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March 15, 2010

O's: Fickle finger of fate

The O's have lost catcher Michel Hernandez for four to six weeks with a broken right index finger, which means that Craig Tatum is now the only other catcher with a chance to unseat Chad Moeller as the major league backup to Matt Wieters.

Not sure that really changes anything. Moeller figures to stick unless he gets hurt between now and Opening Day.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:37 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Just baseball



There goes my fantasy draft!

What ever will we do without him? Who is going to bat cleanup now?

How appropriate a Laugh-In reference is now being used to headline an Oriole blog.

What's next? Vehly Intahresting, but stoopid for Trembley?

Who did we get for Greg Zaun? I forgot.

Hey pere i sure hope you are man enough to issue me a apology when brian roberts ends up on the disabled list to start the season. I told you back in February that his back was going to be a significant problem for the rest of the year and your reply that day to me was that being BOB Lancione it most be blown way out of proportion and that it's just another thing that i made up. We will see how many things i am going to make up this year pete that don't turn out to be true.

Pete's reply: Well, Bob, I didn't say any of those things. The fact that you predicted that his back injury would be a problem doesn't exactly make you Carnac the Magnificent. I still think he'll start the season on time, but I've said all along that back injuries are very unpredictable and they are often chronic. I know, because I have one. The fact that you take every kernel of information and extrapolate the worst possible outcome does not make you smarter than everybody else. It just makes you a pessimist, which is your privilege. If I recall, you also predicted you would never post here again if Trembley was rehired, but I'm happy that you were wrong with that prediction and I hope you will be happy to be wrong about Roberts. If you're right, you can get all puffed up about it, but I'll just feel bad for O's fans.

Rhyne Hughes

Your point?

Moeller is OK defensively to give Weiters an occasional day off.

But if that kid grows into a 4-5 hitter like he's projected to. The O's need a catcher that can hit a little and let Weiters DH 20-40 games a year to save the legs.

Look for Weiters big power bat to show up in the second half of this year. The kid was still feeling for the ball last year even when he started to hit some late. He gets his feet on the ground he's going to start to pound the ball.

Last year he went from Norfolk to starting major league catcher. Year before, he started out in Frederick playing A ball. People seem to tend to forget just how green he still is.

The kid has got one heck of a power stroke which we have yet to see in the majors.

Hi Ken,

I was trying to remember what we gave Zaun up for. He's better than anything we have now behind Wieters. I like what I have read about Hughes, especially the power from the left side. Obviously he is not going to make the opening day roster but if puts up the numbers at Norfolk he may be back this year. I think he has a far better longer term potential than Michael Aubrey, who is only about 80% of what he once was due to several dehabilitating injuries that he has not been able to overcome.

I used to be a huge Aubrey supporter, but not so much anymore. He is a superior defender, no doubt about that, but otherwise seems pretty much one dimensional.

He's lefthanded, which means he can only play 1B or the OF, so he's of no use as a utility guy. I know some people think that with 500 ABs he could hit 25 HRs with 85-100 RBI. I don't agree.

He's got a sweet swing, but one that is geared to hitting line drives in the gaps. He doesn't get much lift and doesn't seem to have a lot of natural power. True, some guys develop power, think Palmeiro, but Aubrey is more like Mark Grace. And Grace never developed anything more than marginal power, career high HRs: 17 and 173 in a 16 year career. Of course, Gracie did have a career 303/383/442 line, which means he wasn't an instant out. But I don't think Aubrey is at that level.

Youre right, I wouldn't be surprised if Hughes gets the call even before Snyder. And don't forget about Waring, the scouts say he's got the best raw power in the system. Not a bad trade for a washed up catcher, getting Waring and Justin Turner.

Backup catcher is like backup QB or goalie. They have to be good, in case the starter gets hurt, but if he was really any good, he wouldn't be satisfied being the back up.

I think Mac got a good return for Zaun, who lasted a half season with Tampa. But I always liked Moeller better, he just seems a guy that can relate to the young pitchers and Wieters a little better. I think he will do well.


I am a big Brandon Waring fan. I got to see him play 3 or 4 games at Bowie at the end of last season. I posted last fall that he hit one to left center that easily went 450 feet. Big, long swing, tall and rangy. Strikes out a lot, and looks shaky at third, much better at first.

I agree with you about Zaun as far as young pitchers are concerned, plus the Orioles really did him a favor by trading him so he could get a chance to play. I watched him in the dugout after Wieters took over and he didn't look too happy.'

Moeller is a good catcher and was impressive when he was catching for Norfolk in how he communicated with the pitchers. I am perfectly fine with him backing up Wieters, and would prefer him to Zaun even if Zaun might hit 20-30 points higher. Let's face it, 20-30 points higher as an occasional player only means four or five hits anyway. I'll take Moeller defensively and instructionally.

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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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