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August 12, 2008

Bullpen shuffle?

If the Orioles don't call up a pitcher today (And why stop at one?), I'm going to fly to Cleveland and offer my services. I'm pretty sure I can face five batters and get no one out...and, despite what you may have heard, $390,000 per year would be a significant raise for me.

The starting rotation is in tatters and the bullpen has gone so far south I could have sworn I saw Jamie Walker in a long conversation with some guy with a pitchfork. When Jamie reels off 10 straight scoreless appearances, you'll know what happened.

Seriously, it has reached the point where you can see the exasperation in the face of Dave Trembley every time the camera finds him in the Orioles dugout. In fact, if I were a high-ranking MASN programming guy, I'd seriously consider unveiling an "Exasper-Cam" and a "Frustrat-O-Meter" on upcoming broadcasts. Last time I looked, there was still about 40 percent of my screen that doesn't have some kind of fancy (for regional cable) graphic.

Today's gut feeling: The next man up will be Kam Mickolio, who has pitched very well since moving up to Triple-A. No inside knowledge here. Just a hunch, but I was right about Rocky Cherry.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 12:40 PM | | Comments (14)


Hey there Peter,

I wouldn't be surprised to see "the Almighty" come up here and throw, but he's had a lot of control problems in the past.

As far as a possible starter, there isn't much left in AAA that hasn't already had a chance in the majors and floundered. Trembley and MacPhail seem adamant about not bringing up a young AA arm, but I'd have to think that the sinker-baller Brad Bergesen has to be creeping up the horizon. He doesn't walk guys, he doesn't go for strike outs, and he keeps hitters in the park. Sounds like exactly what the Orioles could use right about now. If he falters a little, so be it. He wasn't as highly touted as Chris Tillman and he's still young enough to go back to the minors and turn it around.

By the way, what in the world does Luis Montanez have to do to get in the order? Batting .500 with a homer and 2 RBI and somehow Luke Scott with his achy achilles is being trotted out there?

"a" is for Andy MacPhail

Surprise, Surprise. Running Sarfate out there is basically throwing a game away. He belongs in the pen. The only victory is if they don't end up using 6 pitchers when he starts.

it will obviously be a huge step back if we dont sign matusz. Him and Tillman at the top of our rotation looks pretty good for the coming years. I hope your right about Mickolio coming up, itd be cool to see if we got another steal out of that trade with the Ms.

Ray I agree that Tejada is far from a lock for the HOF. The steroid issue will obviously be a negative but I think it's a stretch to say his lying about his age will be that much of a factor for the voters. I'm sure there's many players in the Hall that have 2 birth certificates and/or have been less than truthful about their ages. Tejada's numbers have declined in recent years and he will likely have to put up a couple more 20 Hr/100 RBI/.300 years.
I'm more than willing to move on without him or Bedard or Gibbons and fully some of our current deadwood. My only point of mentioning the Houston trade was that maybe we should have received more in return but that ship has sailed.
Personally, I'd prefer to stay away from these type of blockbuster trades as method of rebuilding because you often end up in circles, adding pieces but at the same time creating new holes.
In a perfect world, we contend with our own draft picks like Weiters/ Reinhold/Matusz/Markakis.etc. Yes, it may take longer but at least we know the players rather than the ones from other clubs.

I share your frustration with the pitching Peter. In all fairness, the 'pen is likely burnt out, having to enter games by the 3rd inning. Bierd had a bad game obviously but from what I saw in his other appearances, he seemed to have some nasty stuff.
With the exception of Guthrie and CanCAb's starts maybe we should just treat the other games like spring training-you know-have a bunch of guys throw for 3 innings each. That's all we're getting from many of the starts anyway. Set up a schedule and assess the arms that way. Probably too 'radical' but I'm sure Trembley is open to anything at this stage.

Sorry, Peter, but promoting Mickolio over Jim Miller would send the wrong message to the kids toiling away in the minor leagues. Mickolio has pitched well at AAA, but he was not lights-out at AA. Let him dominate at AAA for the rest of the year and fight for a bullpen job next Spring. Jim Miller has been solid in AAA all year, was recently named IL player of the month, and has earned the next shot.

I am a Tides season ticket holder and Mickolio sure looks ready to me.

Miller time.

If you are right about the bullpen shuffle... Who goes to make room??? Is Walker on his way out??? Maybe Sarfate???

"z" is for early sleep when they get blown out in the first inning again...

I know names of players who clear waivers are supposed to be confidential, but is it true that on Aug. 1 many teams put a bunch of names out there just to clear them? If so, any chance Mora cleared and could go join Bradford in T Bay now that Longoria is out for a few weeks?

I think we should have put Mora at SS back in June anyway and moved Huff to 3rd instead of mickeymousing around with the guys we've been putting out there.

Pete's reply: Mora has a no-trade clause, which complicates the situation, but it is possible he has cleared waivers.

Pete -
Please explain to me what it means when we trade Bradford for a "player to be named"?? Does that mean the player they send us depends on how well he does? I feel as though they have our player and have all the say in who we get in return. Bradford had decent numbers and has playoff experience and should therefore get us something in return as we watch our bullpen fall apart.

Pete's reply: It's not generally contingent on anything. The O's either know who the player will be, or there is a list of players they will get to choose from -- and they've already agreed on the list.

this is completely off topic of the Orioles but has anyone seen this Olympic sport Handball? It is the dumbest thing i have ever seen. It looks like a mix between volleyball, soccer and basketball. I cant believe they are going to get rid of baseball and softball next Olympics so they can play this "sport". I hope Arrieta has a good showing in the Olympics.

Pete's reply: Joey, Team Handball has been a sport in the Olympics for a long time. I actually played it in college, though not well. It's popular in some other countries.

Anyone remember earlier this year when Trembley made a comment about last year's bullpen to the effect of it not having "major league arms?" To me, the only difference between last year's bullpen and the current bullpen is a 27 run shellacking. I think things started to get ugly when Albers got hurt.

I agree/with post immediately above. Albers is injured and the bullpen falls apart.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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