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December 9, 2008

Sherrill, Ray could share closer role

With George Sherrill coming off a breakout season and Chris Ray coming back from Tommy John surgery, you'd think that there would be no question which of the Orioles' two short relievers would be the primary closer in 2009. And you would probably be right, but manager Dave Trembley is keeping his options open.

"I don't think there will be competition,'' Trembley said during yesterday's news conference. "I think I'm going to be afforded the luxury of having two guys that have done it. You know, Sherrill is the guy who's probably got a leg up on that role simply because he did it all last year and Chris missed the year. You know, with George doing it for the first time last year and then for a month there missing some time because he got a little tired, I don't think it's inconceivable that we could somehow share that role."

There also might be a decision to make behind the plate. The apparent effort to trade Ramon Hernandez could mean the early arrival of top prospect Matt Wieters, a problem Trembley doesn't seem to concerned about.

"Well, I'm looking forward to seeing Wieters,'' he said. "I think everybody is. I think Wieters is probably (ready), like I said about [Adam] Jones last year when we got Jones. You know, I've been playing with guys in the minor leagues for a long time, and those guys don't come around very often, and when they do, you'd better make sure they get better, and that's how I feel about Wieters. He's got a chance to be very good, and if you're a coach or a manager or instructor, your job is to make sure they get better."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:00 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Just baseball


"breakout season"?
You are kidding right? 3-5 4.73 ERA, 1.5 WHIP 1.01 HR/9 I am not seeing breakout here, his K/9 ratio was even down from the year before. The only stat that really improved was saves and they are a worse stat then RBI. Yes Sherrill had a lot more save opprotunities last year then he ever had before. He also set a career high for blown saves.

Pete's reply: Jeff, you're splitting statistical hairs here. The guy had four career saves until last year, saved 31 and made the All-Star team. Bad WHIP or not, that's a breakout season by any definition.

I thought the general idea was to not rush Weiters. Oh well, I guess that's why they're professionals and I'm sitting on my couch complaining about them.

Hi Peter, hope you're enjoying Vegas. Since the Cardinals acquired Greene, that makes Felipe Lopez available. Any noise about the O's looking to bring him in? It looks like there are several mediocre (and I mean that as a compliment after last season's parade of loser Shortstops) shortstops available for a good price.

Pete's reply: If you recall, the O's had a Felipe Lopez deal all but done a while back and it fell through. Haven't heard anything about him lately.

Pete I think Sherrill should be the closer for the O's. He's an allstar abd Ray is coming of surgery. Let Ray be the 8th inning guy and close on some days to give Sherrill some rest. All this talk about Garland and Burnett when there is an even better option in Ben Sheets. I dont think his history of injuries is close to Burnett's and he is a better pitcher than both. So Pete, tell my why his name is not being talked about. Or maybe McPhail is trying to pull a move on everybody like Gillick did when he got Alomar.

Pete's reply: I'm pretty sure the O's have determined he's not interested in coming here.

Shared closer role is a bad idea. Can anyone name a time when it worked for a team to have dual closers? It leads to confusion and anxiety at the back end of a game and can create bad feelings between two guys. Having a closer competition in spring training is fine but not during the regular season. Pick a guy and ride him until he proves he can't do the job. And why did MacPhail need to keep his meeting with Tex so secret? The Nats admitted it as did the Yankees. This organization is at it's happiest when they think they pulled one over on the media. It is a stupid juvenile approach to dealing with the people who get your press releases out there about new uniforms but can't get the information about a meeting with the number 1 free agent in this years class. Don't play games. Be adults.

Hey Pete, is there any interest in Ben Sheets by the O's? When health Sheets is one the best pitchers in baseball of course his issue is his health. What would his price tag be?


2 questions from your postings:

1.So if they have both Ray and Sherrill, why do they still need Johnson for the 8th inning? Why not stretch him out as a starter in the spring to possibly fill a huge void? You can always revert to a set up guy but its much harder to do the opposite way (re:Joba)
2. I know the need for a good backup catcher but why do they need a veteran catcher as a "tutor" for Wieters? Isn't that what coaches do? Or even Dempsey, like he did the last few year?

Finally, the O's can move on from their overpaid and out of shape catcher. Ramon has become a liability on the field with his in ability to throw out runners, block balls in the dirt, and communicate with pitchers. His lack of hitting has been on the decline since his arrival. It's about time he gets replaced with someone who can come in and do a better job right away as a rookie. Can you say Rookie Of The Year? Who was the last Oriole to win this award? Seems like it's been a loooooong time.

Who did the orioles get in the trade for Bradford? He was an important player in Tampa Bay's run. He was a very good player who got batters out.

Pete's reply: Nothing yet.

The Orioles had righty Pete Reichart and lefty Tippy Martinex share the closer role a few decades back. They worked well together.

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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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