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About Moondoggie

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  • Birthday 11/21/1957

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    Baseball, soccer, hockey, films, books, art
  • Occupation
    Retired sports writer/editor/photographer
  • Favorite Current Oriole
    Manny Machado
  • Favorite All Time Oriole
    Mike Cuellar

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  1. The original plan was for Gentry and Rickard to platoon with Smith and Kim, so no they don't view them as redundant. Mancini has, at least temporarily, upended the plan a little bit with his bat, but if they're planning on activating Rickard it won't be Gentry that goes.
  2. But the point is that if he does hit .250 it's not going to be with half his hits being home runs. It's just not sustainable. And the home runs are what has everyone overly excited right now. If he goes on hitting .250 and the home run rate drops significantly (i.e., more in line with his projection of about 20 a year with full-time play), he's not forcing them to trade Trumbo. In fact, in order to even out, he's going to have to go through something of a home run drought. Right how his career HR/FB rate is 66.7. That's going to get a lot lower.
  3. But unless you think he's going to hit 60 homers, it's relevant that he hasn't really hit very well aside from the home runs. Unless he starts getting more hits, he's probably not going to threaten the jobs of others because the home run pace isn't sustainable without it. Looking back, the year Chris Davis hit 53 he had 167 hits on the season. Had he only had 106 hits, it would have been really strange.
  4. It depends on what you mean by "mistake." If he hits anything approaching last year's success over the next three years, the contract will be a steal. And I certainly don't mind him as the club's full-time DH. I just don't want him in the outfield (although I prefer him out there to Mancini) and I think the money could have been spent in areas where there are probably more pressing needs.
  5. The season is three weeks old, for crying out loud. It's too early to think about trading anyone or declaring anyone a success or failure. While I said over the winter that I believed there was as much chance Trumbo would hit 25 home runs as 40-plus this year, I'm not ready to throw him into the garbage pile either. Also, we don't really know that "Mancini is more than capable of taking his role." Mancini has hit a few home runs and not really done much else. If you take away the five home runs, Mancini is 5-for-34 on the season. That's a .147 non-home run batting average. At least Trumbo hits some singles and doubles once in awhile.
  6. I wouldn't make any assumptions about Kim just yet. The Orioles have faced a lot of lefties as well as the knuckleballer on two occasions. He's a proven bat with a high OBP against right-handers, even if his defense leaves a lot to be desired (although I prefer him to Trumbo or Mancini out there). The truth is that the Orioles have a lot of very imperfect players in the outfield mix and this whole thing could go several ways. I think the original plan was to platoon Kim/Rickard in left and Smith/Gentry in right. It still could shake out that way if Mancini's bat cools off. They could send him to Norfolk to learn to play the outfield. If Mancini's bat keeps him on the team, they could go Kim/Gentry in left and Smith/Trumbo in right (recent lineups suggest that Buck agrees with me that Trumbo is a better option in the outfield than Mancini if for no other reason than experience). Mancini could be the primary DH against southpaws with a few other starts thrown in for good measure (especially if they see Wright again). Rickard could be optioned. Bourn could be an option that would improve the outfield defense. This is the one scenario which might spell trouble for Kim since both bat left-handed. Bourn would have to replace either Kim or Smith in an outfield platoon and it wouldn't be Smith (as long as he's healthy). But who knows how things will work out? The Orioles have too many 1B/DH types (including Kim, who best position is said to be first base) and not enough quality outfielders. So whatever they do, they're making a sacrifice in another area.
  7. Aquino tossed six innings, striking out eight, walking none and giving up only one unearned run for the Tides last weekend. So maybe he can turn in a similar performance tonight. Heck, maybe Aquino and Asher will be studs all year and the Orioles can just trade Tillman at the deadline.
  8. I've often expressed my own desire for the Orioles to be more active in the Latin American market, but I can't fathom the notion that there's anything nefarious about it. I just think it's the Orioles being extra conservative with their spending. I'd rather they took a few more chances on some of that Latin American talent, but it's not my money. The strange thing, though, is that after Duquette was hired he began talking about developing that very market. They hired veteran Latin American scout Fred Ferreira (the guy who unearthed Bernie Williams and Vlad Guerrero) and put some extra scouts on the payroll down there. Checking back, I even unearthed a Melewski blog titled "Orioles stepping up their game in Dominican Republic and Latin America." Well, it must have been awfully short steps. Actually, this is something that goes back decades. I found this in a 1994 Rosenthal article in the Baltimore Sun: Orioles shift to shore up Latin lineup That was less than a year after Angelos bought the team.
  9. Can't they just trade them Machado for him?
  10. But speed is so much more than stolen bases. It's defense. It's the hit-and-run. It's taking the extra base. It's putting extra pressure on the defense and the pitcher when you're on base. It's not getting thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple because you're slow. It's being able to score on plays when others can't. Runs scored are far more important than home runs. After all, they all count the same. It doesn't matter how you score them. For instance, the Orioles hit 253 home runs last year. That's 28 more than any other club (St. Louis hit 225). But the Orioles were a middle-of-the-pack team in runs scored (744). Boston hit 45 less home runs than Baltimore, but scored 134 more runs (878). That's because they had a more balanced lineup that allowed them to score in a variety of ways. The Orioles hit a lot of solo homers because they don't get as many guys on base.
  11. At this point he would certainly seem to be the natural successor should the Orioles move Britton during the offseason (or at the deadline if things take a drastic turn and go south). But until that bridge is crossed, I sure like the luxury of having him along with O'Day, Givens & Co. supporting Britton at the back end of the bullpen.
  12. One postseason. And it wasn't one of the leading home run teams that ended up winning it. The year before, small ball destroyed home runs. What you actually need are pitching, defense and scoring some runs one way or another. But speedy teams tend to play better defense. And that helps the pitching.
  13. I should have said the past seven years, not six. Also, while the Cubs were only 10th in stolen bases, they were 13th in home runs.
  14. You can make a similar case for the limited importance of home runs. The only World Series winner in the past six years to be among the home run leaders were the 2013 Red Sox (6th with 178), but they ranked higher in stolen bases (4th with 123). The 2015 Royals and 2012 Giants both finished last in home runs and had far more stolen bases than homers. The last World Series winner to be a real home run team was the 2009 Yankees.
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