First off, I’d like to congratulate the Orioles’ Jeff Fiorentino on his return to the Major Leagues. Fiorentino played LF for the O’s on Sunday and contributed 2 hits, 2 runs and 2 RBI to the winning effort.
In may of 2005 Fiorentino, then of the Frederick Keys, was summoned all the way from the Carolina League to Big Leagues to fill in an in injury replacement for the Orioles. Fiorentino spent a few weeks with the Orioles before returning to Frederick.
In the 2009 season we’ve witnessed the ML debuts of some outstanding young players. Fiorentino’s return to the Orioles today should be a reminder of just how far the team’s player development system has come over the past 3 seasons. Fiorentino’s original debut was born out of necessity not merit. As the team begins to stack prospects at each level of the minors performance and merit will be the key factors in promotion.
On another note, I sincerely hope the Orioles don’t open the 2010 season with Ty Wigginton at 3rd base. Wiggington has been a capable bench player, and may be one helluva guy, but he should not be a regular. I’d prefer to see the Orioles make a run at Free Agent to-be Chone Figgins, who could play and hit leadoff, dropping Roberts to the 2 hole. Another option would be Cardinals’ 3rd sacker Mark DeRosa, a capable hitter and defender and versatile enough to play multiple positions. The Orioles should target a versatile 3rd baseman that can play multiple positions in the event that prospect Josh Bell is ready to be the regular ML 3rd basemen at some point in the 2010 or 2011 seasons.
Don’t be surprised if Phillies starting pitcher Brett Myers gets some save opportunities down the stretch. Phillies closer Brad Lidge has been atrocious this year with 10 blown saves and an ERA over 7.00. Lidge was a major reason for the Phillies winning the 2008 World Series, but he is a detriment at this point and should not be trusted with a Postseason lead. Myers actually served as the Phillies closer in the 2007 season and is recovered from an injury that sidelined him for a good portion of the 2009 season. His return from the DL could serve as a major bullpen acquisition.