Archive for Christian Walker

The Camden Highball (Episode 8): Get to Know Your Orioles Prospects

Posted in Offense, Podcast, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

It’s Monday, so that means there is a new podcast over at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot.  This week’s guest on the Camden Highball is Tucker Blair of the Baseball Prospectus prospect team to discuss Orioles prospects and Baltimore’s minor league system.

Direct Link to Article –> The Camden Highball: Get to Know Your Orioles Prospects

Orioles Win the American League East, Now What?

Posted in Playoffs, Prospects, Trades with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

On Tuesday night, the Orioles secured the top spot in the American League East for the first time since 1997, ensuring their place in the 2014 playoffs. They did so by defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 in front of a raucous (if not quite sell-out) crowd in Baltimore. Ubaldo Jimenez (he of the 4.90 ERA and 14.0% BB rate) picked up the win, throwing 5 innings, giving up only 2 hits and 2 runs, while striking out 6 batters. Of course he also walked 4 batters, which Orioles fans have come to expect when Jimenez takes the mound. The night itself seemed to sum up the 2014 Orioles well, as not only did they get an unexpectedly good (ok, not good, but decent) performance from Jimenez, but all 8 runs were driven in by players who weren’t expected to make a significant impact this year, and some who have only been on the team for a couple of weeks. Jimmy Paredes and Nick Hundley each drove in a run, while Alejandro De Aza and un-sung hero Steve Pearce drove in 3 a piece. Here’s a fun fact, De Aza has produced more fWAR with the Orioles in 12 games (0.7) than he did in 122 games with the White Sox (0.6). The late August trades Orioles GM Dan Duquette made for De Aza and Kelly Johnson may have flown under the radar at the time, but could prove to be very valuable to the team, especially in light of the Chris Davis suspension.

So what happens now? Continue reading

Minor League Recap: August 18-August 24

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

I apologize for this version of the weekly minor league update being late, but I was busy…like REALLY busy. The minor league season is coming to an end next week (which may or may not be good news), so there will only be one more installment of the weekly minor league recap after this one.

What was the big story last week? Of course it was the Manny Machado knee injury and the revelation that Machado would miss the rest of the season because of it. The injury is in the opposite knee from the one he injured last year, and isn’t considered to be as serious, as Machado is expected to be 100% ready to go by the start of spring training. The other positive aspect to this development was reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.

Continue reading

Minor League Recap: August 11-August 17

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

The Orioles are in first place by a healthy margin (the HEALTHIEST in all of baseball), but there was still a legitimate reason for fans to freak out last week.

But you can relax, because he was injured while running and it had nothing to do with his throwing arm.

This injury will shut him down for the rest of the year, and that is not a bad idea. There is only a couple of weeks left in the minor league innings anyway, and in the best case scenario (and even this would have been highly unlikely), Bundy would have been pitching out of the Baltimore bullpen late in the season. Baltimore’s bullpen is excellent, and their least effective relievers are out of options, so taking this option off the table may even be a good thing. The next step for Bundy will be to rest and pitch some innings in the Arizona Fall League in October (provided he’s physically cleared to pitch). Hopefully he’ll be 100% ready to go when spring training begins in March. Continue reading

Minor League Recap: August 4-August 10

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

We’re going to keep this Minor League Recap short and sweet, just like they used to be. For most of this season (leaving out the 6 weeks I took off from actually doing a recap), I’ve included a little blurb on every single player I’ve mentioned. It’s gotten to the point where some of it has just become nonsense, and as I admitted in last week’s installment, sometimes I simply just can’t think of anything instructive to say.

The Baltimore minor league affiliates had a week to forget. I think it’s safe to say that the hot streak of Norfolk Tides, which had cooled 2 weeks ago, is officially over as they only came away with one victory last week. Bowie was the only team that came away with AT LEAST a .500 record, but even that doesn’t look quite as good since they were outscored by 6 runs. None of these 3 teams are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but I would not hold out hope for a postseason appearance.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 1-5 (W-L), 16 RS, 30 RA

Bowie (AA): 3-3, 21 RS, 27 RA

Frederick (High-A): 2-4, 21 RS, 33 RA Continue reading

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

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