Few Things 6/15

A few things

  • The O’s took 2 out of 3 from the Pirates in a surprisingly tight series. Not that we’re scores better than the Pirates or anything. But I was expecting some bland baseball this series. Not the case.
  • The O’s are back at .500 with a 34-34 record. Everytime they fall back to .500, I say to myself “It’s been a nice run” and resign myself to sub .500 ball the rest of the season. Then they crank off a few wins, lose a few more, go back to .500 and I say the same thing. Repeat. Repeat and rinse.
  • It irks me sometimes when Trembley brings in Jay Payton as a defensive sub in the late innings for Luke Scott. I know that Scott isn’t a gold glover out there, but Jay Payton ain’t that great either. I know he’s slightly better, but if the game is tight and Payton comes in the 8th inning and then has to bat in Scott’s spot at the top of the 9th, I hate that. Scott’s offense makes up for whatever he might lack defensively. His defense is actually much better than I expected. Payton’s late inning appearances, I feel, are more of a way to appease Payton rather than game strategy. I could be wrong.
  • Daniel Cabrera apparently was shaky today. I didn’t see him, so I can’t judge. He went 6 innings, gave up 4 runs, 5 BB, and 2 K’s. His last few outings have been a step back. I’m crossing my fingers that he’s just having a few bad starts and not reverting to his old ways.
  • Dennis Sarfate became a dad today, on Father’s Day. What are the odds.
  • Off day tomorrow, before The Houston Astros and you know (more on that tomorrow) come to Baltimore, then it’s 3 at the Brewers, 3 against the Cubs at Wrigley, and then Interleague wraps up with 3 at the much hated Nats new place.

Build a Shortstop Workshop

We kind of a need shortstop. With Cal Ripken and Miguel Tejada at shortstop for most of what I can remember, shortstop has been one of the rare positions that hasn’t been a glaring hole for the Orioles. With Tejada in Houston and Cal in Cooperstown, the O’s need a shortstop. Thus far, we’ve had the the honor of viewing what’s the equal of American Idol audition for shortstops. My idea is out of the four that we’ve had to see so far, couldn’t we do like they do at the Build a Bear workshop in the mall? The store were you spend a bunch of money to make a teddy bear with sunglasses, hiking boots, and a plastic shotgun. With the spare parts of Luis Hernandez, Brandon Fahey, Freddie Bynum, and Alex Cintron could a quality shortstop be constructed?

Luis Hernandez

Luis was given the job in hopes that he could basically be an Adam Everett, a shortstop that’s almost always a guaranteed out at the plate, but one that wins games with his glove. While Luis Mendoza (yes, that’s his middle name) Hernandez wasn’t as horrible at the plate as we feared, he still wasn’t good. Before going to Norfolk,  Luis Mendoza hit .246 with 3 RBI, a pawltry .295 OBP, but he did win that one game for us in the bottom of the ninth. As for fielding, he had 3 errors with Dave Trembley referring to him as “being in a fielding slump.” Shortly after he was gone.

With Luis, his defense was supposed to be his saving asset. It was average at best. His bat was blah. He’s young at 24, so that’s something I can use to build a shortstop. His fielding percentage is .977. I’ll have to see what the other 3 have before I think of using that.

Brandon Fahey

I admit it, I’m a Fahey hater. I didn’t believe he should start the season with the team. Oh but he’s a gamer. He’ll go out there at whatever position the manager tells him to and he’ll try his hardest to use his medicore skills to win a ballgame. He’s played LF, RF,SS, 3rd, 2nd, and evened DHed for the O’s. He wants to play and that’s going to be pretty much what we’re going to take out of this one. A career BA of .221 and OBP of .284 ain’t going to cut it. Fielding wise, his Fielding Percentage for SS in 3 seasons is 964. I guess I can take the spunky can do attitude because that’s all I want to take.

Freddie Bynum

I wish Freddie Bynum was a little better. I like Freddie Bynum. He’s batting .207 which is down from his career mark of .245. Freddie’s got 4 RBI this season, which bumps up his career total to a robust 28. I knew Freddie didn’t carry much of a bat, but I didn’t realize he was this weak. Maybe if Freddie was a slick defender all this no offense could be overlooked. This season, he’s got a fielding percentage of .973, which is up from his career number of .963.

What Freddie lacks in polished skill he makes up for with spunk.

“If you want me to run the catcher over, I could run him over,” Bynum said. “If you want me to drop-kick somebody, I could drop-kick him. I’m ready to play ball.”

So far that’s a young player with a double helping of gritty gamesmanship but no outstanding skills at defense or offense. Let’s move on.

Alex Cintron

Alex Cintron has a career batting average of .277 which dwarfs the other three. He’s not an offense beast by any means, but between 2003 to 2006, the fewest RBI he had was 41 and the high mark was 51. His career OBP is .315. That’s not great, but its better than the other three. His career fielding percentage is .971. So he’s not a perfect defender.

So between these four, Hernandez has the best fielding percentage and he’s the youngest. Fahey doesn’t stand out in anyway whatsover except that he’s a gamer. Ditto for Freddie Bynum. Cintron has the best offensive numbers.  So the best these four can make is a 24 year old shortstop with a .277 batting average, a .315 OBP, a .977 Fielding percentage, and has a double helping of grit. That’s still not a great a great player, but it’s better than starting Boom Boom Bynum everyday. Which begs the question why can’t Cintron play some?

Let’s hope MacPhail finds a shortstop somewhere.

Wieters hits 2 HRs in Debut

(from the Baltimore Sun)

Matt Wieters had an awesome debut with the Fredick Keys last night. Wieters homered in his first two at bats and went 2-3 with 3 RBIs. I think he’ll be the starting catcher for the O’s next season. If he keeps this up, there’s going to be plenty of folks saying “what’s he’s doing he minors? He should be up here now!” Remember, he’s been a college player and as the article says he’s used to only playing 68 games a season. The minor league season is 140 and the major league season is 162. Being a catcher, he’s not playing every single game. Let’s get him a full season in the minors and get his durability up instead of rushing him up early like we do all of our prospects just to humor ourselves.

A couple of other minor league notes:

Jake Arrieta, a fifth-round pick out of Texas Christian, got the start, allowing a run on two hits and striking out nine in four innings.

Jake Arrieta had a nice start, you’d like to see him go further than 4 innings but its the first start of the year. Give him a few starts and let him get the durability back up. 9 Ks in 4 innings is pretty sweet. He could look nice in the rotation next season, if he keeps this up.

The only sour note involved Billy Rowell, who pulled up while running to first in the first inning and was removed from the game.

It was just a tweak to the ankle, so nothing major. I’m look for him to have a big year so he can be a part of the big club next season.

Win Number 1

I was getting pretty disgusted with the game after Cabrera’s performance, but man it turned out to be a good one.

-Aubrey Huff thrives off hate apparently and hit a 2 HR and a 2 R double.

-ADAM JONES!!!! went 2 for 4 with 1 RBI and a stolen base (his arm in the outfield looks great too)

-The bullpen was awesome. I haven’t been able to say that in along time.

Randor Bierd two scoreless innings

Chad Bradford one scoreless inning

Jamie Walker does what he does and strikes out the side with authority.

George Sherrill, with his flat cap bill, walked two but struck out in getting his first save as the closer of the Orioles.

It’s been a great game. Its not too often that the O’s come back from a 3 run hole in the 8th inning. It’s only one win, but we’re not going to see a 0-21 start.

Daniel Cabrera: Nothing New Here

I heard during the offseason how a new pitching coach would do wonders for Daniel Cabrera. There was talk about how he needed to just get a new start and move on from last season. Blah blah blah. Tonight was the first start of our *ugh* number 2 pitcher and how’d he do?

Same old song, same old tune

4 inning 6 hits 6 runs 6 earned 5 BB 2 K and 2 HR allowed, ending up with a 13.50 ERA.

Cabrera pitched to 5 batters in the 5th, but couldn’t get an out.

We’ve been waiting for what, 3 or 4 seasons for him to turn the corner, but sadly, that corner apparently has been turned, but it leads into a solid brick wall. Sure there’s still time, but I’m done with waiting on him. I can’t wait for some of the young pitchers to be ready and I won’t have to cross my fingers and hope maybe finally this is the year for Cabrera. It ain’t happening. If I’m wrong, then hey…..I’ll be happy to be wrong, but at this point I think he is what he is.

On a positive note, Randor Bierd came in to fix Cabrera’s mess and pitched two innings of scoreless relief. It’s only two games, but Albers and Bierd give me hope that this year’s bullpen may not be the chamber of horrors that it has been in the past couple seasons. It’s early, remember John Parrish started the season strong last season and then he turned into the Daniel Cabrera of relievers.

Hey, Aubrey Huff just hit a 2 run homer off Matt Garza. Maybe a cure has been to found to Huff’s annual slow start…..Boo him. Keep it up, Huff. Get that trade value up.

Luke Scott wasn’t supposedly to be a great defender, but he’s made two great catches tonight and Adam Jones’ arm looks sharp on the throws he’s made to second. Good stuff to see.

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.