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August 7, 2009

Orioles: Bon voyage, Gregg

Congratulations probably are in order for Gregg Zaun, who now gets to play for a contender after the O's sent him to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named, Let's hope that player is given a name soon, because I'm still getting asked who the Rays sent here last year in the Chad Bradford deal.

Of course, there was no player in the Bradford deal. The O's got the waiver price and saved some payroll. This time, there apparently will be an actual prospect, though I wouldn't get too carried away fantasizing about who it might be.

zaunap.jpgThe move makes sense for one reason. It relieves manager Dave Trembley of the obligation to play Zaun twice a week and tell him in advance when he's going to play. He felt like he had to do that, but likely won't make any promises to returning backup Chad Moeller, who was elevated from Triple-A Norfolk. Moeller is a pure backup, so he'll play when needed. He'll still probably get a start or two a week, but Wieters is the clear No. 1 now.

Looking back over the past few months, I remember there being some concern about whether Zaun would embrace the mentor role with Wieters or whether he might become a problem when he ceded most of the playing time to the club's top position prospect. I know Zaun wasn't thrilled when Wieters came up, but he did what he agreed to do when he signed as a free agent last winter and he was more effective with the bat in the backup role.

Now, Zaun gets a chance to play some competitive baseball for a change. Wieters assumes his rightful place as the full-time full-time catcher (and that's not a typo). And Chad Moeller gets rewarded for staying in the organization after being the odd man out at the end of spring training. He's a solid reserve catcher and a good guy.

Perhaps the guy who will miss Zaun the most is Jeremy Guthrie, whose statistical split between the two catchers leaned heavily in Zaun's direction, but that might be another reason for the deal. This is the Wieters era, and everybody is going to have to get used to it.

Associated Press photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 5:15 PM | | Comments (46)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

maybe we will be sent Brad Chadford?

Pete, great Zaun entry.
Last winter, i was happy to see Zaunie signed--to mentor Wieters. That said, i guess reality may have taken over.

Like Alan Jackson said, life in the Real World aint' always the same. Go Wieters!
ps some of your bloggers...my gawd.

I liked Zaun but this was the smart move to do. Save some money, get a prospect (maybe). I doubt the O's were going to pick up his 2010 option anyway.

Pete,

Thanks for the insight on the Zaun transaction. I think he should be really happy with where he is headed.

Glad you stated that "This is the Wieters era, and everybody is going to have to get use to it." He needs to play. Guthrie needs to decide if he wants to be part of the rotation and the team.

Any truth to the rumor that the PTBNL's name is Cash?


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Not this time, but it wouldn't bother me if it were.

I was hoping when they called Matt up, they would dump Zaun and keep Moeller as the backup so I am happy about this. I think Chad is a good backup and a very good communicator, but like Pete said, no more sitting Matt down so Zaun can play which is the best part of this deal.

It's good for Gregg.

Poor Guthrie though. He finally gets Zaun behind the plate for him again the other night and then he's gone for good.

Looks to be an exciting August with guys like Rios being put on waivers (and getting claimed no less), Giambi and Smoltz hitting the FA market (Smoltz sure didn't help his grievance case against Atlanta) and it's only been the first week.

If you had to guess, who else do you see on the O's that shouldn't be too far away from a suitcase?


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I actually think it will be good for Guthrie. The last thing he needs is a crutch at this point, though I have found crutches to be quite useful lately.

Pete,

Is it a matter of feel; is it more art than science; or, do you simply know it when you see it?

Of course, I'm asking what distinguishes a "Law of Averages" play from the Henneman-Schmuck "Reverse Lock?"


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Pete's reply: Well, it's really a totally ridiculous concept that I lilke to trot out there because I don't really have anything cogent to say. I'm shocked, frankly, that Berken is still in the rotation.

I'm happy for Zaun, but it seems to me there's a pretty big drop off in quality from Zaun to Moeller. I'm not sure a slight improvement in clarity of roles compensates for that, so I hope we do get a player back this time.

Good luck, Gregg!

Birdland Todd--great point.
It's all communication. Maybe Moeller is better than Zaun.

Peter, with all the Baby Bird
pitchers coming up....is it maybe time to get JIM PALMER into the coaching staff? He is the smartest pitcher i've ever seen.....I know it won't happen, but would you agree with my sentiments?


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: No, sorry. If Palmer had any desire to be a pitching coach, he would have been one a long time ago. He doesn't want to be there every day. He's got other things he likes to do when he isn't broadcasting.

This is interesting.

Hey Pete,
Who did the Orioles get for Bradford?

why do we keep helpimg tampa , even if he wins one game for them what do we get . moeller hits less then bako , good for zaun but i thought he did about what he was suposed to do when we got him . hit 250 play decent defense and teach wieters a thing or to . lets stop getting these journeymen types once and for all . freel was a joke hennasy who knows where he is pie jurys still out , but not for long ,eaton was , well idont know what he was , lets get a manager and a legit power hitter , with these young pitchers we have to improve , but not with over the hill journeymen.

Just joking of course. Thought you would want to see the question posted one last time!


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Pete's reply: I did. It had been at least a couple months since the last time that came up.

the devil you say. how bout a manager to be named later?

Hey if the O's are in the market for a corner infielder, the Royals DFA'd Ryan Freel. And the A's cut Jason Giambi loose too. Either of them could single-handedly set back the rebuilding plan a decade or so!

Pete, perhaps I've been sleeping since but what ever happened to the PTBNL for Chad Bradford? Also, do you really think this will stop the Wieters sitting down once or twice a week now that Zaun is gone? I don't think so. I still bet Moeller will play the same amount of time Zaun did; and I've always liked Moeller as a catcher. No way would I want Roid User Giambi on the team, that would be a huge setback. That said he has 8 more HR's and a dozen or so more RBI than the big overpaid stiff ("There's no I in team but there is one in) Melvin Mora. Can't believe he's in the lineup again tonight.

Good for Gregg, and I hope he thrives in Tampa. Whatever anyone may think of his contributions, he was a class player who did his job and never claimed to be more than he was or to deserve more attention or more "star status" than he got. Best wishes to him!

I would help Tampa solely because every win for Tampa increases the odds that either Boston or New York misses the playoffs!. I would trade almost anyone to enjoy that since the O's sure arent making it. lol

We'll be glad to take Zaun here in Tampa Bay. Not only is Mr. Zaun a great catcher but also a great guy.

I think it's a good move too, I just heard last night how he'd been pleading to get Zaun for Wednesday and thought the timing was ironic. It is kind of telling in terms of where his confidence level is at right now though.

You're right about crutches. They are good in some cases (yours). I'll try not to picture you hopping around your house if your crutches end up DFA'd over the weekend.

Delay in Toronto? Rainout, perhaps??

That would probably be the only way we get through without a L...

D'oh, I just realized that way back Berken is pitching tonight and I wont be able to watch tomorrow because its a day game and the asinine Fox blackout is in effect.

Yo Schmuckeroo,

Why were the orioles worried about "rushing" the prospects since it would shake their confidence, but they're not worried about shaking the confidence of a guy by letting him go out and get hammered on his way to 1-10 ?


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Pete's reply: I'm surprised he's still standing, but he pitched okay tonight. Maybe they thought it was better to try to get him a win rather than have him go down on a nine-game losing streak.

Good for Zaun. He did what he was asked to do and now gets to play for a contender. Hopefully Moeller will grow into the role.


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Pete's reply: Moeller doesn't need to grow into it. He's a longtime veteran backup. He'll be just fine.

Aaaaannnddd liftoff!!
The Toronto Blue Jays home run fest!

I wouldn't be surprised if the Blue Jays batboy jacks one out on Berken.

Im not going to believe that Wieters will get more playing time out of this. Trembley will have Moeller will catch every Sunday, every day game essentially, and probably a handful of other starts. Though with Luke not hitting (5 for 37 with 5 walks in his last 10 games, less than .250 OBP in that stretch), maybe Matt will DH some.

Zaun was only hitting .244 but had a .355 OBP, significantly higher than the league average of .335 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2009-standard-batting.shtml)

But this is the least of our problems, why the ___ are we still pitching Berken???


.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I'm sure you're right about Moeller playing on Sundays, but you don't play Wieters every day anyway. The difference is that Trembley doesn't have to schedule Zaun ahead of time.

For those who wonder why the Orioles keep sending people to Tampa, would you rather the Sox or Chankees win? I'll take the Rays.

I think at this point, it might be a case of sifting thru the kids and seeing who might be keepers. Remember, Berken wasn't one of the Big Three plus One, so he got a chance before they did to see if he had anything. After two more homers tonight, well, he might not. Let's see if he can recover and keep the team in this game.

As for Arrieta, he has an ERA of near five in AAA, after blowing thru AA. So, no wonder why he hasn't been mentioned for a call-up. Same with Troy Patton. No problem, let them stay on the farm and get it straightened out. Remember, if it weren't for injuries and ineffectiveness, none, or at least not as many, of the current crop would have been called up.

The cool thing is, those guys aren't the end of the pipeline. Erbe, Zagone, Britton, Mickolio, et al, will make sure the Tillmans, Bergesons, Matuszs, Hernandezs et al don't get too comfortable.

Zaun is a class person and I have met him on several occasions. When he signed here there may have even been a gentelman's understanding that he might be moved later in the season, and to a contending team when his playing time was reduced. He knew up front what he was getting himself into.

I am disappointed in some of the posters who are taking out their anger on one of the players who actually hustled. There are a couple players on the team who deserve it, but Zaun was not one of them

we have a pro baseball in b"more??


and if they dont work out, we can bring back Matt Riley, Ben McDonald, Adam Loewen and Rocky Coppinger.

This con is neverending...


Gil Jr writes: "I am disappointed in some of the posters who are taking out their anger on one of the players who actually hustled. There are a couple players on the team who deserve it, but Zaun was not one of them"

Gil, did you read the comments? I dont see anyone on this thread or the previous thread saying Zaun didnt hustle. The consensus seems to be that he was a good veteran catcher and were happy for him to get a chance to play on at least a wildc card contender. I see one negative comment on the previous thread, out of about 20 or 25 comments. Not much to be upset about.

...and so is your stupidity...

I'm happy for Zaun, for all intensive purposes, he did what we asked him to do and even started to hit better when he played less frequently. He's quality and did a great job mentoring Wieters. Best to him!

Andrew- They have roof.

insert 'a' in previous comment

They a have roof....? :-)

Zaunny...I'm gonna miss him. That man could run out a ground out like nobody's business. I can't believe we let him get away.

I hope Weitery will exhibit the same hustle and sprint out all of his grounders to the second baseman for the remainder of his career. I would really hate to have to hate him for doing otherwise, like that piece of c*** Roberts.

Zaun is a complete professional. He's tough, smart, and gutsy, and a committed team player. I thought he was a great mentor for young players. He's a throw-back to his uncle Rick's era. I am sorry to see him go, and I wish him all the best. He plays the game right, and he lives the way he plays.

So Pete, anyway AM can somehow get a 3B named Longoria as the PTBN? There is a chance right? I mean he did get Jones, Sherrill, Tillman etc for Bedard.

Oh well guess I'll keep dreaming till next season, go O's!

My only question about this move is similar to the one I had when we let Chris Gomez leave for the Indians a few years ago. Why just give him away?

I'm sure there was no market for a 30-something backup catcher, just like there was probably no market for a 30-something backup infielder, but if you are going to move a player so soon after the trading deadline, couldn't the team make a minor deal to acquire a low-level prospect or two prior to July 31st?

I think it's a little sketchy that the Orioles once again just give away a player.

That stated, I am glad for Zaun ending up on a contender. He was a trooper, a good role model for Weiters, and he did hit that moon shot homer against the Phillies in the 9th inning right before Brian Roberts won it with a two-run blast.

Good luck, GZ.....thanks for your professionalism and hustle.

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Pete's reply: I think they were doing Zaun a favor and solving a problem for Trembley and the coaching staff. Wieters should be matched up against opposing teams without regard to who the back up is, but Zaun had been promised a certain number of games and advance notice when he played. I doubt Moeller will get that level of consideration. He'll start on Sundays and maybe some other day games. Also, it took the security blanket away from Guthrie, which I think the team feels will help him over the long run.

Pete - just want to say I think you do a great job.

Watched yanks sox epic game and it was fantastic. Can't wait for some great games next year involving our o's. We do have what's going to be a great team. Just missing a piece or two. I fell the excitement though. The bad losses are tough to handle right now, but the glimmer of hope is really exciting. Go O's!!!!

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Thanks very much. I think it's going to be a tough couple of months, but there will be more anticipation of next season than any since the 1990s.

Pete,

Can we trade his uncle Rick Dempsey as well. I would take an empty bag of potato chips!

Who will Rick interview "Down in the Pen" during pregame now? Moeller?

Pete earlier in the season Adam Jones appeared to be using the whole field and hitting great. Does it seem to you that he is trying to pull every pitch now.

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Yes.

unless AM gets Tim Beckham and David Price in return, this trade is a failure! any chance of a 3 way to get Adrian Gonzales from the Pads while we are at it?

I agree with Keith ROwe... send demper to FLA too.

Hey Greg Zaun is a class act and I'm sure we'll see him managing somewhere down the road. It's too bad some of the other veterans didn't show his hustle and love for the game.
Melvin Mora looks like he'd rather be facing root canal than play baseball. Is there anyone who shows less joy out there? I guess he's pretty happy on pay day though!
On some positive notes, Wieter had a great game last night, featuring some solid opposite field power and he looked pretty good behind the dish. Reimold had some good ABs and I think he's the type that will learn from some of his OF 'adventures'. Berken gave us a gritty performance and any time the O's beat the much detested Jays, live is good, especially in front of a rare big crowd who where there to honour the 92/93 World Series Jays team-(talk about a band of hired guns!).
Let's win another today because Sunday is one of those reverse lock games...

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Pete's reply: Melvin has always had that dour look on his face. Really has nothing to do with how he's really feeling. Judge him on his performance....no, wait

Who will be the next number 9? Really, it's got a great Orioles heritage...all the way back top Russ Snyder.
(Reggie Jackson, Jim Dwyer, Brady Anderson)

The Zaun trade smells surreptiously like one of Angelos' cost-saving moves. Zaun's presence in the clubhouse and community will be missed. I think he would have accepted a reduced role on the team. Too bad Angelos was more concerned about reducing payroll.

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Pete's reply: Sorry Charles, but we're talking about so little money that there's no way this happened because of payroll considerations. Remember, the O's have to pay Moeller to take that spot and the player they receive in return.

I'm really disappointed because I thought that with Zaun the team would have a chance to win 70 games, now they'll probably only win 69.

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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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