The Baltimore Orioles re-sign Mark Hendrickson

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 28 January 2010 at 9:20 am

The Orioles have re-signed 35-year old lefty starter/reliever Mark Hendrickson to a 1-year, $1.2 million dollar deal with a option for the 2011 season also worth $1.2 million bucks. Hendrickson pitched in 53 games (11 starts) for the Orioles last season and he was 6-5 with 1 save, a 4.37 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. The Orioles signed him with the idea of pitching him out of the pen where he was pretty effective in 2009. He only allowed 8 of 36 inherited runners to score (22%) which is pretty darn good. He also had a 3.44 ERA with a reliever and hitters only had a .708 OPS against Hendrickson when he was pitching out of the pen. Hendrickson has pitched in 268 games (165 starts) in his major league career now and he is 56-68 with 1 save, a 5.00 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. I like this signing for the Orioles.

Dennis Sarfate had been DFA’d by the Baltimore Orioles

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Wednesday 27 January 2010 at 4:25 pm

The Orioles have designated 28-year old righty reliever Dennis Sarfate for assignment to make room on the roster for Miguel Tejada. Sarfate pitched in 20 games (0 starts) for the Orioles last season and he was 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. He pitched two years for the Orioles appearing in 77 games (4 starts) in which he was 4-4 with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Sarfate has good stuff as he only allowed 83 hits in 102 2/3 innings for the Orioles while whiffing 106 batters. But, he didn’t throw enough strikes as he walked 76 batters the last two years and that is way too many. The Orioles will likely find a trade partner for Sarfate because of his stuff.

UPDATE: Sarfate has accepted a outright assignment to the minors by the Orioles and he will be in spring training trying to win a job in the pen with them.

Mike Boddicker was on top of the world for a couple of years for the Baltimore Orioles

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Tuesday 26 January 2010 at 10:53 am

In 1983 and 1984 righty starting pitcher Mike Boddicker was not only the ace of the Baltimore Orioles but he was one of the best pitchers in the major leagues period. In those two years Boddicker pitched in 61 games (60 starts) and he was 36-19 with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He never really matched that success in the rest of him time in Baltimore. He pitched 9 years for the Orioles appearing in 190 games (180 starts) in which he was 79-73 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

The Baltimore Orioles have a crowd at 1B

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 24 January 2010 at 1:30 pm

Not too long ago the Orioles had a big question mark at 1B but now they boast pretty good depth there. 30-year old righty swinging Garrett Atkins will start at first base for the Orioles. He played in 126 games for the Rockies last season and he was 80 for 354 (.226 avg, .650 OPS) with 37 runs scored, 9 homers and 48 RBIs. The Orioles hope that last year was just a down one for Atkins. They are hoping they get the version of Atkins that hit .301 with a average of 87 runs scored, 36.5 doubles, 22 homers and 104.8 RBIs from the 2005 to 2008 season with the Rockies. Atkins made 1 error in 28 games (11 starts) at first base for the Orioles. They think he will be a decent 1B defensively.

If Atkins isn’t up to the task of being the everyday 1B in 2010 Ty Wigginton will be waiting to replace him on the pine. He played in 122 games for the Orioles last season and he was 112 for 410 (.273 avg, .714 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 11 homers and 41 RBIs. Wigginton made 4 errors in 40 games (38 starts) at 1B for the Orioles last season so he has to improve defensively to keep getting playing time there. Wigginton’s best asset is that he can play a lot of positions so even if he doesn’t have a set position he will still get some playing time.

27-year old lefty swinging Michael Aubrey was a nice find for the O’s last season. He played in 31 games for the Orioles last season and he was 26 for 90 (.289 avg, .826 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 4 homers and 14 RBIs. Aubrey is also pretty slick with the glove as he didn’t make any errors in 25 games (21 starts) at 1B for the Orioles last season. He was once a very highly thought of prospect in the Indians’ organization so maybe the change of scenery has given him the needed jolt to get his career back on track.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 1B IN 2010: C

The Baltimore Orioles bring back Miguel Tejada

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 23 January 2010 at 12:34 pm

The Orioles have signed 35-year old righty swinging Miguel Tejada to a 1-year deal to man 3B in 2010. He played in 158 games for the Astros last season and he was 199 for 635 (.313 avg, .795 OPS) with 83 runs scored, 14 homers, 86 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. He has now played in 1,871 games in his major league career and he is 2,114 of 7,320 (.289 avg, .810 OPS) with 1,116 runs scored, 285 homers, 1,185 RBIs and 78 stolen bases. It will be interesting to see how well Tejada handles 3B but I think he will do a good job defensively there. The Orioles just traded him two years ago and they got five players from the Astros for him. During those two years with the Astros, Tejada played in 316 games in which he was 378 for 1,267 (.298 avg, .762 OPS) with 175 runs scored, 27 homers, 152 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. The five players the Orioles got back from the Astros was led by current DH Luke Scott who has played in 276 games for the Orioles the last two years in which he was 238 for 924 (.258 avg, .817 OPS) with 175 runs scored, 27 homers, 152 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Righty reliever Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate also came over in this deal. Albers has pitched in 84 games (3 starts) for the Orioles and he is 6-9 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP while Sarfate has pitched in 77 games (4 starts) for the Orioles and he is 4-4 with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Lefty starting pitcher Troy Patton was one of the big keys to the trade for the Orioles but he hasn’t pitched for them yet. He missed all of the 2008 season recovering from surgery but he bounced back in the minors last year. He pitched in 20 games (all starts) last season in AA+AAA ball and he was 7-5 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. 3B Mike Costanzo was the final played the O’s got from the Astros and he is beginning to look like a non-prospect. He has played in 211 games in AA+AAA ball the last two years and he is 181 for 755 (.240 avg) with 89 runs scored, 14 homers and 100 RBIs. This trade was a huge win for the Orioles who just rented Tejada to the Astros for a couple of years. Now the Orioles hope that Tejada has a big year for them in 2010. He has played in 619 games in his career with the O’s and he is 768 for 2,469 (.311 avg, .862 OPS) with 367 runs scored, 102 homers, 429 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. The signing of Tejada will allow the Orioles to play Garrett Atkins at 1B which is where they wanted him.

The Baltimore Orioles sign Jeff Salazar

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Friday 15 January 2010 at 8:34 pm

The Orioles have signed 29-year old righty swinging outfielder Jeff Salazar to a minor league deal. Salazar played in 21 games for the Pirates last season and he was 1 for 23 (.043 avg, .197 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base. He has now played in 168 games in his major league career and he is 69 for 298 (.232 avg, .684 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 4 homers, 31 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. He will likely be stashed at AAA this season and get a call to Baltimore if the need arises.

The Baltimore Orioles sign Andy Gonzalez

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Friday 15 January 2010 at 8:31 pm

The Orioles have signed 28-year old righty swinging infielder Andy Gonzalez to a minor league deal. He played in 14 games for the Orioles last season and he was 1 for 12 (.083 avg, .333 OPS) with 1 run scored, He has now played in 91 games in his major league career and he is 41 for 225 (.182 avg, .539 OPS) with 21 runs scored, 3 homers and 13 RBIs. The Orioles will be in big trouble if Gonzalez is on the active roster at any time in 2010 as he is one of the very worst players in all of baseball right now.

Matt Wieters will lead the way behind the plate for the Baltimore Orioles in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 13 January 2010 at 6:32 pm

The future is now for 23-year old switch-hitting catcher Matt Wieters. Wieters played in 96 games for the Orioles last season and he was 102 for 354 (.288 avg, .752 OPS) with 35 runs scored, 9 homers and 43 RBIs. Look for Wieters to really step up for the Orioles in 2010 as he finished really strong for them last season. I’m thinking that a .300 average with 15-20 homers and 80-90 RBIs sounds about right to me for the 2010 season for Wieters. The Orioles hope that Wieters improves some behind the plate as he had 5 errors and 3 passed balls last season. He threw out 22% of the runners who attempted to steal against him and Orioles’ pitchers had a 5.03 ERA with him behind the plate. Part of the problem with Wieters behind the plate is his size as the Orioles rarely get low strikes because the umps have problems seeing them with Wieters catching.

34-year old righty swinging Chad Moeller will likely go into spring training as the #2 catcher for the Orioles but he will have to beat out Michel Hernandez and Craig Tatum for the job. Moeller played in 30 games for the Orioles last season and he was 23 for 89 (.258 avg, .751 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 2 homers and 10 RBIs. Moeller didn’t make any errors in 30 games behind the plate last season but he did have 3 passed balls so he’s far from perfect. He only threw out 4% of runners attempting to steal against him and Orioles’ pitchers had a 5.68 ERA throwing to him and that’s not good.

31-year old righty swinging Michel Hernandez will give Moeller a fight for the #2 catcher job this spring. He played in 35 games for the Rays last season and he was 24 of 99 (.242 avg, .615 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 1 homer, 12 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Hernandez made 2 errors and he had 1 passed ball in 35 games behind the plate for the Rays last season. Hernandez is good with pitchers who had a 4.43 ERA with him behind the plate and he threw out 24% of baserunners trying to steal against him last season.

26-year old righty swinger Craig Tatum is the best defensive catcher the Orioles will have in spring training but he is also by far the worst hitter of this bunch. Tatum played in 26 games for the Reds last season and he was 11 for 68 (.162 avg, .471 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 6 RBIs. Tatum made 1 error and he didn’t have any passed balls last season in 26 games behind the plate. He threw out 30% of the runners trying to steal on him and Reds’ pitchers had a 4.32 ERA when pitching to him and that is pretty impressive considering what was on that pitching staff.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2010 SEASON: B

Earl Weaver of the Baltimore Orioles is the grandfather of the platoon

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 9 January 2010 at 2:08 pm

Back in 1979 manager Earl Weaver was looking for a way to maximize production. He needed some pop out of left field and he was looking at righty swinging Gary Roenicke and lefty swinging John Lowenstein. He knew that neither player would be a star on his own but he decided to have them share LF with Roenicke starting against lefty pitchers and Lowenstein against righties. The result was that they combined to go 148 for 573 (.258) with 93 runs scored, 36 homers, 98 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. With that the platoon was born and it maxed out the abilities of both Roenicke and Lowenstein in their time with the Orioles. Roenicke played in 850 games in 8 years with the Orioles and he was 555 for 2,217 (.250 avg, .803 OPS) with 311 runs scored, 106 homers, 352 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. Lowenstein played in 645 games in 7 years with the Orioles and he was 414 of 1,510 (.274 avg, .824 OPS) with 245 runs scored, 68 homers, 237 RBIs and 40 stolen bases. So if you ever get sick of watching platoons you can blame Earl Weaver for it but it was a stroke of genius in 1979.

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