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wildcard

The battles I want to see in ST

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You probably will not hear this anywhere else.  I have my own perspective on ST.

Sanchez vs Valaika at 2nd Base

Last year's Valaika was a two way player, good on offense (791 OPS) and defense.   Mostly because he got the chance to play everyday.  2nd is his best position.   Sanchez is a one way player.  Defense only.    I will be watching and listening to see if the O's give Valaika a chance to be the starting 2nd Baseman in ST.  Sanchez plays well  at both 2nd and 3rd while Elias has said he likely can play SS, probably as a back up.  Sanchez is not going to hit well whether he plays one position or switches around to all three.  His defense at 3rd base is about as good as Ruiz and so is his offense.

Valdez in the starter competition

Valdez figured out how to start in  Mexico in his 30s.  He threw 188 innings in 2019 in 29 starts.  This off season he dominated  as a starter according to reports from the Caribbean playoffs.   He is more likely to stay healthy than Felix, Matt Harvey or Leblanc.   I think there is a decent chance he could come out of ST as the 4th starter if given the chance.  If Valdez does well as a starter he will increase his trade value at the deadline.  His trade will open a spot for Lowther or Baumann.  I doubt if Felix, Matt Harvey, or LeBlanc stay healthy and pitch well enough to get a good prospect in July.  They are just brought in to pitch innings and given the O's young starters time to develop in AAA IMO.

Lopez vs Abad in the pen

If the O's give lefty Scott a chance to close,  then Tate, Armstrong, Harvey, lefty Fry, Lakins and long reliever Sceroler fill out the pen.  There is one spot left. The O's could go with a 3rd lefty  in Abad because Scott is the closer  or  Holt may teach Lopez a better change up to go with is 94 mph sinker and 4 seamer.  Teaching the change up is Holt's speciality.  If Lopez takes to the off speed pitch he may be too good a talent to leave go.  He is out of options.

Hays vs Mullins in Center

Everyone has this one.  One thing is likely.  If the O's have the lead Hays switches to left replacing Mountcastle late in games for defense and Mullins plays center.   Mountcastle will play some 1st base which allows both Hays and Mullins to play.   But Mancini has to get the bulk of the playing time at 1st  to increase his trade value when he goes on the block in July.   His value should be at its peak in July when an  acquiring team can get two pennant races  out of him before FA. That is when Elias gets his best prospect return.

 

Adding talent to the organization is the main goal of the Elias in 2021.   Trading Mancini, Valdez and maybe Severino could bring back the best talent without hurting the O's chances to win in 2022.  No, I don't see them trading Santander unless someone blows them away with a great return.

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I think you overrate Valaika.   He was worth 0.3 rWAR, 0.3 fWAR last year.   Over 162 games, that’s about a 1 WAR player, very substandard.    And that’s ignoring the fact that his 2020 numbers were much better than his career numbers.    I’m happy to give Valaika a chance at a starting job, but he’s a mediocre ball player.   

That’s not to suggest that I’m high on Sanchez.    He’s a better defender than Valaika, probably by a lot, but an unimpressive hitter.    

To me, they are both placeholders.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Frobby said:

I think you overrate Valaika.   He was worth 0.3 rWAR, 0.3 fWAR last year.   Over 162 games, that’s about a 1 WAR player, very substandard.    And that’s ignoring the fact that his 2020 numbers were much better than his career numbers.    I’m happy to give Valaika a chance at a starting job, but he’s a mediocre ball player.   

That’s not to suggest that I’m high on Sanchez.    He’s a better defender than Valaika, probably by a lot, but an unimpressive hitter.    

To me, they are both placeholders.

 

 

Yes, both placeholders.   But I want to see a battle between Valaika and Sanchez at 2nd because I believe the difference defensively is not a lot.   Sanchez was able to  win a Gold Glove because he got to play full time.  Valaika was blocked by LeMahieu in Colorado.    I think given the opportunity he may be close to as good at 2nd and he may also hit much better than Sanchez.    Valaika came up as a SS which gives him some range and he his fielding percentage at 2nd is as good or better than Sanchez.

I say lets see the battle.

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Also it’s good to note that any NRI types like Felix, Harvey, and Leblanc will require someone to get DFAd to make room on the 40 man. With that being said, I do think we see 2/3, and possibly 3/3, make the team because it’s a 162 game season this go around. 
 

Baumann has 70 IP above A ball. Lowther through 140 IP last year in Bowie. Neither has pitched in AAA, and I think they stay down in AAA a good portion of the season. At least until June 1st. 
 

I see Elias being very conservative with our pitching staff. Something like this to start the year,

Means, Kremer, Akin, Hernandez, Matt Harvey

Harvey, Scott, Armstrong, Fry, Tate, Lopez, Valdez, Leblanc 

That might be overkill on “innings eaters”, but again we’re playing 162 this year. I don’t know if we can afford to keep the Rule 5 guys. They’d have to really look great, and the vets struggle. I don’t even think we have to luxury to keep single IP type relievers. 
 

Overall, I think we start conservative, and favor length. As the season goes on, the picture of what we need will get more clear, then we can stray from this thinking if need be. 2021 isn’t a “make” year for us, so we definitely don’t want it to be a “break” year for our younger arms. Slow and steady wins the race here. 

Edited by sportsfan8703

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2 minutes ago, sportsfan8703 said:

Also it’s good to note that any NRI types like Felix, Harvey, and Leblanc will require someone to get DFAd to make room on the 40 man. With that being said, I do think we see 2/3, and possibly 3/3, make the team because it’s a 162 game season this go around. 
 

Baumann has 70 IP above A ball. Lowther through 140 IP last year in Bowie. Neither has pitched in AAA, and I think they stay down in AAA a good portion of the season. At least until June 1st. 
 

I see Elias being very conservative with our pitching staff. Something like this to start the year,

Means, Kremer, Akin, Hernandez, Matt Harvey

Harvey, Scott, Armstrong, Fry, Tate, Lopez, Valdez, Leblanc 

That might be overkill on “innings eaters”, but again we’re playing 162 this year. I don’t know if we can afford to keep the Rule 5 guys. They’d have to really look great, and the vets struggle. I don’t even think we have to luxury to keep single IP type relievers. 
 

Overall, I think we start conservative, and favor length. As the season goes on, the picture of what we need will get more clear, then we can stray from this thinking if need be. 2021 isn’t a “make” year for us, so we definitely don’t want it to be a “break” year for our younger arms. Slow and steady wins the race here. 

Your first sentence is about 98% true.  But there is a loophole this year.  If one of those non roster guys starts the season in Norfolk, and someone on the ML team goes on the Covid list due to a positive test or contact tracing, this year's rules allow for a minor league replacement to come up and be on the 26 man roster without having to go on the 40 man roster and having to bump someone else off.

Now hopefully we will be able to put the virus behind us at some point soon and we won't have to worry about ever using the Covid list.  But I just thought I'd point out the rule.

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30 minutes ago, sportsfan8703 said:

Also it’s good to note that any NRI types like Felix, Harvey, and Leblanc will require someone to get DFAd to make room on the 40 man. With that being said, I do think we see 2/3, and possibly 3/3, make the team because it’s a 162 game season this go around. 
 

Baumann has 70 IP above A ball. Lowther through 140 IP last year in Bowie. Neither has pitched in AAA, and I think they stay down in AAA a good portion of the season. At least until June 1st. 
 

I see Elias being very conservative with our pitching staff. Something like this to start the year,

Means, Kremer, Akin, Hernandez, Matt Harvey

Harvey, Scott, Armstrong, Fry, Tate, Lopez, Valdez, Leblanc 

That might be overkill on “innings eaters”, but again we’re playing 162 this year. I don’t know if we can afford to keep the Rule 5 guys. They’d have to really look great, and the vets struggle. I don’t even think we have to luxury to keep single IP type relievers. 
 

Overall, I think we start conservative, and favor length. As the season goes on, the picture of what we need will get more clear, then we can stray from this thinking if need be. 2021 isn’t a “make” year for us, so we definitely don’t want it to be a “break” year for our younger arms. Slow and steady wins the race here. 

Baumann and Lowther  pitched at  AA in 2019. Last year they pitched a the Alternate Site.    How much they developed at the Alternate Site is yet to be seen. They may have a short stay a AAA.     But until I see Baumann is healthy I am still holding my breath.

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4 minutes ago, interloper said:

My take is Jones wins 2B out of ST, Sanchez takes over 3B, and Ruiz is DFA. Valaika makes it as the super utility. 

I will be surprised if Jones makes the jump from AA to the majors out of ST.   I do think his future is 2B.   But so far he makes too many errors there.    And a 234/308/324/631 at AA does not scream I am ready for the majors.  If says I need to show I can hit at AAA first.

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1 hour ago, wildcard said:

Yes, both placeholders.   But I want to see a battle between Valaika and Sanchez at 2nd because I believe the difference defensively is not a lot.   Sanchez was able to  win a Gold Glove because he got to play full time.  Valaika was blocked by LeMahieu in Colorado.    I think given the opportunity he may be close to as good at 2nd and he may also hit much better than Sanchez.    Valaika came up as a SS which gives him some range and he his fielding percentage at 2nd is as good or better than Sanchez.

I say lets see the battle.

We absolutely should have an open competition.   I think at the end of the day they both are going to play a lot and move around a bit.   

I did want to point out that in 2019 LeMahieu was not in Colorado and Valaika was beaten out by Ryan McMahon, who isn’t exactly a stud.   

Also, I think you are underestimating the defensive gap between Sanchez and Valaika.   However, I expect we’ll get a good look at both over 162 games and can form our conclusions as we watch them.   

 

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7 minutes ago, Frobby said:

We absolutely should have an open competition.   I think at the end of the day they both are going to play a lot and move around a bit.   

I did want to point out that in 2019 LeMahieu was not in Colorado and Valaika was beaten out by Ryan McMahon, who isn’t exactly a stud.   

Also, I think you are underestimating the defensive gap between Sanchez and Valaika.   However, I expect we’ll get a good look at both over 162 games and can form our conclusions as we watch them.   

 

You mean 42nd pick in 2013 draft, 2nd rounder Ryan McMahon.  The guy that was ranked in BAs top 100 prospects for three straight years including one year at #43?   I think the Rockies might has been invested in him a little bit.

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I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

These “battles” are awful.  (Not awful in the sense that WC wants to see them but that these are actually are options)

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Sanchez should be handed the starting second base position.  His defense is valuable.

And let’s not overrate ST performances either.

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Just now, Sports Guy said:

Sanchez should be handed the starting second base position.  His defense is valuable.

And let’s not overrate ST performances either.

Elias just said that ST performance may be important this year.

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35 minutes ago, wildcard said:

You mean 42nd pick in 2013 draft, 2nd rounder Ryan McMahon.  The guy that was ranked in BAs top 100 prospects for three straight years including one year at #43?   I think the Rockies might has been invested in him a little bit.

Fair point.   I admit I did not know any of that.   Still, he isn’t LeMahieu and his major league track record going into 2019 wasn’t overwhelming.   

Bottom line is now Valaika will have an opportunity to show he deserves to play more than Sanchez or Jones does.   We’ll see how that shakes out.   
 

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39 minutes ago, wildcard said:

Elias just said that ST performance may be important this year.

It shouldn’t be..and I’m not sure how much I buy that he actually believes that vs it just being normal GM speak.

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