A few more leftovers from my notebook:
The Orioles had seven players total 100 or more strikeouts in 2012: Chris Davis (169), Mark Reynolds (159), Adam Jones (126), Matt Wieters (112), J.J. Hardy (106), Wilson Betmit (103) and Robert Andino (100).
That’s a lot, right?
Betemit’s 103 strikeouts came in 341 at-bats.
Hardy hit .238/.282/.389 with 30 doubles, 22 home runs and 68 RBIs in 663 at-bats. He was the Orioles’ No. 2 hitter in 150 of his 158 games, batting .236/.281/.380 in 631 at-bats.
Will manager Buck Showalter consider lowering Hardy in the order next season? Well, it depends on the construction of the roster, of course.
What if second baseman Brian Roberts is healthy on opening day and the Orioles re-sign outfielder Nate McLouth? Could they occupy the first two spots in the order? And could they be followed by, say, Nick Markakis, Jones, Wieters, Reynolds (if he stays), Davis, Hardy and Manny Machado?
That would be a pretty impressive lineup if Hardy is pushed down to eighth despite his power. It also would mean the absence of a new impact hitter, which executive vice president Dan Duquette is seeking.
The Orioles need to figure out how they would use McLouth while determining his worth to them on the market. Is he viewed as an everyday player or part of a platoon in left?
McLouth hit .255/.321/.410 against right-handers and .197/.293/.288 against left-handers.
A fan on Twitter asked me about a prediction that the Orioles could trade for Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler? Duquette stated that the club has enough players now to man the position after claiming Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Twins. He made it clear at the GM meetings that he was focused on left field and designated hitter.
Kinsler served as the Rangers’ DH in 11 games in 2011 and 13 in 2012. His major league resume doesn’t include any games in left field.
Interesting that the Orioles had no interest in Josh Willingham when he was a free agent last winter, but they seem to have some interest in trading for him now that he’s got two years left on the contract he signed with the Twins.
Maybe it’s the Silver Slugger Award.
Had Rick Peterson left the organization to become the Red Sox’s pitching coach, the Orioles would have needed to hire a pitching coordinator. The title of “Director of Pitching Development” might not have existed any longer, or the duties would have been adjusted, but someone would have needed to handle the responsibilities previously given to Alan Dunn and Dave Schmidt.
I mentioned a few days ago that the contracts of coaches DeMarlo Hale, Jim Presley and Rick Adair expire next month. Manager Buck Showalter wants to keep his staff intact and it’s expected to happen. It’s just a back-burner issue at the moment because of the GM meetings.
Hale is considered one of the best third base coaches in baseball. Had he left to take the managing job in Boston, the Orioles would have made a run at Brian Butterfield. However, Butterfield left the Blue Jays to accept a job as the Red Sox’s third base coach. The Orioles’ top replacement choices are coming off the board, yet another reason to keep Hale.
I was a bit surprised that the Astros named former Orioles manager Dave Trembley as their third base coach. He’s never been used in that role in the majors, but he’s familiar with the box on that side of the diamond after spending so many years managing in the minors, where the staffs normally include only a pitching and field coach.
Having the Astros in the American League next season seemed pretty ho-hum, but it will be nice to catch up with Trembley and new bullpen coach Dennis Martinez.
I still have people in the industry questioning how Duquette didn’t receive a single vote for The Sporting News’ Executive of the Year award. Jealousy among his peers?
Duquette was away from the majors for a long time. His team reached the playoffs in his first year back. How dare he make it look that easy.