Maybe the Orioles will hire their president of baseball operations today or tomorrow. I can’t see this process dragging out much longer, but you’ve heard that one already.
As you know, Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava met with owner Peter Angelos yesterday. You can read plenty into LaCava’s return trip to Baltimore, though it’s important to note that Angelos wasn’t present for LaCava’s first interview. He met with Dodgers executive De Jon Watson, so it’s not like he’s never in the room.
From what I’m hearing, LaCava came away very encouraged by his second interview and is prepared to take the job if it’s offered. But Watson is still hoping to receive a second interview, either in Baltimore or Arizona, where he’s scouting the fall league.
In case you missed it, former Orioles third baseman Jeff Manto is the new White Sox hitting coach. Former catcher Mark Parent is the new bench coach.
OK, so about the Gold Glove awards...
As you learned yesterday, the Orioles have three finalists in catcher Matt Wieters, shortstop J.J. Hardy and right fielder Nick Markakis, and you can make strong arguments for all of them. I’m going to predict that Wieters is the only winner, which will seem unfair.
Wieters, Chicago’s A.J. Pierzynski and Detroit’s Alex Avila are tied for first in the league with a .995 fielding percentage. Wieters has five errors, one passed ball and a .370 percentage throwing out runners attempting to steal. He started 129 games and appeared in 132.
Let’s look at the comparisons:
Wieters: 132 games, 129 starts, 995 fielding %, 5 errors, 1 passed ball, 58 SB allowed, 34 caught stealing (.370%)
Pierzynski: 120 games, 112 starts, .995%, 4 errors, 4 passed balls, 94 SB allowed, 24 caught stealing (.203%)
Avila: 133 games, 130 starts, .995%, 5 errors, 7 passed balls, 85 SB allowed, 40 caught stealing (.320%)
There’s no stat to measure how Wieters fielded tough hops and applied tags better than anyone on earth.
If he’s denied a Gold Glove, I’ll eat the three bags of unopened Halloween candy in my pantry in 32 seconds, matching his uniform number. Wrappers and all.
Hardy leads all American League shortstops in fielding percentage at .990. He committed six errors in 620 total chances. He had 211 putouts and 403 assists in 129 games. He also had a 4.88 range factor and a 5.176 zone rating.
The Angels’ Erick Aybar had 13 errors, 659 total chances and a .980 fielding percentage. He totaled 240 putouts and 406 assists in 142 games. He posted a 4.61 range factor and 5.404 zone rating.
Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera had 15 errors, 617 total chances and a .976 fielding percentage. He totaled 216 putouts and 386 assists in 151 games. He posted a 4.08 range factor and 6.128 zone rating.
Markakis didn’t commit an error in 157 games. That’s a 1.000 fielding percentage Top that one!
Markakis also had 14 assists, a 2.10 range factor and 12.089 zone rating.
The Angels’ Torii Hunter had three errors and 15 assists 136 games. He had a 2.10 range factor and 12.000 zone rating.
The Royals’ Jeff Francoeur had five errors and a league-leading 16 assists in 153 games. He had a 2.28 range factor and 10.914 zone rating.
I don’t think the Orioles will be shut out, but I don’t expect a clean sweep, either.