Closing arguments about Gregg and Stanhouse

The Orioles and Yankees are playing a 1:05 p.m. game today, which means an early lineup posting and, we'll assume, a more normal outfield alignment.

Nolan Reimold should be back in left field. Nick Markakis should be back in right. And please, put Mark Reynolds back at first base.

I believe that Reynolds is better defensively at third than we've seen this year, but there's no question that he's a better first baseman. There's no question that the Orioles should project him as a first baseman while plotting their winter roster strategy. I don't have to see another inning to make that determination.

He can go back to third or be the primary designated hitter if the big bat they're seeking also wears a first baseman's mitt. Otherwise, just keep Reynolds at first.

I wonder if manager Buck Showalter is critiquing Zach Phillips as a left-handed relief specialist. Phillips has been used in match-up situations a few times since being recalled, including yesterday, when he struck out Matt Joyce on three pitches.

Clay Rapada was excellent in that role, except he couldn't get right-handers out and the Orioles couldn't afford to carry a one-dimensional reliever when their starters were showering by the fifth inning.

The last time I checked, Kevin Gregg is still the closer on this team. There isn't really another option unless you want Showalter to experiment. Or if you want Jim Johnson to give it another try - which will be tricky if he's supposed to move into the rotation this month.

Gregg has allowed 87 baserunners in 52 innings, including 36 walks. He's 20-for-26 in save opportunities, and he's carrying a 4.33 ERA.

Fans loved Don Stanhouse when he basically pulled the same stunts. Maybe it was the catchy nicknames - "Full Pack," "Stan the Man Unusual" - or maybe it was the sub-3.00 ERAs in his two seasons. Maybe it was a different time and different Oriole teams. They actually won more games than they lost. And Stanhouse wasn't making $10 million.

Back in 1978, Stanhouse allowed 60 hits and walked 52 batters, with 42 strikeouts, in 74 2/3 innings. But he didn't allow a home run, had 24 saves and posted a 2.89 ERA. And the Orioles weren't 30 games out of first place and headed toward their 14th consecutive losing season.

The Orioles went 90-71 ... and finished in fourth place in the American League East.

They were AL champions the following season, and Stanhouse saved 21 games and posted a 2.85 ERA. He also allowed 49 hits, walked 51, (with 34 strikeouts) and hit one batter in 72 2/3 innings.

Fans loved him. They're not embracing Gregg.

Do you remember how the Orioles acquired Stanhouse back on Dec. 7, 1977?

I'll help you along. They traded Bryn Smith, Rudy May and Randy Miller to the Montreal Expos for Stanhouse, Joe Kerrigan and Gary Roenicke.

Pretty solid trade.

I'm reviewing the '78 roster, and I'm trying to remember outfielders Mike Anderson and Mike Dimmel. Do they sound familiar?


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