Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Transaction Oracle > Discussion
Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, January 21, 2008

2008 ZiPS Projections - Baltimore Orioles

Before doing the Baltimore projections, I fearlessly claimed that the Red Sox had the best projections of any AL team.  After doing the Orioles projections,

I’m not revising that opinion.

There are some reasons to like the franchise.  That is, if you close your eyes and pretend that this is the time that Angelos won’t short-circuit a long-term

rebuilding job.  Angelos seems to want a painless rebuild, but the time to get a relatively painless rebuild was 10 years ago.  While they could have

rebuilt after the 1997 season, it’s hard to expect any team to rebuild after a 98-win season.  But during the 1998 season, when it was clear that they

weren’t a contender, Angelos stood in the way of any change of direction.  Palmeiro and Alomar and Eric Davis simply walked at the end of the season, there

wasn’t even a whisper of Brady Anderson or B.J. Surhoff being moved, and so on.  The major league talent moved on, no minor league talent replaced them for

years, and the team took one of the highest concentrations of high draft picks in history (7 of the first 50 picks in the draft) and turned it into Brian

Roberts.

Now, a rebuilding job is even more necessary and because the team put it off so long, it’s going to be even more painful.  The Orioles have accumulated a

solid number of minor leaguers, but if there’s never truly an organizational will to use the players that develop and the desire to pretend to compete in

2008 in the back of Angelos’s mind, it won’t help anything.

I think this is the year that the Rays get 4th without needing another team to have horrid luck.


Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Nick Markakis*        rf 24 .294 .357 .486 160 592 90 174 36 3 24 98 56 98 10 4
AVERAGE 1B——————- 1b——.284 .361 .479—————————————————————
Luke Scott*          rf 30 .264 .360 .477 142 436 58 115 25 4 20 80 62 94 3 0
Brian Roberts#        2b 30 .287 .363 .437 145 579 93 166 39 3 14 80 70 87 36 7
AVERAGE LF——————- lf——.282 .353 .455—————————————————————
AVERAGE RF——————- rf——.282 .350 .456—————————————————————
AVERAGE 3B——————- 3b——.279 .346 .447—————————————————————
Aubrey Huff*        dh 31 .275 .341 .447 140 510 65 140 28 3 18 78 47 92 3 1
Luis Jimenez*        1b 26 .265 .331 .443 126 438 44 116 22 1 18 69 43 100 4 1
AVERAGE CF——————- cf——.276 .339 .424—————————————————————
Jay Gibbons*        rf 31 .265 .318 .448 80 279 34 74 18 0 11 43 21 48 0 0
Kevin Millar         1b 36 .258 .354 .384 109 365 47 94 19 0 9 46 46 66 1 0
AVERAGE 2B——————- 2b——.281 .340 .413—————————————————————
AVERAGE SS——————- ss——.279 .333 .406—————————————————————
Nolan Reimold         rf 24 .251 .329 .445 110 382 42 96 23 0 17 62 43 96 7 7
Ramon Hernandez       c   32 .260 .326 .418 110 385 44 100 20 1 13 55 32 60 1 1
Melvin Mora         3b 36 .265 .333 .397 126 491 70 130 23 0 14 65 43 90 8 2
Brandon Tripp*        rf 23 .246 .315 .430 108 391 43 96 23 2 15 58 30 116 4 1
AVERAGE C———————- c——.263 .323 .400—————————————————————
Jay Payton           lf 35 .268 .311 .401 114 399 55 107 19 2 10 52 22 44 3 2
Luis Terrero         cf 28 .254 .312 .416 119 303 35 77 15 2 10 43 19 71 10 6
Scott Moore*        3b 24 .232 .309 .409 142 499 39 116 23 1 21 75 49 140 7 6
Corey Patterson*      cf 28 .257 .295 .402 140 495 70 127 24 3 14 65 25 92 32 7
Oscar Salazar         3b 30 .254 .285 .417 93 362 31 92 24 1 11 50 14 56 3 1
Tike Redman*        cf 31 .273 .318 .351 109 362 48 99 16 3 2 36 23 35 13 5
Guillermo Quiroz       c   26 .248 .286 .393 70 234 16 58 13 0 7 35 12 49 0 0
Freddie Bynum*        lf 28 .254 .304 .379 103 248 39 63 12 5 3 27 16 61 13 6
Michael Costanzo*      3b 24 .225 .300 .366 134 475 39 107 23 1 14 53 45 154 0 1
Brandon Fahey*        2b 27 .254 .314 .330 126 397 49 101 13 4 3 36 32 54 11 6
Omir Santos         c   27 .243 .283 .336 93 301 23 73 16 0 4 31 15 59 1 1
Billy Rowell*        3b 19 .230 .272 .352 105 421 35 97 20 2 9 47 22 129 3 4
Paco Figueroa         2b 25 .249 .306 .317 108 401 54 100 19 1 2 35 28 55 15 13
Eider Torres#        2b 25 .243 .281 .314 132 497 44 121 18 1 5 45 26 71 28 12
Brandon Snyder       1b 21 .220 .263 .332 117 446 37 98 21 1 9 48 23 129 0 2
Luis Hernandez#      ss 24 .240 .265 .292 140 504 46 121 17 3 1 39 17 67 5 6
Ben Davis#          c   31 .216 .247 .291 46 148 10 32 5 0 2 14   7 31 0 1
Paul Bako*          c   36 .193 .261 .218 44 119   7 23 3 0 0   7 11 37 0 0

* - Bats Left
# = Switch-Hitter

Name           CThr 1b 2b 3b ss lf cf rf
Markakis*                  Av Pr Av
Scott*                    Av   Av
Roberts#            Av          
Huff*            Fr   Pr   Pr   Pr
Jimenez*          Pr            
Gibbons*                  Av   Pr
Millar             Fr            
Reimold                   Pr   Pr
Hernandez       Av                
Mora                 Av        
Tripp*                    Av Pr Av
Payton                     Av Av Av
Terrero                   Fr Fr Fr
Moore*            Av   Fr   Av    
Patterson*                    Ex  
Salazar           Av   Av Pr      
Redman*                    Vg Fr Vg
Quiroz         Vg                
Bynum*              Av Av Fr Av Av Av
Costanzo*              Av        
Fahey*              Av Av Av Vg    
Santos         Av                
Rowell*                Fr        
Figueroa             Av          
Torres#              Fr   Fr      
Snyder             Av            
Hernandez#            Av   Av      
Davis#        Av                
Bako*          Av                  

Player Spotlight - Nick Markakis
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ DR
Optimistic (15%)  .318 .389 .538 162 600 105 191 41 5 27 111 68 85 14 3 141   0  
Mean         .294 .357 .486 160 592 90 174 36 3 24 98 56 98 10 4 120 -3  
Pessimistic (15%) .268 .327 .416 150 555 60 149 29 1 17 78 41 106 6 4   94 -7

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Vic Wertz, Rafael Palmeiro

Player Spotlight - Brian Roberts
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ DR
Optimistic (15%)  .310 .391 .498 152 606 112 188 47 5 19 97 82 77 44 6 133   8
Mean         .287 .363 .437 145 579 93 166 39 3 14 80 70 87 36 7 110   4
Pessimistic (15%) .263 .335 .378 139 555 63 146 33 2 9 64 60 89 28 7   88   0

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Bill Doran, Jose Offerman

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Erik Bedard*          29   3.34 13   6 28 28   175.0 153   65 15   59 184
Chad Bradford         33   3.38   5   2 65   0   56.0   60   21   1   12   28
Jamie Walker*        36   3.81   2   2 68   0   52.0   53   22   5   14   35
Chris Ray           26   4.12   5   4 58   0   59.0   54   27   9   25   54
LEAGUE AVERAGE RELIEVER———4.34———————————————————————-
Adam Loewen*          24   4.55   5   5 18 16   97.0   96   49   6   57   74
Greg Aquino           30   4.58   2   3 50   0   53.0   52   27   7   25   51
LEAGUE AVERAGE STARTER———- 4.71———————————————————————-
Jeremy Guthrie         29   4.84   6   8 28 23   145.0 159   78 21   50   89
Daniel Cabrera         27   4.85 11 13 31 31   180.0 176   97 20 108 164
Danys Baez           30   4.94   4   5 62   0   62.0   67   34   7   27   36
Fernando Cabrera       26   4.98   3   3 46   0   65.0   65   36 12   31   66
Rocky Cherry         28   5.00   2   3 54   1   72.0   80   40 10   31   46
Roberto Novoa         28   5.08   3   5 71   0   78.0   89   44 12   35   48
Randor Bierd         24   5.09   3   3 34   2   53.0   57   30   8   24   40
Kris Benson           33   5.20   6   9 21 21   128.0 149   74 21   40   61
Ryan Keefer           26   5.26   2   4 33   0   53.0   57   31   7   29   38
James Hoey           25   5.36   2   4 41   0   42.0   44   25   5   23   31
Dennis Sarfate         27   5.37   6   9 44 14   119.0 129   71 15   64   75
Troy Patton*          22   5.41   7 14 28 27   163.0 182   98 27   62   99
Matt Albers           25   5.81   6 12 31 25   155.0 182 100 23   74   83
Bob McCrory           26   5.86   1   3 36   0   43.0   46   28   5   34   30
Garrett Olson*        23   5.91   7 13 29 29   160.0 185 105 29   73 107
Hayden Penn           23   5.95   3   5 11 11   62.0   71   41 12   22   41
James Johnson         25   6.00   6 11 25 24   144.0 171   96 23   65   83
Jon Leicester         29   6.00   3   5 19 13   72.0   84   48 13   33   41
Brian Burres*        27   6.12   4 10 31 19   122.0 143   83 23   57   82
Radhames Liz         25   6.29   5 10 27 25   126.0 135   88 23   91 105
Chorye Spoone         22   6.33   5 13 27 26   138.0 158   97 20 103   72
Ryan Bukvich         30   6.40   1   4 44   0   45.0   51   32   9   26   28
Craig Anderson*        27   6.49   4 10 26 25   140.0 184 101 30   39   56
Brandon Erbe         20   6.69   4 11 28 28   117.0 138   87 22   83   73
Fredy Deza           25   8.15   2 10 41 10   106.0 144   96 33   53   52

* - Throws Left

Player Spotlight - Erik Bedard
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  2.23 18   3 31 31 202 151   50 10   54 231   205
Mean           3.34 13   6 28 28 175 153   65 15   59 184   137
Pessimistic (15%)  4.63   8   8 23 23 136 138   70 18   55 135   99

Top Near-Age Comps:  Hal Newhouser, Whitey Ford

Player Spotlight - Daniel Cabrera
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  3.66 16 10 34 34 209 180   85 17   99 206   125
Mean           4.85 11 13 31 31 180 176   97 20 108 164   94
Pessimistic (15%)  6.11   6 13 25 25 140 153   95 22 100 122   75

Top Near-Age Comps:  Matt Clement, Bobby Witt

Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2008. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.49 ERA and the NL having a 4.40 ERA.


ZiPS Frequently Asked Questions




Nationals

Projections

Blue Jays

Projections

Rangers

Projections

Rays

Projections

Cardinals

Projections

Mariners

Projections

Giants

Projections

Padres

Projections

Pirates

Projections

Phillies

Projections

A’s

Projections

Yankees

Projections

Mets

Projections

Twins

Projections

Brewers

Projections

Dodgers

Projections

Angels

Projections

Royals

Projections

Astros

Projections

Marlins

Projections

Tigers Projections

Rockies Projections

Indians Projections

Reds Projections

White Sox Projections

Cubs Projections

Red Sox Projections

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 21, 2008 at 02:25 AM | 251 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 > 
   101. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 08:22 AM (#2674496)
And yes, given the year that Cust just had, I wish I could have him back too.
Well, yes, that's very clever. Only the trick is, you're supposed to figure that out at the time by letting them play; you're not supposed to figure it out several years later if some other team lets them play.
   102. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 23, 2008 at 08:51 AM (#2674508)
Out all of those players I mentioned, I'll take Rick Bauer back, but I really don't miss him either.

John Maine?


I was referring to players that the O's let go but yes I'll certainly take Maine back.

the system being bad does not mean all the individual prospects have been bad.

Never said that, as I said before Riley and Bedard were well regarded prospects. Markakis was a highly regarded prospect. The rest of the lot-Bigbie, Roberts, Ray, Olson, Matos, Hairston, Cabrera, and others-were solid B/B- prospects as I said above. Unfortunately all ofthese players-except for Roberts and Ray-have sucked. Such is the nature of prospects.

Moreover, dismissing the prospects as bad ignores the fact that they were replaced with people who were just as bad, but older.

I certainly did mean to dismiss the fact that Bigbie et al were replaced by sorry vets. You're 100% David. But, in fact, I believe I mentioned that influx of vets pulled from the minor league above as a problem.

Are you defending Danys Baez? Because the alternative to the Parrishes and Rileys and Bauers and Parrishes and such hasn't been Mariano Rivera. It's been Zambranos and Drabeks and Daals and DeJeans and such.

Nope, I'm saying that O's front office appropriately cut loose dead weight... at the appropriate time. The front office could have kept Matos, Bigbie, and other players under the logic that they haven't been given proper playing time and are ready to break out any second now (sort of like what's happening with Daniel Cabrera). But that's the wrong move, these player just aren't any good. Let them go.

Because not all of them "suck," and when you don't play them, you have no way to tell.

Yup, not all of them suck. Fortunately, we've kept Roberts (and not Hairston), Bedard, and Markakis. The rest of the extant Orioles farmhands will have careers as role players or AAA backup guys. Except for Maine, damn you Russlan for reminding me.
   103. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 23, 2008 at 08:54 AM (#2674509)
Well, yes, that's very clever. Only the trick is, you're supposed to figure that out at the time by letting them play; you're not supposed to figure it out several years later if some other team lets them play.

Thanks David for the kind words. In defense of the O's, alot of orgs have passed over Cust since the O's let him ago. It's doubtful the he would have performed any better for the O's than any of the other orgs he played for before his terrific 07 year.
   104. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 23, 2008 at 09:16 AM (#2674516)
I meant to say, "I certainly did NOT mean to dismiss the fact that Bigbie et al were replaced by sorry vets." Ill advisted multi-year contracts to certain vets have certainly been a problem. Omar Daal and David Segui stand out and Danys Baez is heading towards that direction. Some of other long term vet signing were mixed success (e.g. Tejada, Javy Lopez, Ramon Hernandez). The rest of the sorry vets that the O's have signed recently were at least limited to a one or two year deals (e.g. Marty Cordova, Steve Kline, Palmiero).
   105. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 23, 2008 at 05:31 PM (#2674683)
I'll just echo David's comment that YES, I expect the Orioles play potentially crappy YOUNG players over Cordova, Kline, and Palmeiro, as well as over Segui, Daal, Conine, DeShields, Erickson, Helling, Hentgen, Sosa, Surhoff, Millar, Payton, Hawkins, Williams, and Trachsel, just to mention a few of the crappy OLD guys that the Orioles have wasted ABs and IPs on the past 7 years or so. And, I expect them to do that even if it means they lose more games.

Regardless of contract length, every one of these signings represents yet another situation in which the Orioles chose the depressing middle path of mediocrity, rather than the risky, but potentially enlightening path of handing a job to a young player and seeing what they could do. You have to recognize as an organization that the first path leads nowhere. The second may also lead nowhere--I recognize that most of these players never panned out, though it is open to question whether that is because of the Orioles equally lousy ability to develop players or the lack of talent they had. Sure, making bad short-term committments is better than making bad long-term committments. But, making repeated bad short-term committments is virtually indistinguishable from making bad long-term commitments.

That second path is the ONLY one that offers any hope for future success. Couple that, with a real plan to deal what little talent you have for better quality prospects, AND a plan that improves your instruction to develop players, and you may have something.
   106. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 23, 2008 at 07:04 PM (#2674742)
I expect the Orioles play potentially crappy YOUNG players over Cordova, Kline, and Palmeiro, as well as over Segui, Daal, Conine, DeShields, Erickson, Helling, Hentgen, Sosa, Surhoff, Millar, Payton, Hawkins, Williams, and Trachsel, just to mention a few of the crappy OLD guys that the Orioles have wasted ABs and IPs on the past 7 years or so. And, I expect them to do that even if it means they lose more games.

Obviously either way is crap or as you correctly say, "making repeated bad short-term committments is virtually indistinguishable from making bad long-term commitments." But alot of the aforementioned Orioles farmhands weren't even usable players. Are Riley, Kohlmeier, Matos, Bigbie, Hairston, John Stephen, Josh Towers, Jayson Werth, etc (hereafter the roll call of crap), even on a 40 man roster today for a ML club (I'm sure David will dilligently fact check for me)? I completely agree the O's should try to hand a job "to a young player and seeing what they could do." But in looking at many, but not all, the names in the roll call of crap, they tried and it just didn't work out. In rare cases, players have panned out like Roberts and Ray because, in fact, the O's gave them a chance. But largely the players haven't worked because they suck. This is what happens when you have the worst ranked farm system for the most of the 10 years (the last two years removed). As far as the exceptions go, I guess would have liked to see Walter Young get more ABs but Majewski and Parrish have largely been injured the last few years. Cust wasn't handled well (on a unrelated note, he's case in point why Terry Crowley should be fired. Crowley tried to get him to swing rather than utilize his plate discipline) and losing Maine hurts, but the lack of talent in the farm system is the main problem, not the front office's willingness to give playing time to farm hands. If the later was the problem, mediocre prospects like Roberts would not have made it. I understand you would rather lose with John Parrish on the mound than say Steve Kline, but don't say Parrish didn't get a chance.
   107. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 24, 2008 at 02:26 AM (#2675028)
PARRISH DID NOT GET A CHANCE.

After starting 8 games as a 22 year old, and not doing well, he was given the opportunity to start a grand total of TWO, YES, TWO games over the next 4 and a half years. His IP in those years were 22, 23.67, 78, 17.33, and 41.67. You really think less than 220 IP spread over 5.5 years constitutes giving a young player a chance?? That's simply laughable. Hentgen, Erickson, Daal, Helling, and Trachsel were all given far more of a chance than Parrish.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM. Daal got 93 IP. Parrish gets 23 IP.
   108. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 24, 2008 at 02:44 AM (#2675042)
After starting 8 games as a 22 year old, and not doing well, he was given the opportunity to start a grand total of TWO, YES, TWO games over the next 4 and a half years. His IP in those years were 22, 23.67, 78, 17.33, and 41.67. You really think less than 220 IP spread over 5.5 years constitutes giving a young player a chance?? That's simply laughable. Hentgen, Erickson, Daal, Helling, and Trachsel were all given far more of a chance than Parrish.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM. Daal got 93 IP. Parrish gets 23 IP.


IIRC, Parrish was out all of 2002 and all of 2006, and missed significant time in other years, because he was injured. When he was healthy in 2004 he had 80 IP, certainly a full season for a reliever. So it's simply not correct to say that he never got a chance. (I'm not sure why you're harping on the fact that he wasn't given a chance to start, since it was clear a long time ago that he was better suited to the bullpen.)

Look, the truth is somewhere on the middle on this issue. THe Orioles have given some younger players like Bigbie, Roberts, Matos, Ray, Markakis, et al a chance. And they've buried other guys like Cust and House for no apparent reason. The Orioles have not produced much young talent over the last 10 years (esp. in the late 90s and early 00s), and it's clear, as birdlives notes, that most of the players not currently with the team haven't amounted to anything. But it's also true that they've wasted too many innings and ABs on washed up vets.
   109. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 24, 2008 at 04:19 AM (#2675093)
IIRC, Parrish was out all of 2002 and all of 2006, and missed significant time in other years, because he was injured. When he was healthy in 2004 he had 80 IP, certainly a full season for a reliever. So it's simply not correct to say that he never got a chance. (I'm not sure why you're harping on the fact that he wasn't given a chance to start, since it was clear a long time ago that he was better suited to the bullpen.)

Thanks Yeaarrgghh, not to mention the fact that Parrish's walk/SO ratio has always been terrible. He's pitched 229.3 innings at the big league level (all but 10.3 of them for the O's) but yet this doesn't constitute getting a fair shot? How many innings does constitute a fair shot then? His ZiPS projection next year is pretty awful (see below). And yes, he only started two games but I don't how that's relevant because if he's stunk as a reliever. I'm guessing he would probably do worse as a starter. I actually had some hope for John before this season. His 2004 season was respectable and while I had zero hope for him as a starter (this beef from GTWMA is especially puzzling), I thought there was a chance he could be a good 2nd lefty behind Jamie Walker. But his control is atrocious. Like Daniel Cabrera, he'll probably have stretches of time where his command will be good and consequently, he'll be decent, maybe even good. But most of the time his control will suck because it's always sucked, thus you have ZiPS projections like the one below.

ZiPS for John Parrish in 2008

John Parrish* 30 5.30 56.0 62 33 4 39 45

And they've buried other guys like Cust and House for no apparent reason.

House should have received more playing this year. He probably sucks too but it would have been nice to see it confirmed. I thought Knott would receive more ABs too but he sucked at AAA this year so in a certain sense he earned his purgatory. And they sat Cust because they were frustrated by his plate patience. Again, FIRE TERRY CROWLEY.
   110. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:15 AM (#2675187)
Look, the truth is somewhere on the middle on this issue. THe Orioles have given some younger players like Bigbie, Roberts, Matos, Ray, Markakis, et al a chance. And they've buried other guys like Cust and House for no apparent reason. The Orioles have not produced much young talent over the last 10 years (esp. in the late 90s and early 00s), and it's clear, as birdlives notes, that most of the players not currently with the team haven't amounted to anything. But it's also true that they've wasted too many innings and ABs on washed up vets.
Yeargh, it's not that none of these people have ever gotten playing time; some of them have. But almost inevitably (Markakis is an exception), they got playing time only because the Orioles had no choice because some veteran got hurt. The Orioles never commit to them.


Here's an interesting (or, rather, depressing) thing to do: go back to Os spring training from each of the last 10 years, and see how often a young player was actually given a chance to win a job in spring training. See how often (that is, unoften) there was an actual battle for a job where the decision wasn't made in advance. (Take last year as an example: some fans were excited about some of the NRIs in camp: JR House, Jon Knott, Terry Tiffee etc. How many of them made the opening day roster? None. The opening day roster had Bako, Payton, Millar -- who hit a robust 089/180/156 in the spring -- and Huff. Payton was on the DL, but that still didn't open up a job for Knott; it opened up a job for Freddie Bynum.)

Look at this year. Are the Orioles talking about using (Bedard), Cabrera, Guthrie, Loewen, Olson, and Liz, with Patton or Albers getting the last slot if Bedard is gone? No, they signed Lance freaking Cormier, and yesterday's Sun had them mentioning the names of Trachsel, Chacon, and Lohse.
   111. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:19 AM (#2675189)
Thanks Yeaarrgghh, not to mention the fact that Parrish's walk/SO ratio has always been terrible. He's pitched 229.3 innings at the big league level (all but 10.3 of them for the O's) but yet this doesn't constitute getting a fair shot?
Depends whether one views him as a starter or reliever. If the latter (as you do), then it does; if a starter, then, no, it doesn't. It's one year's worth of starting. And while the K/BB ratio isn't good, he hasn't been a terrible pitcher overall. Certainly would have been nicer to see him pitch than, say, Tim Byrdak.
   112. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:39 AM (#2675197)
Do you expect the O's to keep giving sorry ass players ABs or IPs!

Yup. They've been doing it for, what, 8 years now?
   113. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 24, 2008 at 08:55 AM (#2675210)
Yeargh, it's not that none of these people have ever gotten playing time; some of them have. But almost inevitably (Markakis is an exception), they got playing time only because the Orioles had no choice because some veteran got hurt. The Orioles never commit to them.

I'm really too lazy but somebody should post the ABs/IPs of Bigbie, Hairston Jr., Matos, Kohlmeier, Rick Bauer, John Stephens, Matt Riley, Josh Towers, and John Parrish (and if you really want to go old school throw in Calvin Pickering or Ryan Minor). I'm pretty sure all of them racked up a fair bit of playing time... some more than others but enough given their minor league history or talent. For example, if I remember correctly Kohlmeier and Stephens received some, but not alot of innings. The O's though should be applauded for letting these guys go rather than wasting innings in order to confirm their lack of talent. Jayson Werth is an O's farmhand who wasn't given proper playing time. Same with Walter Young (although techically he wasn't a home grown guy). I'll concede that, but (a) I certainly don't miss these guys and (b) in the case of Young, the fact that they didn't waste playing time on him shows shocking insight. Bechler was starting to receive some big league time before he passed away. John Maine and Cust were mistakes. And then you have the "success" stories: Daniel Cabrera, Ray, Markakis, Roberts, Loewen, and Bedard. That's a good number of farm hands who were given a fair amount of playing time with the big club especially when considering the shape of the O's farm system during the last 10 years. The rest of the guys everybody keeps mentioning as examples of the O's unwillingness to look at young talent are minor league vet guys like House, Knott, or Tiffee. Every club in baseball refuses to give these guys an extended look and these guys aren't young. If these guys want to stay in the lineup, they need to hit immediately and in a small sample (see David Newhan or Tike Redman this year). It's tough position to be in but no team in baseball is willing to give these type of guys the benefit of the doubt.

Look at this year. Are the Orioles talking about using (Bedard), Cabrera, Guthrie, Loewen, Olson, and Liz, with Patton or Albers getting the last slot if Bedard is gone? No, they signed Lance freaking Cormier,

Lance signed a minor league deal. He certainly won't be used over Olson, Patton or Albers assuming good health. Liz should be in the minors. I wouldn't be surprised if the O's sign a vet for the rotation but it'll be someone like Traschel not Lance. And I actually wouldn't mind that assuming it's a one year deal because he can be traded at the deadline for prospects.

Yup. They've been doing it for, what, 8 years now?

10 and more to come!
   114. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 24, 2008 at 09:44 AM (#2675223)
For example, if I remember correctly Kohlmeier and Stephens received some, but not alot of innings.
John Stephens blew away every level of the minor leagues in which he played. He was an extreme soft-tosser, so the team had no faith in him, but his minor league performance demonstrated he could pitch. He didn't just dominate opposing batters; he did it at a young age. He reached the majors at age 22. They called him up at the end of July 2002, when they were 6 games under .500, and 17 games out of first place, so they had nothing to lose. They gave him 11 starts, 65 innings. He didn't pitch well, but he was pitching deep into games. At age 22. They never let him near the major leagues again.

Ryan Kohlmeier got 67 innings, spread over two years. After struggling at age 24, they never gave him another chance. They waived him after the season. And it wasn't because they couldn't fit him on their 67-95 roster full of all-stars.
The O's though should be applauded for letting these guys go rather than wasting innings in order to confirm their lack of talent.
No, they should be condemned for letting them go rather than giving them innings in order to see whether they had talent. "Wasting"? The team was winning less than 70 games a year. What exactly do you think the innings are for, other than playing as many young guys as possible to see whether they can play? That's not "wasting" the innings; that's using them for something valuable.

The rest of the guys everybody keeps mentioning as examples of the O's unwillingness to look at young talent are minor league vet guys like House, Knott, or Tiffee. Every club in baseball refuses to give these guys an extended look and these guys aren't young.
Every club in baseball isn't in the middle of a decade-long losing streak.

And they're not 22-year old prospects, but they're not Kevin Millar, either. House was 27. Knott and Tiffee were 28. They could give you a few good years. Worth a shot. Better than proven mediocrities (or worse) like Payton, Huff, Millar. Maybe one of them is the next Randy Milligan or Joe Orsulak. (Unlikely they'll be the next David Ortiz, but the Red Sox got Ortiz the same way the Orioles got these guys: released by his team, picked up as an unwanted player in the offseason.)


Lance signed a minor league deal. He certainly won't be used over Olson, Patton or Albers assuming good health.
Maybe they've turned over a new leaf, but based on the past ten years, there's no reason to believe your "certainly" at all. The Orioles always use the veterans. Things can change, but right now, the Orioles seem more interested in debating whether to use him in the rotation or out of the pen.
Liz should be in the minors.
No, he should be in the majors. A 25 year old who has dominated AA should not be blocked on a bad team by a lousy veteran just because he had a handful of bad innings in his debut.
I wouldn't be surprised if the O's sign a vet for the rotation but it'll be someone like Traschel not Lance. And I actually wouldn't mind that assuming it's a one year deal because he can be traded at the deadline for prospects.
No, they can't. First, people like that get converted into "prospects" about once every ten years; if they were actually worth "prospects," then teams better than the Orioles would want them. Second, the Orioles don't do that. The Orioles have signed dozens of crappy veterans over the last ten years to block actual prospects, with some fans defending these deals based on the notion that the team "can trade them at the deadline for prospects." They don't. They play badly and the Orioles let them go. Or they get hurt and sit on the DL. Or they play mediocrely and stay on the team all year because the Orioles are scared to "waste" innings on young players.

What on earth would signing Steve Trachsel, Shawn Chacon, or Kyle Lohse (all names from yesterday's Sun) add to the team? They have a lot of prospects they need to look at. They only have 1,500 innings all season. They can't afford to waste some on a veteran.
   115. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 24, 2008 at 03:48 PM (#2675319)
Yeargh, it's not that none of these people have ever gotten playing time; some of them have. But almost inevitably (Markakis is an exception), they got playing time only because the Orioles had no choice because some veteran got hurt. The Orioles never commit to them.

This is a silly debate. The Orioles have sucked over the last 10 years, and have made a ton of mistakes. Finely parsing the exact reasons and parameters of those mistakes is a waste of time IMO.

Now, I have some faith that MacPhail is taking a different approach than his predecessors -- he's said the right things, has made a couple of good trades, and signed Wieters. He's also actively shopping Bedard and Roberts and hasn't signed any lame stopgap FAs (yet). You can complain about Cormier, but it's a minor league deal and there's no indication that he's going to place any role on the team. All that being said, I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of action on the trade front, and I'll be as pissed as anyone if they sign Trachsel or Chacon. But complaining preemptively before any trades have (or haven't) happened or before any FAs have been signed is pointless.

No, he should be in the majors. A 25 year old who has dominated AA should not be blocked on a bad team by a lousy veteran just because he had a handful of bad innings in his debut.

I don't get this at all. Liz has a ton of talent, but it's pretty clear that he needs some time in the minors to work on his secondary pitches and control. Throwing him into the majors won't necessarily help him or the Orioles. I know you want young players, but this just smacks of impatience.
   116. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 24, 2008 at 03:55 PM (#2675325)
Depends whether one views him as a starter or reliever. If the latter (as you do), then it does; if a starter, then, no, it doesn't. It's one year's worth of starting. And while the K/BB ratio isn't good, he hasn't been a terrible pitcher overall. Certainly would have been nicer to see him pitch than, say, Tim Byrdak.

He hasn't been a terrible pitcher (and, in fact, he's been very good at times) because he was used as a reliever.
   117. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 24, 2008 at 06:59 PM (#2675472)
This is a silly debate. The Orioles have sucked over the last 10 years, and have made a ton of mistakes. Finely parsing the exact reasons and parameters of those mistakes is a waste of time IMO.

Completely agree.

No, they should be condemned for letting them go rather than giving them innings in order to see whether they had talent. "Wasting"? The team was winning less than 70 games a year. What exactly do you think the innings are for, other than playing as many young guys as possible to see whether they can play? That's not "wasting" the innings; that's using them for something valuable.

And they're not 22-year old prospects, but they're not Kevin Millar, either. House was 27. Knott and Tiffee were 28.


While I agree with the principle of giving the young guys a chance, let's just say we differ on how this principle should be applied. I don't consider House, Knott and Tiffee young, and I think Kohlmeier and Stephens were given a fair chance, not necessarily a long and extended look, but a fair chance. I imagine their W/SOs ratio for either pitcher didn't suggest any prolonged success for either one of them. I imagine any other important peripherals didn't look inviting either. Unfortunately for Kohlmeier and Stephens, soft tossing guys who can't strike out a ton of guys aren't given a long leash. I suspect this is the case with a lot of teams. And their lack of success since leaving the O's at least supports this position with these two cases. And let's just say we diagree with Lance as well. He has minor league filler written all over him. Like I said before, I can easily see the O's signing some vet for the rotation but it won't be Lance. In fact, this morning's Sun already mentions that the O's are having preliminary talks with Traschel and Shawn Chacon. Again, Lance will not be anywhere near the rotation unless 7 or 8 pitches become injuried.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.orioles24jan24,0,2172145.story

see bottom of the story for the Traschel and Chacon bit.

First, people like that get converted into "prospects" about once every ten years; if they were actually worth "prospects," then teams better than the Orioles would want them. Second, the Orioles don't do that.

The Orioles did it last season and received two actual prospects, mind you that not very good prospects, but still it's an influx of "talent". Look, again as yearh pointed this is a silly debate, if the O's want don't want to sign Traschel or whoever, that's fine by me as well.

No, he should be in the majors. A 25 year old who has dominated AA should not be blocked on a bad team by a lousy veteran just because he had a handful of bad innings in his debut.

You're right David, Liz is little further along than I thought. I still prefer that he get some AAA time to work on his control.

He hasn't been a terrible pitcher (and, in fact, he's been very good at times) because he was used as a reliever.

Why would he do better as a starter? His W/SO ratio isn't good at all.
   118. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:08 PM (#2675475)
You can complain about Cormier, but it's a minor league deal and there's no indication that he's going to place any role on the team.
No indication... other than statements made by MacPhail/Trembley. They didn't say, "We signed him for minor league depth." They've been talking about whether he'll be in the rotation or bullpen.

But complaining preemptively before any trades have (or haven't) happened or before any FAs have been signed is pointless.
Since one of my complaints is that the trades haven't happened, it's not "preemptive." I think they should have happened by <strike>now</strike>three weeks ago. Complaining in October would have been preemptive.

Yes, complaining about signing certain free agents is 'preemptive' in that they haven't done it yet, but my complaint is that they're talking about doing it. They should be saying, "Absolutely not. We view this as a rebuilding year and we plan to play a lot of younger players."
   119. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:17 PM (#2675480)
They've been talking about whether he'll be in the rotation or bullpen.

They also said Huff would be the starting LF last year.
   120. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:23 PM (#2675485)
No indication... other than statements made by MacPhail/Trembley. They didn't say, "We signed him for minor league depth." They've been talking about whether he'll be in the rotation or bullpen.

What exactly did they say about him?
   121. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:29 PM (#2675492)
What exactly did they say about him?

"We talked to [Cormier] about being in the bullpen, but you know how those roles can revolve over the course of spring training," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said.
   122. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#2675495)
Cormier is the new Paul Shuey. He'll start off in the minors. Injuries/sorry ass play from our current relief staff will cause him to be brought up in June/July. He'll never see the rotation except for maybe an emergency start.
   123. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:42 PM (#2675503)
This is a silly debate.

but it certainly has legs. I've lost track of how many O's threads it has consumed. Which is fine with me - what the hell else are you going to say about this #### team?
   124. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 24, 2008 at 07:52 PM (#2675519)
"We talked to [Cormier] about being in the bullpen, but you know how those roles can revolve over the course of spring training," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said.

That sounds like a canned response to a reporter to me, but I guess we'll see...
   125. Boriole Forester Posted: January 24, 2008 at 09:05 PM (#2675567)
This is a silly debate.


It's not silly as much as meandering.

I think that we can all agree that the O's have been mismanaged in the past but seem to be in much better hands these days.

The last ten years in a nutshell: we have to play overpriced, veteran free agents because we don't have anyone ML-ready in the minors and we don't have anyone ML-ready in the minors because we keep signing overpriced, veteran free agents. And because we drafted and traded poorly.
   126. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 24, 2008 at 09:26 PM (#2675579)
I think that we can all agree that the O's have been mismanaged in the past but seem to be in much better hands these days.

The last ten years in a nutshell: we have to play overpriced, veteran free agents because we don't have anyone ML-ready in the minors and we don't have anyone ML-ready in the minors because we keep signing overpriced, veteran free agents. And because we drafted and traded poorly.


that sums up my view very nicely.
   127. Ron Johnson Posted: January 24, 2008 at 09:44 PM (#2675599)
ohn Stephens blew away every level of the minor leagues in which he played. He was an extreme soft-tosser, so the team had no faith in him


I can confirm this in an odd sort of way. Had a seat front row, directly behind home plate for one of his starts in Ottawa. We could actually read the scouts radar gun from where we were sitting. They didn't bother with it while Stephens was in the game, but as soon as Darwin Cubillan came into the game, they had the gun on him. (first 7 pitches all 91, several of them actually came near the strike zone)

Remember that game for a couple of other reasons. Stephens very clearly had nothing that day and yet had a no-hitter through 5 innings. Pinned the CF against the deepest part of the park a few times and had a few line shots hit right at some other guys.

First hit he gave up was a soft hit into left. No left fielder on earth could have got close to it. Crowd starts chanting "E7".

Not sure if this bothered Jack Cust (who was playing left), but for some reason he was an utter loon on the basepath. Thrown out by several yards twice trying to go first to third. Or maybe he was just responding to the vaunted coaching. (Hey, I'm old enough to remember the Orioles as the smartest, best coached organization in the game)
   128. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 24, 2008 at 09:52 PM (#2675607)
The last ten years in a nutshell: we have to play overpriced, veteran free agents because we don't have anyone ML-ready in the minors and we don't have anyone ML-ready in the minors because we keep signing overpriced, veteran free agents. And because we drafted and traded poorly.

Yes, I agree but there are some who believe that the O's should have just played the crappy minor league guys anyways. They were going to lose anways, might as well lose with Matt Riley, Larry Bigbie, Kohlmeier et al. I certainly respect this stance as well but I really don't mind signing vets to 1 or 2 year deals. It's the long term deals to guys in their downward phase that bother me like Segui or Javy Lopez.
   129. Boriole Forester Posted: January 24, 2008 at 09:52 PM (#2675608)
Thrown out by several yards twice trying to go first to third.


Now that's just tragicomic, especially in light of his falling down incident(s).
   130. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 24, 2008 at 10:01 PM (#2675615)
I can confirm this in an odd sort of way. Had a seat front row, directly behind home plate for one of his starts in Ottawa. We could actually read the scouts radar gun from where we were sitting. They didn't bother with it while Stephens was in the game, but as soon as Darwin Cubillan came into the game, they had the gun on him. (first 7 pitches all 91, several of them actually came near the strike zone)

91? Stephens might have tried it max it out for the guns! Everybody said he wouldn't hack it at the big leagues despite his excellent minor league record. But Josh Towers was another soft tosser who had initial success right before Stephens came up so I guess the O's wanted to give Stephens at least a try. He blew like everybody said he would and I really don't fault the O's for letting him go w/o giving him a ton of innings.
   131. jingoist Posted: January 24, 2008 at 11:58 PM (#2675704)
Let's face it, so long as the Angelos mind-set rules Baltimore good/valuable/worthwhile FAs will never sign here. They want to go to play for a potential winner and these O's are many years away from the medocrity of being a .500 ballclub, let alone a winner. Tejada has surely told his Dominican buddies that the owner says one thing and the GMs do another; don't kid yourself and sign thinking Baltimore will build a team like Boston or New York.

So, you either pay too much for over-the-hill FAs and continue on as they have the past 10 years or you trade the few guys you have that are worth a tinkers dam and take the vaunted prospects you hopefully receive in return and play them most every day.
The only upside I see is that even Angelos might come to the realization that all his half-hearted start-overs have failed to date and that he needs a major restructuring.
I believe he thinks the latter thus his investment in McPhail.
   132. deputydrew Posted: January 25, 2008 at 12:09 AM (#2675708)
Is there a full list of the 2008 ZiPS Projections? I'm looking for the Marlins, but I'm not sure if it's been done.
   133. SvenTheMoose Posted: January 25, 2008 at 12:19 AM (#2675712)
There's a list of links at the bottom of the post
   134. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 25, 2008 at 01:26 AM (#2675739)
I certainly respect this stance as well but I really don't mind signing vets to 1 or 2 year deals.
What purpose does it serve? It doesn't make the team better, short or long term. How can a move that doesn't help the team be a good one?

91? Stephens might have tried it max it out for the guns! Everybody said he wouldn't hack it at the big leagues despite his excellent minor league record. But Josh Towers was another soft tosser who had initial success right before Stephens came up so I guess the O's wanted to give Stephens at least a try. He blew like everybody said he would and I really don't fault the O's for letting him go w/o giving him a ton of innings.
Why not? If the Orioles had someone good to play instead of him, I can understand the reluctance to fault them. But they didn't. How can one not fault them for not letting a great prospect have a chance?

Oh, and Josh Towers has not exactly been a Cy Young candidate, but he's as good as many of the veterans they've run out there over the years.
   135. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 02:12 AM (#2675759)
What purpose does it serve? It doesn't make the team better, short or long term. How can a move that doesn't help the team be a good one?

Because these type of guys can be flipped for prospects (thus helping team long term). And sometimes, a vet will outperform a farm hand who has no business playing in the major leagues. The financial cost is not great, frankly, from a fan standpoint, I would rather watch a game with some vet playing close to league average rather than a farm hand who will play way below league average.

How can one not fault them for not letting a great prospect have a chance?

Because he wasn't a great prospect. Check the minor league expert rankings at the time. I doubt any of them said John Stephens was a great prospect.
   136. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 25, 2008 at 02:34 AM (#2675766)
Because he wasn't a great prospect. Check the minor league expert rankings at the time. I doubt any of them said John Stephens was a great prospect.

But the point is the same whether he was just a good prospect, an average prospect, or even a bad prospect. Stephens at least had *some* chance of being good eventually - a lot of crappy veterans the Orioles have played haven't had even that.
   137. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 25, 2008 at 02:36 AM (#2675767)
I would rather watch a game with some vet playing close to league average rather than a farm hand who will play way below league average.

Me, I'd rather watch a 70-win team to have a better chance at watching a 90-win team down the road. I have no wish to watch a 78-win team with zero upside.
   138. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:12 AM (#2675773)
But the point is the same whether he was just a good prospect, an average prospect, or even a bad prospect. Stephens at least had *some* chance of being good eventually - a lot of crappy veterans the Orioles have played haven't had even that.

And he was given a 11 starts to prove himself. Is that a huge number of starts? No, but fringy prospects aren't typically given a long leash. I suspect a lot teams are that way.

Me, I'd rather watch a 70-win team to have a better chance at watching a 90-win team down the road. I have no wish to watch a 78-win team with zero upside.

And if the O's had prospects with any some upside, then I would rather watch that 70 win too. But when the team has the worst farm system for much of the last 10 years, then I would rather watch that 78 team with no upside than watch a team that would have a hard time accumulating a winning record in the Independent League.
   139. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:17 AM (#2675777)
Because he wasn't a great prospect. Check the minor league expert rankings at the time. I doubt any of them said John Stephens was a great prospect.
I think it's sort of odd to look at what he did, but refuse to accept it until someone tells you to. But he showed up on BP 's major league list, Sickels called him a prospect, he was on some of BA's prospects lists as well.

Because these type of guys can be flipped for prospects (thus helping team long term).
No, they can't. Other teams aren't as dismissive of minor leaguers as the Orioles are; they don't give prospects for crappy veterans. After Stephens' 2002 debut, he was never used again. Which veteran starters did the Orioles instead use in 2003? Well, Omar Daal. Did the Orioles trade him for prospects? No. And Rick Helling. Did the Orioles trade him for prospects? No. And Pat Hentgen. He actually pitched reasonably well, unlike the others. Did the Orioles trade him for prospects, though? No.

Maybe that's just a fluke; it's only 3 data points. What about other veterans, not just starting pitchers? There's Hector Carrasco. Did the Orioles trade him for prospects? No. Travis Driskill. (Not him, either.) Deivi Cruz? Brook Fordyce? Marty Cordova? No, no, and no. Nor BJ Surhoff. Nor David Segui. Not Kerry Ligtenberg (who pitched well). Not Buddy Groom.

What you're simply ignoring is that the Orioles don't acquire these guys to trade them; they acquire them to use them. Of the crappy veterans the Orioles used in 2003 -- that whole list is just the ones who appeared in 2003, a year the Orioles went 71-91 -- they managed to convert one of them into one prospect: Jeff Conine was traded to the Marlins for Denny Bautista.

(Bautista, by the way, got a grand total of <u>2</u> innings with the Orioles... before they sent him on to the Royals for 36-year old Jason Grimsley.)


from a fan standpoint, I would rather watch a game with some vet playing close to league average rather than a farm hand who will play way below league average.
I guess that's just a philosophical difference. I'd rather have farm hands playing well below league average. At least there's hope for them. A 70-win team full of veterans -- in other words, the Orioles of the last decade -- is about as much fun to watch as curling is. I'd rather win 60 games with rookies than 70 games with veterans. I'd rather win 50 games with rookies than 70 games with veterans.
   140. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:21 AM (#2675779)
And if the O's had prospects with any some upside, then I would rather watch that 70 win too. But when the team has the worst farm system for much of the last 10 years, then I would rather watch that 78 team with no upside than watch a team that would have a hard time accumulating a winning record in the Independent League.
Even if your position were reasonable -- and I strongly disagree, as I indicated above -- it doesn't apply to the Orioles. The Orioles aren't putting 78-win teams on the field with their veterans. Over the last ten years, they've averaged 72 wins a season, not 78.
   141. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:29 AM (#2675780)
I think it's sort of odd to look at what he did, but refuse to accept it until someone tells you to. But he showed up on BP 's major league list, Sickels called him a prospect, he was on some of BA's prospects lists as well.

Yes, it is fair to call him a prospect at a one point in time.

No, they can't. Other teams aren't as dismissive of minor leaguers as the Orioles are; they don't give prospects for crappy veterans. After Stephens' 2002 debut, he was never used again. Which veteran starters did the Orioles instead use in 2003? Well, Omar Daal. Did the Orioles trade him for prospects? No. And Rick Helling. Did the Orioles trade him for prospects? No. And Pat Hentgen. He actually pitched reasonably well, unlike the others. Did the Orioles trade him for prospects, though? No.

The O's traded Traschel last season for two prospects. Obviously it's not a sure thing but it happens.

(Bautista, by the way, got a grand total of 2 innings with the Orioles... before they sent him on to the Royals for 36-year old Jason Grimsley.)

Yes, that was a travesty. I thought this trade, not the Benson/Maine trade, would be the one that would bit us in the ass.

The Orioles aren't putting 78-win teams on the field with their veterans. Over the last ten years, they've averaged 72 wins a season, not 78.

Just using Dan's number.
   142. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:43 AM (#2675783)
Because these type of guys can be flipped for prospects (thus helping team long term).


Not very often, and not for very much of a prospect when they ARE flipped.

But he showed up on BP 's major league list, Sickels called him a prospect, he was on some of BA's prospects lists as well.


In hindsight, looking back, there is a lesson we can learn here.

Stephens had good strikeout totals and K/BB ratios throughout his minor league career. But with the exception of his 2/3 season at Bowie, he was very hittable when the ball was put into play against him. His age-19 season at Delmarva was typical: he fanned 217 and walked 36 in 170 1/3 innings, but his ERA was a somewhat pedestrian 3.22 and his hits-allowed rate was still nearly 8 per nine innings. A year later at Frederick, he actually allowed more hits than IP, so while he had 121 Ks and just 22 BB in 118 innings, his ERA was 3.05.

Statistically-oriented analysts have always had a tendency to rate pitchers with good K/9 and good K/BB highly. But what I'm finding as I look at this more is that you have to look at what is happening when the ball is put into play - hBIP DOES matter for minor league pitchers (and hitters, too). And Stephens's hBIP was bad enough throughout his minor league career so that we SHOULD have proceeded with caution.

-- MWE
   143. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:47 AM (#2675784)
The O's traded Traschel last season for two prospects. Obviously it's not a sure thing but it happens.


Trachsel, for his career, has an OPS+ of exactly 100; last year it was 103. He's not an ace, obviously, but average ERA starters have value. And the prospects the Orioles got are a tweener infielder (Moore, who doesn't have enough bat for a corner and not enough glove for an up-the-middle position) and a middle reliever (Cherry). Neither's going to help the Orioles get into the upper half of the league.

-- MWE
   144. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:58 AM (#2675787)
Not very often, and not for very much of a prospect when they ARE flipped.

Neither's going to help the Orioles get into the upper half of the league.


Oh, I agree Mike, the probability of flipping a fringy vet for prospects isn't a great. And the prospects you do get back aren't great (like Moore or Cherry). But it happens and fringy prospects sometimes turn out to be very good players even if this an unlikely scenario. So I don't mind taking this calculated risk when the alternative is playing a minor league vet or a prospect who can only be called a prospect semantically.
   145. JPWF13 Posted: January 25, 2008 at 04:08 AM (#2675790)
In hindsight, looking back, there is a lesson we can learn here.

Stephens had good strikeout totals and K/BB ratios throughout his minor league career.


He also had an unusually high workload by recent standards, and looks to have peaked at age 19-21, his deteriorating numbers across the board as he repeated AAA look fro all the world like a guy losing his stuff

a better test case for your idea would be a guy who could maintain his good K/BB, and never get his BABIP down low enough to be a useful pitcher.

Maine pitchng in the same system also had poor BABIPs except for one year- the difference is that Maine did not show cross the board declines in his peripherals when he repeated AAA

I suspect the hammering that Stephens got (as well as his progressive loss of effectiveness after he was demoted) unduly influenced the Orioles thinking as to Maine's prospects after Maine got hammered in his initial call up-
Maine simply needed to make adjustments- Stephens was just losing it.
   146. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 25, 2008 at 04:30 AM (#2675796)
Statistically-oriented analysts have always had a tendency to rate pitchers with good K/9 and good K/BB highly. But what I'm finding as I look at this more is that you have to look at what is happening when the ball is put into play - hBIP DOES matter for minor league pitchers (and hitters, too). And Stephens's hBIP was bad enough throughout his minor league career so that we SHOULD have proceeded with caution.

To be fair, $H research was still in its infancy. I didn't even feel I had done enough research to incorporate $H into my translation model until after the 2003 season and I'm more interested in translating minor leaguers than most. Whereas I translated him at 4.01 in 2002, I'd translate his season as 4.63 now.

I still maintain, however, he deserved a real chance, given what the Orioles willingly threw out there.

Does anyone remember the circumstances of his broken foot? Whoever wrote his article on Wiki seems to imply that he was pitching with a broken foot while with the Orioles in 2002, but I have no recollection of it now.
   147. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 25, 2008 at 09:14 AM (#2675870)
To be fair to the Orioles, Maine may also have not been a great fit with the park, given his FB tendencies. Still, if you are going to trade a prospect with some potential upside, at least get a prospect with some potential upside in return,

And David's points on the vets is dead on. The Orioles have no intention of flipping most of them. It's an organizational philiosophy that says name recognition and experience is more important from both a baseball and business pov. Those few that they do flip bring in "prospects' who are no better than the ones already in house because they don't have any real value, so what's the advantage? You simply have more fringy type prospects and, going by past experience, you are simply going to block them next year with next year's 1 year contract vets. Is there a point to all that? Other than perpetuating the mediocrity, I don't see it. I'm with David. I'd rather see Stephens than Trachsel, even if it means we lose 110 games.
   148. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 25, 2008 at 09:15 AM (#2675872)
Oh, I agree Mike, the probability of flipping a fringy vet for prospects isn't a great. And the prospects you do get back aren't great (like Moore or Cherry). But it happens and fringy prospects sometimes turn out to be very good players even if this an unlikely scenario. So I don't mind taking this calculated risk when the alternative is playing a minor league vet or a prospect who can only be called a prospect semantically.
But I think this misses the larger point of my objection: even if it were plausible that your proposed strategy would be effective, that's simply not what the Orioles' strategy actually was. The Orioles were not signing veterans with the expectation of flipping them for prospects. They were signing them with the expectation of using them. It's not that the Orioles didn't get decent prospects for these guys; it's that the Orioles didn't try to trade them. The Orioles signed them to fill out the roster for the season.
   149. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 25, 2008 at 02:06 PM (#2675892)
And, to further that note, even on the rare occasions when the Orioles DID flip them, they didn't give the fringy prospects a chance. The Oriole strategy was NOT flip vets for prospects. It was sign and play vets over prospects because the vets have major league experience and name recognition.
   150. Boriole Forester Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:04 PM (#2675917)
The other dimension to signing overpriced, mediocre free agents (as opposed to a Miggi) is the opportunity cost, the money that now isn't available for international scouting (and signing), paying over slot in the rule 4 draft, and even minor things like a state-of-the-practice video system or a decent ST facility. Heck, you could even drop ticket prices by some small, token amount if you field a low(er) payroll team.
   151. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 25, 2008 at 03:27 PM (#2675925)
And if the O's had prospects with any some upside, then I would rather watch that 70 win too. But when the team has the worst farm system for much of the last 10 years, then I would rather watch that 78 team with no upside than watch a team that would have a hard time accumulating a winning record in the Independent League.

Jeez...can't agree with you here. I'm much rather watch a team of young guys lose 100 games than watch a team of mediocre vets lose 90. At least the young team might have some potential for the future, and 10 extra losses at that point isn't going to make a difference.

Trachsel, for his career, has an OPS+ of exactly 100; last year it was 103. He's not an ace, obviously, but average ERA starters have value. And the prospects the Orioles got are a tweener infielder (Moore, who doesn't have enough bat for a corner and not enough glove for an up-the-middle position) and a middle reliever (Cherry). Neither's going to help the Orioles get into the upper half of the league.

While I agree that the Orioles shouldn't be signing vets at this point with the intention of flipping them, I think this assessment of the Traschel trade is offbase. First, the Orioles got a third guy later on (can't remember his name). Second, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by arguing that these guys aren't going to help the Orioles get to the upper half of the league. They're not elite prospects obviously, and there's almost no chance they'll turn into above average players, but the Orioles were never going to get those types of guys for Trachsel. What the Orioles did get were three young players who might be decent role players and who give the orioles added depth. (e.g., Moore looks like he could be a decent bat off the bench.) THat's not a bad return for a guy who was viewed as a pitcher who was basically finished (regardless of his ERA+).
   152. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 06:49 PM (#2676090)
But I think this misses the larger point of my objection: even if it were plausible that your proposed strategy would be effective, that's simply not what the Orioles' strategy actually was. The Orioles were not signing veterans with the expectation of flipping them for prospects.

Let me say that I agree. When the O's resigned Kevin Millar for this year (or his option kicked in or whatever), for example, it was to play him, not trade him. But my point is that the potential exists for him to be traded at the deadline for a mediocre prospect, just like the potential existed for Traschel last year or when Conine was traded to FL for two decent prospects. When they signed Traschel last year, YES, the O's strategy was NOT to trade him for prospects but it was option that I imagine they were aware of. Going back to Kevbo, if he has respectable year, he might be traded this summer for a decent prospect even though you're correct in saying that they didn't sign him with this intention. I don't have a problem with playing Millar because the alternative is to play a minor league vet or rush a prospect like Rowell. But as said before, this debate is silly because BOTH options aren't very good in terms of the organization's future health.

they didn't give the fringy prospects a chance.

Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry did receive some playing time much to Melvin Mora's chagrin. I suspect both will continue to receive playing time in the future.

At least the young team might have some potential for the future, and 10 extra losses at that point isn't going to make a difference.

But my point, and maybe we're talking past each other or working under assumptions because I keep repeating this, is that when a team has the worst farm system for much of the past ten years, there is NO "potential for the future" in fielding such a team with the Orioles. Thus I rather watch the 72 win vet team than the 50 win young team that only semantically has potential for growth.
   153. DKDC Posted: January 25, 2008 at 07:07 PM (#2676107)
Jacob Renshaw was the third player in the Trax deal.

He looks to be a relatively middling prospect, but I probably would've still been happy with the Trax trade if he was the only player that came back.
   154. JPWF13 Posted: January 25, 2008 at 07:40 PM (#2676129)
He looks to be a relatively middling prospect, but I probably would've still been happy with the Trax trade if he was the only player that came back.


trading anything of value for trax was dumb

sure he was getting decent results, but had a 45/69 k/bb in 141 IP
and Al Leiter was effective in 2004 too- and look at 2005, but Trachs whole game was his refusal to throw anything decent to hit-

his stuff was so poor that he was nearing a tipping point- anything within a foot of the strike zone was/is soon going to be a good pitch to hit - he was a detonation waiting to happen
   155. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 25, 2008 at 10:54 PM (#2676240)
September starts: Huff (25), Millar (23), Mora (21) Moore (15); and three of those starts happened because Mora was injured. Despite being out of it, the Orioles refused to prioritze giving the younger players time.

Mora offered to waive his no-trade clause so that the Orioles could deal him. Have we taken him up on that?

My prediction? Scott Moore gets fewer than 100 ABs for the Orioles in 2008. Rocky Cherry gets fewer than 30 IP.
   156. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 25, 2008 at 11:17 PM (#2676258)
But my point, and maybe we're talking past each other or working under assumptions because I keep repeating this, is that when a team has the worst farm system for much of the past ten years, there is NO "potential for the future" in fielding such a team with the Orioles. Thus I rather watch the 72 win vet team than the 50 win young team that only semantically has potential for growth.
And my point is that I don't agree with either aspect of this. First, I don't see any value in watching a 72-win vet team. Second, there is always more potential for the future, even if the farm is bad, with young players. If you throw 10 young pitchers out there that are only mediocre prospects, one will learn a new pitch, or take steroids, or gain better control, and be a good prospect. Or maybe none of the ten will -- but you'll never know, unless you try them. You gain nothing by leaving them at AAA.
   157. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 25, 2008 at 11:30 PM (#2676270)
But my point, and maybe we're talking past each other or working under assumptions because I keep repeating this, is that when a team has the worst farm system for much of the past ten years, there is NO "potential for the future" in fielding such a team with the Orioles.

As I argued (in response to DN actually) in the other recent Orioles thread, the Orioles' farm system is not one of the worst in baseball at this point -- it's about average. And if ROberts and Bedard are traded for prospects, the Orioles will have a decent number of young players to build around. I'd much rather watch a 2008-09 lineup of say, E. Patterson 2B, A. Jones CF, N. Markakis RF, L. Scott/N. Reimold LF, A. Huff/J. Clement 1B, M. Murton DH, R. Hernandez/M. Weiters C, Moore 3B, L. Hernandez/whoever SS, and rotation of Guthrie, Loewen, Gallagher, Patton, and Cabrera, than a team with a few ok vets taking playing time from some of those prospects.
   158. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 11:42 PM (#2676281)
Mora offered to waive his no-trade clause so that the Orioles could deal him. Have we taken him up on that?

I don't think there is a team willing to take Mora. If he had any trade value, he would be gone.

Scott Moore gets fewer than 100 ABs for the Orioles in 2008. Rocky Cherry gets fewer than 30 IP.

RE: Moore. Well yeah, utility infielders, Moore's role next year, typically don't get a lot of ABs. Moore is a fringy prospect. He's been projected as a utility player by a lot of minor league people. I have a feeling that the O's agree with this assessment. This is not an unreasonable conclusion. Fringy prospect typically don't get a lot of playing time unless there is a rash of injuries. RE: Cherry. He'll get more 30 IPs if he pitches well. Again, he's a fringy prospect, he won't have a long leash. If he sucks in the playing time he doee get, he won't get more than 30 IPs.

First, I don't see any value in watching a 72-win vet team.

I find it interesting that you care so much about voicing agreement or disagreement with what someone wants to watch.

Second, there is always more potential for the future, even if the farm is bad, with young players.

Yes, there is always potential, just like there's alway potential for me to win a IPOD whenever I see a lottery posted somewhere. And damn it, I always enter and I never win!
   159. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 11:47 PM (#2676289)
As I argued (in response to DN actually) in the other recent Orioles thread, the Orioles' farm system is not one of the worst in baseball at this point -- it's about average.

Yes, I've been trying to quality my statement on that a bit by saying stuff like "except for the last two years" or "most of the last 10 years." I certainly agre that the O's farm system is not one of the worst in baseball at this point.

I'd much rather watch a 2008-09 lineup of say, E. Patterson 2B, A. Jones CF, N. Markakis RF, L. Scott/N. Reimold LF, A. Huff/J. Clement 1B, M. Murton DH, R. Hernandez/M. Weiters C, Moore 3B, L. Hernandez/whoever SS, and rotation of Guthrie, Loewen, Gallagher, Patton, and Cabrera, than a team with a few ok vets taking playing time from some of those prospects.

Me too damn it, me too! Get ir done, Andy. And notice that your young line up contains at least two blue prospects (Adam Jones and Matt Weiters). Murton and Loewen have nice upside. Reimold and Gallagher aren't bad either.
   160. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 11:50 PM (#2676290)
If he sucks in the playing time he doee get, he won't get more than 30 IPs.

If he sucks in the playing time he does get, he won't get more than 30 IPs. Sorry about that, we need that edit function back. But to futher expand on Cherry, team typically bench players who don't perform well. The same rule will apply to Cherry. I hope he does well for no other reason that I want a guy named Rocky Cherry on my team.
   161. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 25, 2008 at 11:58 PM (#2676295)
Mora offered to waive his no-trade clause so that the Orioles could deal him. Have we taken him up on that?

And let me just say that I wouldn't mind seeing the O's cut Mora. He's a sunk cost. He has no trade value. He serve no purpose other than to ##### and whine. Hand the job over to Moore. But they won't cut him and play Moore regularly because of financial reasons not because the O's love to block young players.
   162. DKDC Posted: January 25, 2008 at 11:59 PM (#2676296)
Thus I rather watch the 72 win vet team than the 50 win young team that only semantically has potential for growth.

I think that's a bit of a false dichotomy.

The O's, as contstructed at the beginning of the offseason, were a ~71 win team for 2008.

Trading away Tejada cost them ~2 wins, and trading away Roberts and Bedard would cost them ~3-4 more wins.

However, with all of the talent they could get from those trades, they could still trade away virtually every other player over 30 on the team and they still wouldn't project to lose 100 games.
   163. jingoist Posted: January 26, 2008 at 12:00 AM (#2676297)
After 160 posts I think we can all agree it sucks to be an orioles fan these days. While the downside seems minimal so does the upside.
What's even worse for me is that my other favorite team is the Pirates; a sucking mass if ever there was.
Maybe I'll start rooting for Milwaukee; now there's a team that committed to one path, stuck to it and now they have a fun team to watch play ball
   164. Alex_Lewis Posted: January 26, 2008 at 12:27 AM (#2676315)
I'm just gonna say that it's darned impressive that the Oriole's have generated this much interest from anyone, period. You all are trye fans. I tried to read this thread, I really did, but it was just too much.

Special kudos to David N for writing a graduate thesis on this topic. Your zeal is, as always, quite impressive.
   165. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 26, 2008 at 12:47 AM (#2676321)
And let me just say that I wouldn't mind seeing the O's cut Mora. He's a sunk cost. He has no trade value. He serve no purpose other than to ##### and whine. Hand the job over to Moore.
This sort of seems to contradict your previous arguments. Moore isn't likely to be better than Mora, so why do you propose to replace one with the other?
But they won't cut him and play Moore regularly because of financial reasons not because the O's love to block young players.
No; as you say, it's a sunk cost. There are no financial reasons. The only way the finances change is if they're able to trade Mora.

Anyway, while Mora shouldn't be starting at 3B, he's a valuable utility player. (Well, he was; I don't know whether he can handle other positions anymore, since he's been starting at 3B full time in recent years and he's getting old. But if he could, he's a good guy to have around.)
   166. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 26, 2008 at 12:57 AM (#2676325)
Moore isn't likely to be better than Mora, so why do you propose to replace one with the other?

Because I HATE Melvin Mora.

No; as you say, it's a sunk cost. There are no financial reasons.

Yes, but we know that the O's won't recognize Mora as a sunk cost. They see $7.5 million and they're not going to throw it away even if they don't realize that they have already thrown it away.

I'm just gonna say that it's darned impressive that the Oriole's have generated this much interest from anyone, period.

I must say that I was enormously happy to see a debate emerge on John Stephens last night. John Stephens! In regards to former O's players in the last 10 years, it doesn't get any more obscure than John Stephens.
   167. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 26, 2008 at 04:44 AM (#2676446)
The points I was making about Trachsel are:

1. in terms of the veteran pitchers the Orioles have signed in recent years, he was easily the BEST of the bunch - essentially an average #4 starter (yes, even with the ugly walk/K ratio).
2. in spite of that, the Orioles couldn't get even one player who is likely to play a significant role on a winning team in exchange (Renshaw's organizational filler, at best).

Realistically, no team signs lower-tier free agents with the intent of flipping them for something at the trade deadline, no matter what they say. They sign lower-tier free agents because they're hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, and get something approaching what they did when they were good, for a cheap price. That happens even less often than a team flips a Trachsel for a useful prospect.

-- MWE
   168. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 26, 2008 at 06:25 AM (#2676473)
RE: Moore. Well yeah, utility infielders, Moore's role next year, typically don't get a lot of ABs. Moore is a fringy prospect. He's been projected as a utility player by a lot of minor league people. I have a feeling that the O's agree with this assessment. This is not an unreasonable conclusion. Fringy prospect typically don't get a lot of playing time unless there is a rash of injuries. RE: Cherry. He'll get more 30 IPs if he pitches well. Again, he's a fringy prospect, he won't have a long leash. If he sucks in the playing time he doee get, he won't get more than 30 IPs.

Our utility infielder the last 3 years, 36 year old Chris Gomez, has never gotten fewer than 132 ABs. But, the simple fact that 36 year old Chris Gomez has been our UI for 3 years makes it clear that your assumption that Moore will even have that role is delusional. Moore will be stuck in AAA. Mora, Huff, Millar, and Gibbons will again share the DH/1B/3B spots. They will stink. But, unless they get hurt, Moore will stay in AAA.

I really don't see why you disagree with the point that teams headed nowhere that have crappy vets ought to give fringy prospects much longer leashes. They have nothing to lose. They ought to take chances on youth. They ought to give Cherry 75 IP. They ought to give Moore 500 ABs. And they ought to do that regardless of how well they play. There is simply no real value in playing those vets.

The Orioles will give Chris Gomez more than 500 ABs. And they won't give 100 to Jack Cust. That's got nothing to do with trade value or flipping vets. We all agree that Gomez has no trade value. It has to do with an organizational and business philosophy that values experience and name over youth. That's the Oriole strategy that you need to defend.
   169. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 26, 2008 at 07:39 AM (#2676492)
Our utility infielder the last 3 years, 36 year old Chris Gomez, has never gotten fewer than 132 ABs. But, the simple fact that 36 year old Chris Gomez has been our UI for 3 years makes it clear that your assumption that Moore will even have that role is delusional. Moore will be stuck in AAA. Mora, Huff, Millar, and Gibbons will again share the DH/1B/3B spots. They will stink. But, unless they get hurt, Moore will stay in AAA.
What's unforgivable is that Mora, Huff, Millar, Gibbons and Payton are all still on the roster at this point. And let's not forget Ramon Hernandez.

While our GM, either with or without the interference of Angelos, has wasted his time macFailing to trade either Bedard or Roberts, he hasn't even tried to trade these other people. Of course they're not big prizes like Bedard/Roberts; they're not going to bring us multiple high-level prospects in return. But they need to go, and either MacPhail doesn't know this, doesn't care, or doesn't have the authority to deal them. None of those options are encouraging.
   170. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 26, 2008 at 07:55 AM (#2676498)
your assumption that Moore will even have that role is delusional.

I've been called worse. My hunch is that Moore will be with the big club as a utility infielder rather than at Norfolk. If I'm wrong and Moore goes to AAA, the world will go on. Anyone else want to weigh in on this? Will Moore go to AAA or be the utilty fielder with the big club? Has anybody heard any relevant info? If Moore was considered a good prospect, I suspect that they would place him at AAA to get him regular ABs but I'm just guessing. Like Melvin Mora in 2003, if Moore starts raking with the big club in the limited chances he gets then I'm sure the O's will start giving some serious thought about giving him a full-time, regular position at either 3rd or 1st.

I really don't see why you disagree with the point that teams headed nowhere that have crappy vets ought to give fringy prospects much longer leashes. They have nothing to lose.

Like other people said before, this is a silly debate because either road isn't a good bet. It's not so much that I disagree (I've never cast any of my statements in such a language), it's just that I really don't care if they play Moore or Millar. I happen to like Kevbo a lot so I wouldn't mind seeing him play. His walk off homer off the Red Sox in August was probably the only joyful moment in otherwise dreadful season. So yes, in this paticular case, I wouldn't mind seeing Millar as the regular 1B (any other Millar fans out there?). At the same time, Millar is getting older and his OPS could easily drop off into the 600s. In a such a case, I'm glad the O's have Moore as an option. But if they play Moore full time over Millar froem day one, cool beans, no sweat off of my back. I won't disagree with this move. As I said before, I can certainly understand and respect the rationale for such a move.

That's the Oriole strategy that you need to defend.

Why do I have to defend a position you give me? I've already given tons of examples of young farm hands who were given plenty of chances (and like I said before, House, Knott, Tiffee are not young players). And I've already said that it's a shame that the O's let Cust go. And I've already said that a lot of orgs passed over Cust so it's not they made some obvious error in judging talent.
   171. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 26, 2008 at 08:02 AM (#2676500)
he hasn't even tried to trade these other people.

According to Orioles Hangout, there have been "negotiations" with various teams to trade Millar and Payton. And OH has mentioned that O's are looking into voiding Gibbons' contract. How serious you want to take information from Orioles Hangout is up to you. Ramon was offered to the Mets for Humber (or was it Pelfrey?) but Minaya declined.

But they need to go, and either MacPhail doesn't know this, doesn't care, or doesn't have the authority to deal them.

I'm guessing it's about money. Gibbons has something like like 2 years, 10 million left. I think Mora and Huff have two years left too.
   172. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 26, 2008 at 10:03 AM (#2676516)
In post 90, GotowarMissAgnes said, "[The O's] have NO intention of giving any prospect who is not a guaranteed sure thing an even shot at getting a chance."

I pulled some IPs and PAs for the O's farm hands in the recent past. I've excluded prospects who were considered blue chip prospects since GTWMA said "sure thing" prospects will get a chance. Sadly, that meant that I only left Nick Markakis off my list. Here is the roll call of suck. I've added some of my own comments as well. I'll leave it up to you to decide for each prospect whether they received a "fair chance". I hope this incites more discussion so we can push past 200 comments.

John Maine 133.7 IP (boy was this a mistake)
Calvin Pickering 54 ABs (pretty much ate his way off the roster)
Ryan Minor 222 ABs (222 ABs... sounds about right, he looked awful and his age 24 and 25 seasons at AA and AAA weren't good)
Larry Bigbie 352 ABs (this one hurt, I thought Larry might turn into something, i thought he received a fair chance)
Jayson Werth 0 ABs (he got the shaft, traded for John Bale I believe)
Luis Matos 494 ABs (fair chance, Luis just wasn't very good)
Darnell McDonald 32 ABs (didn't receive a chance but he didn't deserve a chance)
Val Majewski 13 ABs (was a prospect, he flamed out)
Eddy Rodriguez 58.3 IPs (not a lot innings but he blew)
Eddie Rogers 29 ABs (not a lot innings but he blew, like eddy, I'll leave it up to you if you think he was shafted)
Matt Riley 85 IPs (finished strong in 03, sucked in 04, then more injuires came)
John Parrish 218.7 IPs (mostly as a reliever, although I don't why he be a good starter if he sucked as a reliever)
Rick Bauer 240 IPs (240 IPs sounds fair to me)
Ryan Kohlmeier 67 IPs (the league figured him out and he got lit up big, 67 IPs isn't a lot but Ryan just wasn't good)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (didn't count up the ABs but he got plenty of playing time)
Josh Towers (didn't count up the innings but he got plenty of playing time)
Geronimo Gil (didn't count up the ABs but he got plenty of playing time)
Sidney Ponson (didn't count up the innings but he got plenty of playing time)
Brandon Fahey 305 ABs (suck artist extraordinaire, he should feel lucky that the O's even gave him 305 ABs)
John Stephens 65 IPs (Stephens was a soft tosser, Dan felt John should have received more time and I can understand that)
Daniel Cabrera (anybody who says DC hasn't received enough attention and playing time is crazy)
Brian Roberts (da man)
Erik Bedard (da man)
Adam Loewen (hopefully will be da man soon, sure fire member of next year's rotation)
Chris Ray (current closer but out with TJ surgery)

Now let's name some young guys who weren't drafted by the O's but nonetheless played (most dishonorably).

Chris Richard (didn't cout up the ABs but he got plenty of playing time although he was already 26 when the O's acquired him)
Richard was then traded for Jack Cust 74 ABs (Cust just had a breakout year)
Mike Kinkade 167 ABs (he was 28 when the O's acquired, not really young, had a decent 2001, gone next season, not a big loss)
Melvin Mora (again, he was 28 when the O's acquired him, apparently that was Syd Thrift's magic number or something)
Bruce Chen (again, he was 27 when the O's acquired him, not really young, played a lot in 2005, then blew)
Jose Leon 143 ABs (not a ton of ABs but I wasn't clamoring to see more of Jose given that he sucked in those 143 ABs)
Jay Gibbons (horseface killah has definitely received a fair chance)
BJ Ryan (didn't count up the innings but he got plenty of playing time)
Jason Johnson (didn't count up the innings but he got plenty of playing time)
Rodrigo Lopez (didn't count up the innings but he got plenty of playing time)

If I missing some young player who was shafted by the O's, much apologies on my part. In any case, I do think there have been a good number of young prospects who were just ordinary prospects that the Orioles have tried to used (which was the point of all of this). Some of them turned out to be good, most bad, and some weren't given a fair shake (e.g. Cust, Maine, I thought trading Werth was dumb, Dan thought Stephens should have received more innings). As I said before, the O's problem is that their farm system has been pretty bad, although things have been better lately, not that they are unwilling to give young players a chance. Doing this was both fun and depressing. Hope you find something useful above.
   173. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 26, 2008 at 10:14 AM (#2676518)
Correction - Gil should be in the second list. He was not drafted by the O's. I believe the O's got him for some reliever (can't remember his name) from the Dodgers.
   174. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 26, 2008 at 02:42 PM (#2676531)
Now, we haven't even started to count the guys that never got a chance to play in the majors and I bet I can find some additional guys who had a cup with the Orioles so short that they are not on this list. But of the 35 youngish players you listed, just 15 were given a full season worth of ABs or IP. To me, that's the minimal definition of giving someone a chance. And, I just don't accept the hand-waving about "eating his way off the team" and "not a big loss". The demoralizing treatment young players get is part of the problem and if you do not give a guy a real chance, you cannot tell it's a big loss. So, during a period when the team had NOTHING to lose by playing young players, I'd guesstimate they gave less than 33% of their youngsters a real chance to prove themselves. I stand by my hyperbole.
   175. Boriole Forester Posted: January 26, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#2676534)
Correction - Gil should be in the second list. He was not drafted by the O's. I believe the O's got him for some reliever (can't remember his name) from the Dodgers.


Mike Trombley. They also received the immortal Kris...somebody...Foster? Typical Thrift trade for AAAA players.
   176. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 26, 2008 at 05:42 PM (#2676559)
Here's just a few of the guys missing from the list:DuBose, Bautista, Rakers, Borkowski, Fiorentino, Young, Ainsworth, Moss, Douglas, Britton (how'd that Jaret Wright deal work out for us?), and Rleal. None of these guys got a season's worth of ABs or IPs. So, we're up to 15 of 51 who never got what I consider to be a real chance, not counting guys who never even got to play one game.
   177. Boriole Forester Posted: January 26, 2008 at 08:35 PM (#2676616)
To be fair, DuBose couldn't stay sober (or effective), Ainsworth and Moss couldn't stay healthy, and none of the rest has, so far, done anything anywhere else, either.

The Bautista and Britton trades were REALLY bad on their face, I'll give you that. Why a non-contender would get older and more expensive is beyond comprehension.
   178. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 26, 2008 at 09:33 PM (#2676641)
Now, we haven't even started to count the guys that never got a chance to play in the majors and I bet I can find some additional guys who had a cup with the Orioles so short that they are not on this list.

GotowarMissAgnes, as I said in my post, I probably forget some people. It wasn't attempt to snub "negative cases", I just plain missed them. It's not like I'm trying to build a dataset for a peer reviewed article. I just wanted to see if I could up with some names of young players who received a chance. If you noticed, I also forgot Jeremy Guthrie.... and so did you (how'd that deal work out for us?).

DuBose, Bautista, Rakers, Borkowski, Fiorentino, Young, Ainsworth, Moss, Douglas, Britton (how'd that Jaret Wright deal work out for us?), and Rleal.

DuBose was a minor league free agent from the A's I believe. Bautista, I already said something about him in another post. Borkowski, if you mean Dave Borkowski, he was old (just like Jose Mercedes). Walter Young, I'll give you him, although he wasn't a good prospect so it's questionable as to whether he deserved a chance. Ainsworth, injured, retired I believed. Moss, the O's gave him some starts, not a lot mind you, but didn't impress in those starts, same with Fio and Sean Douglass. Britton, obviously Wright sucked, we'll see how Britton turns out. Sandy Rheal, I honestly can't quite remember, if he's dude that I'm thinking of, he started ok before sucking.

btw, there's an underlying worldview in GotowarMissAgnes posts that I want to expose for debate. And it's worldview that I wished we actually lived under in some ways. Essentially, no matter what your talent level or previous track record, you deserve a shot in the big leagues assuming that you're young. And mind you, not just a shot, but an extended stay in the big leagues. As poster 177 said, "DuBose couldn't stay sober (or effective), Ainsworth and Moss couldn't stay healthy, and none of the rest has, so far, done anything anywhere else, either." But that doesn't matter according to GotowarMissAgnes' worldview. They're young and anything less than an extended try out, irrespective of performance, is fair game in marshalling evidence against the O's unwillingless to play young guys. As GotowarMissAgnes said in post 174, "a full season worth of ABs or IP. To me, that's the minimal definition of giving someone a chance," is the baseline. It doesn't matter if you don't have a track record of success or have been in and out several orgs, you get a full season or that's evidence that the O's gave you the short end of the stick. In any case, I'll leave it up to you to interpret the "data" above and come to your own conclusion.

So, during a period when the team had NOTHING to lose by playing young players,

Except for games, and hence, look like more laughing stocks than they already are.

I stand by my hyperbole.

Fight the urge to post, must fight, hit submit...
   179. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 26, 2008 at 10:50 PM (#2676667)
Come on, Birdlives, we must extend this for at least 22 more posts. Go with the flow.

Yes, anything less than a full season is the only thing that matters. Why? Because the Orioles have given that much or more to a bunch of vets who played as poorly as any of these youngsters. I'll just rephrase my benchmark and say that the Orioles willingness to play youngsters should be measured by this yardstick...that they give the young fringy prospects as much of an opportunity as they gave Chris Gomez or Scott Erickson. Is that really too much to ask an organization that has not been over .500 in a decade?

As for what else they had to lose, the difference between 85 and 95 games---even if they would have happened--is meaningless. I don't know anyone who is bursting with pride over our dominance of Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City.
   180. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 27, 2008 at 12:01 AM (#2676690)
that they give the young fringy prospects as much of an opportunity as they gave Chris Gomez or Scott Erickson.

And they have! Lots of the players above were fringy prospects and they received plenty of playing time.

for what else they had to lose, the difference between 85 and 95 games---even if they would have happened--is meaningless.

Well the difference isn't between 85 and 98 games. It's more like between 50 and 72 games. Either way sucks though.
   181. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 27, 2008 at 01:42 AM (#2676742)
Here's just a few of the guys missing from the list:DuBose, Bautista, Rakers, Borkowski, Fiorentino, Young, Ainsworth, Moss, Douglas, Britton (how'd that Jaret Wright deal work out for us?), and Rleal. None of these guys got a season's worth of ABs or IPs. So, we're up to 15 of 51 who never got what I consider to be a real chance, not counting guys who never even got to play one game.
I agree with the comments. Moreover, just looking at eventual playing time doesn't tell the whole story. For instance, Jerry Hairston is on the "got a chance" list. And he did -- eventually... but the Orioles inexplicably delayed it for two years so Delino DeShields could play out the string in Baltimore.
   182. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 27, 2008 at 01:52 AM (#2676747)
Except for games, and hence, look like more laughing stocks than they already are.
In 1997, the Orioles had the best record in the league and won the division before losing in the ALCS. Florida won the WS.

In 1998, the Orioles decided to pay more attention to appearances than to building a winning team; the Marlins, meanwhile, became a laughingstock as they threw away every player that cost any bit of money. And it wasn't because the Marlins had great prospects ready to step in and be major league stars, as you seem to think any prospect has to be before he's worth using; they lost 108 games and 98 games the next two years. Who looks like more of a laughingstock now? The team that tried to avoid looking like a laughingstock? Or the team that was a laughingstock, but has won another WS since then?

Who looked more like a laughingstock -- a team like Kansas City, that hasn't spend any money and hasn't won diddly, or the Orioles, who were spending lots of money on veterans to play just as badly? Who in the hell cares about looking like a laughingstock? Win, and nobody cares what you "look like." Lose, and nobody cares what you "look like."
   183. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 27, 2008 at 02:41 AM (#2676765)
Walter Young, I'll give you him, although he wasn't a good prospect so it's questionable as to whether he deserved a chance
Yes, he was, and of course he did. He wasn't a great prospect, but your attitude appears to be that someone has to be an immediate all-star to be worth calling up.

btw, there's an underlying worldview in GotowarMissAgnes posts that I want to expose for debate. And it's worldview that I wished we actually lived under in some ways. Essentially, no matter what your talent level or previous track record, you deserve a shot in the big leagues assuming that you're young. And mind you, not just a shot, but an extended stay in the big leagues.
No, just a shot; an extended stay would be a couple of years.

Of course nobody is saying "no matter what your talent level or previous track record." What people are saying is that when you have a good track record -- e.g., John Stephens -- you deserve a shot, no matter what people think about your chances.

What people are saying is that on a bad old team, young players should be preferred to old players, because young players, even those with a mediocre track record, have an upside, while old players don't.

As poster 177 said, "DuBose couldn't stay sober (or effective), Ainsworth and Moss couldn't stay healthy, and none of the rest has, so far, done anything anywhere else, either." But that doesn't matter according to GotowarMissAgnes' worldview.
Obviously if they're hurt, that matters. But how can what they do afterwords determine whether they should have been given a shot at the time?
   184. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 27, 2008 at 04:22 AM (#2676814)
And having just re-read my post, I obviously mean "afterwards."
   185. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 27, 2008 at 05:56 AM (#2676855)
And it wasn't because the Marlins had great prospects ready to step in and be major league stars, as you seem to think any prospect has to be before he's worth using;

your attitude appears to be that someone has to be an immediate all-star to be worth calling up.

Never said a prospect has to be "great" before he's worth using. I said most teams (NOTICE TEAMS NOT ME, I know you're capable of understanding that distinction) typically don't give marginal prospects a long leash. The O's are not different in this regard. And I even I said that I would be fine with Moore replacing Millar at first.

the Marlins, meanwhile, became a laughingstock as they threw away every player that cost any bit of money. And it wasn't because the Marlins had great prospects ready to step in and be major league stars, as you seem to think any prospect has to be before he's worth using; they lost 108 games and 98 games the next two years. Who looks like more of a laughingstock now? The team that tried to avoid looking like a laughingstock? Or the team that was a laughingstock, but has won another WS since then?

Not sure where you're going with this but I fully support rebuilding. In fact, I wish Syd Thrift did it right 6 or 7 years ago. If the farm system was good, then the need for vets decreases.

Of course nobody is saying "no matter what your talent level or previous track record." What people are saying is that when you have a good track record -- e.g., John Stephens -- you deserve a shot, no matter what people think about your chances.

Yes, I'm saying there are MANY examples of O's farm hands with good and bad track records who received plenty of playing time. John Stephens is just one case. There is also Matt Riley who the organization was much behind before he got injuried. Josh Towers had a good minor track record and got plenty of innings. I'm not repeating myself, please see post 172 (and in particular look at Cabrera, Erik Bedard, Adam Loewen, and Sidney Ponson just to name a few). Look, I'm certainly willing to see the strong logic behind giving Stephens more of a chance. But he's just one guy. Please don't ignore Cabrera et al.

What people are saying is that on a bad old team, young players should be preferred to old players, because young players, even those with a mediocre track record, have an upside, while old players don't.

Sure, I agree, but look, and I've said this several times now, when you have the worst farm system, the young players often only have upside in the technical sense. There are many players above aren't even in the major leagues now. Sure you can say, well, you can't evaluate their potential until you give them a 1-2 year try out. But why give someone an extended chance who doesn't have the track record and who performed poorly when a chance was given. If they can't play, let them go, you don't ALWAYS need 1-2 years of performance data to figure this out with some guys.

But how can what they do afterwards determine whether they should have been given a shot at the time?

They often didn't, that's sort of the point of post 172. Sure you can point to Stephens, but look at Ponson, Cabrera, Roberts, Hairston, etc.

Finally, I just want to say this exchange is typical David Nieporent. My old academic advisor used to say that young grad students typically ID themselves by showing more concern over being "right" rather than being committed to the spirit of inquiry, dialogue, discovering something new. As usual, Nieporent is engaged in his one-ups-man-ship game of attempting to show that anything I say is "wrong" while abstaining from contributing his own ideas. Towards this end, he'll subtly twist your words to say something that is attackable to give himself an in road. On one hand, I guess I'm kind of flattered that David is so committed to showing how one of my statments is "wrong". He is a lawyer so I guess this type of verbal one-ups-man-ship comes easily to him. But on the other hand, it's getting old.
   186. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 27, 2008 at 06:44 AM (#2676887)
Look, Birdlives, often I'm a lone voice here on the Orioles, but I'm not one here. Most people seem to agree with my position on this one, so why you're claiming that I'm the one taking an unreasonable position on your argument and twisting your words, I'm not sure. And you're the one who twisted the argument that "young players deserve a chance" -- expressed by many here -- into the ludicrous "no matter what your talent level or previous track record, you deserve a shot in the big leagues assuming that you're young."


But why give someone an extended chance who doesn't have the track record and who performed poorly when a chance was given. If they can't play, let them go, you don't ALWAYS need 1-2 years of performance data to figure this out with some guys.
Again, nobody is talking about players without a track record.

As for the "performed poorly when a chance was given," the "underlying worldview" (to use your term) I see in that statement is one I've seen from others over the years with whom I've had a discussion like this: the idea that playing badly is a moral failing, rather than a physical one. A minor leaguer is seen as being "given" a chance -- he isn't seen as having earned it -- and if he plays badly, it's like he's squandering it. And just as a child who breaks the toy he wanted right after he got it needs to be taught a lesson, the player who squanders his chance doesn't deserve another one.

As for your statement about what you "need" to see from a player, we just disagree. I don't think you can learn anything meaningful about a player in 50 IP or 40 AB, which are the types of "shots" that a lot of the players you're talking about got.

You think Matt Riley got a shot. I think he didn't get one at all.

Josh Towers? Josh Towers pitched 140 innings of league average ball (96 ERA+) in 2001. He then pitched poorly the next year in <u>27</u> innings, and the Orioles dumped him. You look back and think, "Well, he got 2 years, 167 innings, so he got a chance." But that's not what happened.


The point I was making, which you had a tantrum about instead of responding to, is that your argument is, essentially, "Look, most of these people either (a) played badly after they left the Orioles or (b) didn't get a shot after they left the Orioles, so this demonstrates that the Orioles were right in not giving them a shot." But what they did after they left the Orioles has no bearing on the question of whether the Orioles should have given them a shot.
   187. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 27, 2008 at 06:45 AM (#2676889)
And they have! Lots of the players above were fringy prospects and they received plenty of playing time.

Lots? Erickson got over 250 IP of suckiness. Gomez got over 500 ABs. You listed maybe 15, and that's with a generous count stretching over about 7 years. In other words, the Orioles might give about 2 fringy prospects a year a chance.

And, as for most teams, I'd suggest the relevant comparison group is awful teams. Of course, good teams don't give fringe prospects a long leash. So, look at teams like Florida or Detroit several years ago. They were giving 10-15 fringy prospects a YEAR 300+ ABs and 100+ IP.

Contrary to your claims, the Orioles ARE acting in a very different, and far stupider, manner.
   188. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 27, 2008 at 10:04 AM (#2676922)
Most people seem to agree with my position on this one,

Most people? Only you and GotowarMissAgnes have weighed in since I put up my list in post 172 (well Boriole Forester did make one post)!!!! If anybody wants to weigh in, please do.

And you're the one who twisted the argument that "young players deserve a chance" -- expressed by many here -- into the ludicrous "no matter what your talent level or previous track record, you deserve a shot in the big leagues assuming that you're young."

At least when I extrapolate from something that someone said, I make it EXPLICIT.

And you're the one who twisted the argument that "young players deserve a chance" -- expressed by many here -- into the ludicrous "no matter what your talent level or previous track record, you deserve a shot in the big leagues assuming that you're young."

Again, nobody is talking about players without a track record.

I said "no matter what your talent level or previous track record, you deserve a shot in the big leagues assuming that you're young" because, for example, in post 84, you complained that Val Majewski only got three starts!!! And last time I checked, he hasn't been tearing up the minors and he hasn't been lauded as some great prospect by minor league pundits. He's not even listed in the top 20 prospects in John Sickels' list. These type of prospects aren't usually given an extended look because of their weak track record.

the idea that playing badly is a moral failing, rather than a physical one.

Moral failing? Where do you get this stuff. I've never brought morals up.

A minor leaguer is seen as being "given" a chance -- he isn't seen as having earned it -- and if he plays badly, it's like he's squandering it.

I think Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera, and other Orioles prospects have earned their chance in the big leagues.

As for your statement about what you "need" to see from a player, we just disagree.

I haven't even made a statement about what I need to see from a player!!! I've said TEAMS typically don't give fringy prospects a long leash....

You think Matt Riley got a shot. I think he didn't get one at all.

He was injured... what can you do... the O's really wanted him to see him succeed. If I remember correctly, he dominated the Blue Jays in a late season start, which really impressed the front office, and he generally performed well down the stretch. He become a full time member of the rotation next season. He didn't perform well and was sent back to AAA. He then had a lot of injuries and then was let go. This is not an unccmmon script.

Josh Towers? Josh Towers pitched 140 innings of league average ball (96 ERA+) in 2001. He then pitched poorly the next year in 27 innings, and the Orioles dumped him. You look back and think, "Well, he got 2 years, 167 innings, so he got a chance." But that's not what happened.

The league got used to Tower's stuff and lit him up. I remember Keith Law said in one of his chats that Towers is the type of pitcher whose control needs to be perfect in order to get through a line up. Any slight deviation in his control and he's screwed. Isn't possible that the O's figured this out after 167 innings? Isn't it possible that the BJ figured this out as well and released him?

The point I was making, which you had a tantrum about instead of responding to,

You're defensive and you get bent out of shape if somebody has the nerve to disagree with you. If that's another tantrum, so be it.

is that your argument is, essentially, "Look, most of these people either (a) played badly after they left the Orioles or (b) didn't get a shot after they left the Orioles, so this demonstrates that the Orioles were right in not giving them a shot."

I never said this... I certainly think that the fact that many of these players never panned doesn't hurt though. I've said the O's have given plenty of young players a chance. MULTIPLE TIMES in this thread. I even went through the trouble of naming a bunch of players in post 172. And to repeat myself again, what about Daniel Cabrera, Erik Bedard, Brian Roberts, Adam Loewen, Gil, Hairston and others (see post 172)? WERE THEY NOT YOUNG WHEN THEY CAME UP? DID THEY RECEIVE A CHANCE?

In other words, the Orioles might give about 2 fringy prospects a year a chance.

Well, you said they never receive a chance... now it's 2 per year (with a might throw in).

Contrary to your claims, the Orioles ARE acting in a very different, and far stupider, manner.

What claims?!!! I've just said the O's have given plenty of young players a chance. The O's front office haven't been very good the last 10 years, particularly Thift.

Alright gentlemen, we have 12 more posts to go before we hit 200. Let's get it done.
   189. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 27, 2008 at 10:14 AM (#2676923)
The interesting thing is that I actually respect Nieporent's and GotowarMissAgnes' input quite a bit. But man, it's the defensiveness and the how dare you disagree with me attitude that annoys me.
   190. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 27, 2008 at 11:23 AM (#2676925)
Presented without comment:

Matt Riley's statistics for September 2004

5 g, 5 gs, 29.2 ip, 20 bb, 24 k, 2.43 era

At this point, he was 24.

March 30, 2005: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Texas Rangers for Ramon Nivar.
   191.   Posted: January 27, 2008 at 11:42 AM (#2676927)
The league got used to Tower's stuff and lit him up. I remember Keith Law said in one of his chats that Towers is the type of pitcher whose control needs to be perfect in order to get through a line up. Any slight deviation in his control and he's screwed. Isn't possible that the O's figured this out after 167 innings?

But over the next three years, Towers would be an above average starter. In 2005, Towers put up an ERA+ of 120, in 208 IP...for $300,000! He's sucked since then, but still: he was a valuable player for a time whom the Orioles dumped for no reason.

Even if the Orioles "figured out" that he was going to suck eventually, they had nothing to gain by just flat out releasing him instead of giving him the chance to not suck like the Jays did. The Orioles don't get points for "figuring out" that Towers would suck in 2006, and thus releasing him in 2002. Not when he was perfectly good for the years in between.
   192. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 27, 2008 at 11:54 AM (#2676928)
Moral failing? Where do you get this stuff. I've never brought morals up.
You didn't say so explicitly. I thought I detected a whiff of it in there, but you may not have thought it. If you didn't, though, many people I've had the debate with over the years regarding the use of prospects do seem to do so, though. They speak as if giving a minor leaguer a chance is an issue of personal desert rather than an issue of what the player's skills are.

Consider how often one hears sentiments such as, "He was given his chance, he blew it, and he doesn't deserve another one." That's what I mean by "moral failing." (Perhaps "character flaw" would be another way to describe it.) It's as though the speaker is offended that the player wasted what was given to him, and so won't give him another. That is, not because the person decides the player isn't good enough, but simply because he should be punished because he squandered his chance. Even when I point out that the 'chance' was short, the response is that the player should have made the most of it.


As I said, maybe you didn't intend to convey that impression, consciously or unconsciously, but your statement that we shouldn't give someone a chance "who performed poorly when a chance was given" made me think of that attitude. (Why? Because I don't think it matters whether the player "performed poorly when a chance was given." I think what matters is how the player will do in the next chance he's given.)
   193. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 27, 2008 at 12:55 PM (#2676930)
I said "no matter what your talent level or previous track record, you deserve a shot in the big leagues assuming that you're young" because, for example, in post 84, you complained that Val Majewski only got three starts!!! And last time I checked, he hasn't been tearing up the minors and he hasn't been lauded as some great prospect by minor league pundits. He's not even listed in the top 20 prospects in John Sickels' list. These type of prospects aren't usually given an extended look because of their weak track record.
First, Majewski certainly did appear on the prospect lists at that time. (Majewski got hurt in 2005 and missed the whole season; it was after that injury that he fell off the prospect lists.)

Second, I didn't "complain" that he only got three starts; I noted it, in the context of your claim in post 75 (reiterated in post 82) that the Orioles played him. You keep conflating the issue of whether a player deserved a shot with a question of whether he got one. You say that the Orioles gave a particular player a shot, I or one of the other primates here point out that the player actually got no playing time, and you say, "Well, he didn't deserve it." But those are two different issues.

I haven't even made a statement about what I need to see from a player!!! I've said TEAMS typically don't give fringy prospects a long leash....
You haven't just "said" that; you've defended it, repeatedly, saying that the Orioles gave these people as much playing time as they deserved. I think that's a statement about what you need to see from a player.

He was injured... what can you do... the O's really wanted him to see him succeed. If I remember correctly, he dominated the Blue Jays in a late season start, which really impressed the front office, and he generally performed well down the stretch. He become a full time member of the rotation next season. He didn't perform well and was sent back to AAA. He then had a lot of injuries and then was let go. This is not an unccmmon script.
It's not an uncommon script for the Orioles. For well-run teams, it's uncommon to decide after a handful of starts that a very highly-regarded prospect should be dumped.

By the way, this is yet another case where aggregate stats mislead, making it look like Riley got more of a chance than he did. Riley pitched two good starts to start the year, two bad starts, and then got pulled from the rotation. He had a sore shoulder after that and was on the DL for two weeks... then instead of being activated back into the rotation, got demoted. He got a midseason callup in June, had 3 bad starts and 1 good start, and got demoted again. Then he was called up in September and pitched well in 5 starts. But did that cause the Orioles to give him a job in 2005? Nope. They cut him.

And was all of that up-and-down in 2004 because they wanted to give more playing time to younger, better pitchers? No, not in the slightest. Riley's 5.63 ERA for the season certainly doesn't look impressive -- but they gave 8 starts to Dave Borkowski (5.14 ERA), 7 to Kurt Ainsworth (9.68 ERA), and 14! to Eric Dubose (6.39 ERA). Meanwhile, Sidney Ponson had a 5.30 ERA in 33 starts, and Daniel Cabrera had a 5.00 ERA in 27 starts. Of those, only Cabrera was younger than Riley.

The league got used to Tower's stuff and lit him up. I remember Keith Law said in one of his chats that Towers is the type of pitcher whose control needs to be perfect in order to get through a line up. Any slight deviation in his control and he's screwed. Isn't possible that the O's figured this out after 167 innings? Isn't it possible that the BJ figured this out as well and released him?
No, it isn't. For three reasons:

1) The Blue Jays played him for 5 seasons and 557 innings. That isn't a case of figuring anything out; that's a case of giving him opportunities, in some of which he performed and in some of which he didn't.
2) Yes, Towers is someone whose control needs to be perfect. I think pretty much everyone figured that out before he was ever called up in the first place. That isn't a reason to release a player.
3) Again, he pitched well his first season in Baltimore. The Orioles didn't release him after 140 innings; they stuck him back in the rotation. They then gave him three starts, and then pulled him from the rotation, then gave him two relief appearances and cut him.

I've said the O's have given plenty of young players a chance. MULTIPLE TIMES in this thread. I even went through the trouble of naming a bunch of players in post 172.
And, besides the fact that this list is actually quite short for a TEN YEAR PERIOD, most of the people you named were NOT given a chance, so that really doesn't prove your point at all.
And to repeat myself again, what about Daniel Cabrera, Erik Bedard, Brian Roberts, Adam Loewen, Gil, Hairston and others (see post 172)? WERE THEY NOT YOUNG WHEN THEY CAME UP? DID THEY RECEIVE A CHANCE?
Hairston, as I pointed out, is a poor example for your case; instead of giving him a chance, they signed Delino DeShields. Only after DeShields showed his career was over did Hairston get to play regularly. And Gil was not young; he was <u>26</u> before he was given a chance. Yes, Cabrera, Bedard, Roberts, Loewen were -- but again, that's a short list, not an impressive one. (Your comment is like describing the 2007 Orioles as an offensive powerhouse because Millar, Tejada, Markakis, and Huff all hit at least 15 HRs.)



Contrary to your claims, the Orioles ARE acting in a very different, and far stupider, manner.

What claims?!!! I've just said the O's have given plenty of young players a chance.
Your claims that the Orioles have given plenty of young players a chance.
   194. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 27, 2008 at 02:46 PM (#2676945)
I think I can I think I can

Yes, the claim that I believe is inaccurate is that the Orioles have given plenty of young players a real chance (defined by me as approximately a full season of ABs/IPs or at least as much chance as they have gien sucky vets), particularly in comparison to what I think is the relevant comparison group, teams that have really sucked.

Others can feel free to suggest alternatives definitions of the comprison group and the definition of a chance,but I think those are both reasonable points of view.

I'm not sure it's the best thing for your mood to pore through past Oriole prospect reports, and such, but it does bring back some memories. Anyone recall Jay Spurgeon? Goes from A ball to the majors in one year, and caps it off by winning his first ML game. Struggles the next year in AAA, then dislocates his shoulder fielding a bunt. Jay Jaffe did a bit on all the Jays who played in the bigs that included him. (Yes, this is a deliberate attempt to give momentum for additional posts)
   195. Boriole Forester Posted: January 27, 2008 at 04:02 PM (#2676963)
If the question being debated here is "did the O's play crappy veterans at the expense of young guys who later proved to be pretty crappy after the fact", then it is really a false dichotomy. They never had a plan or over-arching concept about how to run the team. They merely lurched in whatever direction that seemed expedient at the moment. If young pitching wasn't quite beating down the door, they'd sign a crappy veteran. If a seemingly-decent free agent was available and was willing to sign, they would plug him in regardless of need.

Also muddling the conversation is that there has been a great deal of turnover in front office personnel, each with his own "philosophy". We're mixing up the reigns of Gillick, Wren, Thrift, Beataggan, Flanniquette, and MacPhailaggan (or is it MacPhailfrock?)...
   196. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 27, 2008 at 04:47 PM (#2676982)
I think the question is more along the lines of have the Orioles given their young players a fair chance.

I disagree with what you say about a concept. I do think they have had an overarching concept and that it comes from the top and that it has limited what each GM can do--which is why you have had so much turnover at the GM position. That approach emphasizes that major league experience is paramount in personnel decisions, and young players should only be given an opportunity in the event of injury or the inability to find a veteran alternative. Young players are required to "pay their dues" and at any sign of failing are yanked from the major league team for more dues paying.
   197. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 27, 2008 at 04:57 PM (#2676987)
First, Majewski certainly did appear on the prospect lists at that time. (Majewski got hurt in 2005 and missed the whole season; it was after that injury that he fell off the prospect lists.)

IIRC, it seemed pretty clear that Majewski was going to get a shot at a starting job back in 2005 -- he was a pretty decent prospect at the time. I don't it's fair to criticize the team post-injury -- he appears to have lost most of his power, and at this point is a 5th OF, at best.

I disagree with what you say about a concept. I do think they have had an overarching concept and that it comes from the top and that it has limited what each GM can do--which is why you have had so much turnover at the GM position. That approach emphasizes that major league experience is paramount in personnel decisions, and young players should only be given an opportunity in the event of injury or the inability to find a veteran alternative. Young players are required to "pay their dues" and at any sign of failing are yanked from the major league team for more dues paying.

There's some truth in that, but it's also true, as BF notes, that part of the problem has been an overall lack of direction. The team has made decisions almost randomly at times. If they question is whether the Orioles have given their young players a fair chance, then, as I argued earlier, the answer is yes and no. They've given some guys a pretty decent chance, and buried others. Or some they've given a decent chance and then discarded for no reason (e.g., Towers). The only thing that's absolutely clear about the last ten years is that the team has been poorly run. This is the whole truth of the Orioles. The rest is commentary.
   198. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 27, 2008 at 10:19 PM (#2677127)
The Orioles don't get points for "figuring out" that Towers would suck in 2006, and thus releasing him in 2002. Not when he was perfectly good for the years in between.

You haven't just "said" that; you've defended it, repeatedly, saying that the Orioles gave these people as much playing time as they deserved. I think that's a statement about what you need to see from a player.


Well, I wasn't trying to defend the strategy (or try to give it points), I was just trying to point out that it's not uncommon for teams (not me) to give fringy prospects a short leash, but I can see why I came off that way. My apologies if I misled people (birdlives 0, Nieporent 1, boooo). Frankly, I don't know what I need to see for a player in order to determine what's a fair chance. Obviously minor league record and actual big performance should be considered. But I don't have specific, testable guidelines. This is why I've tried to avoid doing a tally count from post 172 (as GotoWar has attempted to do at times). What's a fair chance for player X who has played like X in the minors and X in the big leagues? Not sure, but I can point to the extreme innings guys. Like I think it's very reasonable to say Roberts, Bedard, D. Cabrera, Hairston (even if it was delayed), Gil, Matos, Bigbie, Gibbons, J. Johnson, R. Lopez, Ponson and Richard received a fair chance. Then there's Parrish and Bauer who received a number of inning but not as much as the aforementioned guys. Possibly a case could be made these guys were given the short end of the stick... if somebody want to take a shot, feel free. Then there are more borderline cases like Towers, Stephens, and Riley (thanks Vaux and Shock for your thoughtful posts). As David points out, Towers did go on to have success but I don't know if it's fair to point that out since he's been critical of using post O's failure as a relevant criteria in determining a fair chance (which makes sense). All three had "good" minor league records so I can see why someone would want them to get an "extended" look (even though scouts didn't have much faith in Towers and Stephens, which highlights an interesting numbers versus scouting divide). And then there are more borderline cases with guys who didn't receive a lot of time but it's debateable as to whether they had the track record to merit a lot of time (e.g. Eddy Rodriguez and Ed Rodgers). And then there are clear shaft cases (e.g. Cust, Maine, I personally liked Werth even though he didn't amount to much).

And, besides the fact that this list is actually quite short for a TEN YEAR PERIOD, most of the people you named were NOT given a chance, so that really doesn't prove your point at all.

Of course, it's short, the O's farm system has been bad for most of the last 10 years. And we don't have a testable definition of determing a fair chance.

For well-run teams, it's uncommon to decide after a handful of starts that a very highly-regarded prospect should be dumped.

The O's haven't had any "very highly-regarded" prospects except for Markakis, although Bedard and Riley were close.


Your claims that the Orioles have given plenty of young players a chance.

Nor have I given a testable definition of plenty. I haven't been terribly invested in doing so because, as I have already pointed out, Nieporent typically turns a discussion into a one-ups-man-ship match, and I'm much more interested in having a dialogue (where the end game isn't to find winners or losers) rather than having a pissing contest. If somebody want to propose a testable definition of "fair chance" given a player's minor league record (and that of course involves defining what's a good minor league record) and actual big league performance (this part is optional of course, you could include a definition that failure in the big leagues shortens you amount you should stay, or maybe success in the big leagues add innings when determining a fair chance) and "plenty" feel free. I'm interested in seeing the results myself depending on how you handle the measurement issues.

And Gil was not young; he was 26 before he was given a chance.

Well, House, Knott, and Tiffee were used as examples of young players earlier, sorry I thought 26 might be fair game (which is why I listed Richard, Mora, Kinkade in post 172 while noting their age). If 26 is not fair game, fine, whatever.

Yes, the claim that I believe is inaccurate is that the Orioles have given plenty of young players a real chance (defined by me as approximately a full season of ABs/IPs or at least as much chance as they have gien sucky vets),

But don't you have to define good track record? Or else, every farm hand, irrespective of performance, is definited as being given the shaft if they don't get 1 year in the majors (and "as much chance as they have given sucky vets" is too imprecise to be testable).

I'm not sure it's the best thing for your mood to pore through past Oriole prospect reports, and such, but it does bring back some memories.

Bad Orioles memeories is practically all I know!

I think the question is more along the lines of have the Orioles given their young players a fair chance.

That sounds right.

The team has made decisions almost randomly at times.

Don't forget about administration changes. There was no "overarching concept" under the Thrift administration. Thrift (?) traded Werth, just about anything he did was stupid. His "best" move was picking up Rodrigo Lopez. Duquette traded away Maine, I guess he wanted to have a Kazmir part II. But as someone else said, the O's have had to rely on sorry vets because the farm system has been so bad. That's the overarching concept in my opinion.

If they question is whether the Orioles have given their young players a fair chance, then, as I argued earlier, the answer is yes and no. They've given some guys a pretty decent chance, and buried others.

Yeah, I'm kind of the same way. I see certain Orioles who were given a "fair" chance but then I see guys like Werth, Cust or Maine. And then there are all the borderline guys that I didn't give much thought (like Stephens and Riley, although I'll certainly have to give these guys a second thought). Of course, a more rigorous, scientific investigation could determine if the O's leaned one way or another. And I'm sure David will be on this particularly if it makes me look wrong, if not, he won't bother mentioning his results.

Almost to 200!
   199. rlc Posted: January 27, 2008 at 10:59 PM (#2677158)
How sad - only Oriole fans could get excited about achieving a hallmark of mediocrity like 200 posts. What we really need is someone with the courage to tear down this thread and start building one with a chance at greatness.


Jack Cust injected growth hormone into Donald Veal. Veal is Calvin Pickering's favorite meat. Peter Angelos and Hillary Clinton are strange bedfellows. Ed Rogers still reminds Sam Perlozzo of Alex Rodriguez, but only because of the way their eyes crinkle up at the corners when they laugh. George W. Bush won't throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards because he's afraid Rafael Palmeiro will reveal that the Rangers dodged the draft. Cal Ripken would have cured cancer if he had only taken a day off.

...

Phew - this thread will now almost certainly suck rocks, but at least it has some chance at reaching 2632 posts.
   200. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 27, 2008 at 11:02 PM (#2677159)
How sad - only Oriole fans could get excited about achieving a hallmark of mediocrity like 200 posts.

Just trying to inject some humor, oh well.
Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 3.1268 seconds
66 querie(s) executed