Update: I wrote this Blog earlier this morning and didn’t get a chance to post it. I’ve just found out my prediction for the call up was wrong. Montanez’s hot bat beat out Moore’s versatility. That’s what makes sports talk so great. We can debate who should have been recalled and why. I’m not going to change the post. Please read it and tell me what you think. O yeah, Good Luck Lou Montanez! I’ve been rooting for you since last yr and hope you get some PT.
I missed yesterdays Patriot Day game in Boston. From lowlights I saw on TV & game recap I read it wasn’t pretty.
Right-hander Brad Bergesen will make his debut @ Oriole Park tonight. He was the most advanced of the young arms down on the farm and in spring training. Baseball America doesn’t list him as one of our top 10 prospects. They do have him listed as our best control pitcher throughout our minor system. He isn’t sexy or flashy, but he does what a pitcher is supposed to do –Throw Strikes! He has made 2 starts at Norfolk and has an ERA of 2.45. He has pitched 11 innings, and allowed 6 hits, 3walks, and has 9 strikeouts.
As all O’s fans expected and the past 5 games have shown, we need more starting pitching. The O’s wanted to let Bergesen refine his game a little longer at AAA, that’s why he didn’t make the club out of spring training. He deserved a spot in the rotation but was passed over to gain some seasoning. With our starting pitching being so bad and the way the schedule is laid out, we have no choice but to put him in the rotation now. Greg Zaun will need to educate Bergesen on the hitters. He will also need to take control of calling the game. Let’s hope the Orioles improve their defense and play good fundamental baseball to help Bergesen out. When your team has bad pitchers or young pitchers you can’t afford to give your opponents extra outs.
Ryan Freel’s injury may give the Orioles a chance to bring another young player up. If needed, the O’s have several choices to fill the utility role. The question is do you go the safe route with someone who can play a variety of positions, an infielder, or a hot outfield bat? Scott Moore is currently playing 3rd @ Norfolk. He was in the mix for the utility role in Spring Training. He has played 1st, 2nd, 3rd & the OF in the majors. He was part of the Miguel Tejada trade. He is batting .270 with the Tides. The problem with Moore is he bats left-handed and the O’s lineup has too many lefties already.
Another option would be to recall, Oscar Salazar from Norfolk. He is a 31 yr old right-handed hitting infielder with the Tides. He has played all of the infield positions throughout his minor/major league career. Last yr he hit .284 with 5 HR in 18 games with the O’s. This year, he has been playing 2nd base and is hitting .381. He is known more for his bat than his glove.
The final option is to bring up one of our 2 hot hitting OF prospects. Lou Montanez is hitting .429 with 0 HR and 3 RBI. Nolan Reimold is batting .415, with 3 HR and 14 RBI. Montanez is trying to fulfill the lofty expectations of being the 3rd overall selection in 2000 and the next Arod. He struggled as a SS and has found success with the O’s in the outfield. Reimold, the O’s 2nd round pick in 2005 is trying to show he can stay healthy and make it to the bigs as an Oriole. Either one would add balance to the bench or the lineup
As much as I like Lou Montanez and I want him to get a chance, he’ll have to wait until July and see how the Pie experiment works out. I’ll stick with what I grew up with, the Oriole Way – pitching and defense wins championships. Defense was supposed to be one of our strengths and has not been. Lately, we have made routine plays look hard and the hard plays impossible.
If we need to replace Freel, I would call up Scott Moore. He won’t win the Gold Glove but he won’t kill you with his glove either. He gives us insurance at 3rd and more flexibility in the field. We’ll have to live with another lefty on the bench for a short while. We need to give all of our pitchers the best possible defense behind them so they won’t be afraid to just pitch and throw strikes.
Good luck Brad Bergesen! We’re rooting for you!