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February 23, 2009

Orioles: Kranitz holds court

Pitching coach Rick Kranitz agreed to an impromptu press briefing a little while ago and explained the club's rationale for starting Brad Hennessey in the first Grapefruit League game on Wednesday. Hennessey benefits from Jeremy Guthrie's selection to Team USA.

"All of Guthrie's inning will be given to someone else,'' Kranitz said. "Jeremy was going to start that game, but [now] he's going to throw two simulated innings tomorrow."

That doesn't mean, however, that moving Hennessey into the first start is not significant. Kranitz says that it is very meaningful, and that Hennessey is going to get a very long look this spring.

"We're going to take a real good look at him,'' Kranitz said. "We're going to give him an opportunity."

There are at least two openings in the Orioles rotation, but those slots apparently haven't been left blank. Kranitz revealed today that he already has five starters in mind, though that obviously could change over the course of training camp.

"I have an idea of what it's going to be, but that's just right now,'' he said. "I had five in my mind last year at this time and it was wrong."

Judging from his comments, I'd speculate that the first three are Jeremy Guthrie, Koji Uehara, Rich Hill and the fourth would be either Hennessey, Hayden Penn or David Pauley. He said he also has a "sleeper" that is not on anybody's radar just yet.

Who do you think that might be?

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 1:21 PM | | Comments (69)
Categories: Just baseball


Brad Bergeson. Throws strikes, gets people out and eats innings.

The sleeper in my mind is DEFINITELY Sidney Ponson, whom the Orioles are looking to sign in the next 1-2 days

Pauley from Bos.....Deep sleeper is Penn

Arrieta or Parrish

Penn or Arrieta... even though they said they wont rush him


So Pete, isn't there just something a little wierd hearing about the news that a minor league catcher might have lost millions in the Stamford swindle? What planet are we on?

Pete's reply: The one where we marvel at how much minor league catchers make, apparently. He got six million from the O's. Guess he had to park it somewhere.

Could this new player Donnie Moore play 3rd and pitch?

Pete's reply: Another Schmuck brain cramp. I fixed it.

Me! But in all seriousness. Let's think. Hm...a sleeper that's on nobodies radar. Hoey? Perez? Is Waters going to get another shot at the rotation? Can't wait until spring training games!

Either Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, or Jake Arrieta.

Troy Patton.

John Parrish.

If Kranitz has a "sleeper" might he be thinking of converting catcher Rob Hammock into a pitcher?

Me being the perverbial party pooper , I for one think the timing of the WBC stinks . Not that I'm trying to defend Leo Mazzone ( especially after reading his parting comments) but his first spring here many of the O's pitchers where involved in the WBC . How could there be any continuity when your'e playing catch-up trying to learn your own players.

David Hernandez

I like Penn, but I believe Penn and Pauley are going to be picked up via Rule 5. Everyone can’t stay.

Schmucker, please go find your Turtle and mail it to that liberal SOB (the other Penn). Before you cage it put at least 10 ice teas in there.

If they aren't on anyone's radar then they aren't on the team yet.

Hennessey, because he's doing well
Pauley, because he's out of options
Penn, because he's out of options
Liz, because he started last year
Parrish, because he's pitching well
Baez, because he's pitching well
Hendrickson, because he's a lefty
Waters, because he's a lefty
Chiasson, for god knows what reason
Arrieta, because he's legit
Matusz, because we're desperate
Sarfate, because he started last year
Patton, because he's pitching well
Albers, because he started last year
Johnson, because he isn't on anyone's radar
Bergesen, because he was AA pitcher of the year or something
Berken, because he's getting older and pitched well last year
Tillman, because, well why the heck not, he's not on my radar

I'm sure I'm missing someone.

Oil Can Boyd?

Danny Baez. I'm not saying it should be, but with a new elbow and experience, I bet the coaches would be willing to give him a shot if he does well this Spring. The more exciting option would be one of the young guys from Bowie, but I really don't think they'll rush any of them, especially Tillman who is so young, but probably the best of the bunch.

Jake Arrietta

New flash-
"All of Guthrie's inning will be given to someone else..."

So I guess then the pitcher not in camp will not be pitching in camp???

Thanks for the update Rick.

Sleeper: Paul Byrd. All other 37 are on everyone's radar.

Simon. I saw him pitch late last year against Tampa Bay and he had great control--0 walks in 7 1/3.


Baez, perhaps?

LIZ!!!! ok I am just kidding...

If he cleans his stuff up, he could do ok in the 'pen.

andy mitchell

Odalis Perez?

Hendrickson, maybe?

Could it be Jacob Arrieta already? After his Olympic performance last summer...

Not on anyone's radar? I would guess Matt Weiters.

Just kidding.

Who do you think it is if you had to guess?

Question is, Pete, who do YOU think that might be?

I'm thinking Arrieta gets a surprise shot?

Hendrickson's going to the bullpen, isn't he? I haven't heard anyone give him a shot to make the rotation.

And as for my 5th guy that "not on anybody's radar just yet", I might have to say Matt Albers. Has anyone been talking about him? Your guess is as good as mine.

Since Odalis Perez was released by the Gnats today was there any talk of the Orioles trying to pick him up? He's not much, but he might be better than anything else that the Orioles have right now for starting pitching. If Perez doesn't want to play in DC, I'm not sure why he would want to come to Baltimore even if the team had interest in him, but I was just curious if there was any buzz about him at all today in Ft Lauderdale.

Pete's reply: Not a word that I've heard.

Hennessey-because he acts likes he has nothing to lose .

Could it be Parrish or one of the minor leaguers?

The sleeper is Peter Schumuck. Can't be any worse right?

I'm thinking the sleeper might be Danys Baez. I know Baez has expressed his interest in starting, but not much past that has been mentioned of him having a legit shot. Are you hearing anything about Baez?

Pete's reply: My gut feeling is that you are correct, but it's not like nobody has talked about him as a starter.

What? No love for Albers or Patton? I'd go with Albers before any of them.

Pete's reply: I don't think they could be called sleepers. If Albers is healthy, he's one of the favorites.

Who do you think that might be?
I hope its Bergesen and Hernandez
I would like it to be Tillman, Arrieta and Matusz, but that is not likely

Bob Milacki !?


Baez could be making some good progress. Same with Parrish.

I have to go with Sarfate or Bergeson as sleepers?

Brad Bergesen?
Danys Baez?
Jim Johnson?

Its got to be Oil Can Boyd.


I think the sleeper is John Parrish. He's a lefty and he had solid numbers last year.

My pick is Thursday's starter, Danys Baez, solely on Kranitz's rave review of his sessions as compared to his critiques of others in camp. (I've yet to hear any negatives at all.) And quite honestly, hardly anyone expects much out of Baez anyway ("washed up," many say)--certainly not one of the five starters in most lists, so he definitely fits the profile of a "sleeper."

My "Sleeper" guess is Brad Bergeson. I really have not heard his name as much as I have heard of the other plus the fact that he had a very nice minor league season last year.

Could Jim Palmer be coming back from broadcasting booth?

Jim Johnson ultimate sleeper and ex-starter


I heard that Andy Mac was in discussions with The Rockets agents and that he has been pitching private sessions in a local High School gym for Kranitz and Tremb! NOT!

Baez is my sleeper!

if it's a "sleeper" it's gotta be someone who has never been brought up in conversation of possible starters. I dnt think it will be one of the "young guns" because I dnt see the O's rushing them into the bigs like in the past. eventhough they have already been brought up in conversation I think it will be either Baez or Parrish. I know this may sound crazy but what about Chris Ray? like I said sounds crazy but with a mid-high 90's fastball and good slider could possibly do what the Yanks did with Joba Chamberlain. you never know

What happened to Liz as a starter? He should be No. 4 or 5. Then Pauley or Penn, with the other as long-relief. As for the "sleeper," my money's on Parish.

Parrish is the sleeper!

Parrish is the sleeper!

Good one, Barry, on Hammock. It's an old adage that when a pitcher is really "on" with his control, he makes the catcher look like he's in a rocking chair -- or in this case, a Hammock.

I'm thinking Guthrie, Uehara, Hill, Pauley, and Hennessey, with Liz and Penn on the ML roster.

My bet is that Kranitz talking about a sleeper is psychology. With 37 pitchers in camp there have to be a few guys who think they have no chance at all. Now they're all going to wonder whether they're the sleeper.

I got it. Ray Lewis. He just can't announce it until after Friday.

Steve Stone

has to be old no.22 he can still smoke em

Here's a vote for Baez.

David Hernandez. This guy will surprise a lot of people.

John parrish who was 10-1 with a great era in AAA lat year

Kenny Powers is the sleeper.

I would hope that Pauley and Bergesen get their shots...those guys have shown the ability to throw strikes consistently. With the Orioles' improved defense, all a guy like that has to do is keep the ball in the park and he's an average major-league starter.

The phenoms who "miss bats" are coming...for now, let's have guys who throw strikes and see if one of them turns into Jamie Moyer.

See: Carlos Silva (pre-2008).

My sleeper is Danys Baez. owever my deep sleeper is Brian Bass - simply because he is out of options. A lot of people seem sold on Penn or Pauley making the team when neither has any major league success whereas Bass didn't look half bad when he pitched for the orioles in September. What are the reports on Bass? Does he have a legit chance?

My sleeper is Danys Baez. owever my deep sleeper is Brian Bass - simply because he is out of options. A lot of people seem sold on Penn or Pauley making the team when neither has any major league success whereas Bass didn't look half bad when he pitched for the orioles in September. What are the reports on Bass? Does he have a legit chance?

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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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