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Will MacPhail really do this 2 years in a row?


Frobby

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Last year, from the moment we traded Tejada, it was obvious we had no major league shortstop on our roster, and no top-level prospect ready to fill the position. Against all odds, MacPhail gambled that if he held open tryouts among the minor league fodder and waiver wire guys, he'd find a decent stopgap solution. That experiment failed and we all saw the results.

I feel like we are in the same position now with our rotation. To me, it's as plain as the nose on my face that the candidates we have to fill rotation spots 3-5 aren't going to be able to fill adequately those three spots. Even asking them to fill two spots would be asking an awful lot.

Are we really going to risk a horrific pitching implosion in 2009? MacPhail has done a lot of good work this offseason, but this is one area where I'm not satisfied at all. I sure hope MacPhail is just waiting for the right time to swoop in and do something.

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Last year, from the moment we traded Tejada, it was obvious we had no major league shortstop on our roster, and no top-level prospect ready to fill the position. Against all odds, MacPhail gambled that if he held open tryouts among the minor league fodder and waiver wire guys, he'd find a decent stopgap solution. That experiment failed and we all saw the results.

I feel like we are in the same position now with our rotation. To me, it's as plain as the nose on my face that the candidates we have to fill rotation spots 3-5 aren't going to be able to fill adequately those three spots. Even asking them to fill two spots would be asking an awful lot.

Are we really going to risk a horrific pitching implosion in 2009? MacPhail has done a lot of good work this offseason, but this is one area where I'm not satisfied at all. I sure hope MacPhail is just waiting for the right time to swoop in and do something.

How can it be any worse than last year. Noone with any significant talent left. And with DCab leaving, that should help out the team's ERA. Its not any bigger of a risk than last year.

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I had been preaching this since the beginning of the offseason that we needed to add 3 legitimate starters and have our internal options compete for one spot instead or 2 or 3. Now my premise then was that I wanted the FO to field a team that would be worthy of watching. Now that we've missed out on Tex, and are losing our entire infield after 2009 (Izturis not withstanding), I'm not sure I really care now. 2009 is going to be about watching:

Weiters

Uehera

Our OF

I doubt we have any of our AA guys starting in Baltimore this season, but if/when they do, that'll be worth watching as well. Other than that for me, I'm not that excited. As usual we'll likely play well enough for many of us to get false hope during the first half of the season but it will evaporate rather quickly. Kinda like my NC State vs Duke contest Tuesday night, was quite exciting though 12 minutes into the 2nd half... but when the sky collapsed. it really collapsed!

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It's an intereseting comparison. MacPhail gambled that what he saw from Luis Hernandez for 50 games in '07 would carry over to '08. There was no real Plan B. With this years pitching, he's just stockpiling freebies until his youngsters are ready to go. I would say his Plan B for the pitching is just getting as many guys as possible.

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What does it matter? We aren't fighting for a winning season here. We have some young guys and some AAAA guys that can step up and fill those rotation spots. IMO, there is no reason to waste money on some old vets that might fill those holes for 1 year. But I do think he will sign one more scrub veteran to plug into the end of the rotation.

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How can it be any worse than last year. Noone with any significant talent left. And with DCab leaving, that should help out the team's ERA. Its not any bigger of a risk than last year.

Well, that's certainly comforting. Last year's rotation sure was great, and I really enjoyed watching them perform, especially in the last two months of the season.

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Saying it won't be as bad as last year's staff isn't very comforting. I agree with Frobby that MacPhail is biding his time for something nobody expects. How about a 2 year $24M offer to Sheets with a $15M club option for the 3rd year???? A lot of dough I know but the guy is an ace and could greatly upgrade our current rotation. Depending on health of coure.:)

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Well, that's certainly comforting. Last year's rotation sure was great, and I really enjoyed watching them perform, especially in the last two months of the season.

Fair point there. I would understand keeping the 4-5 spots open for competition among younger arms most of the year, but it would be nice for all involved if we picked up one more decent starter to keep us in some games and build some level of confidence for the team.

-Don

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I think the two most accurate phrases in your original post are "...asking an awful lot..." and "...are we going to risk..."

This is our situation; this is our problem. We have to ask an awful lot of our players -- we have to ask that they reach a new level of performance, if we're to enjoy much (any?) success.

And we have to take some risks, simply because we haven't fielded a winner in years and years. We gotta roll the dice in a few areas, hope we hit, and then move on to the next problem.

Of course, we could argue that the degree of risk involved in trotting out our team as it's currently constructed is a good bit greater than if we made a few more changes, but I'm sort of resigned to this philosophy: we need to find some diamonds in the rough and hope they blossom beyond our expectations (bonus mixed metaphor points for me!).

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