Orioles: Losing Moeller
It appears that the Orioles have made their decision on the reserve catcher. Though nothing has been announced, everything is pointing toward Craig Tatum sticking with the club and veteran Chad Moeller being asked to accept a minor league assignment -- which isn't likely to happen.
Here's the rationale: Tatum is a catch-and-throw guy. Moeller has reached the point where he isn't very effective throwing out baserunners, but he has been a mentor for starter Matt Wieters and some of the young pitchers. The Orioles had to decide which is more important at this point and they apparently have decided to put the premium on the on-field defensive value over the off-the-field intangibles.
My take: I think we'll end up looking back on the decision as a mistake, but Dave Trembley and Andy MacPhail obviously think that Wieters is mature enough to take care of himself and Kevin Millwood can provide leadership for the young pitchers. I think what Moeller brings to the table is worth more over the long run than the runner or two that Tatum will throw out this year playing once a week. And, considering how Trembley plans his lineups so far in advance, he should be able to steer Moeller around the top running teams in the league.