Tag Archive | "Vladimir Guerrero"

Tommy Hunter

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New Orioles P Tommy Hunter on new team: “I see good things coming”

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Ryan Chell

New Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter-who was one of two pieces in the trade last week that sent setup man Koji Uehara to the Texas Rangers-despite making his debut last night in Baltimore’s 8-2 victory over the Royals, may know more about his teammates than what you might think.

Tommy Hunter

One of the biggest surprises was able to dish to WNST when he joined Glenn Clark on “The Afternoon Drive” on Monday before joining the club in KC?

Despite his former Texas Rangers teammate Vladimir Guerrero struggling at the plate this year , Hunter will be the first to tell you that it’s still to the team’s benefit to keep Guerrero around…

Because of his mother’s cooking.

“I don’t know if the city of Baltimore knows about that,” Hunter told Clark about the Guerrero family. “I know Vlady and Vlady’s mom very well, and she’s probably the best cook in the world. I’m so excited for that right now.”

But, obviously Hunter wasn’t traded at the deadline to partake in Mrs. Guerrero’s cooking. Hunter-a supplemental compensatory pick in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Rangers-was brought to Baltimore to solidify a struggling Orioles pitching staff.

Hunter, 25, came out of the bullpen in Tuesday’s victory over the Royals, earning a hold in his Orioles debut despite allowing a run on two hits.

He figures to be in the bullpen for the Orioles with the hope that a transition to eventual starting pitcher will take place.

Hunter-in his four-year career has appeared in 53 games and started 44 of them. He holds a 23-13 mark with a 4.36 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP.

His best season came in 2010, when he 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA in 23 games and 128 innings of work. He started out 8-0 on the year and didn’t lose his first game until the last day of July.

It’s something he hopes he can return to in the near future.

“I would like to consider myself a starter,” Hunter told Clark. “It’s something I came up doing. The relieving role isn’t my favorite, but it’s something if I’ve got to do it, I’m going to do it.”

“I’m not going to say no to pitching in the big leagues.”

All the success he had in Texas certainly made the news that he’d been traded to Baltimore as quite the shock, he admitted, but he understands the business.

“It pretty much caught me by surprise,” Hunter said. “I had no idea, but I see good things coming and it is what it is. It’s part of the business, and I’m a Baltimore Oriole. Let’s roll.”

Hunter said the hardest part was saying goodbye to all his friends and teammates in Texas over the weekend, and cleaning out his locker took hours he said on Monday in the clubhouse before he joined the team in Kansas City.

“It’s emotional, but it’s more for the people you came up with, the relationships you built,” Hunter said.

But at the same time, Hunter said he’s familiar with several of the guys in the Orioles clubhouse and organization-guys like Jake Arrieta, Clay Rapada, Jake Fox and Guerrero-and had some interactions with Buck Showalter coming out of college at Alabama.

“I went to high school with Jake Fox, so me and him go way back actually,” Hunter said. “He goes back to my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I played on the 2006 National Team with Jake Arrieta.”

“The thing is, we get to Baltimore and start a new family,” Hunter said.

Hunter was of course referring to the other piece of the Uehara trade-first baseman and still teammate Chris Davis, who also homered Tuesday versus KC.

Hunter had nothing but good things to say about Davis, and even though the baseball gurus see Hunter as the centerpiece of the trade, he will tell you otherwise.

“He’s super-talented,” Hunter said. “He’s an unbelievable first baseman, and as you can see from his stats this year in Triple A, he was just destroying [the ball].”

Hunter said that he will be a sight to see at the plate.

“He’s a very fun player to watch, and if he’s gonna get his at-bats…you guys are gonna have fun watching him,” he stated.

Overall, he knows both he and Davis are now part of the solution when it comes to fixing the losing culture in Baltimore, and he’s ready to tackle it.

“It’s a young core,” Hunter said. “It’s a young group in Baltimore and it just got a little younger but we’re gonna have fun…that’s the cool thing about it.”

“We’re gonna enjoy what we do, and we’re going to put together a run here shortly. The longer we play together, the more camaraderie and more team-oriented, we will become. If they can keep the young core together, we can grow together and it’s going to turn into something special.”

WNST thanks Tommy Hunter for joining Glenn Clark! Be sure to check out the conversation at the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault!

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Faces of Orioles ‘Dark Ages’

Posted on 19 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

Continuing to watch Felix Pie stumble and bumble his way around left field night after night lead Drew Forrester and I to come up with an idea for this week’s Tuesday Top 7.

This week’s topic was The Top 7 “Faces of the Orioles’ Dark Ages.” The “dark ages” would be the time between 1998-present where the Baltimore Orioles have failed to post even one winning season.

Drew and I agreed that we wouldn’t include Pie on the list, mostly because at this point we would just be piling on.

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. Travis Driskill


6. Garrett Atkins


5. Jose Morban


4. Daniel Cabrera


3. Freddie Bynum


2. Rafael Palmeiro/Sammy Sosa/Vladimir Guerrero


1. Marty Cordova


Drew Forrester’s list…

7. Matt Riley


6. Mike Gonzalez


5. Jay Gibbons


4. Sammy Sosa


3. Adam Loewen


2. Brian Roberts


1. Justin Duchscherer


If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Guerrero placed on 15-day DL with broken hand

Posted on 16 July 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Following the Orioles’ 6-5 win over Cleveland to snap a nine-game losing streak, manager Buck Showalter announced Vladimir Guerrero will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a cracked bone in his right hand.

The Orioles have also optioned relief pitcher Pedro Viola to Double-A Bowie. Taking their spots on the roster will be outfielder Matt Angle and reliever Troy Patton from Triple-A Norfolk.

After Guerrero was hit by a pitch last Sunday in Boston, a second x-ray earlier this week revealed a small crack below his right pinkie. The designated hitter attempted to take batting practice on Friday, but he was unable to grip a bat without feeling pain. The move is retroactive to July 6.

Angle, the Orioles’ seventh-round pick in 2007, was hitting .266 with four home runs and 29 runs batted in for the Triple-A Tides. The speedy center fielder also has 20 stolen bases.

Patton is 4-1 with a 1.83 earned run average in 44 1/3 innings this season for Norfolk. In a brief stint earlier this season in Baltimore, the left-handed reliever allowed two earned runs and struck out three in 2 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees on May 19.

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Live from Camden Yards: No DL decision on Vlad yet, Scott close to returning

Posted on 16 July 2011 by Luke Jones

**Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Buck Showalter, J.J. Hardy, and Nick Markakis prior to Saturday night’s game with the Cleveland Indians**

BALTIMORE — While J.J. Hardy’s contract received the most attention Saturday afternoon, the Orioles continue to wait on a decision to place Vladimir Guerrero on the disabled list.

The 36-year-old designated hitter has a broken bone in his right hand and is unable to grip a bat without pain, but the Orioles appear willing to wait for another day, leaving them again with a short two-man bench of only backup catcher Craig Tatum and infielder Robert Andino for the third game of a four-game series with the Indians.

“Hopefully we’ll make a decision shortly,” said manager Buck Showalter, who has discussed Guerrero’s status with head trainer Richie Bancells.

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Considering Guerrero hasn’t played since Sunday in Boston, it seems pointless to wait for the Orioles to continue to wait when Guerrero could potentially return in 10 days if placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 11. Instead, the Orioles will play a man down.

Outfielder Luke Scott received a cortisone injection on Friday and has taken batting practice a day late. The plan is for Scott to receive at-bats with Double-A Bowie on Sunday and Monday with a potential activation on Tuesday against the Red Sox. With Guerrero likely going on the disabled list at some point over the next few days, Scott would become the full-time designated hitter.

Showalter also revealed Brad Bergesen as the likely starter against the Red Sox on Monday. Much of that depends on how much the bullpen might be used over the final two games of the Indians series. Bergesen warmed up in the bullpen during Friday’s game but was not used.

Left-handed pitcher Zach Britton pitched three innings — his scheduled workload — for Double-A Bowie on Friday night, allowing a solo home run on a 3-2 changeup. He will pitch again on Wednesday, but Showalter would not rule out a return prior to July 30, the projected date on which the Orioles would receive an extra year of service time.

“He could come back before the 30th,” Showalter said. “He controls that as much as we do.”

It’s the right thing to say, but it’s hard to imagine any scenario in which we see Britton back with the Orioles before month’s end.

Tonight’s starter Alfredo Simon will be placed on the restricted list on Sunday as he returns to the Dominican Republic to deal with his legal issues. The Orioles will gain a roster spot while Simon is away.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

LF Michael Bradley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
DH Travis Hafner
1B Carlos Santana
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
2B Orlando Cabrera
RF Austin Kearns
C Lou Marson
CF Ezequiel Carrera

SP Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 4.28 ERA)

SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Felix Pie
DH Nolan Reimold
2B Blake Davis

SP Alfredo Simon (1-2, 4.85 ERA)

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Orioles shortstop Hardy relieved to have new contract

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Orioles shortstop Hardy relieved to have new contract

Posted on 16 July 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — With the trade deadline two weeks away and the possibility of multiple teams being after his services this offseason, shortstop J.J. Hardy decided he was having too much fun with the last-place Orioles this season.

The 28-year-old shortstop agreed to terms on a new three-year contract to remain with Baltimore through the 2014 season. Reports indicate the deal will pay him in the neighborhood of $22 million over the next three seasons and will include a limited no-trade clause. The deal is pending a physical and has not been officially signed.

“There are a lot of things I don’t have to worry about now,” Hardy said. “It’s definitely a relief, a big weight off my shoulders, and just worry about playing baseball now.”

His 13 home runs is third on the club despite missing a month of the season with a strained oblique muscle. While spending a significant portion of the season in the leadoff spot, Hardy’s .490 slugging percentage is tops among regulars in the Orioles lineup.

Hardy had represented the Orioles’ biggest trade chip, but 19-year-old prospect Manny Machado is a few years away from being ready to take over the shortstop position in Baltimore, prompting president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to lock up one of the few bright spots of a disappointing season. Given Hardy’s injury history, he likely chose to avoid playing out the final two months of the season and risk an injury that could diminish his value.

“The biggest thing for me was the fact that I have been having fun here,” said Hardy, who admitted he and his agent had discussed possible teams seeking a shortstop this winter. “I like this clubhouse, I like this organization, and that was a big part for me.”

The fact that Hardy thought enough of his brief time with the Orioles to want to stay has to be a minor boost for an organization heading toward its 14th straight losing season. The shortstop wants to be part of a turnaround and hopes to be a major reason for it.

“Right now, it’s not going that well, but there is some potential,” Hardy said. “I feel like this team is a lot better than what we’ve been doing the last couple weeks. I like challenges as well as being competitive. I feel like it’s definitely a big challenge to turn this whole organization around. If I can help be a part of that, then great.”

Given the Orioles’ current stretch of nine straight losses and 23 defeats in their last 29 games, there’s been growing sentiment for the organization to sell off players and start the rebuilding process again. However, the Hardy signing means the club appears to be pushing forward with the current group of young players — for better or worse.

Right fielder Nick Markakis expressed his satisfaction with the Orioles locking up Hardy for the next three years. It was just over a year ago when the normally soft-spoken Markakis publicly questioned the direction of the organization before MacPhail hired Showalter to manager the Orioles in late July.

“It definitely means a lot to the club, the organization, and, most of all, the fans,” said Markakis, who applauded Hardy’s work in the leadoff spot for the injured Brian Roberts. “The fans have been been here a lot longer than I have and all the guys in this clubhouse. They deserve it more than anything.

“We’re working, we’re trying to climb that mountain. We’re on that way; it’s just a matter of time.”

Listen to all of Hardy’s comments as well as more from Markakis in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

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Live from Camden Yards: Guerrero has “small crack” in hand, out again

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Luke Jones

**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles face the Cleveland Indians in the second of a four-game set at Camden Yards**

BALTIMORE — As if an eight-game losing streak and losing 22 of their last 28 games weren’t enough, the Orioles received bad news in regards to Vladimir Guerrero’s injured right hand prior to tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians.

A second x-ray revealed a “small crack” on the hand below the pinkie and the 36-year-old designated hitter is again out of the lineup as the Orioles hope to snap out of a month-long stretch of abysmal baseball. Guerrero attempted to take batting practice on Friday afternoon, but the session did not go well, according to manager Buck Showalter.

“There comes a decision now how long we can or will wait,” Showalter said. “Depending on the severity of it and the pain, guys have played with [it]. It’s not the possibility of hurting it anymore or what have you; just a matter of when the discomfort goes away — if it does.”

While Guerrero’s lack of power (seven home runs and a .385 slugging percentage) has been disappointing, this latest development may dim the chances of moving Guerrero before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline. The future Hall of Fame slugger was an unlikely candidate to be dealt by July 31 even before the injury occurred in Boston on Sunday.

Should Guerrero need to go on the disabled list, Showalter said Luke Scott would likely assume the designated hitter spot when he returns from the disabled list. He is eligible to return on Tuesday, but the Orioles would like to get him some at-bats in a brief rehab assignment before activating the left-handed hitter.

Matt Wieters will hit in the cleanup spot for the second consecutive night and Nolan Reimold will assume Guerrero’s designated hitter position in the lineup, batting seventh. Showalter would like to see someone bring more production to the No. 4 spot in the order, and it appears the Orioles’ All-Star catcher is getting the first crack at it.

“You’d love to see somebody take it and run with it,” Showalter said.

To hear more from Showalter, visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

LF Michael Bradley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
DH Travis Hafner
C Carlos Santana
CF Grady Sizemore
2B Orlando Cabrera
RF Travis Buck
1B Matt LaPorta
3B Lonnie Chisenhall

SP Josh Tomlin (10-4, 3.81 ERA)

SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
3B Mark Reynolds
DH Nolan Reimold
LF Felix Pie
2B Robert Andino

SP Jake Arrieta (9-6, 4.90 ERA)

As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!

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The One Sign That Buck Does Not Have The Control That You or I Thought He Had

Posted on 07 July 2011 by Tom Clayton

When Buck Showalter became the Orioles manager last season he sparked an amazing rebirth and Orioles fans had found their savior.  Now after just under a full season at the helm of the sinking ship that is the Baltimore Orioles it looks like Buck is not the savior of Baltimore baseball; it looks like Buck is another in a string of managers that have been beaten down by lesser talent, an overbearing front office, and an organization that lacks the passion to win.  I think one thing has exemplified the fact that something is a little “off” in the organization and that maybe Buck doesn’t have the control everyone thought he had when he accepted the job last season.

The sign that Buck has either become apathetic to the team or that a higher power is controlling Buck more than the average fan would like to believe is the fact that Vladimir Guerrero is still hitting in the cleanup spot after more than half the season.  Vlad has been wholly ineffective this season and his power numbers are not just on the decline but they are in a drop to its death free-fall that has killed the Orioles offense many times this season.  Vlad has had two home runs and seven RBI since June 1st , hitting primarily in the cleanup spot.  What other team would allow a hitter to remain in the most important spot in the lineup after accumulating four extra base hits in his last 87 at bats?  The only answer I can think of is a crappy team that is trying to showcase a once great hitter so that they can get something in return for him around the trade deadline; does anyone honestly believe Buck Showalter is leaving a completely ineffective hitter in the cleanup spot as his team plummets to the depths of the standings in the American League? 

And I am sick of the argument of “if not Vlad than who will hit in the cleanup spot”?  The answer is simple, Mark Reynolds.  Reynolds has exceeded Vlad in every single offensive category this season hitting 13 more home runs and driving in 19 more runs while hitting 3-4 spots lower in the lineup.  And the argument that Reynolds strikes out too much is debatable; he has an OBP that is .33 higher than Vlad and he had shown a far better eye at the plate this season with 50 walks to Vlad’s 11.  On top of the statistically facts, Reynolds at 27, is nine years younger than Vlad and he could be a major piece to the Orioles rebuilding process while Guerrero is a one year player that will not be here next season.  So while on the surface it may look like Buck is sticking with his veterans and waiting for them to hit their way out of an early season slump….it is now past the mid-way point of the season which to me constitutes something more than an early season slump. 

I think the Vladimir Guerrero situation is a very public statement that Buck doesn’t have the type of control that Oriole fans believed he would have when he took over this job; in fact I believe this may be a statement that Buck doesn’t have the control HE thought he would have when he took over this job.  With a team that is already out of contention before the All Star break isn’t it time to stop filling these important spots in the Orioles lineup with stop-gap, over the hill players and begin to build for the future?  I think it is imperative to remember that when the Orioles began their search for a manager last season Bobby Valentine turned this job down and made it very public that he decision was due to the controlling nature of the Orioles front office.  While Buck was the better choice for this job than Valentine I think he is beginning to see why his old TV costar decided to turn this job down. 

If the Orioles hope to ever get back to respectability it is time to shake up the status quo of the last 14 years and begin to make moves that build for the future.  The future is not a 36 year old designated hitter on a one year deal…..the Orioles are going to need to begin to show fans that they understand their past mistakes or unfortunately it is their fans that are doomed to repeat them. 


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The Turning Point and the War on Errorism

Posted on 06 July 2011 by Erich Hawbaker

It’s really a miracle that I’m not bald by now. Being an Orioles fan in the Angelos era could drive the Pope to drink, and so many nights in the last 13 years after watching them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I’ve absolutely wanted to tear my hair out. I guess I never thought about it until recently, but a pattern has emerged in the last few seasons. Has anyone else noticed this? Lately, there always seems to be this Achilles Heel, which makes you say: “the Orioles would be a decent team if it weren’t for (fill in the blank).” One year, it’s the starting pitching. Then it’s the crappy offense. Then it’s always losing on Sundays. And in 2011, it’s been the errors. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Orioles would be a .500 team right now but for all the miscues on the field.

With Buck Showalter’s reputation for running a tight ship, I’m really shocked that this has become the latest reason for the Orioles’ ineptitude. As I’m sure you know, a good portion of the extra outs donated to the other team have come courtesy of Mark Reynolds. Are 40 homeruns worth a .200 batting average, about 40 errors, and at least 150 strikeouts? I’m really not sure, and I’d welcome your take on it. What I am sure of is that this entire team needs to play better defense. As Buck says in that MASN propaganda commercial, you can play against anybody if you play smart. He’s right about that, but the words have not translated into action. This must be the primary focus of the second half.

We are now at the halfway point of the season, and right on schedule the Birds are shifting from “still kind of in it” to “let’s start thinking about next year”. Since we know that yet another October will come and go without any baseball in Baltimore, the next big thing to think about is entering this year’s trade market as sellers. So what do the O’s have to offer and what do they need?

The first bargaining chip that comes to my mind is Jeremy Guthrie. My heart absolutely aches for that man. We all know that he’s far better than his 3-10 record, and that he may well be the unluckiest pitcher in all of baseball. Everyone praises him as a guy who works hard, takes lots of extra practice, and really puts forth the effort to be the best he can be. He gives up a few too many homeruns, but on a team that gave him consistent run support (and particularly one that has a pitcher-friendly ballpark) he could be an ace. I’d really hate to see him go but it might be best for all concerned.

Then there’s Koji Uehara. In the reverse situation of Jeremy Guthrie, he was brought in to be a starter and then found his niche in the bullpen. And this year, he has been lights-out as the setup man. I, for one, think he should be the closer instead of Kevin Gregg as he is far less erratic and gets most of his outs via strikeout. While his value might be high, I would be reluctant to part with him because he, Gregg, and Jim Johnson have been the only relievers we can rely on. Koji could very easily be the closer one day, and it would not be wise to gut an already shallow bullpen with a young rotation that is likely to need them for lots of innings. Unless the offer is simply too good to refuse, keep Uehara here.

And finally we come to JJ Hardy. Of all the offseason acquisitions, he has by far been the best. He’s got a good glove, and has really shined in the leadoff spot in the absence of Brian Roberts. There’s no doubt that losing Roberts is the other big reason for this year’s lack of improvement, and at his age, one has to wonder how much longer he can be counted on as the everyday leadoff man. Hardy’s current contract ends at the end of this year, and hot-hitting middle infielders are always in demand at trade time. Presumably, Hardy will only be needed here until Manny Machado assumes the position as our SS (unless they decide to move him to 2B to replace Roberts). Certainly they should shop him, but I’d lean toward hanging onto him and getting him extended before the season ends if no good offers come. Hardy seems to be a very good fit for Baltimore (unlike so many of the imports of late), and he’s young enough to be productive for several more years.

So here we are again, only halfway thru the season and already looking ahead to the next in hopes that it might be better than this one. I’ve been hearing this chatter lately about the Orioles going after Prince Fielder in the offseason. That’s a topic for another day, but I would advise you not to be too optimistic about it. Andy has yet to actually “buy a bat”, at least one that isn’t about 5 years past his prime. Besides cutting down the errors, the other thing the Orioles must do is end this bad habit of signing old guys who have had great careers and are just looking for somewhere to retire. When they brought in Vlad, I had a bad feeling that he’d go the way of Joe Carter, Albert Belle, Will Clark, and Sammy Sosa. Damn it, I hate being right all the time…

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My Rebuttal to Drew and Glenn’s Mid-Season Orioles Report Card

Posted on 06 July 2011 by Tom Clayton

This morning Drew and Glenn posted their report cards for the Orioles through the 2011 season; after reading these I felt as if I had a few strong opinions and a different insight into the craptastic “band of brothers” representing the Orioles on a nightly basis…..since I don’t have the power of the radio to express my reasons for the grades I will simply give you the grade followed by a quick validating statement about the grade.  To make this a little more reader friendly I will give you my grades on the position players today with the pitchers on Friday.  So without further ado here are my mid-term……..er……mid-season grades for YOUR 2011 Baltimore Orioles!



Matt Wieters:  A-

I give Matt Wieters a lot of credit; he has become the best defensive catcher in the American League and is a rare difference maker at the most difficult and physically demanding position on the field (Interesting stat, going into tonight’s game Wieters has not had a past ball ALL SEASON!).  Wieters is just beginning to scrape the top of his offensive potential and his ability to hit with runners in scoring position is going to be a great asset moving forward in his career.  He is one of a very select few in the Orioles organization with a realistic shot at being an A+ player.

Craig Tatum: B

Tatum is going to see very little playing time behind Wieters but in his limited action he has actually produced well with a .393 On Base Percentage.  Tatum isn’t going to give you a ton of pop but he is serviceable enough to be a backup catcher on a team with an outstanding starter.

Jake Fox: D

I admit I was a Jake Fox supporter coming out of Spring Training and I was very wrong to jump on his bandwagon.  Behind the plate Fox was a defensive liability for a team with a lot of young pitchers and at the plate he couldn’t bring any of his lofty numbers north. 


Derrick Lee: C

Derrick Lee is still one of the best defensive First Baseman in all of baseball; unfortunately he is also one of the least productive offensive First Baseman in all of baseball as well.  Lee looks to have lost almost all of the “pop” from his once feared bat and has trouble staying out of inning ending double plays. 

Brian Roberts: D

Roberts wasn’t having a great year when he was healthy with an OBP of just .273 before suffering a concussion sliding head-first into first base on May 16th.  I am sorry to say that I believe Roberts’ career is in jeopardy at this point and I think the chances of ever seeing the “Old B-Rob” ever again are pretty slim.

JJ Hardy: A

JJ Hardy would have an A+ if he hadn’t missed almost a month of the season with a left oblique strain.  When on the field Hardy is without question the most productive player in an Orioles uniform and he has proven he is a better lead-off hitter than the aforementioned B-Rob with an outstanding .351 On Base Percentage and a mind boggling .881 OPS as a middle infielder.  Hardy has also been above average in the field with a .996 fielding percentage with just one error (and that was on a foul ball).

Mark Reynolds:  B+

This is where I think Drew and I are really going to disagree; Reynolds has been everything the Orioles have been missing offensively for the last decade with 20 home runs before the All Star Break and while he is still striking out at a high clip he has shown a very good eye at the plate with a .352 OBP.  Reynolds is actually having a way better season than Adam Dunn, the man everyone in Baltimore seemed be clamoring for in the off-season, Reynolds has a higher OBP, SLG, and OPS with 12 more homers, 18 more RBI, and actually has 32 less strikeouts than the overvalued Adam Dunn.  Unfortunately Reynolds defense has been the worst in baseball with 20 errors at third base; I agree his defense is really hurting us but his bat is really paying dividends in a very bad lineup.  Reynolds has given them more than they could have expected at the plate and an eventual move to DH could make Reynolds a very valuable part of this long rebuilding process. 

Robert Andino: C-

Andino” is what he is”, a light hitting middle infielder that is probably more suited to be a utility player than an everyday starter.   Andino could contribute more if he played a little more to his strengths; he has decent speed so why not lay down a bunt every once in a while to pull third baseman in and he has only attempted three steals all season!  In the field Andino is average at best; he has made some very nice plays but he also made some costly errors in the field, if he were putting up big offensive numbers I could excuse some of these mistakes (see Mark Reynolds) but with his lack of offense and average defense I don’t see how you could move forward with Andino as anything but a utility player. 

Blake Davis: B-

Blake Davis is an interesting player that I think should see more playing time due to his solid bat; Davis provides a lot more pop than Andino at second base and seems to really hustle when given a chance.  With the team going into the dumper why not give Davis a shot at playing second every day and if it doesn’t work out, what have you really lost?

Ryan Adams: Incomplete

Adams only had 23 at bats this season and I don’t really have much to go on when grading his 2011.  To me he seems like a journeyman minor league middle infielder that isn’t going to be a very productive player at the major league level.

Brandon Snyder: Incomplete

Brandon Snyder also gets an incomplete but I still see some upside and a potentially productive player at the Major League level.  Snyder showed decent patience at the plate with three walks in just thirteen plate appearances and an OBP over .400.  I would like to see what Snyder can do for an extended stint with the Orioles but Derrick Lee and Vladimir Guerrero are both blocking his promotion.

Cesar Izturis: D

Izturis only had 26 at bats before going on the DL on May 18th with an elbow injury.  Unlike Snyder and Adams,  I have a good idea of what Izturis is and that is Robert Andino but four years older but with a better glove and more ability to use his speed on the base paths and by laying down a bunt.

Outfields/Designated Hitter

Nick Markakis: B-

I think the over the past season and a half we have seen what type of player Nick Markakis is going to be; a .300 hitter that will give you 15-18 home runs and play a Gold Glove caliber Right Field.  I would have no problem with Nick and his game if not for two things 1. He is the face of the franchise and is due to make eight figures for the remainder of his contract and 2. His doubles have fallen DRAMATICALLY; Nick is on pace to hit just around 20 doubles this season after never having less than 43 the previous four seasons.  I think Nick is a great contact hitter and a solid bat to stick in the 2-spot in a good offense unfortunately I don’t think he is going to be the cornerstone player the Orioles were hoping for when they gave him a six-year, $66 million contract two off-seasons ago.

Adam Jones: A-

Adam Jones looks as if his on the field production is catching up with his amazing potential.  At the plate Adam has fixed a lot of the holes in his swing and he has become an excellent run producer and shown a little more pop than I expected.  I would like to see Adam’s pitch recognition continue to increase and his pitch selection to improve but if he can be counted on to hit 25-30 homers and knock in 100 RBI while playing Centerfield I can live with certain aspects of his games.  Defensively Adam has made some of the most spectacular plays I have ever seen from an outfielder and he has one of the strongest outfield arms in all of baseball.  I would like to see him pick up the ball of the bat better as he sometimes is forced to make the highlight reel catch because he took the wrong route to the ball. 

Luke Scott: D+

Luke Scott gets a D+ because not only has he been horrendous at the plate this season hitting just .223 with 22 RBI but also because he finally went on the DL with a torn shoulder labrum on Tuesday.   My major issue is that Scott injured his shoulder in Spring Training and continued to play ineffectively for almost half a season trying to tough it out; I have respect for a player trying to “earn his keep” and play through an injury but not when it is clearly to the detriment of your team.  Scott is a below average outfielder and was a major liability in Left Field.

Nolan Reimold: B-

It is time for the Orioles and Buck Showalter to see what they have in Nolan Reimold.  Reimold has played well in the few opportunities he has been given this season with an .854 OPS in VERY limited action in 2011.  I think if Reimold is allowed to finish out the season as the everyday starter in left field the Orioles will have an outfield that they can compete with for the next few years.

Felix Pie: D-

Felix Pie looks as if he has no clue what he is doing on a baseball field; he routinely makes base running mistakes that would be unacceptable in Little League.  Pie avoided being my only position player to get an F because of his all-out hustle on the field.

Vladimir Guerrero: C-

The days of Vlad being a legitimate power bat are in the rearview and it is time for the Orioles to remove him from the cleanup spot.  Vlad only has 17 extra base hits and 28 RBI in 78 games this season.  The combination of diminished bat speed and constantly chasing pitches that are 6 inches out of the strike zone have left Vlad ineffective and a liability hitting in the middle of the Orioles lineup.

See you Friday with my Mid-Season grades for the Orioles pitchers!





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Morning Reaction Orioles Midseason Report Card

Posted on 06 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Orioles are now two games into the second half of the 2011 season. On Wednesday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, Drew Forrester and I gave our grades for Orioles players during the first half of the season.



Matt Wieters-Glenn Clark B+, Drew Forrester B
Jake Fox-Glenn D, Drew D
Craig Tatum-Glenn C-, Drew B



Derrek Lee-Glenn D+, Drew D
Brian Roberts-Glenn D, Drew D
JJ Hardy-Glenn A-, Drew A
Mark Reynolds-Glenn B-, Drew C-
Robert Andino-Glenn C+, Drew C
Blake Davis-Glenn C, Drew B-
Cesar Izturis-Glenn D, Drew D
Ryan Adams-Glenn C, Drew D
Brandon Snyder-Glenn C-, Drew C-



Luke Scott-Glenn D, Drew D
Adam Jones-Glenn B-, Drew B+
Nick Markakis-Glenn B-, Drew C-
Nolan Reimold-Glenn C+, Drew C-
Felix Pie-Glenn F, Drew D-
Vladimir Guerrero-Glenn D+, Drew D+



Jeremy Guthrie-Glenn C+, Drew C+
Jake Arrieta-Glenn B-, Drew C
Zach Britton-Glenn B, Drew B
Brian Matusz-Glenn D, Drew F
Chris Tillman-Glenn D, Drew D
Brad Bergesen-Glenn D+, Drew C-
Chris Jakubauskas-Glenn C-, Drew D



Koji Uehara-Glenn B, Drew B+
Jim Johnson-Glenn B+, Drew B-
Pedro Viola-Glenn C, Drew C
Kevin Gregg-Glenn C-, Drew C+
Alfredo Simon-Glenn C-, Drew C-
Jeremy Accardo-Glenn D, Drew D
Mike Gonzalez-Glenn D, Drew D
Josh Rupe-Glenn D, Drew D
Jason Berken-Glenn C, Drew C-
Clay Rapada-Glenn D-, Drew B-
Troy Patton-Glenn D, Drew F



Buck Showalter-Glenn C-, Drew B+

If you missed the breakdown of our midseason grades on Wednesday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction”, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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