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Roch: Some Minor League Arms to Look At for the Big Club


weams

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Few minor leaguers have improved their stock as much as Triple-A Norfolk reliever Oliver Drake.

Drake (Navy) has a 1.15 ERA and seven saves, with two runs, three walks and 26 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings. He's throwing about 75 percent splitters and his stuff is downright nasty, according to people in the organization who have seen him.

Left-handers are 1-for-13 against Drake. Right-handers are 7-for-42. He leads the International League with 14.94 strikeouts per nine innings.

Drake's numbers really pop when you consider that he came into the year as perhaps the most vulnerable member of the 40-man roster. He was considered by some to be the first to go if the Orioles needed a spot. That's certainly not the case anymore.

* While we're down at Norfolk, left-hander Cesar Cabral hasn't allowed a run in 13 appearances. Left-handers are 1-for-18 with eight strikeouts against him. But will his stuff play at the major league level? Not everyone is convinced, but he's definitely worth monitoring.

* Norfolk's Pedro Beato threw two more scoreless innings last night to lower his ERA to 0.90. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last eight appearances over 13 2/3 innings.

* I remember seeing Tanner Scott at the January minicamp with his left hand in a cast after breaking his pinky finger. I had to ask around to learn his identity.

The Orioles selected Scott, a southpaw, in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Howard College in Texas. He went 1-5 with a 6.26 ERA in 10 games (eight starts) with the Gulf Coast League team.

Why am I mentioning him this morning? Because I've heard that his fastball has been clocked at 97 mph at extended spring training. He's been noticed.

http://www.masnsports.com/school-of-roch/2015/05/this-that-and-the-other-83.html

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Some of these guys could help. Some might even star. There are some who believe(Dave Johnson is one) that a case could be made that some players actually pitch better in the majors than at lower levels of the minors, not all but some. The Orioles will need a surplus of pitchers both his year and in the future.I don't believe they will re-sign Norris, Chen. maybe Tommy Hunter and maybe even O'Day(though that is a big question). Someone will have to fill those gaps and they won't be able to do via free agency.

The Mariners rejected Jackie Bradley Jr. for Charlie Furbush Offer From Red Sox. Yes.

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Good call. My thought is that the Orioles 2016 pen will be Britton, O'Day, and McFarland with 4 guys from the minors from Johnson, Drake, Beato, Cabral, Davies, Wright, Givens, etc...

I think the rotation will be Tillman, Gonzalez, Jimenez, Gausman, and Bundy in an ideal world. We will see if they all stay healthy.

I think the only pitcher signed will be O'Day. Too bad because I'd like to see Chen back, but it won't happen IMO.

That will leave money available for hitters. It won't surprise me to see Davis back. Wieters is gone.

I'm not particularly worried about any of our free agents. We'll probably extend qualifying offers to Wieters, Davis and Chen and at least recoup high draft picks for them. Gausman and Bundy should be ready for full-time starting roles, although they'll likely still be watching Bundy's work load next year. Between the young pitchers in the minors and the money we'll have after the free agents salaries come off the books, I think this team still has the core to be competitive over the long haul.

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Good call. My thought is that the Orioles 2016 pen will be Britton, O'Day, and McFarland with 4 guys from the minors from Johnson, Drake, Beato, Cabral, Davies, Wright, Givens, etc...

I think the rotation will be Tillman, Gonzalez, Jimenez, Gausman, and Bundy in an ideal world. We will see if they all stay healthy.

I think the only pitcher signed will be O'Day. Too bad because I'd like to see Chen back, but it won't happen IMO.

That will leave money available for hitters. It won't surprise me to see Davis back. Wieters is gone.

I too would like to see Chen back.

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* Norfolk's Pedro Beato threw two more scoreless innings last night to lower his ERA to 0.90. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last eight appearances over 13 2/3 innings.

Wow, that's a time machine name right there. Beato is a former O's first round pick from way back in aught-six. He had some pedestrian numbers in the minors, and the Mets took him in the Rule 5 draft. Started his Mets career with 18 straight scoreless innings, which inevitably led to the 44,823rd round of "why oh why are the Orioles the stupidest organization in the history of organizations" threads. Then he was sub-replacement the rest of the year, and has bounced all over the place with little sustained success in the four years since. At Norfolk he's still only striking out 6+ men per nine, so he's probably the same Pedro Beato.

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I'm all for the youth movement in the rotation. It's not a bad idea, but if the money we're saving is just being hoarded and not allocated elsewhere, that's a problem. If we had a bunch of old guys and expected to suck for awhile, that's one thing, but if they play the poor card and slash payroll 20-30% after 4 years of increased/postseason revenue, it's borderline indefensible.

Yea, let's hypothetically beat up the team for hypothetically slashing payroll 20-30% at some undetermined time in the future. In the same vein, I'm thinking about turning in my fan card over some really stupid trades they could make in 2019.

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If he can throw them for strikes and it's got good movement, I don't see why it wouldn't be successful in the majors.

Look at Koji who throws it more than his fastball. A good splitter might be the best out pitch in the game right now IMO.

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The thing with Drake throwing that many splitters is that probably won't be so successful in the majors. Will mlb hitters just lay off it?

They don't lay off Koji's, and he's throwing almost all splitters nowadays. The top six guys in splitter% last year were Zach Putnam, Koji, JJ Putz, Joel Peralta, Edward Mujica, and Hiroki Kuroda. That's not a bad group.

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It was a hypothetical situation...no more, no less. We have a moderator here who claims to have all these connections to the team saying our payroll is going to be in the $85 million range...

I think weams has a nagging fear that the Nats are out to get us and that this court case will result in the Orioles becoming a relatively poor Rays/A's franchise. I'm not so pessimistic. Although I do think we're at or near a peak in baseball revenues as a whole, at least for a while, due to the imminent collapse of the cable bubble. But that should effect everyone, with many faring worse than the O's.

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I'm not particularly worried about any of our free agents. We'll probably extend qualifying offers to Wieters, Davis and Chen and at least recoup high draft picks for them. Gausman and Bundy should be ready for full-time starting roles, although they'll likely still be watching Bundy's work load next year. Between the young pitchers in the minors and the money we'll have after the free agents salaries come off the books, I think this team still has the core to be competitive over the long haul.

If we go with a youth movement in the pitching staff next year, then we spend the money on bats. Which hitters do you see on the FA list that you think we should spend the money on that Dan and Buck might consider?

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If we go with a youth movement in the pitching staff next year' date=' then we spend the money on bats. Which hitters do you see on the FA list that you think we should spend the money on that Dan and Buck might consider?[/quote']

1B will be a big whole, but I don't see any names that really appeal to me. I would be tempted to go all-in on Justin Upton to get a solid everyday OF, then find some platoon guys to play at 1B. At Age 28, he should have plenty of good years left, and an outfield of Upton-Jones-Snider would be very solid. Only problem is that he is righthanded.

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1B will be a big whole, but I don't see any names that really appeal to me. I would be tempted to go all-in on Justin Upton to get a solid everyday OF, then find some platoon guys to play at 1B. At Age 28, he should have plenty of good years left, and an outfield of Upton-Jones-Snider would be very solid. Only problem is that he is righthanded.

Would you be willing to pay his market price? And will there be a pick attached?

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