If this JJ Hardy injury situation becomes long term, what do you feel will be Buck and DD’s solution? Would they bring Weeks up to play second and move Schoop to short? This would leave nobody on the bench with any defensive skill until Manny gets healthy and takes over for Flaherty. Are there any options outside the organization?
Hardy finally got into some game action last night, but we saw the consequences of what having Hardy and Machado out of the lineup can lead to. Furthermore, back issues are always of concern. They tend to linger and not heal quickly. Also, while maintaining good health with the Orioles, Hardy has had his own injury issues in the past. Therefore, if the situation were to creep up again, the backup plan is very important. Weeks is the most likely option, with Schoop and/or Flaherty playing shortstop and Weeks at second base. Schoop has spent the majority of his playing time in the minors at shortstop, so the transition should not be overly onerous on him. Other options would be one of the other utility infielders Duquette picked up in the offseason. One of Cord Phelps or David Adams may receive the call if they play themselves into it down in Norfolk. Steve Lombardozzi is obviously an option as well. As far as outside of the organization options, I doubt any of significance would be brought in to fill the void. If Duquette felt he needed to add someone, he’d simply scour the waiver wire as he typically does. — Alex Conway
Buck Britton seems to be off to a great start. Has he put himself on the radar to be a utility option for the big club? Or will he just be an organizational minor leaguer no matter how he performs?
The older brother of Zach Britton is heading into his seventh season in the Orioles’ minor league system. I like Buck, but he is an organization player at best. The swing is short, compact, and he barrels up the ball. However, there is just not enough going on for it to work at the major league level. Fringe power and average bat speed will hold him back against higher competition. He is an example of a really strong organization player though, as he can play multiple positions such as third and second base. Also, keep in mind that Buck has now seen the competition at AA for an extensive period of time. If he ever cracks the big leagues, it will most likely be as a depth call-up with another club. — Tucker Blair
Tucker, who is the most surprising player you have seen so far in 2014?
Dariel Alvarez – Looks decent in Center Field, where he has primarily played for the Baysox. He has a plus arm already, and it looks like he has shook off the rust and was making solid reads when I saw him. The bat still has some holes in it, but he shortened the swing and was making hard contact in the games I saw. Still way early, but there was progress from last year. — Tucker Blair
Hello, I would like to know why Tucker forgot his radar gun for the Keys game on 4/8/14. Thank you.
Thank you for reaching out. This is a serious issue and the ON staff promises it will be resolved as soon as possible. Have a good day.