Jump to content

Vavra/Henderson/Westburg vs. Odor/Mateo/Urias


Recommended Posts

There’s been a lot of talk about bringing up Vavra, Henderson and Westburg to shore up the offensive production of our infield, but is that really a good idea?

None of the three minor leaguers has played a ton of AAA baseball, but overall they’ve done well there:

Vavra (25) is hitting .329/.439/.449 in 190 PA.   In his minor league career he’s hit .306/.410/.468.

Henderson (21) is hitting .270/.393/.496 in 140 PA.   In his minor league career he’s hit .271/.377/.484, despite being younger than league average at every stop.

Westburg (23) is hitting .313/.343/.588 in 137 PA in 137 PA.  As a minor leaguer he’s hit .281/.371/.497.

Meanwhile at the major league level you have:

Odor (28) hitting .199/.262/.382 in 275 PA.  For his career he’s a .232/.287/.430 hitter, but he really hasn’t hit that well in several years.

Mateo (27)  hitting .200/.254/.341 in 295 PA.  He’s a career .216/.266/.351 hitter.  He does steal bases at a good clip.  

Urias (28) hitting .250/.299/.430 in 222 PA.  He’s a career .271/.328/.438 hitter.  

Superficially, it seems likely that Vavra/Henderson/Westburg would be an offensive upgrade over Odor/Mateo/Urias.    But you have to consider the following points:

- From what I’ve heard (admittedly, mostly from around the time we acquired him), Vavra is a mediocre defender at 2B.  Odor isn’t great there either, but he’s probably the superior defender.   And, he’s a vocal leader on this team, beloved by his teammates.  

- Mateo is clearly superior defensively at SS to either Henderson or Westburg.  There are questions about whether either of those wouid be an average major league SS, whereas Mateo is a Gold Glove candidate.   Despite his weak offense, he’s been worth 1.8 rWAR in barely over half a season.  Are you really going to supplant him with an untested rookie?

- After a weak start fueled partly by bad luck, Urias has come on strong, now at 106 OPS+ and 2.1 rWAR despite having missed about a month.   He’s been very good defensively too.  It’s possible Henderson could match his defense, but it’s risky to find out.   

At the end of the day, some of these decisions can be avoided.   Arauz and Nevin are both on the roster and easily replaced by Henderson and Westburg.   McKenna is vulnerable to being replaced by Vavra, who can play OF as well as 2B.   But if we bring these guys up and keep Odor/Mateo/Urias, there’s not really enough playing time to go around.   We don’t want these young guys languishing on the bench too much.  

For that reason, I think the O’s will sit tight for a while.  Let the three young guys continue to get regular at bats in AAA, then re-examine the situation in about a month.   And by the way, if they are brought up after August 21, they’ll remain ROY-eligible for next year, possibly yielding draft picks if they are on the Opening Day roster and anyone finishes in the top three of ROY voting.  


  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, waroriole said:

I’d bring up Westburg now and let him split time with Odor at 2B, while playing 1-2 times per week at SS. 

Elias has made it a point to mention Westburg/Henderson have been promoted together. I think there’s little chance both aren’t promoted together. I agree with Frobby’s take 110%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They might let this play out for the year since Odor is the team leader and Mateo is looking so good defensively. Urias isnt at risk of being benched by anyone right now. If any of them regress dramatically then it will be easier to make a change.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, NelsonCruuuuuz said:

Elias has made it a point to mention Westburg/Henderson have been promoted together. I think there’s little chance both aren’t promoted together. I agree with Frobby’s take 110%.

You can easily follow a predetermined schedule in the minors. For the big promotion to the majors other considerations come into play, such as team needs and service time. I don't think that is a given at all that they come up together.

I see Odor as the weakest link, followed by Mateo. Developmentally all three guys appear ready. I wonder if Vavra is promoted first as he is oldest and could get ABs in a poor man's Zobrist type of role without completely forcing out any of the current starters. Then see where we are after trades and another month with the current group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Urias has 3 homers in 2 games.  He’s been a different player since coming off the IL and being healthy. 

Gunnar has been scuffling a bit in AAA since his hot start. 

Would Westburg and/or Gunnar be much better than Mateo right now?  Mateo does a lot defensively. 

Edited by sportsfan8703
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope Vavra can keep up with the thoroughbreds but see him different.     I don't think he can outplay any of Urias-Gunnar-Westburg for a starting role next year even in a Correa-less future, and am eager for him to begin his infield Orsulak role.     A couple runs behind in the late innings...feel his OBP skills offer good value pinch hitting for the two weak Bats at the bottom of the lineup, and he's straight better than Nevin/McKenna if one of the Top 7 needs a day.

I agree the balance of probabilities is Gunnar-Westburg conserved to at/after the late August date, when the middle infield line switch likely will be able to happen without frustrating the current big leaguers as much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Odor is replacement level at 2B. No reason not to bring up Vavra or Westburg at this point and see what they can do. Westburg in particular is likely to be an upgrade on Odor on offense and defense. 

I understand sitting tight with Mateo. Even though he has been a nothing offensively he’s so good defensively. I’d let him finish out the season as a starter in hopes he can improve his hitting and maintain the elite defense. 

Urias should not even be in the conversation to be replaced. At this point he has probably earned a starting role for 2023. 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great thread.

I think we see Vavra promoted right after the All-Star break.   Arauz optioned.   Varva shares 2B with Odor with the one not playing is a pinch hitter/runner.  This will give Hyde/Elias a chance to see how Vavra plays at the majors league  level.

Stowers promotion depends on if Mancini get traded. Nevin is needed to back up 1B if Mancini is traded.

Westburg's promotion depends on how the Vavra/Odor goes.  I don't think we see Gunnar this season but they will make room for him for 2023.

Keep in mind that Westburg and Gunnar do not need to be protected for the Rule 5 draft.  

Injuries can open  slots.  We will not know how until they happen.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think organic replacement will have to wait for the end of the season, contracts to finish up, etc.

That said, with Urias hitting I could see him being a trade target the Orioles would be willing to give up.  And Odor being a guy that a competitive team would want for depth.

Otherwise, Mateo has not been the healthiest player through his career so I think you probably see one of these guys if you have a late season injury.

I would think given his prospect status and age that Henderson is the least likely to be seen this year.

Vavra -> Westburg -> Henderson. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...