Archive for the ‘Orioles Now’ Category

Orioles v/s Tigers April 4,  2011 Opening Day
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Times on Blogger

Baltimore Sports Report: Zach Wilt: Expect More Stolen Bases From the Orioles in 2013

This is a big if in Brian Roberts case, but if he’s healthy and back to where he was 4-5 years ago and the Orioles have a healthy Nick Markakis and Nate McCloth for the whole season with Adam Jones, you move Jones up to the third spot ahead of Nick Markakis and Chris Davis batting fourth or maybe Manny Machado hitting second with AJ hitting third or fourth with Markakis with the other spot, why not run the Orioles more and steal some bases when you have the speed to do it.

The Orioles have the guys who can get on base with the Orioles lineup and all of the power that will be in it. If the Orioles run well, now the opposing pitchers not only have to worry about the guy at the plate who most likely will be a power hitter, but now they also have to worry about the guy on first or second or both. And the pitchers concentration won’t be as good. And if the batter has any discipline at all, you are looking at the pitcher hanging a pitch, walking the batter or even better if the runner doesn’t steal the base, you are looking at hit and run especially with Orioles speed and power.

This is what I call pressure offense when it comes to baseball which use to be common in the National League. Before both leagues fell in love with the home run. Is where you not only put pressure on the pitcher at the plate, you show discipline there and you are only hitting good pitches that you can drive, so you are either getting on base with a hit, or you are drawing a walk, but that’s just the first part. Pressure offense is where you are always looking for that next base, trying to stretch base hits. Because you have the speed to do it, but you are playing hit and run and you are also trying to steal bases.

Conservative offense in baseball is station to station, where you are not trying to stretch hit and not trying to steal. Because you want to conserve as many out as possible especially in an era where you may need to score 5-6 runs a game to win. So it’s low-risk and low-reward, but you don’t lose much out of it except for opportunities to score more. But again if you have discipline, hitters not striking out on a regular basis and you are not running slow hitters, but runners with speed, you put more pressure on opposing pitchers.

Guys with speed and know how to steal bases who get on base on a regular basis. Pressure offense is very effective because you are not worried about getting thrown out because you know you can steal those bases and get those extra bases. And the pressure is on the defense to get you out and the Orioles have the speed to play this type of baseball. The question is do the have the discipline and courage to do so.


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Brian Roberts
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Times on Blogger

Baltimore Sports Report: Zach Wilt: Brian Roberts Sees Himself as Best 2B Option For Orioles

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts whose played in a total of a hundred games combine in the last three seasons, battling concussions and migraine headaches in each of those seasons, so for him to claim he’s the best option at second base for the 2013 season, takes guts for a guy whose hasn’t played that much in each of those seasons. But if he’s healthy now and stays healthy for 2013, the headaches are gone and he’s able to play the whole season or most of it and get back to where he was in 2009 and in that time period, or even close to that, we are talking about probably the best leadoff hitter in the AL East.

A healthy Brian Roberts is also one of the best leadoff hitters in the American League, as well as Major League Baseball. As far as getting on base consistently, who hits for average, works the strike zone, a threat to steal. And with the Orioles lineup always a threat to score when he gets on. As well as providing power himself someone who can get you 15-20 home runs, drive in 60-70, score a hundred himself. And whose also a very good 2B. This is all a big if and if this were to happen, the Orioles would’ve hit the jackpot in 2013.

Not just as far as who plays second base because Brian Roberts would clearly have that slot. But a natural everyday leadoff hitter that you can put in that spot every game as your regular. This also means Nick Markakis can move back down to second or third in the lineup and hit for more power and drive in more runs. With Adam Jones and Chris Davis right behind him and once again we are talking about. And Orioles lineup that has power up and down the lineup with a real leadoff hitter whose consistently getting on base.

Brian Roberts also steals bases and we would also see the Orioles strike outs go down with a real leadoff hitter at the top of the lineup. And an opportunity for Ryan Flaherty who hasn’t shown he can hit Major League pitching consistently yet and opportunity to be a very good number one utility player for the Orioles. These are all ifs and don’t happen unless Brian Roberts is not only healthy by the start of the regular season.

Brian Roberts has a solid spring training and then stays healthy for the whole or most of the 2013 season, but if this does happen, you are talking about a team that’s already pretty good team offensively. With a lot of depth up and down the lineup, that has one of the best lineups in the American League. With a leadoff and number two hitter who are consistently getting on base. So that would be the vision with a healthy Brian Roberts for the 2013 Orioles.

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Texas Rangers v New York Yankees
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Times

At the time back in the 2008-09 MLB free agency period, the Orioles were definitely in the market for Mark Teixeira. Their 1B/DH situation then was Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar and they were okay. Especially Aubrey Huff with his versatility in the field and a solid bat in the middle of the lineup. But Mark Texeira at the time was probably the second best all around 1B in Major League Baseball only.

Trailing of course Albert Pujols and the Orioles were putting together a solid nucleus of good young players. Like Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and good veterans like Melvin Mora to go along with Aubrey Huff and a good. And talented young pitching staff that Orioles fans finally got to see the benefits of in 2012. And at the time signing Mark Texeira even if that meant a lot of money would’ve made a good young lineup probably good enough to compete and win in the AL East. At least offensively and would’ve put more fans in the seats at Orioles games earlier.

The problem of signing Texeira then for a contract of 100M$ of whatever he got from the New York Yankees, is that the Orioles wouldn’t of had the resources to lockup Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Weiters, Brian Roberts. Sign SS JJ Hardy and trade and be able to lockup 1B Chris Davis with a big contract. And have the resources to keep their young pitching intact. So they would not only be a contender in 2009 or 2010 and not be able to do much after that. Because they wouldn’t of had the resources to keep their young good nucleus in place and be able to add to that.

Because all of that money that would’ve gone to one player. And today we are probably talking about how to we get rid of Mark Texeira. And that’s assuming he worked out and didn’t get hurt in Baltimore and so-forth. Because since the Orioles have lost a lot of their nucleus and looking at being in last place for years, they now need the resources to rebuild. It would’ve been fun to not only have one of the best 1B as well as players in MLB playing for the Orioles.

Even if it was only for a few seasons, which it probably would’ve been, but signing him the Orioles don’t make the AL Playoffs in 2012. And have the good young team that they have today that are poised to be contenders for a long period of time which they are now. Not signing Mark Texeira who has been a borderline bust for the Yankees, didn’t make much financial or business sense back in 2008-09 for the Orioles.

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In 2011 the Orioles had another disappointing high 90 lost last place finish where they looked like they had a pretty decent team going into 2011, that was at least going to be able to score a lot of runs with a good young pitching staff, but where they got very little from Vlad Guerrero and Derek Lee their top two free agent signings from 2011. They got very little from the 1B and DH, two hitters in the Middle of their Lineup.

RF Nick Markakis had another off-year. 3B Mark Reynolds was a good surprise leading the club in HR and RBI. SS JD Hardy had a big year both defensively and at the plate. C Chad Wieters had another solid season at the plate and catching, making the All Star team. And is probably the best all around C at least in the American League right now. But starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie who was solid, but got very little run support.

Brian Matusz had a down year and took a step back. Zack Britton was up and down like a lot of young starting pitchers. The Orioles bullpen was inconsistent, sometimes very good and then they could be bad as well. In 2012 for the Orioles to compete in the AL East probably the best Division in MLB, they need to pick up an all around 1B both offensively and defensively. They need a new full-time DH and then they can replace both Guerrero and Lee.

Nick Markakis has to bounce back and they probably need another starting and relief pitcher for them to be able to compete in the AL East and play for a 500 or Winning Season. After 14 straight Losing Seasons and a lot of these free agents are either gone or out of reach and they haven’t filled most of their holes yet and they don’t have the people down on the farm that can fill these holes at least in 2012.

So you’re looking at making some last-minute trades, without giving up too much of what you already have. And I don’t see that happening, so unless something big happens, the 2012 Baltimore Orioles are looking at another down year. Where they struggle just to get to the 70 win mark. Which won’t make any Orioles fans happy, I’m being one of them.

When you have a good young club and you’re just a few pieces away from being a winner and a serious competitor and you know you just have to fill a few holes to make that happen and you can become winners again. For the first time since 1997, you have to be aggressive and be aggressive early on. To let other clubs know you’re going to compete to be good. And potential players that you’re interested in that you’re serious. So they will want to play for you and the Orioles haven’t been doing that for a long time.
Baltimore Orioles

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Brian Matusz

Brian Matusz

Baltimore Sun: Sports: Jeff Zrebiec: Orioles Get Brian Matusz Back, End 5-Game Slide

Overall an excellent day for the Orioles. They get starting pitcher Brian Matusz back, but more importantly they end their five game losing streak against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. All coming on the road as they head back to Baltimore. Brian Matusz who’s one of their top pitchers, who someday could be their ace as well as an All Star, who finished off 2010 very strong winning something like eight straight decisions, but then broke his arm in September last year, hopefully bounces back and has a good 2011.

Brian Matusz looked solid considering it was his first appearance since September nine months ago. Solid Start 5.2 Innings, 1 run, 4 hits and most importantly no walks. His command looked excellent and had it not been a 1-1 game in the bottom of the 6th Inning, Matusz would’ve probably been given the opportunity to finish off the 6th Inning and even pitched into the 7th Inning. First start back for the Orioles and Buck Showalter didn’t want to risk the game.

But since the Orioles have struggled so much to score the last six games, including Wednesday, Manager Buck Showalter pulled Matusz from the game. Which was the right decision, the Orioles had lost five straight after getting back to 500 and needed this win badly. To get some momentum going into their three series home stand against Toronto, Tampa and Oakland.

Overall a very solid win for the Orioles, Matusz pitched very well, CF Adam Jones the player of the game with his go ahead and game winning HR as well as preventing an extra base hit that saved at least another run. But more importantly they won the game and snapped their five game losing streak.

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