osforlife wrote:What were the Orioles' needs this off-season?
Second Base; Brian Roberts is a free agent? Acquired minor league depth like Jemile Weeks, Corp Phelps, and Ivan De Jesus, to compete with Ryan Flaherty. He was handicapped by the fact that Schoop is close to the majors. This type of strategy was fine to me.
osforlife wrote:Stating Pitcher; Feldman and Hammel are free agents? Replace them with Ubaldo Jimenez and Suk-Min Yoon.
Feldman could have been gotten cheaper and not cost a draft choice. This was bungling. Yes, lower upside with Feldman but they gave up a significant bundle to get him in the fist place. Then you changed your mind? Suk-Min Yoon could prove a valuable addition for a team friendly contract. We've not see what he can do yet, but I still approve.
osforlife wrote:Bullpen; Orioles' relief pitchers need revamping? Sign many cost effective arms like the smart thing to do.
Agreed, you can't have a bullpen that is aging and costs too much.
osforlife wrote:Left Field; Nate McLouth is a free agent? Acquire a cheap, controllable, full-time player in David Lough for a platoon player.
Designated Hitter; Need more production out of the DH? Sign Nelson Cruz
Agree with you on David Lough, this was a smart move. As for Nelson Cruz, it's not the money it's the draft choice. Looks to at least be a solid DH for us. The PED issue with him frightens me a tad. Do we get a strong version of Cruz or is he going to suddenly look human? Overall though on paper the team looks stronger now with Cruz producing runs. This sits better than just Nolan Reimold
hitting decently if
osforlife wrote:I won't go as far as say DD had a great OFF-SEASON, but he has prepared Baltimore well to have a good SEASON. Bring it on, 2014!
I won't say "Bring it on" but I will say on paper this is a far stronger team than what we had in 2012 and 2013
. Was hoping the team might have gotten another lead off option being my lone gripe. If Tommy Hunter can be an above average closer the bullpen should be good. The team's payroll is still in fair condition. My only gripe is this year's draft is going to be very meager indeed. I will already put it on record and say: "Go gamble on some high upside high school kids"
As for our current prospects: Gausman has a solid shot at playing time in Norfolk this year. If Norris is sound in the rotation even as a #5 guy this all works out. If significant injury happens, then likely that time in the minors is scrapped. Needless to say I will be disappointed. He still has a very high ceiling, seeing him reach it is important to me as a fan.
With Wright, he's obviously still has potential to be a solid starter. He's young and inexpensive so lets hope he stays in that role. Hopefully we do not see him until expanded rosters (very unlikely). However, the team also has no high velocity bullpen type in the upper minors. He could just as easily end up the team's closer in two year or less. There is a lot of guess work in how all that plays out.
As for Eduardo Rodriguez
he's still on the young side and held his own in decent sample size at AA Bowie. He needs more time there before being bumped to AAA. Again, he's young and a LHSP. Hopefully the team nurses him along slowly at this point. Even if he's a back or the rotation arm his value will end up huge. Rushing should not be an option.Dylan Bundy
won't see any real time on the field until June or July. He remains the most talented question mark in all of baseball. I won't even suggest whether or not he is a starter or closer. All I know is that the Major League contract for draftees is turning out to be a huge mistake. Hopefully he's healthy this year and able to somewhat build up his innings.
Lastly with Johnathan Schoop, it's a matter of when and what is the end result? Thankfully he's been primarily at 2B the past two years. Defensively he should be solid. My question is: Is he going to get on base and be a run producer. Or a guy with occasional power batting ninth every night? Back end of the line up guys can indeed be a team strength if they can get on base. Power also is nice if someone is on base when your batting. Hopefully Schoop ends up being a very patient hitter that is adept at fighting off pitches to stay alive and drives up pitch counts. I say that as I don't see him being an overnight sensation. Becoming a complete player takes time and this kid has been rushed somewhat. After this it's all a crap shoot. We have this and don't have that. Our minor league system is going to have many bear spots in the next few years do to poor drafts of the past and too few shots this year.