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February 18, 2009

Orioles: Montanez ready to compete

montanez2.jpgOutfielder Lou Montanez, who earned a late call up last season after putting up Triple Crown numbers at Double-A Bowie, arrived at camp to face a very crowded outfield situation in the wake of the offseason acquisition of Felix Pie and Ryan Freel.

Not that he is surprised by any of it. He monitored Andy MacPhail’s offseason reconstruction project and knows that it could dramatically affect his chances of making the 25-man roster out of spring training.

“I’m always paying attention,’’ he said. “It’s kind of like reality TV for me. I follow everything that comes out.”

Rather than be disappointed about it, he said he is more determined than ever to prove he belongs at the major league level.

“It’s expected – in the big leagues – there’s going to be competition. I think that makes you better. It’s a long spring and a lot of things can happen. You always come in trying to outdo the other guys. You wish everybody luck, but you want to be the luckier one.”

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 3:56 PM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Great to see a kid with that attitude, rather than one of entitlement. Go Sweet Lou!

I wish him the best of luck. The kid wins the Triple Crown even after missing the last month! Then he shows he can do it here, and there is still little respect or talk about it. I hope he has a great spring!

With Montanez and Scott both in tow, I'm not quite sure why the O's went after Pie & Freel. Watching LM toward the end of last year I got the impression this guy just might be a high quality everyday left fielder. I think he'd be better offensively than the streaky Scott. I'm not sure of his defensive prognosis, however. Anybody know?

I liked what I saw of him last year, and hope he gets a chance to make the team. He's got the right attitude, so he just has to go out there and prove that he should be on the team. I wish him luck!

For Montanez to make the team, Freel and Wigginton have to be able to back-up SS.

It would seem to make sense to me for both the O's and Montanez if he would spend this spring learning third base. I know the signing of Wiggy gives the O's another third base option. But if Mora isn't back next year, a guy with Montanez's bat would seem to be a natural at third.

It would seem to me that he could go to Norfolk and add another defensive position to his resume, and be ready.
Mora hasn't been super durable as of late. So having a "major league ready" guy waiting to step in and play third seems to make sense.

It would also fit with Trembley's really seeming to like guys that carry more then one glove to work. Pete, have you heard anything about Montanez working at third this spring?

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Pete's reply: I haven't heard anything, but Dave likes to move guys around in the spring, so who knows.

Any chance he can play another position, like corner IF? There is such a log jam in the OF I don't see how he is going to get a chance. This is assuming Pie gets the Adam Jones treatment.

I love Lou's fire and the way he swings the bat. Right now, it looks like his only chance of making the team is if someone gets injured.

Nice photo of Lou diving for the ball. I'm pretty sure though that he didn't make that catch.

Pete-

I think Montanez is a gamer. My money is on him making the roster going north.

The sad thing for Montanez is, he could hit .450 with 5 homeruns this spring and still not make the team because Pie is out of options. I don't think the O's are confident in his fielding ability either.

Pete -

The OF certainly has a lot of possibilities to it now and years to come. But what about our backups at SS and 3B? Izturis is an 8-yr vet, and Mora/Wigginton are here for 2 years unless they are traded by the deadline. All of our SS's from last year are gone, and although Scott Moore cleared waivers, he doesn't seem to be the guy. I'm assuming Huff yields to Salazar in 2010???

What's the plan for our future infield?


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Pete's reply: I think Wigginton is the backup at third and Chris Gomez will back up at shortstop. I really don't know how they project past the next two years.

I think Lou can be an everyday player. I hope we find time so he has a chance to show what he can do with 350+ at bats.

Lou is the schizzel!!!
If anyone should learn another posistion it should be Scott, Pie or Freel.
No real consisitent hitting from any of these guys.
Ist base would be a posistion for all three to try....
since Huff could always DH.

i thought when the orioles signed freel it would be between montanez and freel for leftfield,but the cubs and theo'swanted this pie deal to go through for two years . wiggenton will hit but it seems we have to many of the same type of players with none of these outfielders getting enough atbats , smells like a trade ,but dont dump montanez to soon he is the type that can have a more then decent career.

Pete,

I would like to ask you about a different subject. With the Orioles drafting fifth this year they appear to be in a position to draft one of three players, Crow, Ackley or Tate. Tate seems to be the third best choice because he is a highschool kid, which will tend to effect how soon he might arrive in the majors, he is an outfielder which is the teams strongest area and he is ranked behind the other two in talent.

There is some question that Crow will fall to fifth because Pittsburgh drafts before the Orioles and I am sure they can smell a bargain. After sitting out last year he is going to be much more reasonable about his price and Pittsburgh knows it.

That leaves Ackley. From what I have seen, he should hit for a high average and he is athletic for a big guy. But I have seen no opinions about his potential power. How does he compare to the better first basemen who were drafted in the last two years?

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Pete's reply: Wow, you've mistaken me for a draft expert. I'll have to ask around on that.

If Montanez could learn to play 3B, and Pie turns out to be the player he was supposed to be, I would have to think we'll be in great shape, offensively, 3 years from now when Tillman, Arrieta, Matusz, and Co. arrive.

Just imagine...a rotation of Tillman, Arrieta, Guthrie, Matusz, Berken, with Ray, JJ, Perez, and Hernandez in the 'pen. And a lineup of Roberts, Montanez, Markakis, Wieters, Jones, Reimold, Pie, and whoever we have playing SS and 1B at the time.

this guy could be another Alex Rios...

Maybe Montanez can be a backup OF, backup DH and backup SS.

Montanez is trade bait. Assuming he has a good year, he'll get traded for more pitching and/or a prospect at 1st or 3rd base. That's where the minors are weak right now.

Wyatt lol u got banned and i recommned getting braces after i saw your picture

Wyatt lol u got banned and i recommned getting braces after i saw your picture

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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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