Unless you are a big fan
of the game, it was very easy to miss the minor move the Baltimore Orioles made
on Tuesday morning. Lou Montanez, a
Double-A outfielder, was called up to the Show (Anaheim, actually). Montanez was it tearing up in Bowie (AA),
and was among the league leaders in many offensive categories:
In 116 games:
1st in HR (26)
1st in RBI (97)
1st in .SLG (.601)
1st in .OPS (.986)
1st in TB (271)
More like the leader
in many offensive categories, but he fails to be the absolute best in getting
on base. No matter, Montanez(pictured) really
earned this call-up. He earned it way
more than Chris Waters did, anyhow.
would have thought Waters was so bad in AAA, with the way he pitched on
Getting back to Montanez,
if you were really into baseball in 2000, you may recognize the name. Lou was drafted third overall by the Cubs
that year, but struggled with the organization throughout his whole
career. He could get on base pretty
well, but the power never came, and that was his main asset because he wasn’t
very fast. Finally, somehow, Montanez
found his power this year, his second year in the Baltimore system.
Montanez wasn’t in the
starting lineup Tuesday, but I hope he’s a starter in Baltimore rest of the
year. I really hope the Orioles don’t
act like the rest of this season means anything. Dave Trembley needs to realize that Jay Payton playing everyday over
Montanez would be complete idiocy.
Montanez needs to play everyday.
There’s no way around that fact.
Trembley might be right if he said that Payton playing everyday would
mean the O’s could win three or four more games. But how many games the Orioles win this year doesn’t matter. Montanez could play a part in the Orioles
future. Payton doesn’t.
I hate it when a team that
is completely out of the playoff race, still is focused on winning that
year. All the decisions made the rest
of that season should be made to benefit the future. Mark Shapiro is a master of making those decisions. Ed Wade not so much. The decision of who should start in center
for the Orioles is a perfect test on how smart management is. I have confidence the Orioles will make the
right move and play Montanez, but if the same thing happened in Cincinnati,
Montanez would be on the bench. Out all
of all the teams, I believe the Reds have the worst management. I stand by my statement that Brian Sabean
is the worst GM in baseball, but the combination of manager Dusty Baker, GM
Walt Jocketty, and owner Bob Castelinni is extremely bad, just in the way they
all handle the club.
In other good news for the
Orioles, their High A club, the Frederick Keys no hit the Salem Avalanche. Brandon Erbe (7IP), Ryan Ouellette (1IP), and Freddy Deza (1IP) combined on the feat Tuesday. I’m not going to pretend this news has that much meaning, but it
serves as a metaphor on how the Orioles are a bad team, but are intelligently
rebuilding. The Astros are just as bad
of a team as the O’s, but decided against rebuilding. Nice move Ed Wade. Now
your farm system is stinking up a cloud.
You’ve got to feel bad for
Hayden Penn(pictured) I mean his 2005 and 2006
call-ups were disastrous, but he was 20 and 21 years old then.
Now he’s a much better pitcher, and was
having a pretty fair season at AAA, but missed his first call-up because of
appendicitis. Then, was scheduled to
get called up again, but suffered a freak injury when a sliver of broken bat
hit his leg. So, in his place Chris
Waters made the start, and well, Waters will probably stay in Baltimore, to say
the least. A 5.70 ERA in AAA? Then he gives up one hit in eight innings against the Angels? Whatever works I
guess. Penn must be frustrated at this
point. I would be. Plus, Penn has 2.28 ERA in his last four
I originally was inclined
to suggest that the Orioles should move Dennis Sarfate (pictured) from the rotation
back to the bullpen. I thought the
switch was stupid because Sarfate had never started in the majors before, and I
really liked his future in the bullpen.
But after I looked at his career statistics, I decided the O’s were not
that stupid. When you’re a team like the
Orioles, you can afford to experiment.
Sarfate put up good enough numbers as a starter in the minors, that I
think it’s worth a shot giving him a chance to come into the rotation for the
rest of the season. Of course, we’ll
see how he does in his new role, but I believe a starter with 4.60 ERA is as
valuable as reliever with a 3.60 ERA.
We are now at “ugly”, so I
will start off by talking about the Orioles’ worst move this season. The worst move was the move that was never
made. Nobody was traded at the deadline! Sherrill was not traded, Millar wasn’t
traded, Payton wasn’t traded, Bradford wasn’t traded, and Mora wasn’t
traded! I understand that most of these
players (except Sherrill) were past their prime and getting overpaid, but all
that means is the Orioles can’t get as many or less coveted prospects. If you read my previous entry “Sherrill Must
Go”, then you know why I felt the Orioles should get rid of Sherrill. But Bradford, Mora, Millar and Payton also
should have been dealt for prospects.
None of these players have any meaning for the Orioles in the future.
Because of all these
player’s salaries, the prospects involved in the deal would not be
top-notch. The deal would be simple,
though. The more the Orioles pay of the
remaining money owed to the traded player, the better prospects Baltimore
acquires. For example, if Kevin Millar was traded to the Mets, and the Orioles
paid 70% of the money remaining on Millar’s contract, the O’s could acquire an
average AA level prospect like Shawn Bowman.
But if the Orioles only paid 30% of the money, they would get a prospect
more like Jose Bierd, who’s in A ball.
Lastly, my biggest
question to Andy and Dave…why is Juan Castro with the club? I mean you have an 36-year-old lifelong
utility infielder that has a .158 .OBP this year on your horrible rebuilding
team? Look, I’m all for buying cheap
free agents and plugging them in holes so you don’t have to rush your prospects
to the bigs. In you’re a rebuilding
team the last thing you want to do is rush your prospects. But this is a different case.
In AAA Norfolk, Freddie
Bynum, Brandon Fahey, and Eider Torres all are being blocked in the majors by
whom? Juan Castro?! I would like to see Andy MacPhail speak with
Fahey, Bynum, and Torres, look them in the eye, and explain why Juan Castro is
better than all three of them. I assure
you, calling up any of the three would not be labeled under “rushing
prospects”. Any one of these players
could be with the Orioles as a utility men for the next five to six years. We are not talking about Matt Wieters, but
these guys still play a part in the future.
It’s stupid to let them play yet another year at AAA. I have confidence that Bynum, Fahey, and
Torres will all be able to have their .OPS be higher than Castro’s .340.
I wrote about as many
different things concerning the Orioles, as the number of times Jerry Manuel
has walked to the mound in the 8th an 9th innings this
week. Oh dear god, Jerry, just pick one
guy to close. My pick would be Joe
Smith. If Kunz can show he’s ready, I’d
turn to him because he’s the only real closer the Mets have.
Oh, never mind about that
Chad Bradford comment. He just got
traded to the Rays. Great deal for both
clubs. The Orioles acquired the always
Oh by the way, milb.com is
having a poll on the best bubble photo.
Here your choices:
Vote on the milb.com
homepage in the lower right hand corner. I voted Dustin Martin, but they are all so funny.