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wildcard

Is Elias leaning toward offense over defense in 2021?

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Mike Elias has already stated that 2021 will not be a year to go for it.  The switch will not be flipped this coming season. But what kind of a team is he looking to build for his non contending year?

This off season he has referred to Ryan Mountcastle as a left fielder more than a first baseman.   Hyde often used Austin Hays in left and Cedric Mullins in center last season which gave him a better defensive outfield.  But Elias has  referred to those two as competing centerfielders.    This sound like an offense over defense approach. 

What about Yusniel Diaz?   He has been called close.  Someone that will debut in 2021.  The timing of his call up is unknown and since he has not played AAA yet he will probably begin the season there.  Its will probably be up to him to push his way to the majors.

Mountcastle in left opens first for Mancini.   It also allows two offensive players to compete for DH -- DJ Stewart and Chris Shaw at least until Diaz is promoted.  

Now we hear the hint that Elias may considering Jonathan Villar if the price is right.  Villar's best position is second base.  But second is also defensive minded Yolmer Sanchez best position. Its also Pat Valaika and Ramon Urias best defensive position.    But if they sign Villar it would be for his offense over defense.  It would push the other three toward SS and 3B to find playing time.  Richie Martin, Sanchez and Valaika are all probably better defensive SS than Villar.   Also Elias could acquire more than one infielder.

Villar to the O's is just a rumor.  But Mountcastle in left is something Elias has stated which may make room for Stewart/Shaw.   I have to wonder  whether offense in 2021 will be priorities over defense.   Time will tell.

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I think there’s a lot to be determined before deciding how Mountcastle’s time will get divided between LF, 1B and DH.   I suspect he’ll see time at all three, and how much time he spends at each may depend on the performance of other players as much as it depends on his own performance. It also may depend on whether we are facing a RHP (in which case Mullins may be in CF) or a LHP (in which case Mullins is probably on the bench).    

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I think until Diaz arrives, your alignment sounds right.  I would hope once Diaz arrives we have Diaz in left, Hays in Center, Santander in right, Mountcastle/Mancini at 1B/DH.  With Stewart sprinkled in and Mullins getting starts in CF from tiem to time.

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1 hour ago, Yardball85 said:

To the extent it doesn't go without saying, Davis should start for your local beer league softball team once every two weeks at most.

FTFY. :)

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2 hours ago, BohKnowsBmore said:

On the flip side, the team added Yolmer Sanchez to the roster and jettisoned Nunez.

Good point about claiming Sanchez.  The question is what his role will be.   I guess it depends on who else is brought in.  

Nunez was a little different case.  Elias was freeing up playing time for other players that are less expensive  IMO.

 

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The switch being off and all, LF RMC and 1B Trey does keep DH open for Nick to take a Yolmer-sized deal and get 20 hits to catch Tejada.

I wouldn’t hate that if Yusniel needs to show a modicum of health/performance.  The trade off is cannibalizing Stewart’s runway there I guess.

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5 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

Why wouldn’t Mountcastle be the starting LFer until Diaz is here.

Why would anyone think differently?

A Hays, Mullins, Santander OF is actually pretty nice defensively. Put Mancini at 1B and Mountcastle at DH and maybe figure out something else for CF when playing a lefty and I feel like it’s a good approach. That all depends on how well Mullins can hit. I’d be okay with a low bar set for him offensively though as long as his defense is above average. 

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1 hour ago, oriole said:

A Hays, Mullins, Santander OF is actually pretty nice defensively. Put Mancini at 1B and Mountcastle at DH and maybe figure out something else for CF when playing a lefty and I feel like it’s a good approach. That all depends on how well Mullins can hit. I’d be okay with a low bar set for him offensively though as long as his defense is above average. 

Mullins is terrible 

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I think of the Orioles brand of good being more run prevention oriented.   The '69-'71 teams posted

OPS+: 110, 105 and 112

ERA+: 126, 116 and 113

Just measuring by raw Runs Scored or Runs Allowed better than League Average (boy were those numbers all better), the deltas across the three years make it seem like run production was more better

Runs Scored +0.757/season, Runs Allowed +0.683/season.   Anecdotes for the run prevented is better than run produced thing.

With a catcher in the middle of it and a couple few pitchers the brightest lights from here, you kind of imagine the early modestly successful better teams having a run suppressing tilt.

For 2021, I think for Elias and other clubs with a few pennies to spend, it's more, "What $8 million player will actually sign for $4, what $5 million player will sign for $2, etc"   Let's mess $$$/WAR up Barry Bonds style.    The trick with everyone getting bargains is finding the BEST bargains with your roster spots.

(If we have a $4M and a $2M, that is)

DJ LeMahieu and Justin Turner have been the Werthian apples of my eye for awhile if we were going to do anything like that this offseason; in theory there has to be a number somewhere Elias dials up ownership and goes, So....     Definitely Turner between those two these days.

And I write that very much hoping Yankees splurge 5 x $20M+ on old DJ to Gleyber lock SS in the Jeter style.   The 2025 Yankees have $250-some M for us to beat and that could be near 10% of it.

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4 hours ago, wildcard said:

Good point about claiming Sanchez.  The question is what his role will be.   I guess it depends on who else is brought in.  

Nunez was a little different case.  Elias was freeing up playing time for other players that are less expensive  IMO.

 

Sure, I guess, but most of the examples you cited are simply giving opportunities to guys who were already in the system / on the team, so I'm not sure it's indicative of any philosophical shift toward offense (at the expense of defense).

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9 hours ago, wildcard said:

Mike Elias has already stated that 2021 will not be a year to go for it.  The switch will not be flipped this coming season. But what kind of a team is he looking to build for his non contending year?

This off season he has referred to Ryan Mountcastle as a left fielder more than a first baseman.   Hyde often used Austin Hays in left and Cedric Mullins in center last season which gave him a better defensive outfield.  But Elias has  referred to those two as competing centerfielders.    This sound like an offense over defense approach. 

What about Yusniel Diaz?   He has been called close.  Someone that will debut in 2021.  The timing of his call up is unknown and since he has not played AAA yet he will probably begin the season there.  Its will probably be up to him to push his way to the majors.

Mountcastle in left opens first for Mancini.   It also allows two offensive players to compete for DH -- DJ Stewart and Chris Shaw at least until Diaz is promoted.  

Now we hear the hint that Elias may considering Jonathan Villar if the price is right.  Villar's best position is second base.  But second is also defensive minded Yolmer Sanchez best position. Its also Pat Valaika and Ramon Urias best defensive position.    But if they sign Villar it would be for his offense over defense.  It would push the other three toward SS and 3B to find playing time.  Richie Martin, Sanchez and Valaika are all probably better defensive SS than Villar.   Also Elias could acquire more than one infielder.

Villar to the O's is just a rumor.  But Mountcastle in left is something Elias has stated which may make room for Stewart/Shaw.   I have to wonder  whether offense in 2021 will be priorities over defense.   Time will tell.

No. He will take who is inexpensive and fits.

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