Wieters should be playing

We knew the situation coming into the season. Wieters will stay down in AAA to get some at-bats, and to keep him under contract for an extra year, until May-june. But where do you say enough, and just let you top prospect play?

I say now. Vetern journeyman Gregg Zaun was signed for a 1 year deal in the winter to be a temporary stopgap until Wieters comes up, and believe me, Zaun is a stopgap at this point. But you have to ditch this whole, lets be conservative attitude with Wieters. He has proven he can hit, play defense, and do everything you could possibly ask a catcher to do in his 2nd season with the O’s organiztion. Wieters is 23 in 2009, and it is time to get him up right now.

Espically when your starting Catcher is batting .111, and its not 1 or 11. Its 6 for 54. 6 hits in 54 at-bats. Thats a little bit past slump. And right now, the Orioles bottom part of the line-up has been struggling for the most part. And you need to do someting about i. After starting 6-2, the O’s are just 3-11. Thats another reason you should take the Bergesen route with Wieters. And, just a note, Wieters has proven he can hit at all levels(only 41 in AAA, but still).

Listen, Wieters is going to be an All-star, it is 99 percent likely, and all of the MLB knows this. So wouldnt you want your future All-star to play basically a whole season, compared to calling him up at the end of May? Given Zaun is a hell of  a defensive Catcher, but when you have Wieters ready to go, you need to call him up. The Orioles have made that mistake in the past, not letting young prospects come up when they are like 15 for their last 37 in AAA? ( just a random number off the top of my head).

Besides, we are in the rebuilding phase of the franchise right now, led by one of the best baseball FO execs in the bussiness, Andy Macphail. Just let all the kids play, not just Wieters. Hernandez, Arrieta, Reimold, Patton, etc. And you will be contending again in 2 or 3 years, there is no doubt in my mind.

                                                                                            Logan Quick

Post-series recap: O’s vs Rangers-4/24-4/27

Game 1 Rangers 6- O’s 5        Game 2 Rangers 6- O’s 5          game 3 O’s 8- Rangers 5      game 4 Rangers 6- O’s 4   OUTCOME- Rangers win series, 3-1

It was an up and down series for the O’s, who lost 3 of the 4 games, but they stayed competitive throughout the series. It was a good effort by the hitters, and the bullpen( with the exception of game 1) and, the starters struggled. I will break down all 4 games.

Game 1- It was a heartbreaking game for the Orioles. Koji Uehara pitched a great game, he went 6 and 2/3 innings, allowing just 2 runs and striking out 6. But in the 9th, closer George Sherill allowed a two-run bomb to perrenial all-star 3B Michael Young after losing Ian Kinsler after working a full count, the a single the batter before. Aubrey Huff had a heck of a game, going 2-4 with a 2 run double in the 4th inning to give the O’s the lead which they held onto until Sherrill blew it with 2 outs in the 9th.

Game 2- This was almost the game of the year. I actually attended this game, and it was very exciting at the end. Mark Hendrickson got roughed up early, allowing 4 homeruns in 4 and 1/3 innings. This could’ve been Hendricksons last start if Rich Hill gets back on time. Brian Bass was the star of the game, finally showing why he made the opening day roster. He pitched a clean 3 and 2/3 innings and struck out 4, and kept the O’s in the game. The game got interesting after Izturis drove in Gregg Zaun, and then Adam Jones drove in Lou Montanez and Izturis to make it 6-5, alas, Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff left Jones stranded.

Game 3- This was the one win for the O”s in the weekend series. Brad Bergesen got rough up, allowing 10 hits and 5 earned runs in 4 innings, but again, the bullpen impressed, going a scoreless last 5 innings and the O’s kept on hitting. Adam Jones got his 3rd homerun of the year, blasting a 3 run shot in the 6th inning, giving the O’s the lead 7-5, and Markakis closed it out, getting an RBI single in the 8th to make it 8-5, and then George Sherrill closed it out in the 9th, giving him his 4th save out of 5 oppurtunitys early on in 2009.Danny Baez also picted a clean 3 innings, 5 through 7,  and didnt even allow a hit and struck out 3. Definally a big win for the O’s.

Game 4- The potential series tie game was a good game. Staff ace Jeremy Guthrie went a decent 5 innings, allowing 3 runs and striking out 4. He left the game wuth the lead, but the pen could just not hold it, as Matt Albers couldnt hold in the 6th inning, and he got the loss. The O’s hitters went on a tear early, scoring 4 runs in the first 2 innings, and then went cold, not one run in the last seven innings. Brian Roberts had a 2 run single to center to make it 4-0 early, but Texas starter Matt Harrison toughened up, shutting us out until he was done after 7. The Orioles could have easily taken 3 of the 4 games, but the bullpen woes in game 1 and 4 made that flip, making it just 1 of 4.

O’s- Angels series preveiw- The Orioles look to win this series after losing the last one, just the second series loss of the early season. We are home again, and we need to take advantage of being at Camden. It is just a two game series, and we have Adam Eaton, who is looking for his 2nd win in game 1, then Uehara, who is looking for his 3rd.

Thats it for now, check back for more colums.

                                                                                                                                Logan Quick

post-series recap- O’s vs White sox- 4/21-4/23

Game 1 O’s 10- CWS 3         Game 2 CWS 8- O’S 2           Game 3 O’s 6- CWS 2         OUTCOME- O’s win series, 2-1

It was a great series at Camden Yards,as the O’s took on the high powered White Sox. After this series, the Orioles record stands at 8-8 and they are in 4th place in the AL East, 3.5 games back from the suprise team, Toronto Blue Jays.

Game 1- Like noted, the Orioles won this game 10-3. Brad Bergesen was the star of the series, going 5 ans 2/3 innings and only allowing 1 earned run and struck out 4 batters. Aubrey Huff also hit two homeruns, the first into Eutaw Street off Jose Contreras, and the second came off Jack Egbert. It was a great game for the Orioles, as they had 5 innings where they posted 2 runs.

Game 2- This game was ugly, as the Sox won 8-2. Ace Jeremy Guthrie got roughed up, allowing 5 earned runs in 6 innings and also allowed 8 hits, this start gave Guthrie a 2-1 record with a 5.16 ERA in the early goings.  Luke Scott, who has been on a tear of late, hit a homerun in the 3rd inning off John Danks. The Orioles also had a bad day fielding, as 2 costly errors let 2 unearned runs score. This put the series at 1-1 going into the rubber match on thursday.

Game 3- The Orioles won the series in this game after beating Chicago 6-2. Journeyman starter Adam Eaton pitched a gem, just allowing 2 earned runs in 7 and 2/3 innings, while he struck out 9 hitters, including Jim Thome 3 times. This earned Eaton his 1st victory in Baltimore, putting him at 1-2 and a 7.04 ERA on the season. The bottom of the line-up played well, as 4 of the 5 Oriole RBI came from batters 5,6 and 9. One Oriole run scored on an error. 2 RBI also were drove in with 2 outs. The bullpen pitched good for 2 of the 3 games this series, as Jim Johnson and George Sherrill pitched well in this game, Johnson allowed the only hit after Eaton left the game.

O’s-Texas weekend series preveiw- This looks to be a important series for the O’s, as we face off against the Rangers again, the 2nd series in the first month. It is a 4-game series, and Uehara, Hendrickson, Bergesen and Guthrie are scheduled to start in the four games.

Thats it for now, check back soon for more articles.

                                                                                                   Logan Quick

Bergesen and Montanez impress in 2009 debuts

The Orioles finally called up some of their best prospects for Tuesdays game. The first was Brad Bergesen, who was called up in place of the injured Alfredo Simon, who is out for the year, and he will undergo Tommy John surgery . And then Lou Montanez replaced Ryan Freel after he went on the 15 day DL with a head injury. Bergesen is a 23 year old right-handed pitcher from California. He was the O’s 4th round pick in the 2004 draft. He totaled a 32-23 record in 5 minor league seasons, 15 last year for Bowie as well. Montanez is a 27 year old outfielder from Puerto Rico. He was the 3rd overall pick in the 2000 draft by the Cubs. Montanez has over 1,000 minor league hits in his 9 full seasons. He hit .295 in 112 at-bats for the O’s last year.

Bergesen was finally called up and put right into the spotlight. After a rain delay, Bergesen started out the game just mowing hitters down. He went the first 3 innings without even allowing a hit. Bergesen finished the game with 5 and 2/3 innings pitched, 3 runs( just 1 earned), 4 hits and 4 strikeouts. Most importantly, he got the win in his debut, making him 1-0 in his career. Bergesen looked great, working fast and keeping the count in his favor for the most part. The biggest challenge was going through that powerful Chicago line-up that includes Carlos Quentin, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko among others. He limited the heart of their line-up to just 2 hits. It looks to be a good start for Bergesen, who is very promising, and hopefully will continue these good outings.

Lou Montanez also did good. He went just 1-5 in his 2009 debut, but that one hit drove in Cesar Izturis on an rbi double. He looked confident at the plate, very dicsiplined and looked for his pitch. He hit the ball solidly almost every at-bat expect for his one strikeout. Hopefully this is just the start of good things to come for Montanez, as he is a late bloomer but does have talent. It looks like he will see a good amount of at-bats until a decision is made on who goes back down after Freel is back from the DL and Adam Jones is fully recovered from his Hamstring injury.

Thats it for now. Check back soon for new articles.

                                                                                             by- Logan Quick

Should the Orioles look to the minors?

Right now, the Orioles are in a slump. They started off 6-2, but have dropped their last 5, making them 6-7 at the almost end of April. Their key players have been doing well, such as Roberts, Markakis, Jones, Huff, Scott, Guthrie, Uehara and Johnson. But they have many players who have been subpar as of late, like Matt Albers, Sarfate, Eaton, Bass and Liz along with hitters like Pie, Zaun, Freel who was just placed on the 15 day DL, and Cesar Izturis.  Gu

The question is, should they look to the minors early? They have many prospects ripping it up at their respective levels, and Brad Bergeson was just called up. Their hitters in AAA, like Lou Montanez and Nolan Reimold are hitting over .400 in the early goings, and Scott Moore is hitting .270. Also they have many pitchers doing well in AAA, such as David Pauley, David Hernandez and Chris Tillman, whom all have an ERA of 2.31 or less in April.

Now, what i want to know, is why we didnt have guys like Bergeson or Hernandez up at the beginning of the year, and you sign guys like Adam Eaton and Mark Hendrickson. Let the kids play, and then you can see how close your future winning days are instead of just estimating when we will be contenders. Montanez is 27, and he needs to come up. Given Pie is 24 and has potential, but if he is still struggling at the end of May or early June, and Lou is still tearing up Norfolk, put Pie on the bench and let Montanez start. And Ryan Freel is reportedly not happy with his situation already in Baltimore. You have places to put these guys, and you just need to step back and know that.

Its even more clear with the pitchers. You should have had Guthrie and Uehara the only 2 vets in the rotation and then have 3 kids fill out 3,4,and 5. The same goes for the bullpen, instead you have guys like Bass, who is struggling right now, and Danny Baez, who started out good but is struggling of late. Could have we done this coming out of spring training? possibly, but you need to know what you are working with before you bet it all on guys who havent seen Camden Yards yet.

On another note, we got to get healthy. We were 1st and then Mora went down, then followed Simon, Jones and Freel. Injurys are a part of baseball, but you need to know how to rebound. And we have Rich Hill hopefully coming back soon.

Anyway, we are home against the White sox for 3 games, and we have Bergeson, Guthrie and Eaton starting those games. Im just hoping we look more competitive this series as we have the homefield advantage.

UPDATE- the O’s have called up Montanez after placing Freel on the DL. This is a very good move, now lets see what he can do in the MLB when it really matters.

                                                                                                 by- Logan Quick

post-series report: O’s vs Rangers- 4/13-4/15

Game 1:  O’s 10- Rangers 9.       Game 2: O’s 7- Rangers 5.        Game 3: Rangers 19- O’s 6     OUTCOME- Orioles win series 2-1

Player of series- Adam Jones: .357 AVG, 2 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, 2 2B- Jones was on fire this series, hitting .357 in the series and bumping his early season average to .389 average. He also hit two bombs to give him his 1st HR’s of the season. Jones was looking more and more confident as the series, and the year has gone on, and hopefully he keeps the same approach at the plate all season long. It is also worth noting that 9 of his 14 hits have been for extra bases( 6 doubles, 1 triple, and 2 homeruns) in just 36 at bats. Jones is also looking stellar in CF. His most important hit of the season was that 2 run homerun in the 10th inning of game 2 off Eddie Guardado.

Suprise of the series-LF Felix Pie: .333 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI,1 BB- After going 2 foir his first 7, Pie hit a slump, going 0 for his next eight. Pie had his best series of the year in only 9 at bats, having 3 hits and his 1st homerun as an O in game 1. Pie will probably be streaky all throughout the year as he is a rookie and the former top prospect is getting his 1st real oppurtunity to start at 24, i say he will be streaky because this is year 1 and all rookies go through a transitional phase. But expect Pie to be one of the top suprises of the season for the O’s, as he has great potential and talent.

Game of the series: Game 2- After being down 3-1 after the 1st two innings and starter Alfredo Simon went down with a looks to be serious elbow injury, the O’s scored some runs in the 3rd and 4th inning to knot the game at 3. It stayed this way until the 10th inning until Adam Jones hit a 2-run HR, and then Luke Scott doubled deep and scored Markakis and Wigginton to make it 7-3. But then George Sherill came on in the bottom of the 10th and allowed 2 runs, but then got Marlon Byrd swinging for out 3 and clinched the O’s 3rd straight series win. The offense had 9 hits and the bullpen went 7 and 2/3 without allowing a run and only 5 hits. It was truly an exciting game from start to finish, and both teams went at it hard, but the ORIOLES! came out on top.

Goat of the series: The whole pitching staff in game 3- 19 hits and 19 runs allowed- It first started with Hendrickson allowing 9 runs ( but only 2 earned, thanks to that crucial Roberts error), but still didnt look good and was pulled after 3 and 2/3. Then came on Radames Liz, who was called to Baltimore with Matt Albers before the game. and in 1 inning got roughed up and allowed 4 runs and 5 hits. And the Brian Bass ( suprise!!!) allowed 2 runs in 2 innings right after Liz. I dont get it, Bass can strikeout so many people, but all the other skills are lacking. Then, yes, the guy i defended in my last article, Matt Albers got ripped apart, allowing 4 runs in 1 and a third innings. He also struck out 2, but when its 19 runs, strikeouts dont even matter at all. And they allowed Ian Kinsler to hit for only the 3rd 6-hit cycle in MLB history.

Moment of the series: Adam Jones 2 run homerun in 10th inning, game 2- I think you all saw this coming, The Jones HR in extra innings was so huge in that game words cant describe it. Definally gave us momentum to put 2 runs extra on the board and close the game out in the bottom of the 10th. Sherrill definally made it interesting though, geez.

Downlow- The Orioles are 6-3 to start the year, and are in 2nd place in the AL East, a half a game behind Toronto. The O’s head to Boston for a 4 game weekend series. It should be interesting to see how we do versus Beantown. Staff ace Jeremy Guthrie will start game 1, followed by Eaton in game 2, Uehara in game 3, and whoever replaces Simon in game 4. It could be a guy like Albers or Sarfate, or Liz, whoever it is, better be ready to go, because it seems that Simon might be out a while with that Elbow injury.

Writers note-  It is a shame to hear about the Alfredo Simon injury. He was one of the dark horses to suprise this year, and if i remeber correctly, ”degenerative issue” means that it is the decline or loss of, in Simons case, structure of the elbow. So this could be serious if it is a real degenerative issue, because he could be lost for the season. We will find out more later in the upcoming weeks hopefully, and learn if it is serious or minor.

                      by – Logan Quick

Post series report- O’s vs Rays: 4/10-4/12

Game 1: O’s 5  Rays 4.  Game 2: O’s 6  Rays 0.  Game 3: Rays 11 O’s 3.       OUTCOME- Orioles win series, 2-1

Player of the series- 3B Melvin Mora: .333 AVG, 1 HR, 7 RBI’s, 1 R- Mora had a hell of a series. He had all of his 7 rbi in the 1st two games of the series, but ended the series 0-2 in game 3. In game 1, Mora had his 1st multi-hit game of the season and drove in 3 runs, then in game 2 he went 1 for 3 with a walk, but the hit was big time. Mora hit a grand slam off Jeff Neimann, his 4th career grand slam. Mora is hitting .313 in the early season.

Suprise of the series- SP Mark Hendrickson: 1-0 1.69 ERA- Hendricks0n came into his Oriole debut toting a 3.25 career era at Camden Yards, and a 5.07 overall. But in the 1st game of the series, Hendrickson suprised all, going 5 and 1/3 innings and only allowing 1 run and 6 hits. He definally earned his spot on the rotation for now, until Rich Hill comes back from the 15-day DL, and then it still remains a mystery on what happens to the rotation.

Game of the series- game 2- in game 2, the O’s won 6-0 and gave them the series clinching win. Jeremy Guthrie had his 2nd strong outing of the 2009 season, going 6 scoreless innings and only allowing 5 hits. This was also the game Mora hit his grand slam bomb to cap off the 5-run 1st inning for the Orioles. Also, the club got 9 hits and the bullpen went 3 scoreless innings and only allowing 3 hits. The relievers who pitched were Matt Albers, Jamie Walker, and Chris Ray.

Goat of the series-  RP Brian Bass, AGAIN!!!!!!!!: 3 and 1/3 innings, 8 hits, 7 earned runs, and 4 Hr’s allowed, compiling a f’n outstanding, cy young calliber ( lol just joking folks) era of……….. 16.88 ( my god thats horrible)- Bass came in after starter Adam Eaton could only go 4 innings, and it got really ugly, really fast.  He allowed HR’s to Ben Zorbist( my god he has 16 career HR’s), Jason Bartlett( even worse, 12 in almost 1600 AB’s, ewww) and then All-star’s  Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena.  He did strike out 4, but when you do that bad, it just doesnt matter how many you K.

Moment of the series- 3B Melvin Mora’s grand slam, game 2: Definally exciting to see Mora hit his 1st HR of 2009, and a grand slam, no matter who it is. Mora definally ripped that Jeff Niemann pitch hard into the bullpen, socring Jones, Markakis, and Huff. It gave the O’s enough momentum to easily win the game. It just shows you how fast a game changes when that happens, 1-0 and then 5-0 in 1 swing. Way to go, Melvin Mora. It looks to be a great year for him.

Downlow- the O’s won the weekend series, it was also the 1st time they won the 1st two home series to start a year since 1998. The offense still looked good, and for the most part, so did the pitching. The Orioles could be 1 of the suprise teams in 2009 if they can keep this level of play up.

Writers note- Why the hell did we send down Matt Albers? I was livid when i heard this decision, he has a 3.38 ERA early on this season, and we send him to Norfolk. Given, Albers has options left, but it doesnt matter, you send down the guy who is sucking, at right now that is Bass ( he is out of options, big deal) and you just release Bass’s bum ass. ill take a 3.38 over a frickin 16.88 thats for sure. And Albers has potential, and Bass is probably peaked. What is your guy’s take on this whole situation?