While wondering if Orioles manager Buck Showalter can relate to the heat that John Harbaugh is catching from Ravens fans this season ...
I'm heading back home this morning after a weekend filled with love, laughs and calories. Nothing beats family.
The Orioles will begin interviewing candidates this week for the vacant pitching coach position. I'm not going to anoint a favorite because we don't have the complete list and there are so many factors in play, including the impression made during meetings.
It will be interesting to see whether any of the internal candidates become disenchanted if passed over. You have to figure that Rick Peterson, for example, joined the organization with the idea that he would get a chance to become pitching coach at a later date. The Orioles at least have to bring him in for an interview.
Peterson is still here, by the way. He's just had a much lower profile this year. I can't remember the last time he was quoted in a story or I saw him at Camden Yards.
How many of the pending free agents will I see in spring training in 2014?
Second baseman Brian Roberts, outfielders Nate McLouth and Michael Morse, and pitchers Scott Feldman, Jason Hammel and Francisco Rodriguez can test the market. The early guess is that Morse and Rodriguez will change teams, though Morse's wrist injury may have caused his power outage and could force him to accept a one-year deal at a reasonable price.
Roberts wants to return and the Orioles are certainly open to the idea. It may seem more appealing with Manny Machado expected to begin the season on the disabled list, which would make Ryan Flaherty a candidate to start at third in his absence.
Showalter really likes Feldman and the right-hander hopes to return next season. He's a guy who can take the ball every five days and give the Orioles a chance to win. No need to coddle him. But he's also one of the more appealing starters on the market and could command a deal that will force the Orioles to back off.
Showalter also likes McLouth - he's a big reason why the left fielder returned to the team last season - but MLBTradeRumors.com projected that he could command a two-year, $10 million contract. If that's the case, he won't be playing for the Orioles in 2014.
I'm also guessing that Hammel will sign late and the Orioles could turn to him if unable to bring back Feldman or acquire another starter who they'd want to slot behind Chris Tillman.
Anyone care to handicap the field?