Orioles-Nation » Dylan Bundy http://orioles-nation.com Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:28:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Orioles Nation delivers Orioles minor league information you can't get anywhere else. From going to games to discussions with scouts, the ON Staff brings you news, scouting reports, and more from around the Orioles minor leagues, and frequently discusses the current happenings with the big league club. Orioles-Nation no Orioles-Nation LRinker@gmail.com LRinker@gmail.com (Orioles-Nation) Orioles Nation orioles, baltimore, baseball, scouting, minor, leagues Orioles-Nation » Dylan Bundy http://orioles-nation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ON-Logo.png http://orioles-nation.com Baltimore, Maryland Weekly Minor League Scores – 7/22/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/22/minor-league-scores-72214/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/22/minor-league-scores-72214/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 02:42:35 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15077 Dylan Bundy turns in his best start to date at Frederick

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Toldeo 4, Norfolk 12 Opponent Location Time Starter 46 – 58 Box Score Toldeo Mud Hens Home 7:05 PM Steve Johnson
  • Christian Walker: 1-4, RBI, BB
  • Dariel Alvarez: 3-4, 2 RBI
  • Ivan De Jesus: 2-4, RBI, BB, K
  • Chris Jones: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR
  • Ramon Ramirez: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Harrisburg 4, Bowie 2 Opponent Location Time Starter
52 – 51 Box Score Harrisburg Senators Home 11:05 AM Anthony Vasquez
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Frederick 4, Myrtle Beach 0 Opponent Location Time Starter
47 – 51 Box Score Myrtle Beach Pelicans Away 7:05 PM TBD
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
OFF Opponent Location Time Starter
54 -47 Rome Braves Away 7:00 PM Nick Cunningham
 
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Today’s Result Tomorrow
Brooklyn 6, Aberdeen 7 Opponent Location Time Starter
11 – 26 Box Score Brooklyn Cyclones Home 7:05 PM TBD
Notes:

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Minor League Scores – 7/21/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/21/minor-league-scores-72114/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/21/minor-league-scores-72114/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 02:37:09 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15076 Tyler Wilson continues his hot start at AAA Norfolk

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Toldeo 1, Norfolk 2 Opponent Location Time Starter 45 – 58  Box Score Toldeo Mud Hens Home 7:05 PM Chris Jones
  • Christian Walker: 0-3, BB, K
  • Dariel Alvarez: 0-4, K
  • Jemile Weeks: 0-2, BB
  • Tyler Wilson: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K
  • Evan Meek: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Harrisburg 4, Bowie 3 Opponent Location Time Starter
52 – 50  Box Score Harrisburg Senators Away 7:00 PM Eduardo Rodriguez
Notes: This was a 10 inning game
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Winston – Salem 3, Frederick 6 Opponent Location Time Starter
46 – 51 Box Score Myrtle Beach Pelicans Away 7:05 PM TBD
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Hagerstown 3, Delmarva 1 Opponent Location Time Starter
54 -47 Box Score OFF OFF OFF OFF
Notes:
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Aberdeen 0, Mahoning Valley 7 Opponent Location Time Starter
10 – 26 Box Score Brooklyn Cyclones Home 7:00 PM TBD
Notes:

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ON The Farm Podcast: Episode 3 “Jersey Punk” http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/18/farm-podcast-episode-3-jersey-punk/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/18/farm-podcast-episode-3-jersey-punk/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:00:51 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15068 Tucker and Luke discuss the Aberdeen Roster and bring on CJ Wittmann of Baseball Prospectus to talk Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey

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ON The Farm Podcast: Episode 3 - “Jersey Punk”

Topics of Discussion:

-  Aberdeen Ironbirds

- GUEST: CJ Wittmann of Baseball Prospectus

- Aberdeen Ironbirds

Other Prospects mentioned in the podcast: Lucas Giolito, Parker Bridwell, Mike Yastrzemski, Sebastian Vader, Mychal Givens, Matt Hobgood, Jon Keller, Danny Hultzen, Tyler Wilson, Brian Gonzalez, Chance Sisco

Words mispronounced: Pat Connaughton, Batavia

 

Follow us on twitter dot com:

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http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/18/farm-podcast-episode-3-jersey-punk/feed/ 0 Danny Hultzen,Dylan Bundy,Matt Hobgood,Mychal Givens,Parker Bridwell,Sebastian Vader,Tyler Wilson Tucker and Luke discuss the Aberdeen Roster and bring on CJ Wittmann of Baseball Prospectus to talk Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey Tucker and Luke discuss the Aberdeen Roster and bring on CJ Wittmann of Baseball Prospectus to talk Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey Orioles-Nation no 1:24:38
Minor League Scores – 7/16/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/16/minor-league-scores-71614/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/16/minor-league-scores-71614/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 02:32:18 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15067 Dylan Bundy makes his second start for the Frederick Keys

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Today’s Result Tomorrow OFF Opponent Location Time Starter 41 – 57 Rochester Red Wings Home 7:05 PM Miguel Gonzalez  
Today’s Result Tomorrow
OFF Opponent Location Time Starter
50 - 47 Altoona Curve Away 7:00 PM TBD
 
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Frederick 5, Salem 8 Opponent Location Time Starter
42 – 50 Box Score Salem Red Sox Away 7:05 PM Brady Wager
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Delmarva 1, Greensboro 5 Opponent Location Time Starter
52 – 44 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Away 7:00 PM Luis Gonzalez
Notes:
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Aberdeen 3, Tri-City 5 Opponent Location Time Starter
10 – 21 Box Score Tri-City Dust Devils Away 7:00 PM TBD
Notes:

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Minor League Scores – 7/9/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/09/minor-league-scores-7914/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/09/minor-league-scores-7914/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 02:18:56 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15050 Eduardo Rodriguez continues to toil in his return to the rotation

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Durham , Norfolk Opponent Location Time Starter 37 – 56 POSTPONDED Gwinnett Braves Home 7:05 PM Nick Additon
  • This game was Postponed due to Rain
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Bowie 0, Harrisburg 2 Opponent Location Time Starter
48 – 44 Box Score Harrisburg Senators Away 7:00 PM Anthony Vasquez
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Frederick 8, Salem 1 Opponent Location Time Starter
41 – 46 Box Score Salem Red Sox Away 7:05 PM Dylan Bundy
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
West Virginia 2, Delmarva 3 Opponent Location Time Starter
49 – 41 Box Score Lakewood Blue Claws Away 7:05 PM Nick Cunningham
Notes:
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Batavia 1, Aberdeen 2 Opponent Location Time Starter
7 – 19 Box Score Batavia Muckdogs Home 7:05 PM TBD
Notes:

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ON Mailbag: 6/30 – 7/6 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/06/mailbag-630-76/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/06/mailbag-630-76/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 16:00:38 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15045 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the week of 6/30 - 7/6. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

Haven’t heard anything about Bobby Bundy. I know he had some type of surgery. Do you have any info?
I saw Bobby throwing short toss in Spring training. I had not heard much after that, but it was passed along to me that the older Bundy brother was beginning to throw off a mound in two weeks. He should be very close now, as that was about a week ago. The Orioles have kept a tight lip on Bobby and his rehabilitation.

- Tucker Blair

What will Tyler Wilson be as a major leaguer?
I think the realistic role for Wilson is a middle reliever. Wilson throws in the low 90′s with solid command and a recently smoothed out delivery, but the stuff is not overwhelming. Regardless, Wilson has always been overlooked in this system, even though I think he will safely reach the majors at some point. I do not see an impact arm, but I think he helps the O’s (or another club) at some point in the next two years.

- Tucker Blair

You saw Dylan Bundy. Thoughts?
My full scouting report can be found over at Baseball Prospectus:
Dylan Bundy Scouting Report

- Tucker Blair

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The Baltimore Orioles lack the pieces to acquire top-tier talent in a trade. http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/01/baltimore-orioles-lack-pieces-acquire-top-tier-talent-trade/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/07/01/baltimore-orioles-lack-pieces-acquire-top-tier-talent-trade/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:00:48 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15033 The Baltimore Orioles will need to make some moves to strengthen the team for a playoff run. The problem is that they lack the top-tier prospects to acquire the big fish. What type of players do they have the pieces to trade for?

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The activity leading up to and through this year’s trade deadline could be the most interesting we will witness in several years, at least in terms of the speculation as a result of a few surprise teams possibly being on the selling end of things. For the Baltimore Orioles, the needs are obvious – a second baseman and a starting pitcher.

Prospects are the money in baseball and that’s the one thing the Orioles organization still doesn’t have quite enough of, at least the prospects that are worth the most and they can reasonably part with. Players like Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey are likely not being traded, period. What ammunition that leaves the front office with beyond them is limited to a small handful of prospects that could be trumped by division rival Toronto Blue Jays and a handful of other contending teams.

Any thoughts of landing a true difference maker should be swept from your mind this very moment. Not only are those players few and far between it is also not in the nature of the front office to sell out for just one player. There will be no reports of this team landing Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Yu Darvish, or even Jeff Samardzija. These players are out of the reach of this team because the package going the other way would require one of Gausman or Bundy or too many of the organization’s second tier prospects.

The prospects the Orioles are left to work with in order to complete a trade are the likes of Eduardo Rodriguez, Mike Wright, Tim Berry, and Michael Ohlman. These are your second tier or “B” grade prospects, and that’s not to take anything away from any of them but we’re not talking about staff aces or a middle of the order bat.

However, the Orioles still have plenty of ammunition to acquire a piece or two that could help them in their quest for a division title or a playoff berth at the very least.

Would Dan Duquette consider reuniting with starting pitcher Jason Hammel?

Depending on the cost, it is entirely possible given the bounce back campaign he is currently enjoying. Having posted a career high strikeout rate and a career low walk rate this year, his value has never been higher. He would certainly help the Orioles fortify the starting rotation but if the Chicago Cubs are expecting a return of Eduardo Rodriguez or Hunter Harvey would it be worth it?

Another option would be reaching out to the Cleveland Indians about either Justin Masterson, who is having a horrid season up to this point, or Zach McAllister, who has been banished to Triple-A after having a fairly unlucky and inconsistent start to his 2014 campaign.

Masterson would likely cost the most to acquire due to him having so much success during the 2013 season, but McAllister would be the real prize if the Orioles were able to convince the Cleveland Indians to part with him. At just 26-years-old the issues McAllister is having this year are completely fixable seeing as how a portion of his struggles have to do with him allowing hitters to have plenty of time to get comfortable in the box. The other issue that could be remedied is leaving too many pitches out over the plate. McAllister would provide the Orioles rotation with a young starter that has the ability to succeed at the major league level and has the ceiling of a decent number two starter if he can work the kinks out.

He was rated as the Indians sixth best prospect after the 2011 season by Baseball America, was considered to have the best control at the minor league level and a Baseball America scouting report stated that he could consistently throw a breaking ball for strikes and has a good feel for his changeup.

As far as second base is concerned the Orioles have the pieces to acquire the likes of Chase Utley – and though he has his drawbacks at this point, he would still represent significant upgrades over what Buck Showalter is currently trotting out there on a regular basis.

Utley would have the most to offer this season and possibly next but his age and declining power, couple with his non-existent speed at this point, make him nothing more than a stop-gap solution through 2015 at best. His on-base skills and defensive ability still make him one of the better second baseman in baseball though. It wouldn’t be completely unreasonable to trade a package consisting of Wright, Berry and a lower tier prospect like Adrian Marin to acquire Utley’s services but it would be a slight stretch to give up so much for him.

The final player that the Orioles could make a run at is a Texas Ranger – big shocker, I know.

Elvis Andrus has reportedly underwhelmed Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels, and fans, for two straight seasons now and they are reportedly willing to move him. The Rangers have an overabundance of young middle infielders and that has made Andrus expendable. He’s also being paid like a premier offensive shortstop, the one thing he is not, and trading him would help free up payroll for the Rangers.

His eight-year $118 million contract kicks in next season and he will be paid $15 million per year through 2020 and $14 million per year the final two years of the contract. Andrus also has to opt-out clauses in his contract that he could utilize after the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Any team trading for him would have him through at least 2018, with him opting out if he feels he could earn more as a free agent at 29-years-old. Otherwise the receiving team could be saddled with a contract of a player that won’t live up to it – a gamble that the Orioles simply don’t historically take.

However, Andrus is still only 25-years-old with room for improvement and its possible leaving Texas could be the best thing for him, much like it was for Chris Davis.

The bare minimum it would take for the Orioles acquire a defensively gifted shortstop with 40-plus stolen base potential is at least Eduardo Rodriguez. If anything else substantial would have to be included would likely depend on how much money, if any, the Rangers would be willing to eat as part of the deal.

Andrus won’t fill the void at second base, but acquiring him could allow Showalter to convince Hardy to shift over to second base for the remainder of the season. Andrus would also supply some much needed speed at either the top or bottom of the lineup. Whether this move or any of the others ones come to fruition is the great mystery here, but it is these quality of players the Orioles have the best shot of acquiring to strengthen the team for their playoff run.

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Minor League Scores – 6/16/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/16/minor-league-scores-61614/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/16/minor-league-scores-61614/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 02:35:53 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15005 Zach Davies twirls a gem for the Baysox

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 5, Syracuse 4 Opponent Location Time Starter 29 – 42 Box Score Syracuse Chiefs Home 7:05 PM TBD
  • Ivan De Jesus: 1-3
  • Steve Clevenger: 0-4
  • Francisco Peguero: 0-4, 2 K
  • Suk-min Yoon: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 K. 1 HR
  • Preston Guilmet: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Trenton 2, Bowie 3 Opponent Location Time Starter
35 – 34 Box Score Trenton Thunder Away 7:05 PM Tyler Wilson
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 OFF Opponent Location Time Starter
32 – 35  OFF  OFF  OFF OFF
 
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 OFF Opponent Location Time Starter
38 – 31 OFF OFF OFF OFF
 
Notes:
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Aberdeen 1, Hudson Valley 2 Opponent Location Time Starter
0 – 4 Box Score Staten Island Yankees Away 7:00 PM TBD
Notes: This was a 15 Inning Game

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Minor League Players of the Week: 6/9 – 6/15 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/16/minor-league-players-week-69-615/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/16/minor-league-players-week-69-615/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:30:49 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15004 The long road for Bundy has finally reached Aberdeen, where he strung together a solid start in his first official action.

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Position Player of the Week - Chance Sisco, C (Low-A, Delmarva)

.474/.524/.789 (9/19) with 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K

Sisco was drafted as  a bat-first player with enough athleticism to potentially stick behind the plate. With a short and compact swing, he has begun to really put up numbers for Delmarva. One could make an argument that Sisco is the best positional talent in the Orioles entire organization at this point. While the defense is still a work in progress, Sisco has all the ability to become a top prospect in the game. The past week will certainly not hurt his chances, as he went 4-5 in one game and had two 2-4 games as well.

Starting Pitcher of the Week - Dylan Bundy, RHP (SS-A, Aberdeen)

5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K

Some pitchers might have put better stat lines together this week, but after the long road Bundy has taken, this award is well-deserving. Bundy has progressed quickly for a player having Tommy John Surgery, and our Staff Writer Alex Conway was at his press conference to highlight Bundy’s thoughts.

Relief Pitcher of the Week - Dariel Delgado, RHP (SS-A, Aberdeen)

3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Delgado is a guy that might get a chance to start down the line, but likely is a reliever in the long run. He has more exertion in his delivery than you typically want in a starter. But Delgado has a quick arm and can pump his fastball. It will be interesting to see how the Orioles handle Delgado the rest of this season, and whether he will be specifically used in long relief spurts out of the Aberdeen bullpen.

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Minor League Scores – 6/15/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/15/minor-league-scores-61514/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/15/minor-league-scores-61514/#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 23:31:21 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15003 Dylan Bundy makes his first Rehab start for Aberdeen

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 0, Syracuse 4 Opponent Location Time Starter 28 – 42 Box Score Syracuse Chiefs Home 7:05 PM Suk-min Yoon
  • Ivan De Jesus: 1-4
  • Steve Clevenger: 1-4
  • Francisco Peguero: 1-4, 2B, K
  • Nick Additon: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Kelvin De La Cruz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Harrisburg 2, Bowie 6 Opponent Location Time Starter
34 – 34 Box Score Harrisburg Senators Away 7:05 PM Zach Davies
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Myrtle Beach 1, Frederick 6 Opponent Location Time Starter
32 – 35 Box Score  OFF  OFF  OFF OFF
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Delmarva 6, West Virginia 5 Opponent Location Time Starter
38 – 31 Box Score OFF OFF OFF OFF
Notes
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Aberdeen 0, Hudson Valley 3 Opponent Location Time Starter
0 – 3 Box Score Hudson Valley Renegades Away 6:05 PM TBD
Notes

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Dylan Bundy Press Conference Notes http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/12/dylan-bundy-press-conference-notes/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/12/dylan-bundy-press-conference-notes/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:05:57 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14988 Staff Writer Alex Conway attended Dylan Bundy's press conference today

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Dylan Bundy and Aberdeen Ironbirds manager Matt Merullo held a press a conference today at Ripken Stadium. The purpose of the press conference was to get updates from Dylan Bundy on his rehab process and how he is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

First, it was clear that he was excited to get back to pitching and to begin the one of the last steps in his process of returning from Tommy John. He mentioned his goal of returning back to pitching in games 12 months after he underwent surgery,  and he is going to beat that goal by two weeks when he makes his first start this Sunday for the Ironbirds on the road.

Second,  Bundy talked about his stuff and how his arm is feeling during the rehab process.  Specifically, he said his fastball velocity in his last start in extended spring training was sitting 90 to 92 and he was hitting 93, 94. Furthermore, he seemed very pleased with the command and control of his fastball.  He also talked about his secondary pitches. He mentioned that his command and control of his secondary pitches are better than it has ever been, even before the injury. However, he said that the quality of the secondaries may not yet be there.

Third, he said that he is not totally aware of what his rehab process is going to be or how it is going to finish and he really did not want to know. The plan, as far as he knows, is to go three to four starts in Aberdeen and then reassess where he is from there. When asked about whether or not he thought he would be called up Baltimore some time later this season, he said that it is not under his control but he believes that it is a realistic goal for him to achieve

Lastly, his first rehab start for Aberdeen is going to be this Sunday, June 14th, and his second start is going to be on Saturday June 21st. The first start will be on the road and his second one will be at Ripken stadium. The plan as of now is pitch 5 innings and/or 75 pitches.

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Aberdeen Ironbirds 2014 Season Preview http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/11/aberdeen-ironbirds-2014-season-preview/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/06/11/aberdeen-ironbirds-2014-season-preview/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:00:02 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14983 Aberdeen Ironbirds 2014 Season Preview

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2013 was a terrific season for Aberdeen, as they made the playoffs for the first time in their existence. In the past, the Ironbirds have fielded poor teams, with the occasional talent to get excited about. Unless there was a Parker Bridwell, Manny Machado or Matt Wieters, you probably did not miss much at Aberdeen. However, last year was impressive and the team had a good crop of talent, starting first with Hunter Harvey. While the club does not have pure talent such as Harvey this year, they do have a few intriguing names on their break camp roster. Please keep in mind that this roster will significantly change in the next week or two, as players just signing from the MLB Draft will enter the system and be slotted at Aberdeen. It is also important to remember there are still a few young prospects in the GCL that will surely make the move to Aberdeen. Short season rosters change more than any other roster, and it can become difficult keeping up with all the alterations.

Aberdeen officially begins their season on Friday, June 13th, on the road at Hudson Valley. Their first home game will be Friday, June 20, against Staten Island.

Pitching Staff: Augey Bill, Garrett Cortright, Nick Cunningham, Eric Green, Alex Santana, Janser SeverinoStephen Tarpley, Brady Adamek, Derrick Bleeker, Stefan Crichton, Dariel Delgado, Dioni Dominguez, Ivan Hernandez, Nik Nowottnick, Elias Pinales
Catchers: Alex Murphy, Tanner Murphy
Infielders: Ronarsy Ledesma, Byron Capellan, Cam Kneeland, Cory Segui
Outfielders: Manuel Hernandez, Oswill Lartiguez, Andrickson Zorilla

Injured but may have seen time here: Travis Seabrooke, Jacob Bray
On Rehab: Dylan Bundy
Could see time here: Daniel Ayers, Kevin Grendell, Jake Pintar

Three to Watch:

Stephen Tarpley: If you have wondered where the 2013 3rd round pick has been, look no further. Tarpley was known to be a project when drafted, but I thought we would have seen him at Delmarva to start the year. Obviously, the OriolesTarpley2 held him back in extended and continued to work on his mechanics. Tarpley had some issues with his landing on delivery and also had a little too much stress in his elbow and shoulder. It will also be interesting to see if the Orioles have lowered his release at all. I have had scouts tell me in the past they believe his upright delivery causes his fastball to be flat and get hit around up in the zone. Tarpley is an intriguing talent with a good arm capable of throwing 92-94. His arm speed is solid and he is an athletic player. It would not shock me to see him tear up the NYPL, but he needs to show improved mechanics before that happens.

Jonah Heim: Sure, he is not even on the break camp roster, but he is already in Aberdeen and I have been told he will likely split time with Alex Murphy behind the dish. Heim is a super raw prospect with the bat, but he has some bat speed Heim 3and raw power. It may take some time for him to tap into this power, and the plate discipline and approach will need some refinement. He will be one of the youngest guys in the NYPL, and was one of the youngest in the draft last year. Another aspect to note is the competition level at the Buffalo, New York area is a notch lower than your typical region. Heim needs some time to get acclimated, and the more I think about it, keeping him in extended and short-season was definitely the right move. The defense has been impressive. I have talked to scouts about the glove and they were generally impressed. I liked what I saw in Spring Training.

Alex Murphy: The Calvert Hall alum has the ability to develop into a decent bat. I see raw power and he has a decent approach at the plate. Murphy has enough talent with the bat that it could carry him through the beginning parts of the Alex Murphysystem. The one issue with his game has always been the defense. Scouts were split on whether he could stick as a catcher last season, and I have not heard anything to change that opinion yet. He could end up requiring a move to first base, which would then mean he would have to really hit. As with most young prospects in the NYPL, the skill-set is incomplete, but Murphy has enough going on with the bat to be intrigued.

Three Sleepers:

Alexander Santana: A personal favorite of mine, as he has a plus curveball that he can command and control. It has good depth and he really loves to throw it. ThereAlexander Santana might not be much more to his game, but the fastball can show some life and explosion, even if the plane is not terrific. Santana is an example of a pitcher with one really good pitch and the rest is fringe. However, I am curious to see what the Orioles do with him. I doubt he can start, due to the exertion in the delivery.

Dariel Delgado: I do not have much info on the young righty, but I do know that he has an electric arm that can sit 92+ mph. The secondary Dariel Delgadostuff needs some work, but the Orioles were patient with him last season and he put up some sexy numbers in the GCL last year. He is likely a max-effort reliever, but he could be dominant at Aberdeen this season.

Randolph Gassaway: Another player that is not actually on the roster yet. However, Gassaway was the most impressive player I saw in the GCL/Rookie camp this Spring Training. The bat speed was evident and he really has a Randolph Gassawaysmooth and relaxed swing with minimal movement through the zone. There is a slight arc and he certainly has some raw power that could eventually be tapped into. I need to get an expanded look at Gassaway, but the first image of him was very impressive for me. I suspect he sees some time in Aberdeen this year, and I would be very surprised if this is not the case.

 

 

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Bowie Baysox 2014 Season Preview http://orioles-nation.com/2014/03/29/bowie-baysox-2014-season-preview/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/03/29/bowie-baysox-2014-season-preview/#comments Sat, 29 Mar 2014 21:50:16 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14684 Bowie Baysox 2014 Season Preview: A look at the Break-camp roster for the Bowie Baysox

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Delmarva Shorebirds 2014 Season Preview
Frederick Keys 2014 Season Preview

The Bowie Baysox will begin the season with arguably the best rotation in the Orioles’ minor league system. Adding along to that, the bullpen is filled with power arms and useful matchup pitchers. The offense is rather bland from a prospect perspective, but they could be good from a performance standpoint. Below is the opening day roster (thanks to Steve Melewski of MASN) along with three to watch and three potential sleepers.

Note: The Baysox roster will most likely change in the next week, with cuts from the Orioles leaking down to Bowie and Norfolk

Rotation: Eduardo Rodriguez, Zach Davies, Tim Berry, Tyler Wilson, Jacob Pettit
Pitchers: Matt Bischoff, Fabio Castillo, Oliver Drake, Jason Gurka, Juan Morillo, Chris Petrini, Marcel Prado, Ashur Tolliver.
Catchers: Zach Chavez, David Freitas, Michael Ohlman.
Infielders: Buck Britton, Garabez Rosa, Scott Savastano, Sharlon Schoop, Christian Walker.
Outfielders: Dariel Alvarez, Ronald Burmudez, Chih-Hsien Chiang, Kyeong Kang, John Ruettiger.

Three to Watch:

Eduardo Rodriguez was one of the youngest starting pitchers in the Eastern League in 2013.

Eduardo Rodriguez was one of the youngest starting pitchers in the Eastern League in 2013.

Eduardo Rodriguez – LHP - The Venezuelan phenom has three solid-average pitches with a chance for the fastball and slider to become plus. He has a good feel for pitching, although he still needs some time in the minors. Expect for Rodriguez to put together a solid season for the Baysox.
Michael Ohlman – C - I highlighted Ohlman last week in the Prospect Watch. I believe in the bat, but it all falls on his defense behind the plate.
Tim Berry – LHP - Berry took some time to get acclimated in pro-ball, especially after missing his entire first season. He has progressed wonderfully in the last two years, completely refining his change and improving his fastball and curveball command. He is still too inconsistent, as Chris Mellen portrayed at Baseball Prospectus. However, Berry can be very good at times and really force you to believe that mid-to-back rotation ceiling is viable.

Three Sleepers:

Zach Davies – RHP - He may be small, he may be slim, but damn can this guy pitch. Plus command and control have excelled him through the minors in two years, when most players of this size would be struggling in the lower minors. His secondary arsenal is solid and makes up for a fastball that generally sits 89-91 mph. I believe in the arm of Davies and think he will prove himself at Bowie this season. He may never be a top 100 prospect, but he will be pitching in the majors at some point.
Tyler Wilson – LHP - Wilson is an interesting pitcher that is completely overlooked in the O’s system. He likely ends up as a bullpen arm, but one scout told me that “Wilson will pitch in the majors eventually”. He cleaned up his delivery last season and pitched well in the Bowie rotation. He may not be an option the O’s go to this season, but he may slip onto their 40-man roster by next season.
Ashur Tolliver – LHP - It is honestly just nice to see Tolliver healthy and back on the mound. I was high on him when he first arrived, but the injuries blew some of the steam out of that sail. He has a power fastball with some arm-side run. It is enough to make me believe he can work at the major league level in some relief role, and it would certainly fit in a power LOOGY role. Keep an eye on him, his arm is certainly intriguing enough.

Overall, the Baysox have a fun club with some future Orioles certainly waiting for their opportunity at the next level. The rotation could really make this team worth watching every night. To make the scenario here better, Bobby Bundy and Dylan Bundy could see some time at Prince George’s Stadium somewhere down the road this season.

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Losing the Santana Sweepstakes http://orioles-nation.com/2014/03/12/losing-santana-sweepstakes/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/03/12/losing-santana-sweepstakes/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 20:32:05 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14597 Staff Writer Jeff Kryglik takes a look at the roster after the Orioles lose out on the Ervin Santana Sweepstakes

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Ervin Santana is no longer a free agent as the 31-year-old right-handed pitcher agreed to a one-year, $14.1 million deal with the Atlanta Braves despite the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays being the main contenders.

The Braves’ rotation has been riddled with injuries and ineffectiveness all throughout spring training thus far, so bringing in Santana made sense for both parties. It allows the Braves to address a need as they hope to maintain their staying power in the NL East and it allows for Santana to showcase his stuff as a potential top three rotation starter. This will also be the first time in his career where he will play for a National League ballclub, so the change of scenery could bring about offers following the 2014 season that even Santana himself didn’t know existed.

Courtesy: ESPN.com

Courtesy: ESPN.com

What this means for the Orioles is that they have to move forward with the free agent pickups they’ve made thus far and focus on evaluating the guys they have on their roster as they are likely the candidates who they will roll into battle with when the Boston Red Sox come to town March 31.

Looking at the potential starting rotation as of now, here is what it could look like with two and a half weeks before the first pitch at Opening Day:

1. RHP Chris Tillman

2. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez

3. LHP Wei-Yin Chen

4. RHP Miguel Gonzalez

5. RHP Bud Norris

That is purely based off of speculation of course, but the Orioles are still in much better position this season in regards to their starting pitching than they were last season. Bringing in Santana would have been an upgrade, no doubt about it. It would have reinforced the “win now” mentality that seems to be in the Orioles’ clubhouse and front office given the current makeup of the roster. But there are some positives in letting the free agent find another home in Major League Baseball.

For the Orioles, they can still see what players such as LHP Zach Britton have to offer. There were rumors that if Santana had been acquired by the Birds, Baltimore would look into shopping either Britton or Norris — Bud is set to make $5.3 million this year — to potentially free up some space on the roster and also save a little change in the process. It is no secret that Britton has underachieved during his tenure in Baltimore, but this is his best opportunity to showcase what he can bring to the club either as a starter, spot starter or relief pitcher.

Looking at what Britton has done, he could possibly be slated for a role that is a combination of what fellow lefties T.J. McFarland and Troy Patton provided the club last year. He could be that long reliever like McFarland who comes in during non-pressure situations or situations where he has to clean up the starter’s mess. He could come in after the fifth or sixth inning to serve as a middle relief pitcher like Patton by providing a stopgap between the setup man and the starter.

He has to make the roster first as he is very much on the bubble given what his Big League career has been.

Then, there is Norris.

Norris will likely be this team’s No. 4 or No. 5 starter once the season begins, but he also has the potential to contribute to this team in the bullpen as well. If RHP Tommy Hunter struggles with consistency as he has been entrusted with the closer role for the 2014 season, the Orioles could look to Norris to fill the void. Plus, in bringing over Norris at the trade deadline last summer, seeing what he can offer the Orioles over a full body of work is worth the risk.

And then there are three RHPs by the names of Kevin Gausman, Suk-Min Yoon and Dylan Bundy.

If the Orioles were to bring in Santana, Gausman and Bundy would have been more relegated to minor league duty with not as much of a chance to crack the rotation and develop at the MLB level. Yoon, who is projected as a reliever to begin with, may have never received that chance for a spot start. Gausman is much further ahead in the development process than Bundy as Dylan is still in rehabilitation mode to ensure he is 100% healthy and it remains to be seen as to what Yoon can offer coming over from the KBO. Gausman on the other hand, has a much better chance to contribute on the club this season as the rotation is not overly crowded. If someone falters in either the bullpen or as a starter, the Birds may look to Gausman to garner more Major League service time and become a serious contributor.

Bringing in Ervin Santana would have upgraded the Orioles, but not having him on the roster helps Baltimore develop their youngsters and see what their veterans can offer to the club going forward.

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Projecting the 25-Man Roster http://orioles-nation.com/2014/03/03/projecting-25-man-roster/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/03/03/projecting-25-man-roster/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:00:08 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14566 The ON Staff projects the 25-man roster for Opening day.

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The ON Staff took their best shot at projecting the O’s roster and lineup for opening day. Spring Training has just started, but we thought it would be fun to look back in a month and see how terribly wrong we were. or right. I guess we shall find out!

A few notes:

- The staff did not fluctuate too much on the overall outlook of the roster. All three have the same rotation.
- The lineups also did not fluctuate very much for opening day. All three fully expect Manny Machado to be ready.
- Dylan Bundy is most likely headed for the 60-day DL to start the year, and Kevin Gausman is most likely optioned to start the year.

Alex Conway‘s 25-Man Roster Projection:

Alex has OF Francisco Peguero winning his final bench spot. (Courtesy: Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports)

Alex has OF Francisco Peguero winning his final bench spot.
(Courtesy: Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports)

1B: Chris Davis
2B: Ryan Flaherty
3B: Manny Machado
SS: JJ Hardy
LF: David Lough
CF: Adam Jones
RF: Nick Markakis
C: Matt Wieters
DH: Nelson Cruz

BC: Steve Clevenger
Util: Alexi Casilla
PH: Nolan Reimold
4th OF: Francisco Peguero

SP: Chris Tillman
SP: Ubaldo Jimenez
SP: Wei-Yin Chen
SP: Miguel Gonzalez
SP: Bud Norris

Zach Britton

Alex has LHP Zach Britton winning his final bullpen spot

BP: Tommy Hunter
BP: Darren O’Day
BP: Ryan Webb
BP: Brian Matusz
BP: Kelvin De La Cruz
BP: Suk-Min Yoon
BP: Zach Britton

Opening Day Lineup
1. Nick Markakis
2. Manny Machado
3. Adam Jones
4. Chris Davis
5. Nelson Cruz
6. Matt Wieters
7. David Lough
8. JJ Hardy
9. Ryan Flaherty

Roster Casualties: RHP Edgmer Escalona, RHP Josh Stinson, Michael Almanzar (Rule 5 selection), OF/1B Steve Pearce,
Optioned: RHP Kevin Gausman, LHP Michael Belfiore, LHP Tim Berry, RHP Brad Brach, Dylan Bundy (60-day DL Candidate), RHP Steve Johnson, LHP T.J. McFarland, C Johnny Monell, C Michael Ohlman, 2B Jemile Weeks, 2B Jonathan Schoop, OF Henry Urrutia
Suspended: LHP Troy Patton

This is the 25 man and OD Lineup I think that Buck and Dan will put together. I think Peguero makes the roster due to upside and likelihood some other team would pick him up if placed on waivers. I could see Almanzar making the team only because Duquette has shown that keeping Rule 5 guys on a roster all year long is part of his M.O. However, I think Peguero essentially fits that role. I think Hardy slips to 8 in order to break up the lefties which Buck always seems keen on doing. I could also see Reimold in LF on Opening Day because of them likley facing Lester. However, I think Lough plays because of a greater defensive prowess and Lough not having any split weakness against lefties.

Tucker Blair‘s 25-Man Roster Projection:

Tucker has OF/1B Steve Pearce winning his final bench spot (Photo Courtesy: Orioles.com)

Tucker has OF/1B Steve Pearce winning his final bench spot (Courtesy: Orioles.com)

1B: Chris Davis
2B: Ryan Flaherty
3B: Manny Machado
SS: JJ Hardy
LF: David Lough
CF: Adam Jones
RF: Nick Markakis
C: Matt Wieters
DH: Nelson Cruz

BC: Steve Clevenger
2B: Jemile Weeks
4th OF: Nolan Reimold
LF/1B/DH: Steve Pearce

SP: Chris Tillman
SP: Ubaldo Jimenez
SP: Wei-Yin Chen
SP: Miguel Gonzalez
SP: Bud Norris

Tucker has Josh Stinson winning his final bullpen spot (Courtesy: Baltimore Sun

Tucker has Josh Stinson winning his final bullpen spot (Courtesy: Baltimore Sun)

BP: Tommy Hunter
BP: Darren O’Day
BP: Ryan Webb
BP: Brian Matusz
BP: Kelvin De La Cruz
BP: Suk-Min Yoon
BP: Josh Stinson

Opening Day Lineup
1. Nick Markakis
2. Manny Machado
3. Adam Jones
4. Chris Davis
5. Nelson Cruz
6. Matt Wieters
7. JJ Hardy
8. Ryan Flaherty
9. David Lough

Roster Casualties: RHP Edgmer Escalona, LHP Zach Britton, Michael Almanzar (Rule 5 selection), OF Francisco Peguero
Optioned: RHP Kevin Gausman, LHP Michael Belfiore, LHP Tim Berry, RHP Brad Brach, Dylan Bundy (60-day DL Candidate), RHP Steve Johnson, LHP T.J. McFarland, C Johnny Monell, C Michael Ohlman, 2B Jonathan Schoop, OF Henry Urrutia
Suspended: LHP Troy Patton

My lineup and roster are not terribly different from the one Alex projected. I have Reimold and Pearce winning out the final two bench spots, because I truly feel as if they offer the most to the club. Reimold, if healthy (alright, alright, relax), has major league talent and has shown in spurts what he can do. If I can have that coming off the bench or getting time in LF/RF/DH when needed, then I think he provides the most value. Steve Pearce is a great bench option. All the guy has done with the Orioles is get on base and provide value. I will beat this horse until it is beyond dead, but he had a .261/.362/.420 batting line in 2013 with a .345 wOBA. Do you know how many players had a .345 wOBA or higher last year for the Orioles? Three (Chris Davis, Danny Valencia, Adam Jones). Even in limited play, Pearce showed that he is a piece the Orioles could certainly use. I also like that he can play adequate LF and 1B in a pinch if needed. David Lough can fill in at CF if needed, which is rare with Adam Jones manning the position every day.

I have Weeks on the bench because I think the Orioles can use some formation of Weeks and Ryan Flaherty to solve their utility role. The Orioles’ left side of the infield played almost every game last year, and I think it is possible again for them to get significant playing time. I’m rolling the dice though, as Manny Machado could need a little more time to fully heal and JJ Hardy has been injury prone before his time with the Orioles. My bullpen has Josh Stinson with the final spot because he can pitch in middle relief, long relief and even spot start. I am worried about Zach Britton and I think he would be best served as getting a fresh start somewhere else. The only problem I have with my roster is I leave an extra spot on the 40-man due to the DFA of Edgmer Escalona. I feel that the Orioles could potentially look to maximize their roster here, but we shall see.

Jeff Kryglik‘s 25-Man Roster Projection:

Jeff has RHP Edgmer Escalona winning one of his final bullpen spots (Courtesy: Baltimore Sun)

Jeff has RHP Edgmer Escalona winning one of his final bullpen spots (Courtesy: Baltimore Sun)

1B: Chris Davis
2B: Ryan Flaherty
3B: Manny Machado
SS: JJ Hardy
LF: David Lough
CF: Adam Jones
RF: Nick Markakis
C: Matt Wieters
DH: Nelson Cruz

Bench:
BC: Steve Clevenger
2B: Jemile Weeks
OF: Steve Pearce
OF: Nolan Reimold

SP: Chris Tillman
SP: Ubaldo Jimenez
SP: Wei-Yin Chen
SP: Miguel Gonzalez
SP: Bud Norris

BP: Tommy Hunter
BP: Darren O’Day
BP: Ryan Webb
BP: Brian Matusz
BP: Edgmer Escalona
BP: Suk-Min Yoon
BP: Zach Britton

Opening Day Lineup
1. Nick Markakis
2. Manny Machado
3. Adam Jones
4. Chris Davis
5. Nelson Cruz
6. Matt Wieters
7. J.J. Hardy
8. David Lough
9. Ryan Flaherty

Roster Casualties: LHP Kelvin De La Cruz, RHP Josh Stinson, Michael Almanzar (Rule 5 selection), OF/1B Francisco Peguero,
Optioned: RHP Kevin Gausman, LHP Michael Belfiore, LHP Tim Berry, RHP Brad Brach, Dylan Bundy (60-day DL Candidate), RHP Steve Johnson, LHP T.J. McFarland, C Johnny Monell, C Michael Ohlman, 2B Jonathan Schoop, OF Henry Urrutia
Suspended: LHP Troy Patton

It is honestly killing me to put Weeks, Pearce and Britton on this roster, but I really don’t see where else they could go. Spring Training will change a lot of things, but for my money, I have to roll with these guys as my main bubble guys, in addition to Escalona.

This is Britton’s last chance. He has no more options. He will not be a starter in this league outside of maybe a spot start here and there. If he cannot stay healthy, game over. Even when he is healthy, still might not be consistent enough to warrant a roster spot.

Weeks, to me, is a guy you have to keep over Casilla pending Spring Training. While Casilla has the speed, like Weeks, and Major League experience advantage, you want someone in there who is a little younger. There is no secret that the club wants Schoop to win this job, but I don’t think we’ll see him until mid-to-late Summer.

I like Peguero, but his bat sees a significant dropoff in his MLB service time in comparison to his minor league numbers. To me, it would be nice to see him on the big club, but Pearce is that Nate McLouth type. High energy, high effort guy who you need in your lineup to boost the morale of the troops in the locker room. Not consistent, but a guy I would keep around.

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ON Mailbag 2/13 – 2/16 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/02/16/mailbag-213-216/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/02/16/mailbag-213-216/#comments Sun, 16 Feb 2014 14:00:19 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14534 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the Weekly Mailbag for the week of 2/13 - 2/16. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the first addition of the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

Do you believe the current 2014 version of the Baltimore Orioles is a legitimate playoff contender and if not, do you believe any REALISTIC additions this winter could have made it one?

As of this writing, the Orioles are probably not playoff contenders. They have too many holes in the rotation. If things break right (i.e Gausman is an ace and Bundy can be great this year as well), they could be contenders, but the Opening Day roster is maybe marginally better than the 2013 Opening Day Roster. If you assume a $100 million payroll, there are some additions that could have been made. Balfour would have strengthened the bullpen, but the price was high as it always is for “proven closers.” Yoon is a smart pickup at a low price, but the unknowns with him make it hard to determine how valuable he will be this season. Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez would make this team—again as currently constructed—serious wild card contenders.

Courtesy: MLB.com

Courtesy: MLB.com

I do not think any realistic position player addition would have made this team better. Cruz and Morales are flawed one dimensional players and cost a draft pick while every other free agent of note was out of price range. Some trade targets were out there, Logan Morrison or Ike Davis. However Morrison is flawed and the reported asking price for Ike Davis was a little high. They needed to add quality pitching and have yet to add enough, Santana or Jimenez in combination with Yoon change that equation. A.J. Burnett also made a ton of sense, and did not require the draft pick compensation, but he didn’t appear to want to go to the AL and offering more than what he got from the Phillies would have meant no other acquisitions. Matt Garza also made sense, but with his injury history he is more of a gamble. Also, of note and still on the market, is Chris Capuano. He has some good peripheral statistics and may be cheap at this point and if they sign him in conjunction with Santana or Jimenez it would further improve the rotation and the team. The position players are good enough—while still flawed—to produce enough runs, but the pitching staff lags too far behind in quality currently to make the Orioles true playoff contenders.

What is the name of the young (16 year old) pitcher signed by Fred Ferreira (on the spot) a few months ago? He is from the Dominican Republic. I believe that he was sent to the Minor League Facility in Twin Lakes the next day.

That would be 16-year-old RHP Olelky Peralta out of the Dominican Republic. The Orioles signed him for $325,000 and he is probably the best pitching prospect they have signed internationally since Eduardo Rodriguez. From all reports, he can clock his fastball into the mid 90’s and has hit upper 90′s. As a starter, he probably sits 92-94 mph right now, but also has a feel for a change up. I talked to two within the industry about him – both slapped a 6 fastball on him with potential for better. Without seeing Peralta play, that already sounds very promising. The Shark (Fred Ferreira) has been a terrific pickup for the O’s.

Will the O’s seriously consider landing Santana or Jimenez to bolster the staff? Yoon seems like a bullpen arm, maybe a 7th inning guy. And what about the possibility of signing Nelson Cruz to an incentive based 1 year deal? Reimold/Lough platoon in left just doesn’t seem like a great start to 2014.

I’ll respond all three of your questions/statements separately.

I think the pursuit is genuine at this point of both Santana and Jimenez. Duquette has stated multiple times on the record he expected the payroll to approach $100 million. There is enough money left to sign one of them to a maximum of $16 million per annum which should be slightly above market price. I believe they will add at least one more starting candidate before the season starts, whether that is Santana, Jimenez, or someone else is what remains to be seen.

Suk-min Yoon

Suk-min Yoon

Yoon is an unknown, projecting him to be anything right now is relatively foolhardy. Scouting reports range from bullpen to 4th or 5th guy in a rotation. He could be better, he could be worse. His contract makes him valuable and cheap at either position especially if he can put up quality outings.

Nelson Cruz is a very flawed player coming off a PED suspension that requires draft pick compensation. He plays poor defense and is a declining player. I think Lough alone is more valuable than Cruz. Also, I don’t think Lough platoons with Reimold. I think Lough should be the everyday left fielder. He has shown no evidence of being bad against lefties and in fact he hits them slightly better. Lough was a great pick up who costs nothing now and cost near nothing to get, a fantastic pick up by Duquette in my estimation.

Why do you think the O’s drafted so many catchers in early rounds last year? Are we going to develop them all and trade bait some since it’s such a scarce position? How can we fit so many top draft picks onto so few low-level minor league teams?

The MLB draft is different from other professional sports such as Basketball and Football. In Baseball, you largely draft the best player available or a player that you believe will fit under your budget at that selected round. There are a few reasons for that:
1. It often takes at least 3+ years for most prospects to even crack a MLB roster. An 18 year old is most likely not going to have any effect on the major league roster for at least 3-5 years, and sometimes longer. At this point, the Orioles really have no clue what Matt Wieters’ status will be in 2017.

2. Prospects have substantial value on the trading market, and certain positions are usually stockpiled because of how important they are (SS, C, P would be my three most important positions). Just think about how important catchers are. The Brian Ward’s of the world are invaluable to an organization because they can call a good game and play terrific defense. You need a guy like that at every level to further the development of pitching.

For the Orioles, it made sense to take Chance Sisco, Jonah Heim and Alex Murphy all in the same draft. Like I said, you can never have enough catchers. Also, the Orioles do lack depth at the position throughout the minors. All three players are young, but they also are on completely different stages of their development.

Sisco could start the 2014 season with the Delmarva Shorebirds

Chance Sisco could start the 2014 season with the Delmarva Shorebirds

- Chance Sisco is the most advanced and will most likely spend majority of his time with Delmarva in 2014. He has a good idea of how to use the bat and will require the least adjustment out of them offensively.

- Alex Murphy is most likely slated for Aberdeen in 2014. He hit fairly well in the GCL, and should see the natural progression line of a high school player.

- Jonah Heim was very raw and very young when drafted. I fully expect him to begin in the GCL again and he will probably get substantial playing time compared to last year.

The good thing with catchers is that they can work on many things (like footwork, defense, framing) outside of the game. This will be a fun trio to watch for the next few years.

Can Steve Pearce and Delmon Young coexist on the 25-man roster?

I think they can, but it likely means Nolan Reimold is not on the roster. I have gone back and forth on whether Young will make the team or not. He hits lefties really well, but that’s all he can do. Pearce hits lefties well, not as well but still productive, and can play a serviceable left field and first base. I think the versatility of Pearce wins out. Although, Reimold’s roster spot seems like a foregone conclusion to many and I don’t think that is the case.

How about your ranking of rhsp and lhsp in the minors?

These are players that I feel still at least have a glimmer of hope for starting, or are definite starters. I did not go any lower than the GCL.
(Note: Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy are 1a/1b to me)

Eduardo Rodriguez was one of the youngest starting pitchers in the Eastern League in 2013.

Eduardo Rodriguez was one of the youngest starting pitchers in the Eastern League in 2013.

LHP
Eduardo Rodriguez
Tim Berry
Stephen Tarpley
Steven Brault
Travis Seabrooke
Mitch Horacek
Kevin Grendell
Matt Taylor
Ron Schreurs
Yi-Hsiang Lin

 

 

Hunter Harvey was the best starting pitcher I saw in the NYPL for the 2013 season.

Hunter Harvey was the best starting pitcher I saw in the NYPL for the 2013 season.

RHP
Kevin Gausman
Dylan Bundy
Hunter Harvey
Mike Wright
Zach Davies
Parker Bridwell
Tyler Wilson
Bobby Bundy
Eddie Gamboa
Brady Wager
Branden Kline
Sebastian Vader
Jake Pintar
Jacob Bray
Caleb Kellog
Julio Rodriguez
Dariel Delgado
Jonatan Isenia

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Prospect Watch: Mike Wright http://orioles-nation.com/2014/02/04/prospect-watch-mike-wright/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/02/04/prospect-watch-mike-wright/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 12:00:03 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14500 Mike Wright is often over-looked in a system with pitching prospects such as Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey. However, he could help the Orioles in 2014.

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Throughout the season, Orioles Nation will highlight prospects as we see them play or are given reports by Scouts and people within the baseball industry. Our staff will have eyes on the Orioles’ prospects at all times, and you can find the latest updates for them in the Prospect Watch.

Mike Wright – RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2011 21 Orioles GULF Rk BAL 0 0 0.00 1 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.0 0.0 0.0 9.0
2011 21 Aberdeen NYPL A- BAL 2 1 3.77 7 7 31.0 29 15 13 3 6 29 1 1.129 8.4 0.9 1.7 8.4 4.83
2011 21 Delmarva SALL A BAL 1 1 10.54 4 1 13.2 21 16 16 3 4 12 2 1.829 13.8 2.0 2.6 7.9 3.00
2012 22 Frederick CARL A+ BAL 5 2 2.91 8 8 46.1 47 16 15 3 5 35 1 1.122 9.1 0.6 1.0 6.8 7.00
2012 22 Bowie EL AA BAL 5 3 4.91 12 12 62.1 71 38 34 7 17 45 3 1.412 10.3 1.0 2.5 6.5 2.65
2013 23 Bowie EL AA BAL 11 3 3.26 26 26 143.2 152 65 52 9 39 136 10 1.329 9.5 0.6 2.4 8.5 3.49
2013 23 Norfolk IL AAA BAL 0 0 0.00 1 1 6.2 6 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.900 8.1 0.0 0.0 2.7
3 Seasons 24 10 3.84 59 55 304.2 326 150 130 25 71 260 17 1.303 9.6 0.7 2.1 7.7 3.66

The Orioles have a strong group of young pitchers coming through the minors right now. This group, led by Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, is clearly the strongest aspect of the Orioles’ farm system. However, Mike Wright seems to constantly be overlooked. The 24 year old righty put together a solid season at AA Bowie in 2013 and logged 150.1 innings total in the minors. Wright has a perfect pitcher frame at 6’6″, 215 lbs. He is a durable workhorse that could potentially make a MLB rotation as an innings-eater. I have seen Wright more than any other pitcher in the past two years, and he has certainly improved in many aspects of the game.

To start, Wright has cleaned up the mechanics. He has always shown a relatively “safe” delivery in terms of his arm and shoulders. But he has improved on the load and extension after the delivery, which has allowed for him to keep some of that extra velocity in the fastball for the entire game. Like I said, Wright has a perfect frame for an innings-eater pitcher, and the mechanics began to match the frame in 2013.

He throws four pitches, although he really works primarily with three. His fastball is the bread-and-butter pitch, coming in around 91-94 mph. I often see it described as having a sinker mentality, but it really just comes off on a good plane from his delivery. The fastball technically still has sink, so maybe that is just a little semantics. Wright also displays a loopy curve that he will throw every once in a while as a change-of-pace type. His slider is hard and dips downward with good tilt. It gets a lot of swings-and-misses, but he will lose command of it at times. The final pitch is the changeup, which can be solid-average, yet inconsistent. Below is an example of the inconsistency of the pitch and a general example of why Mike Wright falls into trouble at times.

As you can see, the change rides up in the zone and is nearly whacked for a home run (it was foul, but about 320 ft). This is generally the problem with Wright, as he will sometimes lose command of the secondary pitches, which are solid-average at best. This is also why he gave up 158 hits in 150.1 innings last year. When he loses command of the secondary arsenal, it forces him to rely more on his fastball. While the fastball is solid-average to potentially plus, it does not have enough firepower to get him through a start alone. I have noticed that teams will tee off on the fastball once they recognize his secondary stuff is lacking.

I will give Wright credit. He has a terrific mentality on the mound and is an attacker out there. Even when he lacks command on a specific night, I am constantly impressed with the effort given. Makeup is often overlooked in the minors, but Mike Wright does not lack it.

In 2014, I expect Wright to help the Orioles at some point. I think with the improvements displayed at the end of 2013, and with some further development on the secondary arsenal, Wright will be a potential rotation arm in 2015. For 2014, do not be surprised to see Wright play some role on the club, whether it be as a spot-starter or a reliever come August and September.

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Why We Should Be Excited for Spring Training 2015 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/01/30/excited-spring-training-2015/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/01/30/excited-spring-training-2015/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:00:58 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14483 Will looks ahead a year on the potential impact of the next wave of young pitching.

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While the Baltimore Orioles haven’t had a particularly active off-season, there is still plenty to be excited about for the 2014 club. However, many of the Orioles’ young pitching prospects are about a year away from big-league-ready. Let’s take a look at the current statuses of this new wave, and perhaps more importantly, the future of the Orioles young pitching:

Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Bud Norris:

The current front four rotation guys for the 2014 Orioles’ consists of guys who, at this point, have relatively unclear futures with Baltimore. While Tillman established himself in 2013 and is poised to lead the rotation for the next few years, guys like Chen,Norris and Gonzalez are pitchers with various flaws that could suggest a future in the bullpen. For Chen, working deep into games; for Norris it is getting out lefties; and for Gonzalez it is a question of durability. However, even with those flaws, all three should be able to hover around major league average in 2014 if they can stay healthy. In the future, the current rotation members will likely find their spots challenged by spring training 2015.

Enter the young guys:

For more information on a player, click on their name for a player profile that includes a scouting report, statistics, pictures, video, news, awards, and more!

Kevin Gausman:

Opinions on when Kevin Gausman will be ready to consistently contribute at the major league level tend to be varied: some see Gausman as ready to step up as a front-of-the-rotation starter in 2014, some see Gausman as a work in

Kevin Gausman

Kevin Gausman

progress who needs more work on his slider before he’s ready to consistently contribute. Either way, he should be fully ready to give the Orioles quality innings at the top of the rotation by 2015 (most likely 2014). That, in itself, should merit optimism. However, if Gausman takes that big step forward this year as young elite right-handed pitching prospects on Baseball Prospectus’s 2013 top prospect list did (Shelby Miller (16), Chris Archer (29), Julio Teheran (52)), the Orioles postseason hopes would be boosted considerably. Either way, Kevin Gausman looks like a future stud at the top of the Orioles’ rotation.

Dylan Bundy:

Certainly nothing is guaranteed with a young pitcher coming back from Tommy John surgery, but Bundy is as safe a bet as any in making a full recovery due to his youth and impressive work ethic. If Bundy returns to the mound in late June at a low level affiliate and progresses to effectiveness at anywhere between AA Bowie and the MLB level, that should be seen as a definite victory for the Orioles. Maybe Bundy can provide the Orioles with a late-season boost, either in the rotation or out of the ‘pen. Even late season experience in the minors would set Bundy up as a front-runner for the 2015 rotation.

Eduardo Rodriguez:

Eduardo Rodriguez was one of the youngest starting pitchers in the Eastern League in 2013.

Eduardo Rodriguez

Since 2010, Rodriguez has been developing in the Orioles’ farm system, moving up a level each year as he has gained more velocity and sharper command. Now, Rodriguez looks about a year away from truly competing for an Orioles’ rotation spot; a split year between AA and AAA seems to be in the cards for Rodriguez in 2014 with the potential for a September call-up if the Orioles’ think he is ready to contribute. Either way, a year from now, Rodriguez will hopefully join Bundy and Gausman as a very serious rotation candidate with #3, or perhaps even #2 starter upside.

Mike Wright:

While Wright has, for the most part, been outshined by his fellow Oriole pitching prospects. . There is a lot to like about this big righty, who sports at least two above average pitches and mid-to-back-of-the-rotation potential. Wright could be one of the first guys to be called up should injury or ineffectiveness strike the Orioles’ 2014 rotation (or potentially bullpen). Wright does not have much left to prove at AA, and should he demonstrate the same level of success at AAA, there is a good chance he could contribute at the end of 2014 and compete for a rotation spot in 2015.

Tim Berry:

Tim Berry

Tim Berry

Berry put an exclamation point on a very solid 2013 in A+ Frederick with a successful season in the AFL – success that has earned him the Orioles’ #7 prospect rank (Baseball Prospectus), a feat made even more impressive considering Berry was a 50th round draft pick back in 2009. Berry, like Wright, is a guy with solid back of the rotation potential. While Berry currently has just an average fastball, it flashes good movement, Berry’s changeup and curveball have the potential to be solid-average pitches that could play well at the big league level. Should Berry have a solid 2014 at AA Bowie, don’t be surprised if he is in the mix for a spot with the O’s in 2015.

Zach Davies:

Davies is a command first guy who scouts compare to the Cincinnati Reds’ Mike Leake. Like Berry, Davies compensates for a fastball that does not show great velocity with very good off-speed stuff that could enable Davies to compete as a starter in the MLB. Davies will likely join Rodriguez and Berry at AA in the Bowie Baysox 2014 rotation. However, like Berry, Davies could be ready to compete for an MLB job as soon as spring of 2015. Orioles Nation interviewed Davies earlier this off-season.

Additionally, none of this even considers a potential Orioles’ signing of Bronson Arroyo/Ubaldo Jimenez/Ervin Santana, nor guys like T.J. McFarland, Zach Britton or Steve Johnson. Without even including these guys, the Orioles’ could have enviable pitching depth this year. Young, strong pitching depth wins championships, just ask the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. Of course, it is always important to remember how volatile prospects can be.

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2014 Orioles Best Tools List http://orioles-nation.com/2014/01/06/2014-orioles-best-tools-list/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/01/06/2014-orioles-best-tools-list/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:00:27 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14425 A look at the best tools within the Orioles' farm system.

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2013 was another interesting year, with a lot of exciting things happening down on the farm. In case you missed it, the Aberdeen Ironbirds finally made the playoffs. The Norfolk Tides decided that they wanted to challenge the 2012 roster for “most players used”.  Bowie and Frederick had some terrific pitching. We had a knuckleball fad, which may still be a thing (A good thing at that! Please re-sign Eddie Gamboa). I was even able to witness the debut of Hunter Harvey, and it was one of the more enjoyable nights I have experienced at a baseball game.

Now, it is time to put the 2013 season behind us and prepare for 2014. Below is my grading scale of the Orioles’ minor league system as of the final game in 2013. Some of the information can be accredited to scouts, while some of it is from my own eyes. I tried to blend both together as much as possible. This list is going to change a ton over the next few months. It is simply inevitable as players grow and train over the course of an off-season. It should also be noted that some of the recently drafted players have not been able to establish enough of a track record for any evaluation in the minors. With that, let us move onto the 2014 Orioles Best Tools List.

The Orioles do not have a deep farm system. They certainly have some talent, but there is a noticeable drop-off in tools and skill-level after the first wave of “top prospects”. However, I truly believe that with the right development, the Orioles do have a few gems that nobody is talking about. I have only heard good things about Brian Graham and his group, so that is a step in the right direction. There is a long ways to go before the Orioles’ farm system is truly improved, but they have to start somewhere.

The 20-80 scouting scale was used to help evaluate and list the players’ tools. If you are not familiar with the grading system, here is a summary of the scale:

20: Very Poor

30: Well-Below Average

40: Below Average

45Fringe-Average

50: Average

55Solid-Average

60Plus

70Plus-Plus

80: Top-Tier

Pitching

Fastball Kevin Gausman 70/75 Plus fastball that sits 96-98 mph and can touch 100mph. Explosive velocity, sharp downward plane, plus movement on both 2S and 4S.
Dylan Bundy 70/70 One of the easier fastballs you will see. Explosive, yet smooth. Able to routinely locate it and is commanded plus around 93-96 mph.
Hunter Harvey 50/65 93-96 mph with late movement. In 2013, fell to 91-94 mph after first two innings. Needs to work on control and stamina to improve this pitch.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Jacob Bray, Parker Bridwell, Oliver Drake

Changeup Kevin Gausman 65/70 Solid circle change with late hand side action and depth away. Already a plus pitch with some room to become a true plus-plus pitch.
Dylan Bundy 60/65 Plus fade and works extremely well off his fastball. “pulls the string” and provides a ton of deception.
Zach Davies 55/60 Solid-average fade against righties, plus fade against lefties. Mixes well with fastball, spots well. Seems to have confidence to throw change on any count. Problem comes from his fastball not having much difference in velocity.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Tim Berry, Eduardo Rodriguez

Curveball Hunter Harvey 60/70  79-82 mph with tilt, sharp bite, and good depth. Potential to be a plus-plus pitch, ability to snap into the dirt and still fool batters. Telegraphs the pitch at times, noticeable in his release and the distance he strides on his delivery. Even so, hitters still have trouble making solid contact on it.
Dylan Bundy 50/60 Crisp 12-6 offering that has a tight rotation. Lacks command at times, and will leave up in the zone.
Alexander Santana 50/60  11-5 spin and good, sharp tilt. Tight spin and commanded well. Occasionally will leave up in zone but was able to get away with it at Aberdeen.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Tim Berry, Daniel Ayers, Jason Gurka, Branden Kline, Parker Bridwell

Slider Eduardo Rodriguez 50/60 Sharp, biting slider that sits 82-86 mph. Dips hard, has potential for some refinement. Not always a strikeout pitch, but able to get hitters to roll over on it more often than not.
Mike Wright 50/60 Hard, dipping slider with solid tilt. Sits primarily mid-80′s and can miss bats at times.
Kevin Gausman 45/60 Inconsistent at this point, but sharp break and plus bite is evident and a little refinement will go a long way to make this a plus pitch.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Stephen Tarpley, Lex Rutledge, Michael BelfioreJacob Bray, Oliver Drake

Command Zach Davies 60/65 Ability to consistently mix and match his arsenal. Ability to throw all four pitches in the zone at all times. High pitchability.
Tyler Wilson 50/60 Plus fastball command, change has good deception which plays up the command. Power curve lags behind both and he will have trouble locating it at times.
Mitch Horacek 50/60 Stuff is not great, so Horacek makes up for it with the ability to locate in the zone. Had practically all of the NYPL chasing his pitches.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Kevin Gausman, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Brault, Dylan Bundy

Control Dylan Bundy 60/65 Ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes at any given time. Comes from a clean and easy delivery that he is able to consistently repeat.
Zach Davies 50/60 Davies has consistently mentioned that he feels comfortable throwing all four pitches for strikes at any given time. I can attest to this from watching him in 2013.
Mitch Horacek 45/55 Ability to throw his three-pitch arsenal for strikes and keep hitters on their toes.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Ashur Tolliver, Trent Howard, Mark Blackmar

Hitting:

Contact Chance Sisco 45/60 Solid-average bat speed, quick hands, good extension. Tore up competition in GCL from all reports, Delmarva will be first true test.
Christian Walker 50/60 Sweet swing, good bat path through the zone. Good extension.
Adrian Marin 50/55 Short, compact swing with a small load. Not much extension but ability to put barrel on the ball. Average bat speed.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Josh HartJohnny RuettigerMike Yastrzemski

Eye/ Plate Discipline Michael Ohlman 50/55 Solid-average plate discipline along with an improving approach. Scouts have noted that the decision making at the plate has improved over the past two years.
Johnny Ruettiger 50/55 Advanced approach, good plate awareness, cognizant of the count and game scenario.
Christian Walker 50/55 Solid “college eye”. Adept at laying off junk in the dirt, although will occasionally chase a fastball at the eyes.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Wynston Sawyer, Torsten Boss, Trey Mancini

Power Jonathan Schoop 50/60 Lightning quick bat-speed + quick twitch hands allows for plus force in his swing. Powerful thrust, excellent pop off the bat. Swing has a mild tilt to it, allowing for him to drive the ball. Will only grow stronger as he continues to grow into his frame.
Hector Veloz 45/70 Solid-average raw power with potential for plus to plus-plus power. Could be one of the strongest players below Double-A. Thick frame, thick bottom half provides a terrific foundation to generate force in his swing-torque. Also has solid-average bat speed. He has hit the scoreboard in center field at Ripken Stadium (during a game) Could benefit from improved conditioning. Questions whether his poor contact and discipline will ever truly allow him to put his power to use.
Conor Bierfeldt 50/60 Solid-average raw power is most likely, with above-average being a possibility. Displays a solid gap-to-gap stroke to go along with a slight uppercut swing and average bat speed. Frame is indicative for a corner OF.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Aaron Baker, Randolph Gassaway, Caleb Joseph, Trey Mancini, Michael Ohlman

Defense:

Defensive Catcher Brian Ward 70 Plus arm and tremendous blocking skills. Pop time consistently 1.79 – 1.82, with best recorded at 1.71. Calls a strong game and has plus footwork.
Austin Wynns 60 Calls a good game, displayed strong footwork behind the plate, above average blocking skills, solid-average arm.
Tanner Murphy 55 Above-average arm strength, strong receiver that has solid footwork. Coming back from a UCL tear, so remains to be seen how his skills were affected.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Brett Frantini

Defensive Infielder Adrian Marin 55 Good defender with arm strength, soft hands and moderate range. Still refining footwork but has the ability to stick at shortstop or become a plus defender at second base.
Jonathan Schoop 50 Size and frame are concerns for the future, but average to solid-average across the board right now in terms of hands, range and footwork. Arm is plus. Versatility (2B, 3B, SS) is added plus.
Federico Castagnini 50 Sound defensively. Good, soft hands and glove. Moved off Shortstop already. Plays a solid defense at third base, but profiles better at second base. Solid utility option that can play anywhere in a pinch.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Jeff Kemp, Torsten Boss

Defensive Outfielder Josh Hart 65 Plus defensive ability. Plus speed, agility. Makes terrific reads and displays excellent instincts on tracking fly balls. Average arm.
Gregory Lorenzo 60 Above-average arm strength, plus speed, quick bursts. Average reads, but able to adjust due to athleticism.
Glynn Davis 60 Plus to plus-plus speed. Defense is above-average, but needs to take better routes and rely less on speed and athleticism in the outfield.

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Anthony Vega, Brenden WebbMike Yastrzemski

 Athleticism:

Athlete Josh Hart 65
Glynn Davis 65
Gregory Lorenzo 60

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Mike Yastrzemski, Anthony Vega, Adrian Marin

Baserunner Glynn Davis 60
Gregory Lorenzo 60
Josh Hart 50

Honorable Mention/On the Rise: Johnny Ruettiger, Adrian Marin, Mike Yastrzemski

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Where were the Orioles in the Doug Fister ‘Sweepstakes’? http://orioles-nation.com/2013/12/09/orioles-doug-fister-sweepstakes/ http://orioles-nation.com/2013/12/09/orioles-doug-fister-sweepstakes/#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:00:26 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14343 Could the O's have put together a package to land Detroit's Doug Fister? Do they have any other trade options that are similar? Will dives into the minors and tries to piece together a logical trade.

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The fallout of the Doug Fister trade has largely been a slew of media pundits from various sports networks blasting the Detroit Tigers for an apparently lopsided deal that brought Detroit a young lefty specialist, an average utility man, and a back-of-the-rotation pitching prospect. In return, the Washington Nationals received a very good pitcher with strong results in the American League. Not to necessarily throw my hat in the ring with these guys, but the return for Fister – a top 10 WAR pitcher in the American league over the last couple years – was indeed quite underwhelming.  This brings forth the question of what kind of package the Orioles could put together for a similar pitcher.

Let us begin by building a package using the Washington National’s model in the Fister trade. Below is the Orioles’ (closest) version of the players the Nationals surrendered.

Doug Fister for Ian Krol, Steve Lombardozzi, Robbie Ray

Doug Fister for Brian Matusz, Jonathan Schoop, Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

The Orioles would likely have to surrender a prospect like Eduardo Rodriguez for a significant upgrade in their rotation via trade

Krol and Matusz are both young left-handed relievers whose splits peg them as specialists, but whose talent suggests the potential for more value. While Krol is a bit younger, throws a bit harder and is much cheaper, Matusz is a former fourth overall pick who has had success in the past as a starter and was projected as an top-line starter not too long ago. While their value appears similar, I would give Matusz the slight edge as his ceiling is probably higher (note that Matusz is also due to make more money in 2014).

Lombardozzi and Schoop are both versatile infielders who offer different kinds of value. Lombardozzi is a much more polished player with 691 more major league at-bats than Schoop. However, Lombardozzi will likely never be more than a useful utility player while Schoop has the potential to be an above-average 3B, SS, or 2B. At this point, Schoop’s dearth of potential makes him a more valuable trade chip than Lombardozzi.

When comparing Ray and Rodriguez, two young lefties at similar points in their careers, the picture painted by reading scouting reports generally leaves us with the idea that Ray has the potential to be a 3-5 starter, while Rodriguez has the potential to be a future 2-3. Ray is described as having average stuff across the board, with good pitchability, while Rodriguez’s stuff is pegged as above-average and getting better. Signs point mostly to Rodriguez getting the favor here, although the Tigers clearly liked what they saw in Ray.

While trying not to overvalue the Orioles players as a fan (or a GM) will often do, evaluating the two veritable copies as far as players go leads one to the conclusion that the Orioles could probably have trumped the Nationals bid with a similar package. So now, just for fun, let’s consider whether this package would be enough to acquire an experienced starter who could be on the move this offseason, and would offer considerable appeal to the Orioles.

However, first it should be explained why the Orioles would trade the three aforementioned players. Matusz is the easiest to explain, as he offers appeal to other teams who still view him as a potential starter, and his projected salary does not look to match what the Orioles will want to pay him. Schoop is a prospect who really could solidify the right side of the Orioles infield one day, however, after a brief audition at the end of last season and through his mediocre play in the Arizona Fall League, it is clear that Schoop needs more minor-league seasoning and probably will not be truly ready to help next year’s contending Orioles team. Finally, Rodriguez is a very fine-looking prospect who the Orioles would not be quick to let go of. However, with the Orioles shoddy record in developing pitching, particularly when recalling the “real-deals” and “sure-things” from the past few years (cough Matusz cough Britton cough Arrieta) who simply haven’t panned out as expected, it would make sense to trade Rodriguez for an established pitcher. Odds are, even by way of optimistic projections, Rodriguez wouldn’t surpass Fister in production. Of course, Rodriguez would be a cost-controlled asset.

Without further ado…

Cincinnati Reds trade Homer Bailey

Orioles trade Brian Matusz, Jonathan Schoop, Eduardo Rodriguez

This is an interesting trade to consider, as it is no secret that the Reds are open to trading Bailey. They possibly could move Bailey in order to enable them to re-sign Shin-Soo Choo , and allow Aroldis Chapman to slide into the Homer Baileyrotation. The Reds are trying to clear some payroll and maximize on Bailey’s value with him being a free agent in 2015, and with the Orioles having just cleared payroll of their own (shifting it to the penny-pinching A’s??), they could fit Bailey’s projected 9 million dollar contract into their budget. Perhaps they could even extend him to maximize their investment. Schoop could be an intriguing piece if the Reds are really looking to move Brandon Phillips and no team is going to balk at acquiring a top lefty pitching prospect. However, the Reds have no need for Matusz due to the presence of the more dominant Sean Marshall (plus taking his projected 3.5 million dollar salary would just be backtracking).

Would the reds accept?: Probably not.

So who could replace Matusz? We could dig deeper in the Orioles minor league system, but the Reds are a contending team who might be looking for more big-league-ready talent. Forget Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, or even Mike Wright since the Orioles would not want to let go of more strong pitching prospects who could become major contributors to the 2015 Orioles. There is no clear-cut player who would make sense as the third Oriole in the deal but perhaps they could offer the Reds Henry Urrutia, Bud Norris, or Nolan Reimold. I don’t think the Orioles would part with Norris after giving up talent to get him from the Astros, I doubt the Reds would want Urrutia because of his shaky, though admittedly improving, defense in the DH-less National League. Reimold could be a fit if the Reds see the same potential in him that the Orioles have (his power is undeniable).

In conclusion, the Orioles should have tried to work out a deal for Doug Fister, perhaps they ‘were not at the right place at the right time’, however it’s Duquette’s job to be. Additionally, in order to make the Orioles a viable contender in 2014, they MUST shore up their rotation, and acquiring Homer Bailey would do just that. Thus, the Orioles should gauge the Reds interest in Schoop and Rodriguez, and see if they could somehow sweeten the deal. With the New York Yankees shelling out dough like it’s the 2000′s, the Boston Red Sox fresh off a World Series victory, the Tampa Bay Rays making smart investments per usual, and the Toronto Blue Jays desperate to make a splash, the Orioles need to get aggressive – or spend bigger, to float to the top of the division.

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