Liz called up, Luis DFA’ed

Looks like Liz is getting the call up AND the start tonight. To make room for Liz, another wanna be major league shortstop bites the dust. Luis Hernandez gets the DFA. There’s a good very probable chance no team claims Luis and he joins his bench brother Brandon Fahey at Norfolk.

Steve Trachsel is still around. Apparently, he’s now long relief. That’s a move that I’m not very cool with. He was decent Sunday. I’ll give him that. But I do not trust Steve Trachsel’s arm for a single inning, for I know that with every pitch that the odds are stacked that its the precursor to the big inning.

I’m not very stoked about Liz getting the start tonight. I’d rather have Albers get the start and work Liz in long relief or something….but we’re rebuilding. Go ahead and start ’em.

 

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Steve Trachsel…not too good

Looks like the layoff did not pay off for Steve Trachsel. The Rays stole his lunch tonight and made him their own personal batting tee tonight.

The line for Steve Trachsel is downright ugly

1.2 innings- 7 hits 9 runs (all earned) 2 walks 1 K and 2 homers, both of which were hit by Evan Longoria who owned Trachsel.

So yeah, this is probably the end of the road for Trachsel. That average start in KC bought him another shot albeit on a short leash. I read on the Sun’s site that Krantiz worked with him and tweaked something but sadly I think the only way Krantiz could salvage Trachsel is if he had a time machine.

I’m not going to hate on Trachsel and say how bad he is and how he needs to be cut now. Obviously, he’s not good anymore and he does need to go. He’s got a 8.82 ERA and he looks worse and worse from start to start. The guy’s always been a medicore pitcher who just managed to get by on the skin of his teeth and his ability to slow the game down to a snail’s pace.

Of course, I know that he’s trying his best out there. I know he’s not going out trying to be bad. He’s trying but at this point, he’s running on fumes. Some pitches can get by on finese and pitch til they’re 45, look at Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, or Roger Clemens. Trachsel ain’t that guy. He’s been playing for a long time and he’s gotten by. Now he’s spent. DFA and let him ride off into the sunset.

For his spot in the rotation….Albers and Johnson can start. I’d rather them stay in the pen where they’re doing good in the roles they have. If one of the two have to start, I’d take Albers. Hayden Penn or Radhames Liz could be called up. Liz needs to stay in the minors for awhile longer, maybe Penn. That’s doubtful, because Rocky Cherry or Fernando Cabrera will probably take Trachsel’s spot, thus Albers or Johnson will take that role.

Catching up 5/10

A few things to catch up on…

  • Trembley’s talking about using a 4 man rotation for a while with a lighter schedule coming up. The 4 man rotation worked for a long time in baseball, so if Trembley wants to do it for a few weeks, it won’t destroy the fabric of baseball. If the 5th starter with no place to go in this scenario is Steve Trachsel, all the better. With Guthrie doing ok, Cabrera throwing a complete game and toying with our emotions yet again by looking like he’s getting it, Olson doing a good job, and Burres defying expectations….that would make Trachsel the logically candidate out. I hope that he’s not going to be moved the pen or something like that in this situation. Trachsel in relief is not a sight I want to see in a game. At least Trembley and MacPhail are thinking smart here. Go with 4 with a light schedule up and not rushing Liz, Penn, or someone else up because Trachsel isn’t cutting it. Although after Friday’s game, I think Trachsel’s bought himself at least another start.
  • Alex Cintron, come on down. Cintron comes up and Bob McCrory goes back to Norfolks with a 2/3rd of an inning under his belt for his stint with the big club.

          says Trembley

            He is a second baseman-shortstop,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “He’s a switch hitter who has got experience playing in the big leagues. He gives us some depth. I’ve never seen him play before. We’ll see what we’ve got.”

Trembley said Freddie Bynum is his “shortstop until he shows he can’t do it,” while the 29-year-old Cintron will be primarily a utility player.

Bynum’s got to play himself out of the shortstop position while Cintron will be ultility and Luis Hernandez  will be riding the bench. Brian Roberts is nicked up with a bruised leg, so Cintron will be backing up Bynum and filling second if Roberts can’t go. Once Roberts is back a 100%, its probably spells the end for Luis. I don’t think Cintron is anything more than a stop gap though. He might be better than Luis and Fahey, but there’s a reason he didn’t make the Cubs out of spring training and no one rushed to snap him up. He can help, but I’m not expecting huge stuff out of him.

  • Leo Mazzone regrets his decision to go with his BFF Sam Perlozzo in Baltimore and leave Atlanta.     

              “At the time it was a great move, but now I regret it. You see the difference in organizations and     how things are run and, believe me, the Atlanta Braves are about as good as it gets,” Mazzone said.

Who can blame him for saying that? He left a good gig with the Braves and went to Baltimore. Sam Perlozzo got the can during Mazzone’s second year. The rotation and the bullpen were ravaged by injuries. Some of the talent he had to work with wasn’t good. The organization didn’t want to commit to his philosophy from top to bottom. Yeah, I’m sure he does regret it.

Two bad years in Baltimore doesn’t make him a bad pitching coach. He’ll land on his feet somewhere else soon enough. The problem with Mazzone I think was that his plan was for his pitchers to all pitch the same way. That can work with Jeremy Guthrie and Erik Bedard (and it did), but what works for them might not (and didn’t) work for Daniel Cabrera or Garrett Olson.

 

 

Burres….8 innings…wow.

Brian Burres apparently scoffs at the idea of going back to long relief. Today he shutdown the Chi-Sox with a mighty mighty outing.

8 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 BB, and 4 K’s and all in a mere 98 pitches (66 for strikes)

The O’s won 5-1.

Matt Albers loaded them up in the 9th and then George Sherrill came in hit a batter which brought in a run and then notched his 9th save of the season.

I’m a Jay Payton hater, but hats off to him thus far. .308 average with a 1-3 today. Quiroz hit his first homer and drove in two runs, which is more than we’ve seen from a back up catcher since the hallowed day Paul Bako hit a 3 run homer in Yankee Stadium.

I couldn’t watch the game due to FOX, but I watched the NFL Draft. I would have watched it anyway. My Carolina Panthers had a good first round. At 13 they got Oregon RB Jonthan Stewart and then traded to get Philly’s 19th pick and got OT Jeff Otah. The price for Otah was steep (2nd and 4th this years and next year’s 1st rounder). If he plays great, then I can deal with that cost. Obviously, the team has to win now other wise there’s going to be some changes next season.

As for game 2, its in progress right now…tied up 5-5 in the top of the 8th. Steve Trachsel went only 3 innings, gave up 5 runs, and walked 8…one 85 pitches. If he keeps this up, you gotta wonder how long he’ll stay around. He’s going to kill the pen. Good thing Burres pitched a gem today, otherwise they’d have to duct tape their arms on tomorrow.

Catching up

A few things to catch up on:

Despite yesterday’s lackluster finale, the O’s took 2 out of 3 from the Yankees. A sweep would have been nice, but this is good enough.

-Daniel Cabrera

If I’m ever on the fence about whether to go out or stay in and watch the game, Daniel Cabrera is a pitcher who lets me know pretty quick as to what my plans should be.

First innings, he gives up 2 runs or strike out the side.

Second Innings, he’ll follow it up with another run or two or he’ll strike out of the side again.

By the top of third, I usually know whether to go or stay. If anything, I thank Daniel Cabrera for him letting me know quick whether he’s going to stink or not.

 

-Jim Johnson

Hey, I was wrong. I thought bringing Johnson up was a bad move. He’s been good in long relief. Saturday he went 3.1 innings of scoreless ball. It looks like he’s staying. But we need another bat on the bench…bye bye Greg Acquino?

-Brian Burres

He’s swell in 4 innings, but once that 5th starts….he’s a big inning waiting to happen. 5.2 innings 5 H 0 R 4 BB and 2 Ks.

-Luis Hernandez is no friend of Daniel Cabrera at the moment. He did the pitcher no favors by his defense on Friday, resulting in a long inning and a run on Cabrera.

Trembley uses the term ‘fielding slump’ for Hernandez’s woes.

“Fielding slump” must be Tremblian for “Cintron will be here quickier if you don’t remember how to field.”

Spencer Fordin once Alex Cintron gets in a groove in Norfolk, he should be up here very soon.

Also in the aforementioned mailbag…

Jake Arrieta is off to go start in Fredrick. 4 starts, 1-0 record, 2.75 ERA, 26 K, 12 BB, 10 H.He likely won’t see Bowie til the end of season, meaning that he isn’t going to be rushed to Baltimore like the pitching prospects of years gone by.

Speaking of rushed pitching prospects, Hayden Penn has pitched 7 innings in his last two starts (1-1 and a 4.88 ERA). Garrett Olson is 1-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 4 starts. These two should be in the rotation at some point this season. Olson’s getting first look the way’s he’s pitching. Of course, whose spots would they be taking? Steve Trachsel would be an easy guess. Brian Burres would be too. You have to factor in injuries.

My guess for the end of season rotation.

Guthrie

Cabrera

Olson

Albers

Penn

Steve Trachsel will be traded, released, or sold for scrap some time this season. Brian Burres is best suited for long relief and that’ll happen soon enough. I’m betting, not hoping, that Adam Loewen will probably have an injury some point this season. Radhames Liz will be called up to take Albers spot in long relief. I could be right…I could be wrong. That’s the beauty of guessing.

Matt Wieters is killing it. .422 and 4 HR in 15 games. Your starting catcher for your 2009 Baltimore Orioles…Matt Wieters.

-Steve Trachsel didn’t pitch bad Sunday, but he didn’t pitch great either. 6.1 innings 7 hits, 3 runs, 5 Ks, and 3 BB. That’s more than you’d expect actually…

-George Sherrill….ouch. 0.2 innings- 2 hits, 3 R, 2BB, and 2 Ks. His ERA is at 6.23 after now 2 rocky outings in the past week. Its not time to hit panic button on him. He’s a setup guy made into a closer who has 6 saves. If it keeps up who you do plug in? Jamie Walker? He’s a setup guy. Chad Bradford. ditto. Dennis Sarfate? Would be a nice guess, but he’s got to get his control under control. The closer spot isn’t something really to worry about at the moment.

Garbage Homer Follow up-

Had a good solution for the garbage homer from Daniel

Perhaps Corey Patterson and Jay Gibbons just aren’t very good hitters (shocking, I know) so when a team has a huge lead, the opposing pitcher is OK with throwing fastballs in the zone (which these guys can actually hit) and when the game is close, they throw breaking-pitches and paint the corners (which they can’t hit). I don’t think it has anything at all to do with “clutchness” but is rather a general lack of talent. I question whether or not it is actually the case that these players do hit a lot of “meaningless” HR, so I’ll take a look at that sometime soon and post something about it. If you already did that, then I will defer to your conclusions (I assume it’s just your impression of what happens).

Yeah, its just an observation. I didn’t crunch any stats, but it is the lesser players who crank out those homers. Of course, the factors that  you mention definately seem to set up the perfect storm for a garbage homer.

Blowout game=bullpen scrub + junk pitch + lesser player= garbage homer

If I had the time, which I doubt, I’d like to look up who Jay Gibbons and Corey Patterson homered off of over the course of their time in Baltimore. I’m sure there’s more washed up relievers, 5th starters, and last bullpen options than aces, closers, and good setup guys…especially Gibbons.

Daniel runs the blog Frost King Baseball.

Not to have a knee jerk reaction here, but Iam Kennedy and Phil Hughes are supposed to be the future of  the Yank’s pitching staff. So far this season, they’re not exactly killing it. They both got killed by the mighty bats of O’s this weekend. Of course, I’m taking into account that its going to take them 10-12 starts to get acclimated to the major leagues. You can’t just throw them in there and on the first day expect an eight inning shutout from them. But let’s say they are what they, you think heads might roll because they could have got Johan Santana?

I was watching ESPN yesterday and surprise, Steve Phillips said something stupid. They were talking about possible landing spots for Frank Thomas and one of the 4 teams he thought was Baltimore. His reasoning was something along the lines “As long as they keep playing the way they are, a bat like Thomas would really help them out.” Frank Thomas is almost 40. We’re rebuilding and trying to shed players the wrong side of 30. What would adding Thomas do for the O’s? He might heat up and hit 20 homers. But that means you have play him everyday at DH, which means you’re giving up a spot in offense that could be used to get a young player playing time, whether it be at DH or moving a Huff/Millar/Mora to DH any given game to have a Scott Moore at 3rd or DHing Luke Scott every now and then. If Thomas isn’t hitting homers, he’s like a boulder on the base paths. That’s certainly not Trembley’s style of ball. It’s not going to happen, but I thought it was a stupid suggestion. If Thomas plays again, my money’s Seattle first. Maybe Tampa or the Twins. I could even see the Rangers. But not the O’s.

 

 

I drew Steve Trachsel

Hey, I drew Steve Trachsel.

I used to do doodles of people back in school and at work and everyone thought it was funny. I was watching Steve Trachsel the other day and was frustrated by his, shall we say, terrible performance. So I decided to do a mocking doodle. Note the jacket….I’m implying that he’s old.

O’s crush the much hated Nats

It’s only spring training, but we gotta take ’em where we get ’em. The O’s demolished the arch-nemesis known as the Washingtonal Nationals today by a comfortable 11-3 margin. The tease we all know as Daniel Cabrera went a strong 5.1 innings. Cabrera struck out 5 and walked a mere 1 batter. He ran out of gas in the 6th and gave up a two-run homer. So it’s time to ask that blasted question “Is this the season that it all clicks for Cabrera?” After last season, I’ve written him off as a wash. When he’s good, he’s good….but when he’s bad, ooooooh my is he bad. Maybe Krantiz is the guy he needs as a pitching coach. But his past two pitching coaches have been Ray Miller and Leo Mazzone, neither are known as the Terry Crowley of pitching coaches. No more excuses for Cabrera, if it doesn’t work this season, it’s time for this rollercoaster love/hate relationship to end.

A few odds and ends

-Luke Scott hit a 2 run homer today.

-Adam Jones hit 2 doubles today.

-Scott Moore is batting a hefty .556 this spring.

-Rocky Cherry has a 0.00 ERA thus spring. If  he keeps this up, he might force his way into the bullpen.

-Melvin Mora has a .455 average. If he does this during the season, some team might actually take that contract.

-Steve Trachsel has a 6.92 ERA this spring. He best not start on opening day.

-Radhames Liz has been sent to Minor League camp. I’m not upset over this. Macphail and Trembley are showing that they’re not rushing the kids to be on the big club just for the sake of being there. Liz’ll be back and he’ll be better when he is.

-Jim Hoey is sidelined indefinately with biceps tendinitis in his right arm.