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I still don't think Lough has a place on this team


Three Run Homer

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The most optimistic spin on the offseason is that the O's are gambling that Delmon Young and Steve Pearce can stay healthy and maintain their 2014 productivity while moving into expanded roles as the regular DH and RF.

Let's assume that's true. What does that mean for the rest of the roster, barring further moves? Some observations:

(1) Alejandro De Aza needs a platoon partner, and Delmon Young should not be playing the field. That means we need an extra outfielder who hits right handed, like Alvarez or Hassan.

(2) I think the O's wind up with an 8 man bullpen for most of the season, because they are going to want to keep Jason Garcia. Acquiring Garcia in the rule V draft is arguably the only really exciting, positive thing to happen to the team this offseason. But keeping Garcia means having an 8 man bullpen:

Britton

O'Day

Hunter

Brach

Matusz

Wright

Long Man

Garcia

Even if you trade Matusz, you probably just replace him with Ryan Webb. As it stands, the Long Man is probably whichever of the six starters who doesn't make the rotation. Even if we trade a starter, the long man is probably TJ or Logan Verrett.

(3) If you have an 8 man bullpen, you can only have a 3 man bench--Caleb Joseph, Ryan Flaherty and your fourth outfielder.

Putting all this together, I don't see how Lough fits in, even though we didn't sign Rasmus. Lough has a decent skill set for fourth outfielder--excellent defense and can run, and is probably a better hitter than he showed in 2014. But he can't be De Aza's platoon partner.

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The most optimistic spin on the offseason is that the O's are gambling that Delmon Young and Steve Pearce can stay healthy and maintain their 2014 productivity while moving into expanded roles as the regular DH and RF.

Let's assume that's true. What does that mean for the rest of the roster, barring further moves? Some observations:

(1) Alejandro De Aza needs a platoon partner, and Delmon Young should not be playing the field. That means we need an extra outfielder who hits right handed, like Alvarez or Hassan.

(2) I think the O's wind up with an 8 man bullpen for most of the season, because they are going to want to keep Jason Garcia. Acquiring Garcia in the rule V draft is arguably the only really exciting, positive thing to happen to the team this offseason. But keeping Garcia means having an 8 man bullpen:

Britton

O'Day

Hunter

Brach

Matusz

Wright

Long Man

Garcia

Even if you trade Matusz, you probably just replace him with Ryan Webb. As it stands, the Long Man is probably whichever of the six starters who doesn't make the rotation. Even if we trade a starter, the long man is probably TJ or Logan Verrett.

(3) If you have an 8 man bullpen, you can only have a 3 man bench--Caleb Joseph, Ryan Flaherty and your fourth outfielder.

Putting all this together, I don't see how Lough fits in, even though we didn't sign Rasmus. Lough has a decent skill set for fourth outfielder--excellent defense and can run, and is probably a better hitter than he showed in 2014. But he can't be De Aza's platoon partner.

De Aza does not require a platoon partner and if he does it can be Bud Norris. Or Nolan Reimold.

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I now believe Hassan will make the team as DeAza's partner and someone who can play 1B to give Davis a day off against tough lefties. I think Buck will keep Lough too though and go with a 7 man pen.

Lough is too versatile in the OF. Given his second half, he deserves another shot. He might be a little better than DeAza to be honest?

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Lough is certainly the best defensive corner OFer on the team and the backup CFer. Pearce is probably next best defensively. De Aza is just an okay LFer who can't play RF. Young should never play the field or be anything more than a platoon DH. I still wouldn't rule out getting a 1st baseman and moving Davis to the OF.

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I now believe Hassan will make the team as DeAza's partner and someone who can play 1B to give Davis a day off against tough lefties. I think Buck will keep Lough too though and go with a 7 man pen.

Lough is too versatile in the OF. Given his second half, he deserves another shot. He might be a little better than DeAza to be honest?

Good call on Hassan. I forgot about him. He's actually a good fit.

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I don't think the Orioles are going to keep an 8 man bullpen. Has a good team ever kept an 8-man bullpen for the majority of a season? I know the Cubs did for much of last season, but I am curious whether a competitive team has ever done it for more than a couple weeks.

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I hope they don't dump Lough just because of the idea that De Aza needs a platoon partner. First off, it would be an overreaction to one season where De Aza struggled mightily LHP. Even if De Aza was ab obvious platoon candidate, I would get rid of Lough for Hassan. Lough probably has both a lower floor and higher ceiling than Hassan as far as the 2015 season is concerned. If (or when) one of Jones, De Aza, Pearce or Young gets injured or under performs, I'd rather have the better all around player ready as the first guy to step in. In that case, that's Lough over Hassan.

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I hope they don't dump Lough just because of the idea that De Aza needs a platoon partner. First off, it would be an overreaction to one season where De Aza struggled mightily LHP. Even if De Aza was ab obvious platoon candidate, I would get rid of Lough for Hassan. Lough probably has both a lower floor and higher ceiling than Hassan as far as the 2015 season is concerned. If (or when) one of Jones, De Aza, Pearce or Young gets injured or under performs, I'd rather have the better all around player ready as the first guy to step in. In that case, that's Lough over Hassan.

It is five at bats a week we are talking about. De Aza hit lefties well with the Orioles.

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I don't think the Orioles are going to keep an 8 man bullpen. Has a good team ever kept an 8-man bullpen for the majority of a season? I know the Cubs did for much of last season, but I am curious whether a competitive team has ever done it for more than a couple weeks.

:agree:

Having only one infielder and one outfielder on the bench makes it hard to win the match-ups late in the game when you are on offense. A little easier to do in the NL, with no DH, but would still be a disadvantage, IMO.

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I don't think the Orioles are going to keep an 8 man bullpen. Has a good team ever kept an 8-man bullpen for the majority of a season? I know the Cubs did for much of last season, but I am curious whether a competitive team has ever done it for more than a couple weeks.

I think that the Orioles will have a six or seven man bullpen most of the season.

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I don't think the Orioles are going to keep an 8 man bullpen. Has a good team ever kept an 8-man bullpen for the majority of a season? I know the Cubs did for much of last season, but I am curious whether a competitive team has ever done it for more than a couple weeks.

I agree there will not be an 8 man bullpen for most of the season.

In ST Buck will make a decide as to who in on the team. Lough will be part of that decision. Buck will weigh Lough vs Hassan vs Alvarez vs Urrutia, etc. I don't think we know what the decision will be.

Whether the O's have to keep three catchers because Wieters can hit but can't throw will affect the number of bench players the O's can keep.

Just have to wait and see.

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