A scout’s take - Part III

So, does anyone want to trade places with Brooks Conrad?

The Atlanta second baseman committed three errors yesterday, the final one allowing the go-ahead run to score in the ninth inning and putting the Braves within a game of elimination.

“I wish I could just dig a hole,” Conrad said, “and sleep in it.”

I’m sure a few of his teammates would bring the shovel.

Maybe I just expect too much in the postseason from a player named Brooks.

Aubrey Huff delivered a huge hit in the ninth, tying the game with a single off rookie lefty Mike Dunn.

Braves manager Bobby Cox, one loss away from retirement, played the matchup game by bringing in Dunn. However, Huff batted .296 against left-handers this season, and .287 vs. right-handers.

Here’s the rest of my chat with an opposing scout:

“Looking at your club, I think the kid in right field (Nick Markakis) is a .300 hitter, 20 home runs, 90 RBIs, plus-defender, three-hole hitter. The center fielder (Adam Jones), I think he’s going to be a star. The guy that I’ve kind of gone backward on is (Felix) Pie. I thought he was stepping up, but right now he’s a guy that I’m not real sure about, whether he’s going to be more than an extra outfielder, whether he can be an everyday guy or not. It comes down to makeup.”

The scout favors Nolan Reimold despite a disappointing season spent mostly in Triple-A (Reimold, not the scout). He believes that Reimold has the potential to be a fifth or sixth hitter in the majors when healthy and focused.

The scout agrees that first and third base are problem areas that need to be addressed again over the winter because the Orioles can’t count on Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell to be ready by Opening Day.

“I think that Buck (Showalter) is going to have a lot of influence in terms of the whole system - player development, the scouting, the trades - and to some degree that’s going to be good,” he said. “Buck’s older. Hopefully, he’ll mellow a little bit and be more open and flexible. And Andy (MacPhail) the same way. They have to be able to work together, and I think they can. I think Andy’s secure about who he is and what he’s about. If they work together, they can have a lot of success here. They’re still in a tough division, but things can happen.

“They’re a very similar team to San Diego. If you look at San Diego’s club and the Orioles, pitching-dominated. Now, San Diego’s bullpen was incredible, but they’re very similar in terms of the staff and where they’re coming from, and they may have a little bit better team on the field to start off with. They have money here to go out and acquire free agents. They don’t have a lot of bullets to trade. Who would you trade that would bring you anything?

“Obviously, they need a power bat to transform that lineup. Even though there’s some power there in (Luke) Scott, and if Reimold comes back, and Adam Jones and Markakis and (Matt) Wieters...it’s not like there’s no power there, but when you have a bat, a special bat like Miguel Cabrera, it transforms the lineup. But how many bats are like that? I don’t’ think you’re going to want (Adam) Dunn or (Carlos) Pena. What bat’s out there. (Jayson) Werth? Victor Martinez doesn’t want to play first base. Otherwise, he’d re-sign with Boston. He would be a great guy for you.”

He’d be a great guy for me if he’d help with the blog - maybe move some comments, check some stats and come up with a few topics. Otherwise...

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