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  1. 21 points
    The back to back outings of Akin and Kremer, and emergence of Mountcastle the last two weeks and even the short outburst of Stewart just has me feeling like maybe this team has a future.
  2. 19 points
    The Hangout will always be a politics free area. The question now is whether the Hangout will continue. It is something I've discussed with Michael and will sleep on as I consider all of the reasons why I want to take the time and energy to continue to support a sport that wants to be political. I support people of every race, sex, religion and sexual orientation. I have tried to make a place where none of that mattes, but now we exist in world that demonizes those of us who just want to celebrate what brings us together. I have a son who is a police officer now and I have to decide whether I can support a sport that glorifies an organization that hates police officers. An organization that has members/supporters who have shot and killed police officers for no other reason that they were doing their job. I was going to make a decision but now have given pause. I will take some time to hear from trusted sources and then make the decision I can live with. At the end of the day, I have to look myself in the mirror and be able to like what I see and know I'm doing what's best. I am trying my hardest to take my political opinion out of this decision but when baseball is forcing this upon us, I have to decide whether I can come to some kind of decision that takes many peoples best interest in mind. I respect so many people on here, but in these times, as a leader of this community and site, I have to make the final decision. Do I continue to provide a politics free place where people can focus on baseball? Does that help? Or am I supporting a sport that hates my son and everything I stand for? Without getting more political, there is so much more to BLM than social justice, and the fact that major league baseball doesn't realize this has given me major pause. All my life I've been about being as fair as possible to everyone I've met. I've hired and led people of all races, religion and sexual orientations. I've prided myself that I've never treated anyone unfairly due to any of those reasons. Now baseball wants to shove politics down our throats. In the past baseball has helped integrate this country by rightfully integrated baseball with Jackie Robinson and although it was just the first of many things they needed to do to be truly inclusive, it was a huge step in this country. Like MLK, Jackie Robinson was a true hero who fought against true racism within this country. Their fights and struggles for equality make them absolute American heroes. We are all better off because of their struggles to help this country get past true racist policies. Now, we have people who have hijacked "social justice" for political causes and major league baseball has decide to support this and I'm struggling with this decision. I will always be the first person to support peaceful protesting but it's clear that these same forces have joined forces with groups like ANTIFA to bring their political ways to the fore front while using "social justice" as a mechanism to hide behind. MLB has now chosen a side. They have decided they will choose the anti-police, the anti law and order, and anti Capitalism side. As someone who has served under this flag in hostile countries, I can not idly stand by while MLB not only allows, but celebrates those who kneel during our national anthem, the song meant to bring us all together as Americans. Notice, I didn't put a color in front of that term. There should be no color to being an American. But we have forces in this country that hate that term and hate this country, and now MLB is celebrating this in the name of "social justice". I realize I have strayed into politics in this post. But I wanted you to know all of the things I'm struggling with as I decide the future of this site. I want you to know that any decision that I make will not be in anger or because it was emotional, but because I ultimately had to do what I feel is right. I will realize that no matter what I decide to do their will be a group of people who will not approve. I hope at least you will at least understand where I'm coming from and understand why I decided to make the decision. Regardless, thank you for all of you support over the years.
  3. 16 points
    No offense, I think you are way off base about what BLM represents. I will not go further except to say that it is not about hating police. Regardless I don't see folding the site as the answer. Hope you reconsider and we can move on.
  4. 10 points
    In response to an issue Sports Guy brought up in another thread today, I decided to have a look at all the international amateur free agent players who debuted in the majors in the 2013-19 period who rank in the top 20 in their overall debut class in rWAR. Of the 140 overall debut players (7 years x 20 players/year), 35 of them, or 25%, were signed as international amateur free agents. This does not include older players signed from the Asian professional leagues, but it does include the older Cuban “amateurs.” Looking at the 35, I break them down into several categories: The Sky-High Priced Cubans (4). These include Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu, Yuli Gurriel and Yoan Moncada. Each was signed for at least $30 mm, either via a major league contract (Puig, Abreu, Gurriel) or a signing bonus (Moncada). All of these players were older than the typical Dominican or Venezuelan amateur. The Million Dollar Club (8). This includes Vlad Guerrero Jr. ($3.9 mm), Gary Sanchez ($3 mm), Eloy Jimenez ($2.8 mm), Yordan Alvarez ($2 mm), Gleyber Torres ($1.7 mm), Rafael Devers ($1.5 mm), Juan Soto ($1.5 mm), and Carlos Martinez ($1.5 mm). The Upper Middle Class ($400 k - $999 k) (5). Here you will find Willson Contreras ($850 k), Max Kepler ($800 k), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($700 k), Willy Adames ($420 k) and Xander Bogaerts ($410 k). The Middle Class ($100 k - $399 k) (8). These players include Ozzie Albies ($350 k), Antonio Senzatela ($250 k), Luis Severino ($225 k), German Marquez ($225 k), Eduardo Rodriguez ($175 k), Odebel Herrera ($160 k), Ketel Marte ($100 k) and Ronald Acuna ($100 k). The Bargain Basement Guys ($10 k – $ 99 k) (7). Found here are Jonathan Schoop ($90 k), Jose Ramirez ($50 k), Marcell Ozuna ($49 k), Luis Arraez ($40 k), David Peralta ($35 k), Eugenio Suarez ($10 k) and Yonny Chirinos ($10 k). The Mystery Boys (3). I couldn’t find any signing bonus information on Ender Inciarte, Luis Castillo or Jaime Barria. I’d probably infer they were all in the bargain basement category. I’m sure if you waited ten years, you’d find that these 35 players were not necessarily the best 35 international amateurs who debuted in the 2013-19 window. But, it’s a pretty good sampling and shows that teams can find good players at any bonus level. Keep in mind that for every player signed for $1 mm and up, there are a couple of dozen guys who are signed for less than that. 1,022 players were signed in the 2019-20 signing period. Only about 12% of them got bonuses over $300 k, and 3% over $1 mm.
  5. 10 points
    Without access to Baseball America, I compiled rankings from MLB Pipeline (MLB.com), Keith Law ($), and ESPN ($) to create a Composite Top 100 MLB Draft Prospects list. Reminder, the O's first four picks are #'s 2/30/39/74: Wrong thread... mods feel free to move it to the Amateur Draft forum.
  6. 9 points
    There is some sentiment that Maikol Hernandez could end up being one of the better prospects in this J2 class. He is just not as polished as some of the higher ranked SS’s. A 6-03 175 lb. SS, who gets some comparisons to Correa and ARod for his smoothness, arm and power potential. Mostly a line drive hitter, gap to gap, at present. And Basallo is the highest rated catcher in the DR. A LH hitting catcher at 6-03 200 lbs, he has a very strong arm and a power bat. There is some concern that he outgrows catcher down the line. There are a few more signings around the level of the highest ones in 2019, bonuses in the the $400k plus range. One is a LH power hitting corner OF, the name escapes me at the moment. The first two generally rank in the top 30-35 in BA and MLB. Overall, from what I have read, it is a well regarded class with the top group being their best prospects in a long time to sign internationally. And that is BA’s Ben Badler and the MLB guy, Jesse Sanchez, saying that. If that is bargain bin stuff, sign me up. Koby Perez has stated that next year’s class is going to be where they make a big splash as most of the top guys have been committed for two years. I think they have done an outstanding job establishing relationships and credibility thus far.
  7. 9 points
    The O's continue their quest to acquire every first rounder from the 2015 draft. They now have 6 of the 42 first rounders (Tate, Fulmer, Richie Martin, DJ Stewart, Mountcastle, and Tyler Nevin). They also have Eshelman who was the 46th player selected in that draft.
  8. 9 points
    After a long, gloomy winter in which I have exuded realism about the Orioles’ near term future, spring training has arrived and I am growing more optimistic daily based on the incessantly positive remarks coming from Brandon Hyde, Doug Brocail and a litany of players. Lord it makes me happy! The hell with realism, there will be plenty of time for that later!
  9. 9 points
    Surprised his shadow didn't have him on "Ignore."
  10. 8 points
    “Surprisingly, I don't miss it. I've come out of retirement two times to fill in for a team that needed a player so bad or they were going to forfeit, but after pulling my hamstring in my last game, it was clear father time had claimed another victim.” When you get to a certain age, you have to learn where the line is to keep you from pulling a hamstring or calf muscle. You can run at a certain speed but if you accelerate too fast, you’re a goner. Despite my inability to hit a hardball, I was (and still am, sort of) a pretty good slow pitch softball player. Once my kids came to watch me play and I came up with the bases loaded and crushed a ball over the LF’s head. That was great, except that I pulled a calf muscle charging out of the batter’s box. I managed to limp my way to 3B on what surely would have been a grand slam. I kept playing, and lo and behold the bases were loaded my next time up. I hit a long liner that perfectly bisected LF and CF and kept rolling. I’m limping along, but my biggest problem is there’s a woman ahead of me on the bases who didn’t know what to do, so I’m having to lag behind her. As she finally heads towards home, I head to third and by now a relay throw is coming in there. It sails over the head of the 3B and I hobble home. Just after I touch home plate and peel off behind the backstop, my 6/7 year old daughter leaps into my arms and says “Daddy, you’re amazing! You’re the best dad in the whole world!!!” If I had died just then, I would have died a very happy man. Of course, at this point I had to keep playing, even though my leg was a wreck. Later in the game I was playing 1B, the other team had a runner on 3B and the hitter hit a slow chopper towards me. I charged it but the catcher had wandered off so the runner headed for home. I raced him there and managed to tag him just before reaching home, but further pulled my calf in the process. For the next three days, I had to use a cane to walk, and for more than a year, I could feel that calf muscle threatening to pull again even when I just chased my kids around the back yard. But it was worth it for that great moment with my daughter — who by the way doesn’t remember it at all.
  11. 7 points
    Dan Duquette was a good GM for the O's. There is that what you are looking for? Dan had a tough job. Peter Angelos was not easy to work for and did not give Dan a free hand to do what he wanted. Peter sometimes directed player signings. And Buck didn't not report to Dan. Buck could go around Dan any time he wanted to the owner. So the two butted heads at times. It was a different time and a different organizational structure and in spite of that Dan was Executive of the Year in 2014 for getting the O's deep into the playoffs. Elias acknowledges that many of the players now with the O's where drafted by Dan. Elias is not trying to take credit for that. However Dan never had the player development system that Elias has built nor the analytics. That is probably not Dan's fault because the money went for players not infrastructure under Peter Angelos. But acknowledge what Elias is doing. I am happy for Dylan Bundy but trading him was the right thing to do in a rebuild. Dylan's fastball was 96+ in his early years. Injuries took there toll. His fastball now averages 90 now according to Brook Baseball. He is not same pitcher he was and probably not good match for Camden Yards and its 318 down the right field line and 365 to left center. Angels Park is 350 down the right field line and 390 to left center. Most of the other parks in the AL East are small also. Dylan pitched 5 times at home. Twice in Oakland and once Seattle. All much larger parks than in the AL East. And in those 8 starts Dylan has given up 4 homers. In 2018 for the O's Dylan gave up 41 homers in 31 games. Its hard to win that way. And I don't know how you can say that Dylan was traded for nothing. Maybe your scouting ability is really good but three of the players received were 22 and 23 years old. Elias puts them into his player development system and who knows how good they will be. I think Elias probably scouted some of those players for the draft. So Dan was good, Elias is good and Dylan is doing well. And all is right with the world.
  12. 7 points
    I think if Mountcastle gets ahead in the count 2-0 in his first MLB at bat, they stop the game right there and sell Stewart to the Chunichi Dragons.
  13. 7 points
    I think you're playing a little fast and loose with taxonomy. The family bovidae for example includes sheep, goats, musk oxen, a variety of antelopes and Elsie the cow. I advise you to not mistake a musk ox for Elsie as you stumble out bed on your way to do your morning milking. In something as dangerous as COVID-19 is proving to be, distinctions matter.
  14. 7 points
    This guy would be perfect if the L and M were switched
  15. 7 points
    It’s not perfect, but it’s 1,000,000 times better than having no baseball. And these conditions aren’t permanent. So, go to it, I say!
  16. 7 points
    There are more than hundreds for me. When I was a young child (5?), I locked myself in the bathroom at my doctor’s office trying to avoid a blood test prick. They had to unhinge the door and remove it and had some assistance from a handsome dude who told my mom he was T-Bone and his kids were brats too. When we got the autograph on a prescription pad, my dad translated it to-John Shelby. I remember standing next to the bullpen for Dylan Bundy’s first career start above Delmarva. He was so focused and so ready to seize his career. He was also pretty chatty and friendly. I told him I’d see him at the World Series. He said ‘you’re damn right you will’ as he took his tosses and got sweaty in a second before sprinting towards the mound. My dad took me to wrestling as a kid to the Baltimore Civic Center. I was probably 5 here too and in our aisle, barely visible through the lights was Johnny U. My dad is quiet and deliberate and measured but he basically left me to mess around with the younger Unitases and kids as he met his all-time hero and talked his ear off. I’ve never seen him act that way ever before or again and it made an impression on me more than any story/legend/30 for 30 could. But the reason why I love the O’s so much and never won’t is outfielder Ken Gerhart. If you know me you’ve heard the story of how good he was to me. My old neighbor was a floor manager for Leaf Candies and he was a great guy-I miss his entire family. He would give out Chunkies, take us to the bus stop and let us stay in his car when it was cold plus didn’t yell when my dog ran down to their lawn. One day he took a piece of paper out of the console from his Chevy Monte Carlo and told me to bring it to my mom. It was a free pass for a dugout tour/bullpen party with an Oriole, Cal Ripken. When we went they told us that Cal wasn’t available and I honestly didn’t care, I wanted to see Eddie Murray in person somehow. I didn’t get that either. Gerhart walked in, saw the situation and told my folks he’d have me back to the desk in a few minutes. He held my hand and took me into the batting cage and I saw Larry Sheets in sweats banging out line drives with the biggest bat I’ve ever seen. Then into the trainers room where I saw guys I don’t know being bent and reading the paper and laughing-there was Cal. Finally, he took me to the field and I got to walk out the dugout onto the grass and see the stadium seats go up to the sky. I remember thinking that he was going to come out the same entrance and how special the dugout was. He told me to never stop watching what happens on the field, even in the dugout and bullpen. Then we walked out there, took a ride in the cart around the outfield and my tour was over. Gerhart didn’t play that game and didn’t make an impact on the field but he was so nice and welcoming. That impact, that lack of separating me from the sights and sounds and putting me in a place where I could witness them locked it up for me forever. Baseball was my life and my favorite activity and how I evaluated people and what I loved to learn more about than anything else. Who knows if I would have turned out this way if there was no Ken Gerhart to do his part and pass it on? Ive had so many interactions with O’s players and people they’re connected to but this is the one that shaped me as a baseball fan and O’s guy for life. Great idea for a thread-thanks. I’m having trouble with no baseball.
  17. 7 points
    I actually don't mind Hunter on the radio. Give me Palmer and Thorne all day. Kind of insulted by the fact that they're using this press release to say that it's a "diverse" team. As someone who doesn't care if my baseball broadcast teams are "diverse" just because you're including a woman here doesn't make it so. Don't pee on my shoes and tell me it's raining.
  18. 7 points
    In other words, an average team should get a 40+ WAR guy about once in 30 years, one other 30+ guy in that timeframe, and a 20+ every 6 or 7 years.
  19. 7 points
    Well, that's good. Two things: 1. No one likes watching pitchers hit. 2. Not many more annoying fans in sports than National League fans who think the double switch is the absolute pinnacle of baseball strategy.
  20. 6 points
    The question becomes "where do you play him?" We have a CF in Mullins who is 2 for his last 4
  21. 6 points
    Francisca is from Curacao, turned 18 two weeks ago. Bencosme is from the DR, turns 18 in December. Signed on August 14, according to his Instagram.
  22. 6 points
    Nobody is claiming that signing amount didn’t factor in. They are suggesting that it’s possible ME thinks he can have his cake and eat it too. Drafting/Signing a player with comparable talent AND having more money to work with. to put it simply, he signed player A for ~$2M less than he would have player B. He thinks the difference between players A and B is far less than 2M
  23. 6 points
    Westburg is an interesting pick in that he's never really put up the college numbers that a Elias/Sig college pick generally has put up. He's a guy with a plus raw power grade who has never been able to take it onto the field, and that's concerning a little bit. He's also a fairly aggressive hitter who in several scouting videos was seen chasing sliders away and watching inside fastballs for strike three which could suggest some guessing. Defensively, although scouting reports seem to indicate he has enough arm to stay at SS, the videos I watched did not show plus arm a strength and at 6-3 and nearly 200 pounds right now, the question is whether he will outgrow SS and end up at 3B. It actually appears his best profile in my limited looks could be a Jonathan Schoop like second baseman. Elias and his staff have seen a ton more than me on this guy so I will hope their looks suggest he can stick at SS, or will hit for enough game power to play 3B. I have concerns about his plate discipline and pitch recognition based on some limited video work. If he can stick at shortstop than I like this pick more, particularly if he's going to be able to tap into his raw power more after some development.
  24. 6 points
  25. 6 points
    Today it’s freezing by FL standards and in the way to the fields coach Tim DeJohn and I compared layers. He told me where and when they’d be doing high rate double play drills today, field 2 if you’re around. The players did a great short burst explosion contest this morning and I’ll go through my footage. Highlights include JC Encarnacion beating Mason Janvrin who gets to top speed in 2-3 strides. Right now they’ve moved to sliding drills. I don’t want Ripken or Zach Jarrett coming for my legs! I’ll have more soon. 10:30am Update-Just got a nice little tidbit talking to a starter. He told me that the guys who are here early as far as pitchers are all starters whose throwing programs include 30 mound pitches and a live BP every 3 days. I had thought something like that but he confirmed it, he went yesterday so after calisthenics and stretches he was basically done for the day. Kind of like most baseball fans he wanted to go to the O’s game and ‘watch Chris Davis. I reminded him of his .800 spring average and he cracked up. 2:30pm Update-I left the complex after a few talks with coaches and team staff discussing some issues I was unsure of. Today was chilly but so many drills and pitchers establishing a usage schedule. I am starting to like the practice environment more and more the more I see but the best part is seeing the bits of improvement that pave the way to more confidence/success. I watched more than I filmed today as the pitchers showed similar attributes and stuff as they did two days previous. I got some more looks at Jensen Elliott and he’s starting to warm up a bit. Brnovich too was a focus of mine and he’s got his stuff rounding into form as he harnesses control in this early camp setting. Fans haven’t heard or seen much of him but he’s going for the K and his arsenal is going to make people watch. There were diving catch drills in the outfield and that was awesome. Guys showed some range and as usual, Zach Watson has lots. Nuestrom showed good stride length and positioning too, it was my first look at him. Also in the cage he was smashing soft tosses into the stratosphere testing the strength of the nets. I realized looking through the note pad that I am formulating profiles on each and every guy here and several have really made a strong impression with skills, focus, attitude and especially effort. There is not a single player out here trying harder and getting more out of what he’s got than Willy Yahn. I haven’t figured him out totally but he will not stop busting his ass or going all out so I really just want to watch. You would too. His teammates absolutely love him because they see it too. He’s less blessed than other guys here but his name is William Wallace and it’s fitting. Also Cadyn Grenier and his grounder stopping skills and body are just made for fielding. His swing is leveling and his contact ability better than before but not complete. His defensive positioning, motions and feet are just natural and coaching is only helping shape these skills into a pro-ready package. He can play D. From my pad ‘every Cadyn defensive movement demonstrates natural ability’. I want opponents hitting it on the ground near him today. I watched drills, hit the cage and then saw live BP’s and here are my observations: -Joey Ortiz throwing fundamentals are his best defensive weapon. -Darell Hernaiz gained a few lbs but it didn’t affect his foot quickness in the slightest-good sign for more weight. Also he likes his own sliding technique In the cage I watched Zach a Jarrett again. He has a good initiation of motion and strong hands force the action to start happening. I don’t know about the plane, I need to watch more. Also he’s not big guy so perhaps morphing into more of an uppercut may really help him. I focused more on hands with a few guys and not much to see but I saw Thorburn with a few good knocks in a row and was using the top hand as guidance, turning it into the ball’s path. In the live BP’s I noted that Hammer worked in tandem with Gillispie today again. Brnovich steps on to the hill and has slide in his first throw. It’s great to see a guy whose straight isn’t even that straight. Escarra laced a double off him past RF. He’s pretty much on everything with timing. JC is the hottest hitter through week 1 and it works because he’s got a good attitude and lots of chatter. I wrote Brnovich is maybe even moving more then he wants at this point because they’re not all strikes and he got touched up a little. He’s got stuff to work through to get placement but it’s a good assignment for the coaches and he seems like a good project to want to fulfill. Houston Roth not only threw a water bottle into the trash from 18 feet away, he had significant depth on off-speed and corkscrewed Hernaiz into the dirt. Next guy Roth whipped a cut fastball down under Ben Brezeale’s bat (nasty) but Brezeale laced a high velocity return past the SS hole. Great work not getting stuck. Grenier was next and he waited out everything that wasn’t straight-I dont think there’s a count yet, and then he hit the cage low with a liner. Good work on both sides of the ball here. I got to another field in time to see Connor Gillispie and his battery mate today Cody Roberts finished off Joey Ortiz looking with a breaking ball that stayed tight even if high and Joey was not going to be able to swing. Nice finish. Roberts again is an excellent communicator. More Jake Lyons and I noticed he’s already looking svelt-er and we haven’t truly hit sweating weather yet. Stuff wise he’s yet to show me a lack of anything. Today I was directly behind the catcher and I noticed his breaking ball goes heavy on the third base side even almost outside a righty. That angle made it pretty clear. He and Cannon worked together, TX and OK. My last note for the day says ‘Escarra took a step in the box and laced one to deep RF/wall...he’s on fire! Before leaving I talked to a few more guys and got some good info on the upcoming games. I didn’t want to talk about the MLB pipeline list that came out last bout because it’s just another list and feel like I have some disagreements. But it was on my mind that each name on it was either at major or minor league camp and some of those guys are starting off really well. We’ll see who is throwing tomorrow and I’ll study some video and read some hitting stuff until then.
  26. 5 points
    I just got to reminiscing on Bedard’s place in my Orioles fandom and my connection with OH. 2001 was a dark time to be an Orioles fan. The O’s had let Mike Mussina get away that winter, and most of the team’s veterans had been traded away for second or third rate prospects the previous August. The team was in the throes of its fourth straight losing season, and really the first one where they weren’t even flirting with .500. To that point, I had never paid all that much attention to the minor leagues. But I began mining the internet to see what help might be on the horizon. Somewhere, I found some stats for the different farm teams, and though it was clear that the O’s didn’t have much talent in the minors, there was Bedard, who was having a successful campaign at Frederick after a strong year at Delmarva the prior season. From that point forward I checked in on him periodically, but he was still just a name on the page. I couldn’t have told you what he threw, or what he looked like. I began looking around for scouting reports on Bedard and the few other decent Orioles prospects. Somewhere along the way, I stumbled on Orioles Hangout and its top prospects list, that gave thumbnail reports on Bedard and all the other prospects, as well as some accounts of various things going on in the minors. That was my first exposure to OH, and very much connected to Bedard. From then on, I would check OH periodically for minor league news. That’s probably where I learned in mid-2002 that Bedard had torn his UCL and needed TJ surgery, just a huge disappointment after the way he was dominating at Bowie. Somehow, I was completely unaware that OH had a discussion board. It took me two years to realize that, and my first posts were around season end of 2003. At that point, Bedard was throwing a few rehab innings in the minors after missing a year from his TJ surgery. Well, the rest is history. Bedard unexpectedly made the opening day rotation in 2004 and I followed him intently. My trickle of postings on OH quickly grew into a flood, not just about Bedard but any Orioles-related subject. And here we are. So to me, Bedard is one of the reasons I found OH, and one of the very first minor leaguers who I ever tracked carefully. He’ll always have an outsized place in O’s history for me, for that reason. And I’m so glad that my hunt for more information led me to OH. Happy New Year everyone, and let’s hope we have a few Bedard-level pitchers floating around our system.
  27. 5 points
    You posted this under Orioles Talk instead of MLB by mistake.
  28. 5 points
    Earl Weaver's philosophy was you look for what players can do, not what the can't. That is why John Lowenstein played vs right-handed pitching and not lefties. Why Benny Ayala was on the team to hit though he was poor defensively. Why Terry Crowley pinch hit. Why Dempsey caught though he was not a great hitter and why Belanger was at SS though he rarely hit. Earl would say there are few players that could do it all. But there are players that can excel in some areas and help the team. Rutschman is probably going to catch 120-130 games a year. The backup catcher is going to play once a week or so. He is going to get sporadic at bats which in not conducive to a high batting average. The most important skills for that kind of backup catcher IMO is that he able to work well with a pitching staff, be a good defensive catcher, be able to control the running a game and if there are some spots that he is better off hitting, find those spot to play him. Ciuffo was the Rays defensive minor leaguer of the year twice. The Rays have a good minor league system. He has the arm to control the running team. He hit righties better than lefties at AAA. I don't know how he works with the pitching staff or calls a game but I would think a defensive catcher would be pretty good at that. He is relatively young at 26, will be cheap for many years as a backup catcher and has 3 options. From sit behind a computer he looks like a fit for the O's backup catcher role in the future. I have never seen him play and don't know him well enough to be sure. So time will tell. Glad they signed him.
  29. 5 points
  30. 5 points
    He kept Martin and has benefited from Santander. I wouldn't read anything into what he did last year. Just depends on who is available, what the needs are, and roster capacity.
  31. 5 points
  32. 5 points
    This is kinda where I am on this. Basically they are two extra young guys that I'm guessing that Koby Perez liked at some point. Givens is a free agent at the end of the year and Bleier is a 33-year old reliever. It's hard to gauge them off their DSL stats, but they seem to have some body upside and were given decent bonuses that suggest they both have some upside.
  33. 5 points
    How do the Dodgers do it? You certainly don’t need high draft picks to have a good farm system.
  34. 5 points
    Thanks for the tweet-worthy thought, @now
  35. 5 points
    Exactly. There would be more benefits to having Akin get their starts in my opinion.
  36. 5 points
    So looking at his stats he looks really unimpressive, but watching his stuff through some videos you can see the promise. I went over to baseball savant and looked at his statcast numbers and then watched random videos of his stuff. He's been used mainly as a starter and I think he might be better suited as a fastball/sinker and curveball guy out of the pen. His curveball can be a plus pitch at times (up to 84 MPH). The problem I see is it can roll up there at times closer to 80 MPH and it loses it's bite. https://sporty-clips.mlb.com/2b4f5c1c-bd75-4f76-8fd9-acff8cc8ef63.mp4 His sinker gets plus movement both vertically and horizontally at times but the pitch has been hit fairly effectively so I wonder if the Orioles will see if he can work on a true 4-seamer and see if he get more spin rate on the pitch. In 2019 he seemed to have more success in the upper part of the zone with his 4-seamer so it would make sense if they try to make him a 4-seamer/curveball guy out of the pen and see what it looks like. He needs to ditch the slider and change though. Neither are very good pitches.
  37. 5 points
    I don't think anyone is saying they are out to get the O's, but when the ump misses obvious calls and then the pitcher has to come back with a teed up homerun ball, its frustrating. That's all. In a season that is already on the brink of collapse, with 7 inning double headers and runners on second in extra innings that resembles beer league softball, this would have been the time to start testing out computer aided strike zones. But alas, I'm just glad to have baseball back, in whatever form we have.
  38. 5 points
  39. 5 points
  40. 5 points
    Yes, Tony's issue is that he disagrees with MLBs politics. But I wouldn't say he wants to cancel MLB (i.e. organize public opinion, exert pressure, boycott, etc). His issue is that he personally runs this site and devotes immense amounts of time and energy to it, and he is not sure he personally wants to do that anymore, because that the organization (MLB) this site is devoted to discussing and analyzing and enjoying has taken a political stance he strongly opposes. And I can certainly understand that feeling even though my political feelings, which I have tried to keep off the board as much as possible, are probably much closer to yours than his. Only he can make that decision, and the only input we can have is to tell him how much we enjoy being a part of the community he created here over 20 years ago, how much we have learned and how important it is to be a part of this community. But in the end, it's his decision. And making a life choice not to spend a significant portion of time running a site devoted to an MLB tem when MLB is taking political stances he strongly opposes is just that - a life choice for Tony. It wouldn't be an attemptnto cancel MLB.
  41. 5 points
    Will our avatars be getting a choice of social justice slogans to use in our signatures?
  42. 5 points
    That really hampers what you can do the rest of the draft. To me you only do that if Martin was the no. 1 guy on your board and you feel blessed that you got him at 2.
  43. 5 points
    I will go to my grave holding fast to the idea that signing a 34-year-old DH to a four-year contract is a dumb thing to do. And signing injured fan favorites who's OPSing .700 as an everyday right fielder might feel good, but won't do anything to help your push to the playoffs. If I had both those choices to do over I'd make the same call.
  44. 5 points
    This is the only intellectually honest opinion possible in this situation. None of know more than Elias, a NASA data wizard, and a room full of people who do this for a living. Right? Right. So...just see how it plays out. Would love a Luke blurb right now.
  45. 5 points
  46. 5 points
    I mean.. if he wanted to line his pockets then he would have just kept doing what he was doing instead of focusing all his energy on giving away his fortune.
  47. 5 points
    Breaking News: Tony Pente placed on 7 day IL (concussion protocol) after slamming head into desk repeatedly after seeing the box score.
  48. 5 points
    Good morning from Twin Lakes. The country music (why do they like this stuff)has already started at 9:25. Pour me something tall and strong? It’s not even 10am! My plan for today is to stay here as long as I can and then head to the stadium to cover the O’s. The weather is spring-like and will warm up throughout the day. Just a couple things I’ve been thinking of: A few days ago I asked a O’s staffer down here about a couple guys specifically including one who impressed me but was released after last season. The official told me my observations were accurate and after some back and forth admitted that yes, the player is good. He went on, ‘pretty good is not good enough’. That has stuck with me for a few days. As O’s supporters we’ve been showed that recently, good is good enough. Now, things are different and that quote put things into perspective quite clearly. Also, I noticed during drills yesterday that the necklines were pretty clean and I’d guess that the barber came by. I found out later that Delmarva hitting coach Ryan Fuller and his clippers were in action, he’s Mr. Haircut out here. My eye is warming up! 12:30 Update- Some national media was on hand! Jim Callie from BaseballAmerica had his eyes on the pitchers as I was heading out. Today was an unexciting day for most, just drills without batting and pitchers having a bullpen session and outside conditioning afterwards. The guys get to play each other tomorrow, intrasquad style at 10am and I’ll be front and center for you. They want some non-drill action. Matt Blood, who is the most accurate qb in camp and has near perfect loft skills tried to break up the mood with his patented over the shoulder throws. The guys from big league camp popped up and Mason McCoy looks ‘older’ compared to his younger counterparts. Malquin Canelo and McCoy popped up at SS in drills sliding Hernaiz and Joey Ortiz over ti second. Gunnar stayed at shortstop too. Dalton Hoiles showed up to camp and was greater during morning stretches. So cool to have the kids of some of my O’s heroes playing at camp. Every single time I watch Ryan Ripken use a glove or pivot into a throw I see his dad’s movements-I’m not Cal crazy but that still is just awesome. Soon I’ll get to see the younger Palmeiro too. The only pitcher who got up on a field mound was Cody Hacker who I haven’t seen everyday to this point. He pitched to a right handed catcher, Mav Handley and then a lefty, Brett Cumberland. Hacker showed little control of his heat but had a pair of different breaking balls working. One snapped off early and stayed beating in to Handley and another one broke late and made Mav bend back. I wrote ‘12-7 to RHB’. In stepped Cumby who didn’t bite on outside heat but swung through a much slower offering off-speed before firing a bullet right back to the box off high(not rising) fastball. By the way, here’s Cumberland showing that the catcher 200ft pop up drill isn’t as tough as I think. A pair of the injured players I was wondering about hit the field-pitchers Malachi Emond and Luis Ortiz were seen but slugger Seamus Curran was not. He’s been dressed and doing some stuff but not a lot. I saw a drill where the infielders had to lay on the ground prone and in one motion pop-up, grab the ball out of the glove and fire across. Kind of like throwing with no legs. Encarnacion and Yahn got sizzle in their throws more than anyone. But Ryan Ripken made a few darts down to second pop J Ortiz’ mitt. I remember writing before about Gunnar and his trunk not being so aligned in movement with his upper body. That was then, now his movements are explosive and with purpose. Rapid improvement there. I also notice that Connor Gillispie does a weighted baseball routine each morning and also after he throws. Dan Hammer is similar, maybe they’re more workout guys than most. I also noticed Jake Lyons is working hard, sweating and being challenged in a great way by the training staff. They like him and he’s already looking different to me. Other notes include: -Griffin McLarty is outgoing and a great teammate. He gets his work in but smiles all the time and helps guys out-even with equipment. -Cody Sedlock hasn’t thrown a ton but is in ridiculous shape. His body transformation has taken years but he is very athletically large. -Kyle Brnovich has very quick feet and does the ladder drill with ease. He looks like a soccer guy as his legs are rising as his opposite toe hits the ground-athletic! I’m going to the O’s game now and I’ll let you know anything I notice. 4:30pm Update- The O’s played a pretty crisp game. Wojo made a behind the back snag and Yusniel Diaz extended a double into a triple but didn’t exactly blaze a trail from second to third, he slowed down significantly but the 3rd baseman missed a clean catch and tag chance. Taylor Davis made a sweet snag playing first on a hop right under his chin. Núñez went deep getting one up in the air into the wind to left center and Davis used a sac fly to score Diaz from third. Bruce Zimmermann got his work in and had 6ks/1BB. I wanted Cadyn Grenier to get in so someone could hit grounders to him. Maybe next game. I’ll be watching minor league intrasquad tomorrow and let you know what I notice.
  49. 5 points
    Today is the home debut for the O’s 2020 Spring season and this morning walking my dog we heard them testing out the PA and the singer was practicing the anthem-she’s pretty good. EDIT-I know now that it was a male singer (actually a friend from previous years at the stadium, Jason Ferrante) but this morning the voice they were practicing with was a woman’s . I live within 9 blocks so she can bring the volume too. Good morning to me. I’ll be at the game and no practice environment so less for me to watch. However I’ll pay attention and try to share anything that stands out. I’m expecting an upbeat mood around the stadium. Also I’m pretty pumped after watching Cody Carroll’s IP on video. 21 pitches and 2 spots missed by 8-10 inches including one wild pitch-less than good... 2 k’s including Yangervis, not dipping into his nice stuff and handling the frame healthy-very good! For all who are planning on watching or listening, enjoy the game. 12:00 pm Update-I’m here in the stadium getting the rundown for gameday. Hyde talked an hour ago at the adjacent clubhouse I was parking my car so far away I might as well have walked! The fans are coming in filling seats, the Bird is meeting kids and the smells of Boog’s are rising into the air. The Sox are in the field for BP and the sun is getting warmer by the minute. This is baseball weather. I walked around and said hi to a few people (I did use to work here) and took in the vibe before the game. Fans are pumped, workers are ready and the teams are being announced. Have a great baseball Sunday! 2:15 Update-LeBlanc just talked to the media after his 2 inning, 2 k performance. ‘It’s always good to get the first one out of the way, there’s always some nerves’. LeBlanc’s best pitch today was probably his off speed and he had it around 80 with a bit of depth. He also threw a curve, the gun said 73. ‘You're not really looking to impress anyone at this stage anymore...just trying to get my work in’. That was Wade still juiced up a bit after coming out, reminding us that he’s not putting on a show. ‘I’m 35’ if they don’t know who I am as a pitcher, then we got problems. Pumped up! He talked about the value of him hitting his spots, acknowledging he isn’t a fire baller and he seemed content that 16 of his 23 offerings were in the zone. ‘Other guys can afford to spray it a little around the strike zone, but for me I’ve got to be where I want to be’. LeBlanc was replaced by Brandon Bailey. Before Terps update- The O’s got some minor leaguers in the game as Nichting, Bannon, McCoy and McKenna all did some baseball things against another team today. McCoy had a nice diving stop to his right as I was making a note to look at his quickness overall. He also hit into a perfectly made 2B hole to execute a hit and run. He shows some decent, some need for more quickness but lots of effort. First step towards the hole wasn’t turbo but he made it the dive and finished off the play. Nichting had a decent AB and fought off some foul balls. He was offered only one good pitch and missed it swinging before walking. In my notes I have LeBlanc throwing a 73mph curve, 80 on the change and 86 on fastball. Rucker was the speed champ and he hit 94 twice. Bleier right at 88. In the battle for 4th/5th outfield spot I’m noticing that Dwight Smith cost the team a shutout by coming in for the first step and a half when a fly ball was hit off Bailey feet over his head and he needed to go back while Mullins is 2-2 in SBs. Best Jersey Award-I saw a Lenn Sakata White Worst Jersey Award-Papelbon Congrats to the O’s for their first victory against an opponent.
  50. 5 points
    Who peed in your cheerios? Most of the time teams do win a couple of years after having a quality farm system. The addition of young, cheap and high quality players is a major boost to a team's chances of winning - like when the Cubs won, when the Astros won (still field a high quality team even with the cheating), the Rays ability to consistently compete. The Os will not compete again until we have a very strong farm system.
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