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April 30, 2009

Minor matters

Outfield prospect Nolan Reimold continues to hammer the ball and make an argument for promotion to the majors. He hit his seventh home run during tonight's game at Scranton/Wilkes Barre and currently is 2 for 3 in the game, which has raised his average to .414. He has driven in two runs tonight and has 21 in 19 games. The game is still in progress.

Matt Wieters is not ending the month on quite the same roll. He's hitless in three at-bats and his batting average is down at .250. He has one homer and five RBI in 13 games after missing some time with a sore hamstring.

Bowie pitcher Brandon Erbe finally got some offensive (and defensive) support yesterday. The Baysox banged out 15 hits and Erbe got his first victory in four decisions, even though his ERA is 0.90 and his WHIP is 0.95. Teammates Jake Arrieta finished the month with a 2-0 record and a 2.00 ERA and Troy Patton went 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA. All three pitchers made four starts.

Brian Matusz also made four starts at Class-A Frederick and was 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA. He struck out 26 in 21 1/3 innings.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:35 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Just baseball


It's time to end the Felix Pie "experiment" right this second. And Montanez can hit in the minors, but he has never shown anything in the bigs. Give Reimold the job in left every day, and this offense will have more impact. Do it now MacPhail/Trembley. Just because Pie has "potential," it doesn't mean he's the answer. Bring up Reimold. NOW

Good evening Pete: my condolances on your job situation. I know how it feels to be working for a downsizing company and unfortunately the pain of layoffs. Don't let the anxiety get to you. I did have an Oriole related question for you if your so inclined. Why does it seem that Trembly is getting a free pass from the fans, local media, and national media. Personally I am starting to take issue with a lot of his decisions. Pinch hitting for Cesar instead of Pie. His use of the bullpen primarily his insistance on the roles of pitchers and staying that course rather than sticking with a pitcher who has dominant stuff. And what really worried me was not ordering any retaliation when Padilla threw at every orioles batters head and there mothers. Keep your head up.

Pete's reply: I don't think Trembley will get a free pass once the season is in full gear, but the team got off to a great start during the first two weeks and it's hard to pin 11 losses in the last 14 games on any particular managerial decisions. It's hard to hit him too hard with that pitching staff, but he'll be under a microscope before long if the club continues to struggle like this.

One area where I would like to commend the Orioles is they are beginning to learn when to cut the cord on useless players. Look at Cabrera and Burres' performances this year for further proof. Now, they just need to learn the same with Hendrickson, Eaton and Pie.

Hang in there. Looks like the young arms are warming up. Let's hope the economy warms up as well as the above mentioned Pitchers.
Best wishes to the guys.

it is tough to figure out what the orioles were thinking in freel and pie ,when montanez played good last year and reimoldhitting his prime . yes we needen a ss , and a 260 hitter ifine with a gold glove a plus wiggington made sense has a backup 3rd baseman and will start to hit , but pie they have a crush on for over two years ,plus freel is past his prime and just is not a good fit for this club . not that another free agent pitcher would change things much for this year but with the money they couldve saved on pie and freel they couldve added some money and went for garland it just a nobrainer from the start . what do you think about this pete ?

Pete's reply: Well, they aren't paying Pie much of anything and they actually saved money getting Freel, since they dumped Ramon Hernandez's salary. Garland was asking too much at the outset, and probably wouldn't have considered the Orioles unless he got overpaid. I'm not that excited about him right now anyway. He's 2-1, but has given up a bunch of runs (5.47 ERA).

Pete--Add to that Chris Tillman's 1-0, 1.29 ERA for the Tides and you hear the hungry chirps of the Baby Birds.

I know that this isn't relevant to this piece per se, but I had to make this available for more people to enjoy as much as I have enjoyed it. It is a quote from Zaun in a Dan Connolley piece about how terrible the O's bottom three hitters are.
I have never laughed so hard in my life:

"I don't see any reason for any sort of panic by anybody. We are all swinging the bat pretty well," said Zaun, who is hitting .111 in 54 at-bats this year. "Felix is putting good swings on the ball, he is doing some things. Cesar has been consistent. I've been consistent with the quality of the contact and the quality of the at-bats. We just haven't had as much fall in for us as the guys up top."

I made a light hearted post earlier about how technically some in the O's organization could qualify under the definition of insanity, but I hate to say that old Zauny has surely lost his last marble to make a comment like that. HILARIOUS!!!!

Check out the Shorebirds sometime. Bergesen got his start pitching for Delmarva. Right now they have 10 pitchers with an ERA below 3, 7 of those 10 are below a 2 ERA, 3 are below 1, and 6 have a WHIP of 1 or lower. Some of these guys have pitched 20+ innings as well. Granted at Single-A they have a long way to go, but it's good to see pitching stability throughout the various levels of the farm system. A very encouraging sign for things to come!

Pete's reply: Here's how screwed up my head is. I've been looking at your name next to your posts for months and it only struck me now that your name isn't James Salisbury and you're not a doctor.

McPhail is too cautious and an inside the box thinker to improve this club. Just about everyone he got during the off season has been dreadful except Koji.I'm actually surprised he allowed Bergy to be called up,Trembley must have pushed hard for him.

You can't tell me that the club wouldn't be better off in the long run to give Troy Patton innings instead of Hill but McPhail is a backwards looking person and we'll suffer through Hill trying to rehab himself for nothing. 2 and 1/2 months since spring training started and he can only throw 60 pitches?

Pete's reply: Hill's an interesting case. He was really good at the major league level two years ago and they're trying to reclaim him. He had a sore elbow in the spring, so they're taking it real slow. He also had some other issues, which they're trying to avoid. This one's complicated, but could have a big upside. There is no downside since they weren't going to bring up Patton this soon regardless.

I am all for hoping that Reimold turns out to be the third piece of the best outfield in baseball, but the fact is that a strong season at AA and a great month at AAA do not prove he will and do not mandate that he be called up now. He should continue to learn to hit at AAA and be called up in September. If he's the real deal, he'll be our left fielder next year. It's not time to bail on Pie (who already proved he can hit at AAA) after one month.

in regards to the pitchers in the need to rush them up. let them refine their skills and it's good for the pitchers in norfolk to work with weiters. in regards to pie, i personnaly don't think he's going to help but give him 100 at bats and then make a decision. i'd like to see hernandez get more at bats to give him a fair chance, i think he could be a good 4th of, dh and maybe play some first base. wiggenton has been a disappointment so far in the field and hitting and izzy at ss certainly hasn't been the 2nd coming of luis aparicio. maybe the orioles should let their pitchers hit instead of zaun and the orioles should handle pie like willie mays hayes was handled in "major league". everytime he hits the ball in the air he has to do pushups. box the 6-7-15 in the derby and go caps vs pitt.

I just saw the article on the O's bottom 3 hitters. Think this may shorted Pie's trial? Izzy isn't doing too poorly and they NEVER expected great run production from him. Zahn is about the only option at C right now. Since his injury Weiters has had a bit of trouble restarting his on fire production and he wasn't going to hit Eutaw St til July anyway. That leaves the HUGH black hole in the batting order that Pie now fills. I understand the desire to give him a try, but honestly, who would want to waste a roster spot and claim him off of waivers after his April? Pass him thru, send him to Norfolk and either give Montanez a trial or bring up Reimold.

I want to remind other posters about Felix Pie:

AAA: .362/.410/.563 in 55 games in 2007, at age 22. Reimold's 25 this year. Oh, that's right...he's more than a year older than Pie.

Look, I've been watching Pie stink it up...the stats are not lying, he's looked as bad as the numbers. But there's nothing dumber than judging the kid's talent based on 20 games. MacPhail is going to let this play out for another month, maybe, and I think that's good leadership.

The F.O. will have to adjust their plan. You cannot justify the use of Pie in left field and you cannot continue to put pitchers on the field who cannot pitch at this level. You owe the people who are paying money to support your efforts to put your very best on the field.

The league is hitting .302 against us -- now that's what I call 'pitching to contact.' But we can't let that force us to rush the Baby Birds.

stick to the plan. stick with pie for now.

Reimold hit his 8th HR tonight. What more does this kid have to do to get a shot in the majors? Pie on the other hand has never hit major league pitching & I think it's time to label him a bust, and move on. Dump Pie & bring up Reimold now!

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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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