out loud here…..might we have a sighting of the elusive Hayden Penn?

Liz took the demotion in stride with the usual company lines.

“I know I’m going to be OK,” said Liz. “You’re never waiting for them to send you down. All the time you spend working to be here, you know you have to be mentally strong. … You’ve got to be prepared for when things like that come.”

Jamie Walker’s back. I hope too that the Jamie Walker of last season is back. Walker hasn’t been too good this season, but his shoulder hasn’t right either.

Says Walker:

“No rocketships. No laser show,” Walker said, referring to a clubhouse term for hard line drives. “I actually got popups. My fastball was down, my changeup had good sink on it and I finally threw some good curves. No pain today.”

It’s over

For the first time since the first Sunday game of the season, the O’s have won on Sunday. May 6th was the first and only Sunday win on the season until today. For the last 15 Sundays, the O’s have lost.

A look back that the last fifteen Sunday, bloody bloody Sundays

  • April 13th- Brian Burres gives up 6 runs in the the 5th and the O’s lose by a final of 6 to 2 to the Rays
  • April 20th- Andy Pettite shuts down the O’s as they roll to a 7-1 win.
  • April 27th- A surefire recipe for a Sunday loss: Jeremy Guthrie getting no run support, 3 errors, a subpar performace by Guts, and Orioles legend Greg Acquino. White Sox win 6-1.
  • May 6th. Angels 6- O’s 5. Steve Trachsel gives up 4 in the first and only goes 3 innings. The bullpen pitches 5 scoreless innings, but its all in vain. Its just an odd coincidence at this point.
  • May 11th. Royals win 4-0. Orioles muster up a mere 2 hits. Nothing more to see here.
  • May 18th. Jeremy Guthrie goes 7 innings and gives up only 1 run, but as it always is with Guthrie….he gets no run support. Nats beat the O’s 2-1 and Guthrie gets stuck with a loss. I start making plans for Sunday afternoon more often.
  • May 25th. Evan Longoria hits a game-winning RBI double in the 9th off George Sherrill. O’s lose 5-4.
  • June 1st- Red Sox win 9-4.
  • June 8th- Matt Albers gives up 3 runs in the 6th. Bluejays win 5-4. Luke Scott’s 2 homers are wasted.
  • June 15th- Daniel Cabrera walks 5 and the Pirates take advantage by winning 5-4.
  • June 22nd- Brewers win 7-3. Blah. Its getting really really old at this point.
  • June 29th- I hate Ronnie Belliard.
  • July 6th- The O’s bring offense, buy not just enough. Rangers win 11-10. I’m skipping Sunday games at this point and doing things that are less painful like self accupuncture, walking on coals, and learning how to swallow fire.
  • July 13th- Daniel Cabrera walks 6 in 4.1 innings. Red Sox win 2-1. I did not watch a second of this game and enjoyed my Sunday.
  • July 20th- Justin Verlander makes the O’s look silly as the Tigers win 5-1. Verlander gave up only 3 hits and I had a very good nap.

The Sunday losing streak’s finally over. It’d be nice to start a Sunday winning streak.