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  1. #1
    wildcard is offline Plus Member since 11/03 Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation
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    Time to Grow Up - No Excuses

    Either grow up or move aside. The adding of depth means there are options if players do not perform. This is still a young team which still has some developing to do but the leashes will be shorter this year.

    There is talent on the O's roster. Those that say that there is no one that is better then a fourth starter......well I can't agree. That is looking backward at young players records as they grew with ups and downs. That is not where this team is now or where it is headed. The conditioning to build stamina and confidence occurred for a reason. Now its time to perform.

    Starters

    Hunter looks awesome. Last year he looked like an out of shape, back on the rotation starter that was injury prone. The few chances I have had to see him this spring he looks strongly built and all business on the mound while fun loving when he is not pitching. He may be the leader on this staff.

    Arrieta is healthy and bringin' it. Can he control it? is the only question. As far as stuff, he's got it.

    Chen - DD has to be given a lot of credit for finding a middle of the rotation starter that the O's could afford. He looks strong and capable.

    Matusz looks stronger then last year. His fastball has been marginal. But mixed with his other pitches he is mostly effective. When he doesn't have all his pitches he battles to get through five. His confidence is not the swagger that he had a the end of 2010 IMO. He has learned what the dark side looks like and doesn't want to go back there.

    Hammel has surprised me so far this spring. Better fastball then I expected. Better results so far too. I expected a 4 or 5 slot pitcher. He looks better than that right now.

    Lots of talent in the starting 5. Young but experienced. Add Tillman, Wada and Britton (in June) for depth and these guys are going to push each other. I think they can see the corner. Now all they have to do in turn it.

    Position players

    Adam Jones is three months away from $50-60M and he knows it. If he has a good first half DD is likely to make him a rich(er) man. Now that is motivation. He is a middle on the order guy and he needs to hit lefties and stop swinging at the low and away ball.

    Wieters looks ready to move from defensive leader to middle of the order hitter. He continues to show power and seem to be focused on being a force in the lineup.
    These are two guys to build around.

    Hardy started last year as a maybe. Now he is a given. Health is his only question. He is offensively and defensively solid. Buck and Presley said do it your way and Hardy has not looked back.

    Markakis can hit and is a gold glover. Looks like he will be in the 2 or 3 hole. Not leadoff. I look for a high OBP and the power to build over the season. The injury is still something that may keep his power down but Nick is valuable for singles and doubles.

    There is the core. The rest of the players support them with various strengths while hopefully Buck avoids their weaknesses.

    Reynolds - Tons of power.... and RBIs. And tons of strikeouts and probably more errors then we would like. He is a presences in the lineup.

    Andino feels like a late bloomer. In his late twenties this is the first year he has a starting role in the majors on opening day. More then that this is the first year he doesn't have to fight to make the roster. Defensively he will do fine at 2B and as the SS backup. He hit lefties last year. He hit everyone this ST. He may grow into being the O's leadoff hitter during the year. But whether he does or not his strengths are something this team needs up the middle.

    Reimold - Jury is still out. He gets his chance in Leftfield and some DH. Maybe 20 HR, maybe not. Maybe good OBP, maybe not. Chavez is a better leftfielder. Johnson and Betemit will battle for at bats. The depth is a good thing.

    Davis - Has a lot to prove. He has power. OBP is a problem. Good history as a defensive 1B. But some errors this spring. Johnson and Betemit want playing time. Davis gets the first shot.

    DH and Bench are one of the best in years. Chavez, though a backup, is playing well enough to start and leadoff. He will get some playing time. Nick Johnson seem healthy but never stays that way long. Good defensive first baseman with a high OBP but little power. Betemit probably DHs and plays some first. Has a decent bat. Buck needs to keep him out of the defensive skill positions as much as possible. Flaherty is a rookie and his offensive numbers are slipping as the the pitching gets better. He plays everywhere but probably needs to keep the exposure to a minimum. Paulino and Teagarden both look to be decent backup catchers.

    The pen is scarying me.

    Jim Johnson does not look like Jim Johnson. He is very important to the team.

    Ayala has performed well this spring. I wish his history was better.

    Gregg avoids bats and sometimes the strike zone. He makes me crazy. He is the backup closer if Johnson goes on the DL. That is not good.

    Patton just keeps putting up zeros. But gets little praise it seems. I like him.

    Lindstrom should be fine in middle relief. I don't get the feeling he would be good in late relief.

    Strop - When he is on, he is lights out. Control has been his problem in the past. Looks like he has made the club.

    O'Day, Phillips, Tillman and/or Wada are on the 40 man and depth for the pitching staff, which is a good thing. They all have talent.

    All in all a deeper team then the O's have had in many years. And though many will not give them credit YET, some have very high ceilings and may take a big jump this year.

    I am look forward to a season where they fulfill their potential.
    Last edited by wildcard; 04-01-2012 at 02:50 PM.


  2. #2
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    Excellent post. A lot of common sense here. Thank you.

  3. #3
    olehippi's Avatar
    olehippi is offline Plus Member since 03/04 All-Star Reputation
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    I think Wildcard has summed things up quite nicely. This does appear to be a stronger Orioles team than last year. How much stronger is yet to be seen, but you have to expect growth from some of the young players. But, the many years of losing has sapped much of my enthusiasm, and as the start of the season approaches, I'm more curious than I am excited to see how things play out.

  4. #4
    This team has been so awful for so long that any hope/expectations would just be a setup for more disappointment. My expectations are zero. I plan to just watch them and enjoy the fact that Im watching baseball.

    Anything that goes well this year, or guys performing really well will just be a bonus. Dont get me wrong, I Hope for the best . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Experience with this organization has hardened me, and I expect nothing!

  5. #5
    OFFNY's Avatar
    OFFNY is offline Plus Member since 3/11 Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcard View Post
    Either grow up or move aside. The adding of depth means there are options if players do not perform. This is still a young team which still has some developing to do but the leashes will be shorter this year.
    Tough love being dished out by Wildcard.

  6. #6
    wildcard is offline Plus Member since 11/03 Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFFNY View Post
    Tough love being dished out by Wildcard.
    I am not a big fan of "I gave up six runs but I felt fine." Not even in an exhibition game. Cal didn't even like to lose at checkers.

    How about "I didn't pitch well today and that is unacceptable but I felt ok." I'd just like to hear that these guys get it. Losing is not acceptable any more.

  7. #7
    Ven6's Avatar
    Ven6 is offline Plus Member Since 01/09 Major Leagues Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcard View Post
    I am not a big fan of "I gave up six runs but I felt fine." Not even in an exhibition game. Cal didn't even like to lose at checkers.

    How about "I didn't pitch well today and that is unacceptable but I felt ok." I'd just like to hear that these guys get it. Losing is not acceptable any more.
    You are 100% right. We have heard this sort of statement countless times.

    You let up 6 runs in 5 innings, you need to beat yourself up a bit. Competitors need to compete.

  8. #8
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    Used to Losing

    Ven6 hit the nail on the head when he says he does not like the way these Orioles take defeat. 6 ties this Spring says it all. No starter has thrown more than 89 pitches and they are all pleased as punch with themselves. Jake "liked" the way he threw today giving up 6 runs in 5 innings.
    What is worse is Buck seems to be satisfied with making excuses for everyone mediocre performances. To compete in the AL East, this team must play way above mediocre. They must expect to give 110% and I just don't see anyone on this team that knows what that means.

  9. #9
    El Gordo's Avatar
    El Gordo is offline Plus member since 6/06 Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation
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    I think there are a lot of people in this thread who don't understand the purpose of ST. Or why the numbers are meaningless.

  10. #10
    RavNMadMan's Avatar
    RavNMadMan is offline Plus Member since 8/11 All-Star Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Great post Wildcard.....

  11. #11
    RavNMadMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post
    I think there are a lot of people in this thread who don't understand the purpose of ST. Or why the numbers are meaningless.
    The numbers are meaningless but the results aren't.

  12. #12
    OFFNY's Avatar
    OFFNY is offline Plus Member since 3/11 Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by srobby08 View Post
    Ven6 hit the nail on the head when he says he does not like the way these Orioles take defeat. 6 ties this Spring says it all. No starter has thrown more than 89 pitches and they are all pleased as punch with themselves. Jake "liked" the way he threw today giving up 6 runs in 5 innings.
    What is worse is Buck seems to be satisfied with making excuses for everyone mediocre performances. To compete in the AL East, this team must play way above mediocre. They must expect to give 110% and I just don't see anyone on this team that knows what that means.
    Sorry, but 6 ties in spring training doesn't say anything at all. A pitcher getting badly roughed up in several consecutive outings in ST might be telling ...... a player striking out 7 or 8 times in 14 at-bats in ST is alarming. But 6 ties in spring training says it all ??? No.

  13. #13
    sangar's Avatar
    sangar is offline Plus Member Since 7/08 All-Star Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by RavNMadMan View Post
    The numbers are meaningless but the results aren't.
    Spring training numbers have less meaning but they are not meaningless.

  14. #14
    Icterus galbula's Avatar
    Icterus galbula is offline Plus Member since 12/06 All-Star Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFFNY View Post
    Sorry, but 6 ties in spring training doesn't say anything at all. A pitcher getting badly roughed up in several consecutive outings in ST might be telling ...... a player striking out 7 or 8 times in 14 at-bats in ST is alarming. But 6 ties in spring training says it all ??? No.
    Yeah, that's a pretty ridiculous line about ties. All 6 ties says is ST games have very little meaning.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post
    I think there are a lot of people in this thread who don't understand the purpose of ST. Or why the numbers are meaningless.
    Why don't you enlighten people such as myself, who has been an Orioles fan since 1980 and has attended spring training back to the days in Miami and workouts on the "little field"?

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