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September 26, 2010

So you think the Orioles may need power?

This series in Toronto is a perfect example of how hitting the long ball can make a real difference.

In two games against the Blue Jays the Orioles have had 24 hits including six doubles. They have had one homer and scored eight runs.

The Blue Jays have had 13 hits in those two games and no doubles. But they have hit seven home runs and have scored 10 runs. They've won both games, 5-4.

On the season, the Jays have hit 241 homers, most in the majors. The Orioles have hit 131 -- 110 fewer than Toronto -- which is 10th of 14 clubs in the American League.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked before Saturday's game whether playing Toronto puts an intense light on the Orioles' deficiencies in the power department.

Diplomatically, this is what he said: "I am not in the 'We’ve got to have this, we’ve got to have that' mode right now. ... That’s for another time. ... We want to make sure our answers aren’t in our backyard before we start coveting our neighbors’ people, so to speak."

Read between the lines and the answer is yes, this team needs a power hitter or two for 2011.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 7:00 AM | | Comments (14)


maybe it's more like the lack of timely hitting. look at the the hr leaders in each league. i think only one in each league is going to the playoffs. in a l bautisa, konerko cabrera and ortiz play for teams who are not going to the playoffs. only hamilton and texas move on. n.l. pujois, dunn and gonzalez's teams are not going to the playoffs. only vutto and the reds move on. more consistency from the guys in the current line up would probably mean better pitches to see and that would translate to more hr. when no one around you is hitting well the pitchers can keep the ball on the outside. if guys were hitting better overall pitchers couldn't nibble as much. more power would be fine but you win with pitching and defense.

This team needs Adam Dunn, they need to do whatever it takes to pry him out of DC.

Do the Orioles need a power hitter? Of course they do, and how long have we been watching this glaring weakness, Is the sky blue? We have needed a clean up hitter that opposing pitcher fear for years now, its a no brainer.

Do the Orioles need a power hitter? Of course they do, and how long have we been watching this glaring weakness, Is the sky blue? We have needed a clean up hitter that opposing pitcher fear for years now, its a no brainer.

sure we need a power bat, but i don't think we need a guy with the chuck thompson term "woody Held power" who swings as hard as he can just in case he hits the ball. a Lot of the sluggers are in that mode and those who aren't are very rare. Cabrera isn't going anywhere, neither is Hamilton or Tex etc. and even if someone like Konerko is available i am not sure he's the guy either. Maybe it's not quite the right time to open up the wallet and overpay for what could be mediocrity. of the guys that will be available I just don't see the right guy for the fit on our club right now. I see several guys that can hit .280 to .300 with 15-25 homer capabilities and we all know who those guys are, with the success we've had with Buck's leadership, we are all hoping for big things next year. I still think we are at least 2 years away, as much as I hate to admit it, for truly competing in our division. As our pitching and hopefully our defense, continues to improve it may be more prudent to continue our development and make a bigger push next year rather than this one.

Of course the O's need more power, but it doesn't necessarily have to come from one spot in the lineup. Right now the O's have 3 guys who can hit 20 or more. Instead of losing one of them and his 20+ to replace him with someone who can hit 30+, maybe the better approach is to have 5 or 6 guys who can hit 20+. Markakis should be a 20 hr guy, as should Weiters, and that's what they were originally expecting from Riemold as well. Perhaps coaching can help us out with some of those guys and trades and FA market can provide the rest.
It isn't necessary to hit 240 homers a year as a club, but somewhere close to 200 would be a big help.

agh, Dunn... have you ever watched a guy Strike Out 180 times? Do you realize how that feels to watch? In the heart of the line-up? It's heart-wrenching. Pass. I'll take Cantu or Huff over Dunn.

I'd be interested in Buck's opinion on how far along Snyder is and his would seem at best a year. At best.


I couldn't agree more. Thanks.

I would like to see the O's go after Jayson Werth. He has good power and is a doubles machine. He is athletic, has speed and most of all he is a winner. Jayson is the type player this team needs. He is only 31 years old and I am sure he could switch to first base. Since the O's drafted him in the first round originally perhaps he would like to go full circle. Any thoughts?

I've heard that the 2011 free agent class is supposed to be much better than the 2010 group.

Can anyone list who those 2011 free agents will be? Are there a bunch of power hitters the O's could use in that group?

Sorry. No longer capable of playing the hurry up and wait game. Free agency isn't the only way to bring a power hitter or two to the Orioles. In the old days, a crafty GM would put together a deal that could bring the likes of Frank Robinson to Baltimore. Problem is there's not enough depth or potential talent to trade away, without doing significant damage to the farm system, and the team's so-called future. But if the future is going to be more disappointments, more losing seasons, more waiting a couple of years, then some bold moves need to happen this off-season. It's the challenge that McPhail, Angelis and Showalter face. Let's see if they're up to it.

Butch, re Jayson Werth...i have some concerns about Werth. I just have this feeling that the reason for his fairly recent success is due to the other power hitters in the Phillies lineup. I don't think he would see as many hittable pitches in our lineup (OR our division). He would be able to be pitched around without the likes of Howard, Utley, Ibanez etc. I am sure he's a good player and definitely would provide more power, but I think he is one of those guys that would likely be overpaid due to his current success and that his numbers would probably decrease in the AL east.

Of course they need a power hitter. The only power hitters they have cannot hit with men on base. They need a 3rd baseman, a SS and a 1st baseman. The only free agent they should resign is Koji or maybe Wigginton as a utility guy. The Yankee infield starters had 18 errors and the O's had at least 3 times that, maybe 4.

Bill I agree with you on both accounts.

There isn't anyone available this year that I'd be willing to break the bank for. There are nice pieces, Dunn, Konerko mainly but I don't see any as that major difference maker.
I know that nobody wants to wait anymore, trust me I know, But lets not scream for the O's to spend 150 million on every FA available just because "its not our money" (see Bay, Jason). I wouldnt' mind getting Dunn on a 2 or 3 year contract. I could even live with a 4th year, as long as he knows he's DHing by then. Actually I think I lied.. keep his contract 3 years or less. I wouldn't mind Konerko on a 2 year contract. Adrian Beltre would be a good addition as well, as a good hitter and plus plus defender. Biggest issue is that you know Josh Bell would be in the minors for the whole year if that signing was made, unless they wanted to DH or platoon him (which actually might not be the worst thing in the world).

Now as for Jason Werth, Don't really care for him here. He's a nice player, good defender, good baserunner, good power. But I too think he's benefitted A LOT from being surrounded by Howard, Utley and gang. Plus don't forget that ballpark is a sandbox. Shane Victorino is about to have 20 HRs this year..
He'd be slightly better than Ty Wigginton up here.
Next year we potentially have Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, Not sure about Pujols, I know he has an option for this year, but I dunno if its back to back options or not. So yes we all want that big bopper now, but lets not grossly overpay someone now at the risk of missing out on the right player enxt year

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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