O’s president Andy MacPhail and manager Dave Trembley took some questions here today at Camden Yards from season ticket holders as part of their latest “State of the Orioles” address.
Here are some of the questions and their answers.
MacPhail was asked about Rhyne Hughes, the player the O’s got today as the player to be named later for Gregg Zaun.
AM - “We were able to finish that deal today and acquire a left-handed hitting first baseman that was with Tampa’s Triple-A club named Rhyne Hughes. He went to the Fall League last fall and was at Double-A and Triple-A this year. Between the two he’s hitting about .285 with 22 home runs and 72 RBI and 30 doubles. He’s kind of a late bloomer. We had two scouts see him recently and we think he has a chance to be a productive player.
“He’s excited to be here and knows there could be an oppurtunity here. He’s grateful to be part of the Orioles. To get a player of that caliber, we had to put some cash back in the deal.”
A fan said she thought the O’s were returning to the Oriole Way with young players.
AM - “Frank Cashen (former O’s GM) called me when I got this job and said the fans in Baltimore are different. Just be straight with them, be honest, they have a keen interest in the minor leagues. Just tell them what you are doing and how long it will take and then do it. He said I did it in Baltimore and it worked well. Then I went to New York and they hated me for it. He said be grateful you’re in Baltimore with these fans, which I am.”
MacPhail was asked how it looks at first base for next year and if Brandon Snyder factors in the mix and could Luke Scott or Nolan Reimold move to infield?
AM - “Dave has Luke taking ground balls at first often. I wouldn’t eliminate the possibility of him getting there some as the season goes on. Brandon Snyder had a great year at Bowie, so good we moved him to Norfolk. I think he will hit in the big leagues. We have to see how free agency develops, Aubrey’s got the oppurtunity to test the waters in free agency.
“When I am uncertain of the future of a position, I will try to build up as much inventory there as I can. There is safety in numbers.”
MacPhail was asked about possible September callups?
AM - “I think it’s important to augment the pitching by a pretty good number. We have to monitor the innings of our young starters. You can expect a lot of pitching to come up. A guy I am interested in seeing is Kameron Mickolio who was just voted top relief pitcher (in the International League) by Baseball America. He’s got great velocity.
“We are going to have to add some position players. Justin Turner is having a great year down at Norfork. We have a variety of outfielders at Norfolk to augment our group. Dave and I still want the young guys to get at bats, so we don’t want guys to come up and sit. So I would think we are going to get a predominance of pitching rather than position players.”