Tag Archive | "JJ Hardy"

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Bovada sets Chris Davis 2014 home run total at 39.5

Posted on 25 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV). Here are some of the more interesting player stats.

Baltimore Orioles

Chris Davis – Total HR’s in the 2014 Regular Season   

Over/Under                   39½

 

Chris Davis – Total RBI’s in the 2014 Regular Season  

Over/Under                   113½

 

Adam Jones – Total HR’s in the 2014 Regular Season  

Over/Under                   30½

 

Adam Jones – Total RBI’s in the 2014 Regular Season 

Over/Under                   95½

 

Nelson Cruz – Total HR’s in the 2014 Regular Season  

Over/Under                   25½

 

Matt Wieters – Total HR’s in the 2014 Regular Season  

Over/Under                   23½

 

J.J. Hardy – Total HR’s in the 2014 Regular Season      

Over/Under                   24½

 

Nick Markakis – BA in the 2014 Regular Season           

Over/Under                   .285

 

Ubaldo Jimenez – Total Wins in the 2014 Regular Season       

Over/Under                   12½

 

Chris Tillman – Total Wins in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under                   11½

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Markakis GG 2013

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GOLD GLOVE AWARD COMMITS ERRORS

Posted on 12 November 2013 by Tom Federline

The Orioles became the best defensive club in a major league season this past year. They were “charged” with 54 errors – pretty impressive. At times during the year, the Orioles fielding prowess was the only thing worth watching when tuning into the O’s. But did they really establish a new record? How many full games or parts of games did you see this year? I’ll say, I saw parts of 50%. Of that 50%, I saw at least 15+ errors that were never charged (not all on the Orioles). Whatever happened to – “If it hits the glove and you do not make a play – it’s an error”? Whatever happened to – “If you throw the ball and it is not within 5 feet of the intended player – it is a throwing error”? You have to wonder who or what entity controls the “official scorer”.

The Orioles were awarded 3 Gold Gloves for 2013. In my book, the total number of 3 was right. It’s just that I thought 2 out of the 3 were wrong. Those awarded: a) Machado – a no brainer, he deserved it. b) JJ Hardy – solid and reliable, shades of Cal – when the ball is hit to him, 98% of the time a guaranteed out. Quite refreshing. c) Adam Jones – one of the best. Two things benefited Jones this past year: 1. No one else really came close to playing as many games in centerfield this year, thus he had the most chances and 2. Jones fell into the category of “not being charged with” errors when I saw at least 5 errors he committed early in the year. A few rebuttals here were that Yunel Escober of the Tampa Bay Rays committed the least amount of errors at SS and had close to the same amount of chances as Hardy. Mike Trout (LA Angels), 1 error in center (not as many chances as Jones though) And the Tampa Bay Rays in general – they ended up with the second best defensive stats in the Major League but were awarded no gold glove winners.

The 2 obvious Orioles that were overlooked were Chris Davis and Nick Markakis. Wieters also proved a nice case for himself. Chris Davis committed fewer errors than Eric Hosmer (winner with KC), while tallying approximately the same number of games played and chances. The glaring atrocity of the GG Awards this past year was that the best right fielder in baseball (American and National Leagues) was spurned again. Nick Markakis played the most games of any right fielder (AL), had the most chances of any right fielder (AL) and was charged with ZERO errors. That’s right people, a 1.000 fielding percentage and he does not win the Gold Glove. Can you say “fix”? The GG Award is supposedly voted on by managers and coaches……are they blind, ignorant or bought? Wait-a-minute, they did add another supposed measurable component this year – Sabermetrics (SABR). In our misguided world of Information Technology and everything must be measured by numbers – a group of geek numbnuts who have probably never stepped onto a baseball field, came up with some sort of indexing of defensive stats. SABR this! Once again, no “Respect” – (Aretha Franklin) for Nick. It’s wrong, man. Just all wrong.

Shane Victorino (Boston – need I say more), was the recipient of the tainted
GG glove in right field for the American League. I am not going to go through every position in the American League – I do not have to. There is enough evidence with just the Oriole players that have been mentioned. The Gold Glove Award became a joke when Cal Jr. was spurned many a time throughout his career due to the “flashy” Omar Vizquel. And then of course there was the infamous Rafeal Palmeiro incident of 1999, when he played 28 games at first base and WON the Gold Glove. Paleease people, was the selection committee also on steroids?

The Gold Glove Award – an award that you hope a true dedicated baseball player would covet. An award that should be the reflection of an acquired high skill level that all started with a glove, a ball and a wall. An award you hope could not be tainted. Unfortunately it has been. It is a shame that the selection committee for a prestigious award commits obvious errors when near perfection should be rewarded.

Enough, let’s end on a positive…….. at least the Baltimore Orioles were recognized. Kudos to Machado, Hardy and Jones – they earned it. They are in the upper echelon in fielding at their position. The Baltimore Orioles are blessed with great defensive talent at almost every position. We the fans are the beneficiaries. The past few years it has seemed like old school – glimpses of the Oriole way.
GO O’s. T-minus around 106 days until the beginning of Preseason baseball. Lookout Sarasota.

D.I.Y.
FEDMAN

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Your Monday Reality Check: “I hope his pants get caught and a bloodbath ensues!”

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Your Monday Reality Check: “I hope his pants get caught and a bloodbath ensues!”

Posted on 08 July 2013 by Glenn Clark

Coming off what I’m sure you all will agree was a well-earned week of vacation, I thought quite a bit about writing a lengthy piece about Jim Johnson and the Orioles’ closer situation. Despite Johnson’s 1-2-3 ninth inning in Baltimore’s 2-1 win Sunday over the New York Yankees, the situation remains quite fluid and will be followed closely in the coming weeks.

Although I will point this out from an appearance I made Sunday morning on the SiriusXM Fantasy Sports channel…

That happened at 8am Sunday. Call me “Glennstradamus”?

But I’m NOT writing about that. No…because while I was sitting at Chase Field in Phoenix Friday night watching the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Colorado Rockies I had a thought cross my mind. The thought was furthered during that appearance I made on the SXM Fantasy Channel Sunday morning.

That thought has everything in the world to do with the movie Mallrats. Or at least kinda.

Stick with me.

If you listen to “The Reality Check” (and since I’ve seen the ratings-I KNOW you do), you’ve probably heard me discuss the fact that in a previous life, I was obsessed with director Kevin Smith and his films. I embarrassingly admitted just a few weeks ago to Allen McCallum that I went to see the movie “Jersey Girl” in theaters THRICE with different young ladies. I’m not even remotely proud.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Mallrats” (and if not, go ahead and take the rest of the day off to view it. In fact, I’m broadcasting at Ryleigh’s in Federal Hill Monday afternoon courtesy of Pinnacle Vodka. Just bring your laptop and I’ll bring a copy of the flick you can watch before you head over to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.), you’ll probably remember Jason Lee’s character Brodie and his sincere respect for all things related to his local shopping mall. One particular issue he has is with a small child who sits down on the escalator, ignoring the dangers of getting caught.

A few escalator rides in, Brodie’s fears play out as the child gets caught and is hurt. If you don’t mind a tiny bit of foul language, here’s a clip…

The take away phrase in that clip would be “that kid is back on the escalator again!”

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Orioles well-represented in All-Star Game, including three starters

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Orioles well-represented in All-Star Game, including three starters

Posted on 06 July 2013 by Ryan Chell

Manny Machado turned 21 Saturday, and he received the perfect birthday gift from the Oriole and baseball fans out there.

His first All-Star appearance.

Machado, the Orioles young spark at 3B, was named an AL All-Star Saturday as a reserve.

“I mean, I worked hard in the off-season to set my goals, and obviously for this, to make the All-Star Game and the playoffs as a team,” Machado told MASNSports. “You really don’t anticipate it until it happens. Now, it’s here. I’m going to be an All-Star. That’s pretty great, pretty exciting to say.”

In just his second season in the majors, Machado is currently hitting.316 with 6 HRs, 42 RBIs and leading the league in doubles.

His defense also has been noted, as he has just six errors in 270 chances at the hot corner.

Joining Machado in New York on July 16th will be 1B Chris Davis, SS JJ Hardy and OF Adam Jones.

Even better? Those three joining Machado will be starters for the AL.

With three starters, it is the biggest representation among the 1st team for the Orioles since 1997 when Roberto Alomar, Cal Ripken, and Brady Anderson took the field first for the American League.

No other AL Team has more than one starter.

The last time the Orioles had four All-Stars was 2005, when 2B Brian Roberts, SS Miguel Tejada, CL BJ Ryan, and 3B Melvin Mora all went to the Midsummer Classic-with Mora as a reserve.

Davis, who led the MLB in voting, is a legitimate MVP candidate as he is leading the majors in home runs with 33.

“It still feels good,” Davis told reporters postgame. “I think anytime you are getting that recognition not only from your fan base but from everybody across the nation, I think it feels good to know that people are watching. I think what we did last year toward the end of the season really kind of opened people’s eyes to the fact that there’s some good baseball being played in Baltimore.

Davis will be going to his first ever All-Star game. Along with his 33 HRs, Davis is also 2nd in the majors in RBIs to last year MVP and Triple Crown candidate, Miguel Cabrera.

Davis is also sixth in the majors with his .324 batting mark and is 14th in hits with 102.

OF Adam Jones, who will be going to his second consecutive All-Star game and his third in four years, is currently hitting .287 with 15 HRs and 59 RBIs for Buck Showalter’s squad.

Despite a threat from Angels OF Mike Trout, Jones was the leading vote getter among AL OFs. It marks his first ever start.

SS JJ Hardy makes the team as a two-time All-Star-his first as an Oriole and as a member of the American League.

It’s also his first ever start; he last made the NL All-Star team in 2007 as a member of the Brewers but lost out on a starting bid to Jose Reyes.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I’m very appreciative of all the fans in Baltimore and everyone else that voted. It means a lot to me.

Hardy led all AL SS in home runs (15) and RBIs (46) and has a .980 fielding percentage in 350 chances.

Not making the team was catcher Matt Wieters, a two-time All-Star and OF Nick Markakis. OF Nate McLouth had consideration for some of the voting process but also will not be headed to Citi Field come July 16th.

The game will air on Fox.

Follow WNST for all your Orioles news! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Hardy, Jones join Davis as leading All-Star vote getters at respective positions

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Hardy, Jones join Davis as leading All-Star vote getters at respective positions

Posted on 08 June 2013 by WNST Staff

Hardy overtakes Andrus at shortstop in latest American League balloting figures

Jones Passes Trout for Top Outfield Spot; Cabrera Maintains Overall Lead

 

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is bidding for his second All-Star appearance and his first fan-elected start, has surpassed Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers in the second balloting figures for the 84th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 16th at Citi Field in New York. The latest A.L. results were announced earlier this evening on FOX as part of its “Baseball Night in America” pre-game show. The second National League balloting results will be revealed tomorrow night on ESPN during “Baseball Tonight” at 7:00 p.m. prior to its Sunday Night Baseball telecast.

Hardy, an All-Star in 2007, is aiming to become just the third Orioles shortstop to earn a fan-elected start, joining Cal Ripken, Jr. (12 times; 1984-87, 89-96) and Miguel Tejada (2005). In addition, he is attempting to become the first A.L. shortstop other than Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees to earn a fan-elected starting nod since Tejada. Hardy, who leads all A.L. shortstops with 13 home runs and 37 RBI, has totaled 1,231,843 votes. He is trailed closely by Andrus, a two-time All-Star, who has received 1,045,885.

Hardy’s Orioles teammate Adam Jones has taken over the top spot in the A.L. outfield with 1,944,450 votes, and last week’s leader, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, follows right behind with 1,939,486 votes. Jones, striving for his third All-Star appearance and first fan-elected start, would become just the fourth Orioles outfielder in history to receive a fan-elected start, joining Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (1970-71), Ken Singleton (1981) and Brady Anderson (1997). Jones, who has reached base safely in 52 of his 61 games this season, ranks among the top 10 in the A.L. with 43 runs (tied for third), 77 hits (fourth) and 18 doubles (tied for fifth). Trout, the 2012 A.L. Rookie of the Year, is vying for his second Midsummer Classic appearance after becoming the seventh-youngest A.L. position player in All-Star history last year. The 21-year-old has reached safely in 55 games this season and his 24 multi-hit games are tied for second in the A.L.

Rounding out the top three outfielders is Torii Hunter of the Detroit Tigers, who has collected 1,067,973 votes as he aims for his fifth All-Star appearance and second fan-elected start (2002). The nine-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, who is one home run shy of 300 for his career, would join Ron LeFlore (1976), Rusty Staub (1976), Chet Lemon (1984) and Magglio Ordoñez (2007) as the only Detroit outfielders to earn a fan-elected starting assignment. Hunter, in his first season in the Motor City, is trying to hold off a trio of outfielders, including Nick Markakis (1,030,653) of the Orioles, three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Jose Bautista (1,021,813) of the Toronto Blue Jays and 2009 All-Star Nelson Cruz (1,011,198) of the Rangers.

Hunter’s Tiger teammate Miguel Cabrera continues to hold the overall lead in the A.L. with 2,355,128 votes. The seven-time All-Star, who is bidding for his first-ever fan-elected start, leads the Majors with a .368 batting average, 67 RBI, 88 hits, 26 multi-hit games and a .447 on-base percentage. The 2012 A.L. MVP, who became the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, also paces the A.L. with 47 runs scored. He is trailed at third base by 20-year-old Manny Machado (1,170,108) of the Orioles, who leads the Majors with 26 doubles and ranks second behind Cabrera with 84 hits.

Joining Hardy and Cabrera in the A.L. infield is Hardy’s Baltimore teammate and first baseman Chris Davis and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. Davis, who has received the second-highest number of votes in the A.L. with 2,084,274, is contending for his Midsummer Classic debut, and would become the first Orioles first baseman since Hall of Famer Eddie Murray in 1985 to receive a fan-elected start. Davis, who leads the Majors with 20 home runs and a .719 slugging percentage, is on pace to hit 55 home runs and 55 doubles. He is trailed at first base by four-time All-Star Prince Fielder of the Tigers, who has tallied 1,469,537 votes. Cano, who is seeking his fourth consecutive starting assignment and fifth All-Star nod overall, would become the first A.L. second baseman to earn four consecutive fan-elected starts since Roberto Alomar had five from 1996-2000. Cano, who has garnered 1,851,371 votes, leads Major League second basemen with 15 home runs and a .510 slugging percentage, and he is tops among A.L. second basemen with 39 RBI. He is followed by three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Dustin Pedroia (1,106,949) of the A.L. East rival Boston Red Sox.

Minnesota Twins backstop Joe Mauer, who has totaled 1,492,396 votes, continues to lead Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (1,153,795), a two-time All-Star, behind the plate. Mauer, a five-time All-Star and three-time fan-elected starter, would join Hall of Famers Rod Carew (nine times) and Kirby Puckett (six times) as the only Twins to earn at least four fan-elected starts.

Eight-time All-Star and six-time fan-elected starter David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox maintains a comfortable lead at designated hitter, having received 1,716,410 votes. Ortiz, who is trailed by Lance Berkman (957,618) of the Rangers, would become the second Red Sox player in history to earn seven fan-elected starts, joining his former teammate Manny Ramirez. In addition, Ortiz would become the 10th player in A.L. history to receive at least seven fan-elected starts with a single team, joining Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (17, Baltimore), George Brett (11, Kansas City), Carew (9, Minnesota) and Dave Winfield (7, New York), and other A.L. All-Stars Ken Griffey, Jr. (10, Seattle), Ichiro Suzuki (9, Seattle), Ivan Rodriguez (9, Texas), Jeter (8, New York) and Ramirez (7, Boston).

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, and last year produced a record-shattering total of 40.2 million ballots cast. This year, more than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 25 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.

In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. During the voting period, the All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com will be available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD will sponsor online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 7th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Friday, June 28th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 4th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2013 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.

For the fifth consecutive year, this year’s ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select the three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2013 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, July 15th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; the winner of the 2011 Home Run Derby, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees; Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox; the winner of the 2009 and 2012 Home Run Derby, Prince Fielder of the Tigers; Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles; Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays; and Mike Trout of the Angels. The 10 National League candidates are Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals; Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds; and David Wright of the Mets.

The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – A.L. skipper Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers and N.L. manager Bruce Bochy of the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 11th. Now in its 12th season with more than 350 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16th. The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or mets.com/asg.

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Hardy

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Orioles Outlook – Cloudy with a Chance of Brilliance

Posted on 14 July 2012 by hopebirchfield

Everyone held high hopes that that the Orioles would emerge from the All-Star Break with a rejuvenated fire and show the city of Baltimore some Orioles Magic. On Friday night’s game against the Tigers, Orioles’ fans watched as the pitching struggled and the offense woes continued. It became painstakingly evident that the All-Star Break was not the cure all to the pervasive problems that have recently been plaguing the team. In front of over 35,000 people who made the trek to Camden Yards, the Orioles fell 7-2 against the Detroit Tigers. Markakis was back in the lineup however, much to the relief of fans, and provided a ground rule double that brought the crowd to their feet.  Overall, the Orioles’ offense was held to six hits on two runs. Per their usual troubles, the Orioles were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. The true tragedy though was not the lack of offense or the fact that people cannot even remember what it looks like when J.J. Hardy actually hits the ball but rather Jason Hammel. The starting ace pitcher was forced to leave the game in the 4th after hurting his right knee. The long-term ramifications of this could be catastrophic if he is out for the season or even an extended period of time.

With Hammel’s probable DL injury, the Orioles’ starting rotation only has one pitcher from the opening day rotation, Chen. The others (Matusz, Hunter and Arrieta) are in Norfolk and though they are all performing well down there, they have also proven that they lack the consistency required of a major league pitcher.

So what are the Orioles going to do? Are they going to stand the course and clinch a Wild Card berth possibly?

The answer is “I don’t know.” Looking ahead, the Orioles have a lot of trials and tribulations to become a playoff contending team again. In the weeks leading up to the All-Star Break, nothing was going right for the Orioles. Pitching was sub par with the starters giving up run after run, then only going into the 3rd or 4th inning. The team made errors, costly ones that in some cases may have cost the game. The offense was not capitalizing on RISP when they did actually hit the ball. Those problems still remain.

Looking ahead, the Orioles have 76 games left in the regular reason with 3 series each against the Red Sox (maybe Chris Davis can pitch this one?), the Yankees and four against the Rays. There is a stretch where the Orioles get to face teams that have losing records (Twins, Mariners, Royals) but as Orioles’ fans know, losing records do not matter if a team cannot even score a run. If the current trend continues, the Orioles will not make the playoffs and will finish below .500 again.

What needs to be done?

The Orioles need to hit the ball and score runs. This is a fundamental of baseball that the Orioles are having trouble grasping. Some of our reliable stars like Hardy, Wieters and Thome, to name a few, are struggling offensively. No Oriole currently in the lineup has a batting average at .300 or better. If Hardy does not do something soon, he runs the risk of approaching the Mendoza line (where Reynolds and Thome are sitting). Slumps are difficult because there is really nothing anyone can do to expedite their duration. It is a waiting game to an extent but if players cannot perform and cannot remedy it, drastic matters need to be taken. Most people scoff when I say that maybe Hardy needs to be sent to Norfolk but my reasoning is solid. He has lost his confidence and that is apparent with every chop swing he takes. His batting average is .221 and falling. Really, how much longer can we hold out?

With a pitching rotating that has been shaky at best in the recent months, stabilization and consistency are necessary. If Hammel is out, the rest of the pitching staff needs to step up to fill those big shoes. Chen is a solid starter as he has proven throughout this year. Chris Tillman will probably make his way into the rotation. With his dominance against the Seattle Mariners, Orioles’ fans and management surely reevaluated their historical disappointment in Chris Tillman. His mechanics have improved greatly and his fastball shocked everybody when it registered 97 mph in late innings. If he can remain consistent, stay in command and continue to be unfazed by base runners, Tillman is back in the majors for some time. Zach Britton will also get the call up as he has been wheeling and dealing in Norfolk. His numbers have dramatically improved although he still has command issues despite his recent success at the Tides. Gonzales is also an option for the rotation as he provided an exceptional win and performance against the Angels. If nothing else, Gonzales has proven that he can start a game and go deep into the game (7 innings on 1 ER). The Orioles still need one more person to fill the rotation and with the trade deadline looming, it becomes less and less likely that the Orioles are making a move for someone like Greinke. The bottom line is that the pitching ideals are present in our farm systems and they simply need to be cultivated.

If we had a magic 8 ball to ask the fate of the Orioles on September 1st, what would it reveal?  

By September 1st, the Orioles will have a good idea as to whether they are going to the playoffs or going home to cry over ice cream and beer. The hopeful enthusiast in me likes to believe that this year football and baseball will both be relevant in September but the realist in me has substantial doubts. There is a lot of work to be done throughout the club to remain in contention.

September 1st is also an exciting time for minor league players to get their first taste of professional play. For those of you that do not understand, on September 1st players on the 40-man roster are eligible to play at the professional level. That means that perhaps Bundy, Oliver Drake and Steve Johnson will get their chance to shine. September is really a good time to see how development has occurred and how minor leaguers can conform to the rigorous nature of the major leagues.

Regardless of whether the Orioles make it to the playoffs or whether fans get their first glimpse at Bundy on the mound at Camden Yards, it will be an interesting September.

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Big Trade Looming?

Posted on 07 July 2012 by Erich Hawbaker

The All-Star break is upon us. And, if the season ended today, the Orioles would be headed to the playoffs. Thursday’s disaster with the Angels notwithstanding, the Orioles have reached halftime without completely faceplanting as most of us expected they would. The bullpen has been the most pleasant surprise, with an ERA still close to the best in baseball. The offense (long balls in particular) has also been a big reason for the success, with Adam Jones on pace for 40 homeruns and several others flirting with 30.

However, just like last year, the most glaring weakness has been the defense. Unfortunately, the O’s also lead the league in errors, which has cost them at least three or four winnable games already this season. The other coin flip has been the starting pitching, which lately seems to always be either stellar or awful on any given night. Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen are aces more often than not, but the other three rotation spots have been consistently shaky with occasional flashes of brilliance.

The Orioles have already made a splash in the trade market this year by acquiring DH Jim Thome from the struggling Phillies for a pair of minor leaguers. For awhile now, I’d been wondering if they were really serious about being buyers this year like Dan Duquette said, and if, to that end, they would be looking to pick up another legitimate starting pitcher. Today when I checked my fantasy team (the Mercersburg Rebels, currently in 1st place), the news feed told me that the Orioles are trying to make a trade with the Brewers for RHP Zack Greinke. It also mentioned that the O’s have two highly-touted prospects in Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado that might be part of such a deal.

For the last few years, I’ve always made it a point to have Greinke on my fantasy team. He routinely goes deep into games, puts up lots of strikeouts, and has a very good ERA and WHIP. He won the 2009 AL Cy Young with the Royals, no easy feat when one considers that they’ve been about as bad as the Orioles over the last decade. This year, his record is 9-2, while his team is currently under .500 by five games.

So, all indications are that he would be an excellent pickup if the Orioles can pull this off. However, I would not part with Bundy or Machado to make it happen. Since Milwaukee lost Prince Fielder, they’re in need of a firstbaseman. Perhaps Mark Reynolds could be part of this trade? True, he’s not crushing the ball like he was last year, but Miller Park is definitely hitter-friendly. And now that the Orioles have Chris Davis, there isn’t a tremendous need for Reynolds here anymore. It would also make a big dent in that error rate.

Another thing to consider here is that the era of Brian Roberts is, regrettably, over. He’s given us some tremendous years, but unfortunately the Orioles simply cannot depend on him as an everyday player anymore. Therefore, letting go of Manny Machado would be unwise, because he will be coming of age right about the time when Roberts is officially finished. I don’t think I even need to elaborate on why trading Dylan Bundy would be a bad move, unless of course the Brewers are offering significantly more than just Greinke.

I have to admit, it’s a VERY nice thought that the Orioles’ rotation could eventually consist of Hammel, Chen, Greinke, Britton, and whoever gets their act together. That, coupled with Jones, Wieters, Davis, Markakis, Hardy, and our current bullpen would almost have to be a serious contender.

However, I must reiterate that even if this becomes reality, we are not yet free of Peter The Terrible, and I still remain unconvinced that the Orioles have truly turned the corner as long as he remains in the warehouse.

What do you think? Should the Orioles trade for Greinke? Is there someone else out there you’d like to see them pursue? Comments are always welcome.

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Os All Star Snubs

Posted on 03 July 2012 by scottzolotorow

The O’s will send three players to the All-Star game next Tuesday at KauffmanStadium in Kansas City. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters will both play in their 2nd classic, while shutdown closer, Jim Johnson, will attend his first. Pitcher Jason Hammel has a chance to be the fourth, you can vote for him on the Orioles website, it’s unlimited and I voted probably at least 100 times.

Over the last six seasons, the Orioles hadn’t sent more than one player to the game.Of the current players only three had made the Midsummer Classic as a member of the Orioles: recently re-injured Brian Roberts (’05 and ’07), Adam Jones (’09), and Matt Wieters last season. The most all-stars the Orioles have ever had in a single season was seven back in 1970. From the ’69 season through the ’72 season the Orioles sent at least six players each year.

But this season could have seen a few more Orioles in Kansas City.  In my opinion along with Hammel; JJ Hardy, Pedro Strop, and Chris Davis all put up numbers that would usually qualify for the All-star team. Pedro Strop to me is the biggest all-star snub. He has the 7th lowest ERA in the  majors at 1.25 and has only allowed 5 runs in 36 innings pitched. He has one of the nastiest sliders and 2-seam fastballs in the game but because he just a set-up man, he didn’t make the classic. It’s a real shame that relievers don’t make the classic. A team’s bullpen is very important to their team’s success with only the closer getting recognition, just look at the Orioles bullpen last year as opposed to this season. JJ Hardy has the most home runs by an American League shortstop and is third in the American League in RBI’s. But his most impressive stat is his .992 fielding percentage. Hardy has only committed 3 errors and has started every game but one. Now for the man who I want to see hit in the home-run derby and play in the game, Chris Davis. Davis has the 6th highest average for a first basemen in the Major League and the 2nd most home runs of any first basemen with 14. Those are as good of offensive numbers as any all-star first basemen in baseball. So next season I expect 75 votes from every Orioles fan, i registered the maximum 25 on each of my three email addresses. If you say that you only have one, I now expect you to create two more just to vote for the Orioles next season. But seriously folks, If Orioles fans don’t vote for these lesser know studs, who will!

 

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Orioles among All-Star Game leading vote getters

Posted on 05 June 2012 by WNST Staff

(FROM PRESS RELEASE)

Several Orioles players dotted the leaderboard according to the voting results released Tuesday for this year’s All-Star Game selections. Center fielder Adam Jones is the top-ranking vote-getter among Orioles players with 857,543 votes and is in fifth place among outfielders. Matt Wieters is in second place among AL catchers with 713,469 votes.

Other Orioles in the running after the initial voting results were revealed include J.J. Hardy, who is third among shortstops and Robert Andino, who is in fourth place among second basemen. Nick Markakis ranks 12th in the AL outfield race.

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Hardy, Davis Homer For Orioles in Win Over Florida Southern

Posted on 02 April 2012 by WNST Staff

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