Archive for the Offseason Category

Could Ervin Santana Improve the Orioles Rotation?

Posted in Free Agency, Offseason, Pitching with tags , , on January 28, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

The Orioles have had a very slow offseason.  Sure they’ve signed approximately 57 outfielders to minor league contracts with invites to spring training i the hope that one of them can play in left at the major league level, but other than that and a couple of minor trades, it’s been pretty quiet.  One place they can still improve is in the starting rotation, where there are potential difference makers (albeit few) left on the free agent market.  Yesterday on ESPN Sweetspot Orioles blog, Camden Depot, Matt Kremnitzer took a look at one of those starting pitchers in Ubaldo Jimenez.  Today, I take a look at another, Ervin Santana.

Direct Link to Article –> Could Ervin Santana Improve the Orioles Rotation?

My (Hypothetical) Hall of Fame Ballot for 2014

Posted in Hall of Fame, Offseason with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Later today, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) will announce their selections for the 2014 Hall of Fame class.  Every year, members of the BBWAA cast their vote for up to 10 players.  The players who receive 75% of the vote will be honored during an induction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY at the end of July.  Any player who receives less than 5% of the vote will be removed from the ballot.  Players who receive between 5% and 75% will remain on the ballot in future years, for no more than 15 years.

The ballot this year includes 38 names, and the complete list of eligible candidates can be found here.  Due to the stance that some members of the BBWAA have taken regarding steroids and other performance enhancing drugs over the past couple of years (anything from not voting at all to not voting for players who “look” like they were using PED’s), the ballot has become increasingly crowded with hall of fame worthy talent.  This year is arguably the first year in a long time (I’m being lazy and not looking up the other years) where there are substantially more than 10 players on the ballot who should be enshrined in Cooperstown on talent alone.

Earlier this week, ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog, Camden Depot put together the hall of fame ballots from local Orioles’ blogger’s, in an effort to compare our votes to the overall voting of the BBWAA.  My votes can be found within that article (along with some analysis from Head Depot’er Jon Shepherd), and I highly suggest you head over there to read it, as the results and some of the votes are pretty interesting. With that in mind, I thought I would take a moment to explain my choices here on the Proving Ground. Continue reading

Looking Back on the Brian Roberts Era

Posted in Free Agency, Offense, Offseason with tags , on December 20, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

As of this past Tuesday, Brian Roberts is a member of the New York Yankees.  By signing with them, he ended his 15 year tenure within the Baltimore Orioles organization.  Today on ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog, Camden Depot, I take a look back at both the good times and the bad during Roberts’ days in Charm City.

Direct Link to Article –> Looking Back on the Brian Roberts Era

Making Amends for Yesterday’s Winter Meetings Post

Posted in Draft, Offseason, Rule 5 with tags , , , , , on December 14, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

Yesterday’s post was meant to be funny, as it was intentionally left blank because the Orioles didn’t really do anything at the Winter Meetings.  And when I say “do anything”, I of course mean that they didn’t make any trades or sign any players to their major league roster.  They were all over the rumor mill, and it was even reported that they had several offers out to players, including right-handed closer Grant Balfour and outfielder Nelson Cruz (although the reports as to whether they actually had an offer out to Cruz were conflicting).

Additionally, they did make two selections in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, one in the major league portion and one in the minor league (AAA) portion.  If you don’t know anything about the Rule 5 Draft, click here to increase your knowledge and therefore your power (because knowledge IS power).  Rule 5 draft picks are not something to normally get excited about as they rarely pan out.  Still, there is a chance that a team could pick up a productive player in the Rule 5 Draft, even if the chances are slim.  If you want proof, all of the following are Rule 5 draftees: Continue reading

Scouring the League for Second Base Surplus

Posted in Offense, Offseason, Trades with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

The Orioles have a hole to fill at second base during the offseason.  That’s not exactly news.  On a rare Saturday post over (at least for me) at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I am taking a look at teams that have a surplus of second basemen who may be willing trade partners to the Orioles.  The choices range from established veterans who may be expensive, in terms of prospects and salary commitments to former top prospects (or less established players) that may be a little cheaper, but come with a lot more risk.  Should the Orioles actually trade for any of these guys?  As always, it will depend on what they would have to give up to get them.

Direct Link to Article –> Scouring the League for Second Base Surplus

Chris Young: Starting Left Fielder?

Posted in Offense, Offseason with tags , , on November 19, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

During the off-season, ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog, Camden Depot has had some excellent analysis regarding rumors and the potential moves the Orioles could make this offseason, and if you’ve been paying attention at all, Baltimore has been involved in a lot of rumors in this young offseason.  I haven’t heard his name specifically mentioned in any connection to the Orioles, but today at Camden Depot I took a look at whether the Orioles should consider signing free agent center fielder Chris Young to be their starting left fielder in the 2014 season.

Direct Link to Article –> Chris Young: Starting Left Fielder?

Declining Options: Potential Hitting Fits for Baltimore

Posted in Offense, Offseason with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

The offseason is a week old, and one of the very first orders of business for teams (or players) is to do decide whether or not they should pick up their contract options or cut bait and become free agents.  On Friday we took a look at the pitchers, so today we’ll look at some bats.  If I state that I think the team should make an offer, it doesn’t mean that they should do whatever it takes to sign them.  Due to the larger number of players, I’ll try to keep the explanations brief.

Infielders

Alexi Casilla ($3 million team option declined by Orioles)

As expected, Casilla did nothing with the bat in 2013, but made up for the lack of being able to hit a baseball by doing a good job of fielding it at 2B, and was essentially the definition of a replacement player.

Verdict: Make a minor league offer with an invite to spring training Continue reading

Declining Options: Potential Pitching Fits for Baltimore

Posted in Offseason, Pitching with tags , , on November 8, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

The offseason is a week old, and one of the very first orders of business for teams (or players) is to do decide whether or not they should pick up their contract options or cut bait and become free agents.  Over the next 2 days we’ll look at all of the options that have been declined and see if there are any potential good fits for the Orioles in the 2014 season.  If I state that I think the team should make an offer, it doesn’t mean that they should do whatever it takes to sign them.  Due to the larger number of players, I’ll try to keep the explanations brief.

First up, the pitchers.

Starting Pitchers

Chris Capuano ($8 million mutual option declined by Dodgers)

In 2013, Capuano only pitched 105.2 innings this past year, due to two separate stints on the DL.  He started 20 of the 24 games in which he appeared.  Capuano shows a pretty heavy platoon split, but hasn’t been terrible as a starter the last 3 years, posting a FIP at 4.03 or under in each season.  He’d be an interesting sign for depth purposes, either as a spot starter or another left handed option out of the pen.

Verdict: Make an offer Continue reading

Making the Orioles a Champion in 2014

Posted in Offense, Offseason, Pitching with tags , on November 5, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

Over the past month, the writers at Camden Depot took on the task of analyzing the 2013 Baltimore Orioles on a position by position basis, which was followed with our own suggestions to make the 2014 better.  The following are links to each write up.

Starting Pitching (Nate Delong): Part 1 and Part 2

Right Handed Relievers (Stuart Wallace)

Left Handed Relievers (Stuart Wallace)

Catcher (Jon Shepherd)

First Base (Jon Shepherd)

Second Base (Joe Reisel): Part 1 and Part 2

Third Base (Stuart Wallace)

Shortstop (Nate Delong)

Left Field (Matt Kremnitzer)

Center Field (Matt Kremnitzer)

Right Field (Matt Kremnitzer)

Designated Hitter (Joe Reisel)

Bench (Joe Reisel)

Conclusion (Jon Shepherd)

Everyone did a great job on these posts and there is a lot of good information here, so I suggest you check it out.  Feel free to leave your own suggestions as to what the Orioles should do this offseason by commenting in the posts at Camden Depot (preferred) or here on this site.

Making the Orioles a Champion in 2014: Shortstop

Posted in Offseason with tags , , , on November 1, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

The “Making the Orioles a Champion in 2014” series at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog, Camden Depot rolls on.  This time I take a look at the shortstop position, which has been occupied by J.J. Hardy since 2011.  Hardy has been solid as a rock since joining Baltimore, but should the team look to trade him in the offseason and allow Manny Machado to move back to his natural position?  Check out my post on Camden Depot and find out.

Direct Link to Article –> Making the Orioles a Champion in 2014: Shortstop