Which New Addition Will Make the Biggest Impact?

Kevin Gregg was brought in to help sure up the back end of the bullpen. J.J. Hardy was signed to solve the shortstop problems from a year ago. Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero came to help boost the offense and provide more run support for the pitching staff. Justin Duchscherer signed a free agent contract to provide a veteran arm to the rotation along with Jeremy Guthrie. Which one will have the biggest impact on this year’s team? Let’s put it to a vote.



A couple o’ things

Our boy Andy MacPhail announced during today’s game that the O’s have signed Alex Cintron. Here’s the official word from the O’s website. Cintron will play at the moment in Norfolk.

After today’s performance, no one’s gonna shocked to Luis Hernandez not be starter. He looked overmatched today. Call it Opening Day butterflies, start of the season jitters, or whatever, if days like this are going to be the norm for him…he won’t be an O too long. Cintron signed because he knew he’d get playing time soon. He didn’t sign because Norfolk is a swell town. He’ll be starting in Baltimore soon enough.

Interesting quote from the article:

Cintron will play next to third baseman Mike Costanzo at Norfolk, and both should make it to the big leagues at some point during the season.

Not about Cintron, that’s an absolute given, Costanzo is the interesting part. The only way he makes it the club at any point is trades…besides when the roster expands. When a Huff, Mora, Payton, etc. goes, I think Costanzo will be the one getting a call up.

How did our old friend Erik Bedard do in his Mariner debut?

5 innings, 3 hit 1 run (a homer) 4 BB and 5 K

What was surprising was this number: 106 pitches- 59 for strikes. That’s Cabreraesque. Not the best debut for him, but its Bedard. He’ll be back.

Tomorrow—–> The debut of *shudder* Daniel Cabrera. Either we’ll be elated with a great performance, mad at a 4 inning walk implosion, or a combo of both.

A little pat of the back for myself- I said in my NL preview to watch of for the Brave’s new SS Yunel Escobar. Tonight through 5 innings: 3 for 3, 2 singles and 1 triple. It’s only one game, I know. I like the fans in the outfield with the sign ‘Yunel’s Cartel.’

Its great having baseball back.

Trachsel Returns

Steve Trachsel is back. After a brief trip to Chicago, the Orioles signed Trax back today. I did let out a groan when I saw this, but after a minute or two….its not as bad you’d think for a couple of reasons.

1. It’s a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. He’s not guaranteed a spot on the 40 man roster. If he stinks it up during spring training, he can be cut or play in Norfolk.

2. He can eat innings. He’s not anything special, but if he can go out there and go 6 or maybe even 7 innings that’s great. Adam Loewen is back, but will take time to work his way back up 100%. Cabrera could go nine innings or not even make it out of the first. With the slew of young pitchers coming up, they’re going to having outings that are short. Our bullpen has never been a beacon of perfection. With all of the young starters have and will have, the bullpen has to be protected with a starter or two that can give the bullpen a rest. Guthrie showed he do it last season, Cabrera can at times, and Trachsel could at times too.

3. Maybe he can teach the kids a thing or two, hopefully not how to pitch really really slow.

4. There’s no two or three year contract for Josh Fogg or Kyle Loshe. I’d rather have the possibility of Trachsel back rather than undermining rebuilding and committing money long term to bad pitchers. I’d rather give one a minor league deal.

I’m not in love with this deal, but its a practical one. Maybe if he makes the team and the young arms progress well maybe he’ll be traded again. Maybe a few young pitchers outpitch him in spring training and he doesn’t even make the team.