The Baltimore Orioles need Ramon Hernandez to bounce back in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 17 February 2008 at 1:07 pm

32-year old Ramon Hernandez is currently on the trading block but the Orioles would be smart to keep him. He missed a lot of last season due to injury and it affected his throwing as he only nailed 20% of the runners that tried to steal on him. Hernandez has a solid power bat as he knocked in 62 runs in only 106 games last season for the Orioles. Hernandez has hit a homer every 28.8 at bats over his major league career and he has knocked in a run every 6.5 at bats. That shows that he can be a very productive hitter when healthy. His backups are not nearly as skilled as he is. Guillermo Quiroz and Chris Heintz will battle for the backup job in Baltimore and neither of them is anything to get excited about. Quiroz has a career batting average of .220 (.545 OPS) and Chris Heintz has a career batting average of .232 (.535 OPS).

PROJECTED POSITION GRADE FOR 2008: With Hernandez B
Without Hernandez F

GM Andy McPhail’s first off season on the job was brutal for the Baltimore Orioles

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 12 February 2008 at 8:09 pm

With the Orioles in full firesale mode the new general manager acquires quantity for quality. The Orioles snagged 10 players in separate trades for shortstop Miguel Tejada and ace pitcher Erik Bedard. The selling is likely to continue during spring training as the Orioles would like to move Ramon Hernandez, Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff, Kevin Millar, Melvin Mora, Jay Payton and Jay Gibbons. I do have to give the Orioles kudos for getting five players for Miguel Tejada the day before the Mitchell Report came out. The Orioles have added some nice prospects for the future but it will be interesting to see how many of them breakout this season. Centerfielder Adam Jones was the key player in the Erik Bedard trade and he should be a impact player from Day #1 as he will finally get a starting job to show what he can really do. Lefty swinging Luke Scott was brought over in the Tejada trade and he should get a lot of PT in the outfield this season. Scott has the power to hit 20+ homers and knock in 80+ runs if he gets enough at bats. Lefty starter Troy Patton and righty starter Matt Albers were also brought over in the Tejada trade and they could both make the rotation. Patton was one of the Astros highest rated prospects and he has the potential to develop into a top starter but only time will tell. Veteran righties Steve Trachsel and Lance Cormier have been signed to compete for rotation jobs with three of them likely being available when spring training starts. Lefty reliever George Sherrill was brought over from the Mariners in the Bedard trade and he will compete with Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker for the closer’s job. He has better stuff than both of them. Greg Aquino and Dennis Sarfate will also get chances to pitch late in ballgames this season for the Orioles.

FRONT OFFICE OFF SEASON GRADE: D

The Baltimore Orioles sign Steve Trachsel

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Tuesday 12 February 2008 at 6:34 pm

The Orioles have signed 37-year old righty starter Steve Trachsel to a minor league contract. Trachsel pitched in 29 games (all starts) for the Orioles and Cubs last season and he was 7-11 with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Trachsel has now pitched in 410 games (409 starts) in his major league career and he is 141-154 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. This was a nice low risk move for the Orioles because they will likely be able to trade Trachsel again at the trade deadline again this season if he performs decent for them in the first half of 2008.



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The Baltimore Orioles trade Erik Bedard to the Mariners

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Friday 8 February 2008 at 5:04 pm

The Orioles have traded 28 year old lefty starter Erik Bedard to the Mariners for outfielder Adam Jones and pitchers George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Tony Butler and Kam Mickolio. Bedard was the ace of the Orioles last season as he started 28 games and he was 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Bedard also was among the league leaders in strikeouts with 221 in 182 innings. Bedard finishes up his Orioles career having worked in 114 games (111 starts) and he has compiled a 40-34 record with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

22-year old center fielder Adam Jones was the most important player the Orioles got in return for Bedard. He has been one of the most highly ranked prospects in all of baseball the last couple of seasons and he will be the starting centerfielder for the Orioles both now and in the future. He played in 41 games for the Mariners last season and he was 16 for 65 (.246 avg., .700 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 2 homers, 4 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Jones has now played in 73 games in his major league career and he is 32 for 139 (.230 avg, .620 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 3 homers, 12 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Jones has whiffed 43 times this season which has hurt him at times but it’s hard for a young player whose playing time is very sporadic. Look for him to be a force in the near future for the Orioles.

30 year old lefty reliever George Sherrill could be the Orioles stopper. He will compete with lefty Jamie Walker and righty Chad Bradford for the job. Sherrill pitched in 73 games last season for the Mariners and he was 2-0 with 3 saves, a 2.36 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Sherrill has now pitched in 195 games (0 starts) in his major league career and he is 10-8 with 4 saves, a 3.65 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Sherrill also has 138 whiffs in 128.1 innings which shows what kind of stuff he has.

23-year old righty reliever Kam Mickolio is a huge man at 6’9′, 256 pounds and he brings the heat. Mickolio pitched in 32 games (0 starts) last season in AA+AAA ball and he was 6-4 with 3 saves, a 2.68 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Mickolio also had 55 whiffs in 53.2 innings which shows his stuff. He will have a good chance to break spring training with the Orioles.

19-year old righty Chris Tillman started 28 games in A-Ball and he was 7-11 with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. He did whiff 139 batters in 135.2 innings which proves he has the stuff to succeed he just needs to learn the art of pitching a little better.

20 year old lefty Tony Butler pitched in 20 games (18 starts) in A-Ball last season and he was 4-7 with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. He has a huge upside.

In summation, this trade helps both teams. The Mariners get Bedard to head their starting rotation and the Orioles get a lot of prospects with nice upsides.



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Esteban Yan signs on with the Baltimore Orioles

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 2 February 2008 at 9:57 am

The Orioles have signed 32 year old righty reliever Estaban Yan to a minor league contract as he will try to again make the Orioles which is where his major league career started. Yan last pitched in the majors during the 2006 season with the Angels and Reds. Yan has now pitched in 472 games (23 starts) in his major league career and he is 33-39 with 51 saves, a 5.14 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. It’s sad but Yan will have a good chance of making the Orioles bullpen this spring.

Catcher Chris Heintz signs on with the Baltimore Orioles

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 2 February 2008 at 9:54 am

The Orioles have signed 33 year old righty swinging catcher Chris Heintz to battle for the backup job behind Ramon Hernandez. Heintz played in 24 games last season for the Twins and he was 14 for 56 (.250 avg, .538 OPS) with 7 RBIs. Heintz has now played in 34 games in his major league career and he is 19 for 82 (.232 avg, .535 OPS) with 1 run scored and 9 RBIs.

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