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April 14, 2009

No need to worry about Wieters

Top prospect Matt Wieters had a couple of hits for the Norfolk Tides last night to raise his average to .200, which should ease some of the concern that had cropped up with his 1-for-11 performance in the team's first regular-season series against the Durham Bulls.

Nobody in the organization was worried about Wieters getting off to a slow start at the Triple-A level. He just spent spring training hitting anything that got within sniffing distance of home plate, so the Orioles are confident he'll hit at any level. I don't believe there is a competitive scenario at Norfolk that would change the date of his eventual arrival at the major league level.

Meanwhile, teammates Lou Montanez and Nolan Reimold continued to scorch the ball, getting three hits each in last night's 7-0 victory over Charlotte. Montanez is batting .588 and Reimold is batting .412, but it wasn't the best day to make the argument that either one of them should be starting ahead of Felix Pie on the major league club.

Pie's three-hit performance, which included his first Orioles home run and a key single in the Orioles' five-run rally in the fifth, raised his average to a respectable .278. His defensive performance is more of an issue at this point, since he continues to look uncomfortable in left field.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:02 AM | | Comments (26)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

A big A-men about pie,s defensive
abilitys.he does look lost.To get
better he has to play,his hitting will come around.Markakis,Roberts &
Huff are scorching the ball.

Man this O's lineup will be scary when Wieters gets here. I'm hoping Trembley will plug his switch hitting bat right into the four spot between Markakis and Huff. It will create such problems for pitching matchups (especially late in the game), because he seems to be equally adept from both sides of the plate.
I'd never root against an Oriole, but let's just say I wasn't thrilled by Pie tonight. He may have bought some more playing time after tonights performance. Montanez is still my guy and the way he's going, well you know the old saying "you can't keep a good man down for long." .588 average, wow. Who knows, if Pie can continue maybe I'll turn my disgust for a "lack of Lou" to Freel. I think that ultimately Pie will have to show something against left handed pitching. And to not look like a chicken with its' head cut off, out there in left.

Pete in all honesty PIe looks terrible out in left field.He hasn't given anybody any indication that he is even a average fielder. See here is where i have a problem with this organization. They put the no field tag on Montanez and no matter what ever he does he will always be a bad outfielder.This 5 tool crap that gets attached to a player is just that CRAP. I have read reviews of many scouts that say Pie isn't nearly as good as the orioles project him to be.


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Pete's reply: Well, I guess we're going to find out.

A thought to spice up the NBA playoffs that can be expected to plod through several week of preliminaries beginning this weekend: reverse the expected schedule and start off with the Lakers-Cavs and then work backward to those exciting divisional matchups.


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Pete's reply: I'm all for that.

Now need to worry about Wieters, but like is said in your chat yesterday you better start worring about Zaun! Can't throw, can't hit, can't bunt, can't advance the runner. Does not sound like a Trembley kind of guy! The O's are lucky to be winning these games. It won't be long when they start losing them because of Zauny!

I was confused when they traded for both Pie and Freel with Montanez and Reimold close to being ready, but I guess it can't hurt to have too many guys.

At least Wieters' slump has quieted the roar to bring him up. He'll be up when he's ready and Zaun is doing a fine job with the team.

Is Brandon Snyder possibly solving the teams long-term problems at first base if he continues to hit well and stays health, or do they view him as a DH once he gets up here?

Thanks


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Pete's reply: I think he's in the mix, but they still need to improve the organizational depth at all the infield positions.

Montanez and Reimold need to be brought up or used as bait to get better starting pitching.

My Cub fan friends out here who followed Pie at AAA Iowa Cubs and in short stints in Chi say he'll never pan out. I say give him until July 15, then Montanez comes up.

Wieters coming up here in late May is going to give us a huge boost. However, having Zaun behind the plate blocking balls in the dirt and hustling back there makes me so happy. Nothing pissed me off more than Ramon last year not even really making an attempt to block balls in the dirt and then when the ball would get by him he would jog after it and it didn't matter if guys were on third about to score or anything. The guy was the laziest piece o' blank in the world. Thank you, Zaun! I think his ability to block balls in the dirt made a huge difference in last night's game.

Montanez and Reimold make it so that if anything happens to one of our outfielders, I'm confident that their offense won't be missed too much, even though defensively they aren't as good. But, both of those guys can rake and I believe they both can do it at the major league level. I wouldn't mind seeing one of them come up to be the full-time DH, sorry Luuuuuke. And we might be able to use the other in a mid-season trade for a pitcher if we are still in the hunt. Although, I doubt that happens since we have Bergesen and Hernandez waiting in the wings.

I love the way Pie ran the bases after his homerun, and really every time he got on base. He was aggressive and I loved it. I can't wait for his swing to really start coming around working with the Crow. Especially if this is just the beginning.

Peter,

Weiters notwithstanding, please advise your editors that their presumptive pronouncements that "the Orioles played their first regular season game since 1972 with 'Baltimore' on their road jerseys" is typically inaccurate.

My son and I attended a game at Cleveland Stadium on Friday, June 18, 1993 in which the Orioles wore road jerseys with "Baltimore" emblazoned on the front. It was a "turn back the clock night". Our heroes won 4-1, thanks to a Cal Ripken homer...after the batter in front of him was intentionally walked!

Please have your erstwhile checkers and editors do a little research before putting forth the "news". Perhaps a Sun archive photo will prove my assertion.

Best regards,

Roger Weaver
Ellicott City


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Pete's reply: I think you're nitpicking. The reference was to the regular uniform, not some promotional day, but if it makes you feel superior to us ink-stained, imperfect wretches, glad to be of service.

Pete, I know it is early but, if the O's contiue to rack up wins and we have Wieters and some of the stud pitchers coming soon, do you think we could actually get better as the season progresses and maybe be in contention down the stretch?


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Pete's reply: Yes.

Love it!
And not to metion that Tillman pitched very well and Snyder looks like he should be at AAA. Rowell finally got a couple of hits.

Matt Wieters doesn't sleep.

He WAITS.

Not that we're anxious or anything, but have you gotten a sense from Dave Trembley how many starts we'll see from the current rotation before he (re)evaluates them? My guess is Guthrie/Koji - as much as they need
Hendrickson/Simon - 4 starts
Eaton - 3 starts
Also, could you give us an update as to what each of the top 5 minor league starters needs to improve upon to get a callup?


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Pete's reply: I think the top five minor league starters are doing just what they are supposed to do and will come up based on how they progress. I don't think any of them have weaknesses that are keeping them down. It's just a matter of seeing them mature.

Since possibly there is only one current pitcher who we will want to see next year for sure why not go back to 12 pitchers, let them go longer innings, and stop babying these arms - they are mid-20's athletes not high school pitchers! bring up Montanez and release Eaton and one of the bench guys to allow us to find out if Montanez is the real deal. If so we have trade material and might get some more young arms to join the crew on the way in the minors.

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Pete's reply: They are at 12 pitchers.


Related-kind of;
Peter has there ever been a MLB team that won a pennant or made the playoffs based on a "pure offence" profile? I know that it works in football and basketball that you can have offensive minded teams with mediocre defense do well. Has the same ever worked in baseball?

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Pete's reply: No, the pitching has to improve for them to be competitive at all over the long run.

Right - what a difference a day makes huh. I thought his bunt attempt was a good sign too a couple games back. He clearly was pressing and swinging at bad pitches his first couple games . As odd as it seems to me too, i now see the need for 13 pitchers. I suspect Trembley leans that way but McPhail does not. When (if) Mora becomes healthy, Freel seems the most expendable position player, with Guthrie as the only actual "innings eater". Yikes

The Tides won a game 7-0, and you're talking about hitting? C'mon!

The O's are giving up nearly six and half runs per game and the staff hasn't burned out ... yet. So unless the O's are planning on a 16-man staff (which wouldn't make any difference after watching twice that many during March Madness, a.k.a. Spring Training), the O's are going to need something else.

And until then, I am still not shying away from my 54-win prediction.

I haven't seen much of Reimold in the field, but Pie can't possibly look more uncomfortable in the outfield than Montanez looked last year.

It was nice to get out of last night with a win.
Baez had trouble finishing hitters, even though he got ahead of the first 3 or 4 batters he faced. He seems a lot more comfortable starting an inning without inheriting runners (can't say I blame him.)

How great do those "Baltimore" jerseys look? Now we just need a cartoon bird on the hats.

Pete,

Doesn't Felix Pie look a little bit like Corey Patterson to you? Do you see the same kind of talent in Pie as Patterson?

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Pete's reply: No, I think Pie has way more raw talent. But that doesn't mean he won't end up being another Corey Patterson.

Always glad for another W, but the bullpen, which nobody really questioned this spring, has hardly been "lights out" so far this season. They're not terrible, but hardly setting the bar all that high either.
The starters really need to last longer to help them. We started off hot last year too, but when nobody ever goes more than 6 innings, and few even do that, the BP is going to be blown by the AS break again.
Lots of teams have tried to score their way to a WS ring, but it never works.

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Pete's reply: You're right. I think the bullpen is better than it has shown, but you're correct that the rotation has to throw more innings or it won't make any difference.

Hey Pete,

I doubt Trembley, or even MacPhail would have guessed that our offense would be this productive so far this season. If the offense keeps this going, and proves that we can easily score 5-6 a game, do you think we may be contenders to land a big name starter? I do not know about you, but if we have a rotation with a few guys who consistently give up 4 runs or less I think we can shock the MLB! Let's get Peavy! Or better yet, let us get Bedard :-)

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Pete's reply: Nobody is going to trade a starter at this point in the season, but if the O's could stay competitive into June, then that's possible. That's a big stretch, of course, since it's only been seven games, but why not have some fun while it lasts.

I know Pete,

I was just venting. I knew from the very start that we would have an offense, and it seems the Orioles have always been a couple of legit starters away from being a very special team. I mean, if we had a Garza and a Shields we would literally be BETTER than the existing Rays team. Food for thought is all.

A previous poster asked about a pure Off. team winning, and the only example I can think of is the Big Red Machine. Even they had a Jim Maloney, Gullett or Simpson on the mound and some good guys (Eastwick et al) in the pen. I don't think anyone should start thinking our crew can compare. As much as we like our own team lets face it, Bench, Perez, Foster, Rose they are not. I do remember a lot of Indian and Red Sox teams in the 50's & 60's who could hit a ton, but had light pitching and were always 2nd division tewams. In '67 Longorg and a few others put the Sox over the top as much, or more as their hitting. We need 2 full time, reliable horses in the rotation and at least one lights out guy in the pen. I thonk this is 2yrs away. This season could be fun tho, heck, mediocre Steve Stone and solid but never spectatular Pat Dobson won 20+ games for us at one time. Remember, wins may not tell the whole story. Look up Jack Billingham's numbers when he won 20 fot the Reds and compare that to Steve Carlton's numbers the year he was with the worse Philly team. Another example...Dick Ellsworth won 20 games 1 yr for the Cubs and lost 20 another.

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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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