Archive for May, 2014

Nick Markakis’ Secret Platoon Issue

Posted in Offense with tags , on May 29, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Nick Markakis is off to what seems like a very strong start to the 2014 season, hitting for a much higher average, on base percentage, and power than he was last year.  However, despite the early results and the fact that he already has an 18 game hit streak under his belt, there may be some underlying statistics that suggest that Markakis is not only having a worse season than it initially appears, but he may have a serious issue with left handed pitching.  Is it bad enough that he could potentially be a good platoon candidate?  It’s something I take a look at today over at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot.

Direct Link to Article –> Nick Markakis’ Secret Platoon Issue

Minor League Recap: May 19-May 25

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

If you’re reading this, then you already know…the minor league recap is a day late this week. Blame it on the holiday weekend, where my time was spent doing really important things that didn’t involve baseball. Don’t believe me? I didn’t even know that the Orioles traded for Nick Hundley until he made that throwing error against the Brewers in the bottom of the 9th inning on Monday night (I started watching the game only a couple of minutes before that). I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth. In other news this week, the talents of Heath Bell were on display in Norfolk this past week. We looked at what the Orioles may expect from him last week. Obviously it’s only been a week (small sample alert), but the results in AAA have been worse than expected, as he gave up 4 earned runs in 3.2 innings, giving up 7 hits while walking 4. Yet somehow, he didn’t have the worst performance by a Norfolk pitcher.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 3-3 (W-L), 43 RS, 28 RA

Bowie (AA): 5-2, 44 RS, 33 RA

Frederick (High-A): 1-5, 16 RS, 25 RA

The Good:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): OF Quintin Berry – 8/21 (H/AB), 2 2B’s, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 BB’s, 3 SO’s

Berry had such a good week that he was named International League Player of the Week…

Wait, he wasn’t? I think the voters got that one wrong. Peguero had a great week and was very deserving of “my” award, but I think Berry was slightly better by hitting for slightly more power (Peguero’s extra base hits consisted of 3 doubles) and walking twice, compared to Peguero’s zero walks. So if Peguero makes fun of Berry for NOT winning the International League Player of the Week award last week (which I’m sure will happen if it hasn’t already), Berry can point to this blog post and reply with a witty comment.* Continue reading

Can Heath Bell Help the Orioles?

Posted in Free Agency, Playoffs with tags , , , , on May 23, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

About one week ago, the boys over at MLB Trade Rumors indicated that the Orioles were one of four teams that were interested in Heath Bell, which prompted the following reaction…

Turns out the Orioles weren’t joking, as they signed Bell to a minor league contract two days later. It’s not like the Baltimore bullpen doesn’t need help. They are currently have the 5th worst FIP in all of baseball (or 26th best if you’re an optimist), and have barely been better than replacement level as a group (0.3 fWAR). Additionally, the bullpen only strikes out 18.0% of batters faced, which places them 28th in baseball (not good). Ryan Webb, Darren O’Day, and Zach Britton are the only relievers who can be trusted at this point, so taking a flier on Bell isn’t the worst idea. Continue reading

Minor League Recap: May 12-May18

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Last week, we saw the Orioles call up top pitching prospect Kevin Gausman for a spot start against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. It was an unexpected and curious move, especially since that Gausman would be pitching on short rest and it was only his second start after spending time on the disabled list with a bout of pneumonia. Long story short, Gausman’s start for the Orioles did not go well, and he was sent back down to Norfolk the following day. What’s even more baffling is that on the day of Gausman’s start, Miguel Gonzalez was available out of the bullpen for long relief, if needed (he was). This raises the questions that if Gonzalez was available for long relief, why wasn’t he available to start? I don’t think I’ve seen a reasonable explanation for his call-up, and even if there was, it doesn’t seem like a sound decision.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 3-4 (W-L), 37 RS, 48 RA

Bowie (AA): 4-2, 26 RS, 17 RA

Frederick (High-A): 4-3, 45 RS, 28 RA

The Good:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): 1B Brett Wallace – 11/27 (H/AB), 1 2B, 3 HR’s, 5 BB’s, 6 SO’s

It was a banner week for Wallace as he continues to hit the ball well after a slow start to the season. The 3 home runs during the week are certainly impressive, but it’s also nice to see him walk about as much as struck out. Continue reading

Can History Tell Us Anything About Chris Davis’ Return from the Disabled List?

Posted in Offense with tags , , on May 15, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Chris Davis came off the 15-day disabled list this past sunday after missing time due to a strained oblique.  Today over at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I take a look at similar players who have suffered the same injury and compare how they performed before their injury to how they performed after being injured in the hope that the findings will give some sort of indication as to what we can expect from Davis the rest of the season.

Direct Link to Article –> Can History Tell Us Anything About Chris Davis’ Return from the Disabled List?

Minor League Recap: May 5-May 11

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

We’re trying out a new “Transactions” feature as part of the weekly minor league recap this week. It’s basically a list of transactions involving the Norfolk, Bowie, and Frederick affiliates that occurred over the week and is located at the bottom of the recap. It’s pretty self-explanatory actually, so I probably didn’t even need to write the words in that last sentence. Anyway, I thought it might be a useful addition seeing as there are typically a lot of minor league moves in any one week. As I noted in my piece about minor league host families last year, the Orioles made over 90 transactions in about a months time in 2013. Hopefully this feature will help keep track of where everyone is playing for the moment.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 3-4 (W-L), 42 RS, 46 RA

Bowie (AA): 3-4, 35 RS, 46 RA

Frederick (High-A): 3-4, 18 RS, 25 RA

The Good:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): 2B Ivan De Jesus – 10/29 (H/AB), 2 2B’s, 1 3B, 6 BB’s, 6 SO’s

If it seems like a second baseman is winning this “award” every week, it’s basically because they are. According to their website, the Tides currently have 6 second basemen on the active roster (obviously, they’re not all playing second base on a regular basis). This week it was De Jesus’ turn to have a strong week. There were a lot of decent offensive lines for Norfolk this week (they averaged 6 runs a game), but De Jesus had the best combination of hitting, power, and patience out of the entire group. Continue reading

Minor League Recap: April 28-May 4

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

It was a “.500” kind of week for Baltimore’s affiliates, as each of the teams detailed in this weekly installment won as much as they lost, with Bowie and Frederick even scoring the exact number of runs that they gave up. Frederick barely got any games in as they had to deal with a ton of rain and a couple of postponements/cancellations in the beginning of the week. Additionally, Norfolk used 16 different pitchers during the week, so no one really got a lot of innings. Feel free to use any of these fun facts as an ice breaker in the coming week.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 3-3 (W-L), 36 RS, 33 RA

Bowie (AA): 3-3, 22 RS, 22 RA

Frederick (High-A): 2-2, 18 RS, 18 RA

The Good:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): 1B Brett Wallace– 8/23 (H/AB), 2 2B’s, 2 HR’s, 2 BB’s, 9 SO’s

The former top prospect has really been struggling at the plate this season, so it’s nice to see him put together a very productive week. The 9 strikeouts are still a little bothersome, but at least some of the power is starting to show up. Even though Wallace used to be a top prospect (the key phrase being “used to be”), fans shouldn’t expect much out of him, as he’s transitioned from prospect status to “organizational depth”. Continue reading