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HHP: My Lunch Today with Dan Duquette.....and about 100 other people


TonySoprano

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Hopefully we don't have to suffer through two months of Roberts playing bad defense, and hitting to a .600 OPS before we get to see Casilla.

I have a bad feeling we will. Roch, or Steve, posted an article a few days ago about who leads off, and Buck was talking about how we had 3 options. He seems to be giving BRob all the deference in the world. Maybe they'll tell BRob that what is best for him is to start out playing 3-4 days a week to see how he responds, and go from there.

Of course, there's always the possibility that BRob puts up a .725-.750 OPS, with slightly below average defense.

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Hopefully we don't have to suffer through two months of Roberts playing bad defense, and hitting to a .600 OPS before we get to see Casilla.
I have a bad feeling we will. Roch, or Steve, posted an article a few days ago about who leads off, and Buck was talking about how we had 3 options. He seems to be giving BRob all the deference in the world. Maybe they'll tell BRob that what is best for him is to start out playing 3-4 days a week to see how he responds, and go from there.

Of course, there's always the possibility that BRob puts up a .725-.750 OPS, with slightly below average defense.

I think it's highly likely that Roberts gets two months to prove himself. It all depends how bad his skills look, regardless of the results. I'm sure I could give you a list of 20 guys in the last 10 years who posted an OPS of .600 or less in April and went on to have good seasons, so one month of stats doesn't prove much. But bad stats accompanied by a slow-looking swing and no hard hit balls is aother thing entirely. I trust Buck to know the difference.

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I think it's highly likely that Roberts gets two months to prove himself. It all depends how bad his skills look, regardless of the results. I'm sure I could give you a list of 20 guys in the last 10 years who posted an OPS of .600 or less in April and went on to have good seasons, so one month of stats doesn't prove much. But bad stats accompanied by a slow-looking swing and no hard hit balls is aother thing entirely. I trust Buck to know the difference.

Will it be Buck's decision?

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Did you learn ANYTHING in 2012? Here's what I learned:

1. Sometimes subtle moves improve a team by a lot.

True, as long as you're defining "sometimes" as once in a long while. We had a string of "subtle moves" since 2008 that didn't work out. It's hardly going out on a limb to say there's a chance we'll regress a bit in 2013. For example, I wouldn't assume that the bullpen could have a repeat performance with their record in one-run games. That was really lightning in a bottle.

For years, people have argued that it didn't make sense to make a "splashy acquisition" because we were "more than one player away." We're still going to manage ourselves like a small market team, emphasizing scouting and player development. That is very important but it sure wouldn't hurt us to make a big move to take advantage of the momentum we've started. I do like Casilla's defense over Andino at second base. Chris Davis' defense at 1B can politely be described as a work in progress. Duquette is rolling the dice that Betemit/Valencia will produce more than Reynolds. I agree that Dan gets the benefit of the doubt. However, he could do even more, if he was given more resources to use.

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I know there has been a lot of talk this offseason about that MOO bat, but really take a look at how the team is constituted and Duquette is right: they can be competitive as is. And that extra bat is one position on the 25 man roster. If you want to include the SP (aka Saunders' spot), that's two. Most other teams have more holes than that on their 25 man roster even after the wave of winter-meeting inspired trades/signings.

Also don't forget, if the Orioles don't get what they want out of their lineup there is always the season in order to continue trade talks.

Perhaps, as long as their lightning catching machine is working again. As it stands now, Duquette is bringing back basically the same offense minus Reynold and adding an oft-injured Reimold. The defense will be hurt with the change from Reynolds to Davis at first and we have to hope we get back the Orioles version of McLouth rather than the previous three years version.

Personally, just like I thought last year, we need a true MOO in this lineup. Wieters, Jones, and Davis are not true MOO hitters because of either their streakiness, lack of plate discipline, or weakness against a certain handed pitching (Wieters OPS vs right-handers (.715 with a .229 average).

The key to the Orioles season last season was their bullpen and they are returning the same guys. That's a good thing, but at the same time, relievers are traditionally volatile and the chances of them repeating their one-run game performances is not very good. The Orioles were competitive last year with this club and it appears Duquette is satisfied that it can make another run being the underdog again. This is what you have to do when you have an owner that's not willing to spend on top tier free agents. I give Duquette credit for doing what he has to do under the budget he's given. Maybe he'll find another Gonzales or Chen this year. Maybe Urritea, if he ever gets a VISA will be the 2013 surprise? Who knows?

I would prefer to add another proven hitter to the lineup, but I live in a world where Angelos should actually use his MASN money and increased league television revenues to actually help his team and not pad his bottom line. Unfortunately, this is not the reality we live in. We have to accept how ownership views this franchise and has always viewed this franchise. It's a way to make money for the Angelos family, just like MASN, and everything else is secondary as proven by the 14 years ineptitude that proceeded our miracle year last year.

Now some people have actually bought into the fact that we don't need to spend to compete, and last year, they were proven right (for the first time in 14 years), but while the other teams retool, the Orioles will stand pat and hope their version of moneyball can be successful in the AL East. I hope they are right.

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The owner wants to be in a playoff locker room again and trusts Buck.

He would like to. I can't tell by his actions that it is a real priority for him.

Roberts isn't going to be benched, let alone released, without giving him the professional courtesy of a sit down that includes Buck and Duquette and Angelos. Peter may understand the concept of a sunk cost (e.g. Jay Gibbons) , but he's not going to give an GM leverage to write off $10m without making the case for his approval. Remember, when he released Sid Ponson, we spent two years arguing what he was owed. (Finally, MLB agreed that Ponson got all of his salary and paid some of the settlement instead of Angelos)
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Perhaps, as long as their lightning catching machine is working again. As it stands now, Duquette is bringing back basically the same offense minus Reynold and adding an oft-injured Reimold. The defense will be hurt with the change from Reynolds to Davis at first and we have to hope we get back the Orioles version of McLouth rather than the previous three years version.

Personally, just like I thought last year, we need a true MOO in this lineup. Wieters, Jones, and Davis are not true MOO hitters because of either their streakiness, lack of plate discipline, or weakness against a certain handed pitching (Wieters OPS vs right-handers (.715 with a .229 average).

The key to the Orioles season last season was their bullpen and they are returning the same guys. That's a good thing, but at the same time, relievers are traditionally volatile and the chances of them repeating their one-run game performances is not very good. The Orioles were competitive last year with this club and it appears Duquette is satisfied that it can make another run being the underdog again. This is what you have to do when you have an owner that's not willing to spend on top tier free agents. I give Duquette credit for doing what he has to do under the budget he's given. Maybe he'll find another Gonzales or Chen this year. Maybe Urritea, if he ever gets a VISA will be the 2013 surprise? Who knows?

I would prefer to add another proven hitter to the lineup, but I live in a world where Angelos should actually use his MASN money and increased league television revenues to actually help his team and not pad his bottom line. Unfortunately, this is not the reality we live in. We have to accept how ownership views this franchise and has always viewed this franchise. It's a way to make money for the Angelos family, just like MASN, and everything else is secondary as proven by the 14 years ineptitude that proceeded our miracle year last year.

Now some people have actually bought into the fact that we don't need to spend to compete, and last year, they were proven right (for the first time in 14 years), but while the other teams retool, the Orioles will stand pat and hope their version of moneyball can be successful in the AL East. I hope they are right.

I agree with most of this. Certainly PA is a bottom line guy. Fortunately for all of us DD knows how to work a slim budget and Buck knows how to get the most out of his players. A few things will change this year:

1) This will be a more balanced offense. Higher OBP led by Markakis and McLouth at the top of the lineup puts more runners on base. Betemit, Valencia's three year numbers have them with 364 and 359 OBP when they hit against the pitchers that throw from the proper side for each. Hoes fits this mold and we could see him when injuries hit.

2) DD/Buck are setting the team up in embrace platoons. Betemit/Valencia, McLouth/Reimold, Roberts or Flaherty/Casilla. This is a different way to manage a team then what Buck did last year.

3) Davis gets full time play. Its could be huge for the team production no matter where he plays in the field.

4) The pitching will be deep and good from the beginning of the year. That is a huge difference from what happen with Matusz, Hunter and Arrieta starting last year.

5) The defense is way, way above average if they figure out 1B. Defense was a difference maker the last two months of last year and now the O's have it all year.

Another bat and signing Saunders would make the O's deeper and probably better. But I am not counting on it.

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True, as long as you're defining "sometimes" as once in a long while. We had a string of "subtle moves" since 2008 that didn't work out. It's hardly going out on a limb to say there's a chance we'll regress a bit in 2013. For example, I wouldn't assume that the bullpen could have a repeat performance with their record in one-run games. That was really lightning in a bottle.

For years, people have argued that it didn't make sense to make a "splashy acquisition" because we were "more than one player away." We're still going to manage ourselves like a small market team, emphasizing scouting and player development. That is very important but it sure wouldn't hurt us to make a big move to take advantage of the momentum we've started. I do like Casilla's defense over Andino at second base. Chris Davis' defense at 1B can politely be described as a work in progress. Duquette is rolling the dice that Betemit/Valencia will produce more than Reynolds. I agree that Dan gets the benefit of the doubt. However, he could do even more, if he was given more resources to use.

I think the argument to go get a "difference maker" is much stronger now that the Orioles are competitive. I was just addressing a different point. And although I will grant you that the Orioles didn't have much success in the several years before 2012, I think there are plenty of examples around baseball every year of teams making "subtle moves" that end up making a huge difference in how the team performs.

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I agree with most of this. Certainly PA is a bottom line guy. Fortunately for all of us DD knows how to work a slim budget and Buck knows how to get the most out of his players. A few things will change this year:

1) This will be a more balanced offense. Higher OBP led by Markakis and McLouth at the top of the lineup puts more runners on base. Betemit, Valencia's three year numbers have them with 364 and 359 OBP when they hit against the pitchers that throw from the proper side for each. Hoes fits this mold and we could see him when injuries hit.

2) DD/Buck are setting the team up in embrace platoons. Betemit/Valencia, McLouth/Reimold, Roberts or Flaherty/Casilla. This is a different way to manage a team then what Buck did last year.

3) Davis gets full time play. Its could be huge for the team production no matter where he plays in the field.

4) The pitching will be deep and good from the beginning of the year. That is a huge difference from what happen with Matusz, Hunter and Arrieta starting last year.

5) The defense is way, way above average if they figure out 1B. Defense was a difference maker the last two months of last year and now the O's have it all year.

Another bat and signing Saunders would make the O's deeper and probably better. But I am not counting on it.

With a powerful manager like Buck, you can get players to buy into platoons. It's certainly a financially responsible and in this day and age, out of the box thinking for team construction.

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