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Not Holliday time for O's

You were probably skeptical, as I was, when you heard a report that the Orioles had offered Matt Holliday an eight-year, $130 million deal. How could this get reported in a reputable outlet by a very experienced reporter and not be accurate? That I'm not sure, but give Andy MacPhail credit for quickly returning Roch's call to provide the truth even though it would disappoint

Pondering how to use the bullpen

It is an area where Dave Trembley caught some criticism during last season - use of the bullpen. It may also be the most difficult thing for a manager to manage. All you have to do is keep everyone as fresh as you can, try to keep them in their roles, not warm them up too much without getting them in and have the right

Pondering the offense

Here's a question that could well produce a variety of opinions. Is the Orioles offense better now than it was last season? The only bat added was that of Garrett Atkins. The O's have not been able to add a proven year-to-year, big-time run producer. The O's know Atkins hit just .226 last season. But they also know that from 2006 through 2008 he averaged

Rowell's big chance

Last weekend in this space, I presented quotes from Andy MacPhail about Billy Rowell and the likelihood that Rowell will play at Double-A Bowie in 2010. This despite the fact that most of Rowell's stats and his performance decreased in 2009 even though it was his second year with the Frederick Keys. Rowell has become a bit of an issue for the club. A player

All I want for Christmas is a winning season

Come on, Santa. Twelve straight losing seasons is enough. I'll leave extra cookies. You know O's fans have been good all these years. Well, for the most part. They've certainly been better than those Yankee and Red Sox fans that parade into the Yard every year. Maybe Santa won't be able to leave a winning season under the tree. How would you wrap that anyway.

Moreland had a big year in 2009

There is a pitcher in the O's minor leagues who had a sparkling record, a 2.74 ERA and a 6.8 to 1.0 strikeout to walks ratio in 2009, yet he is seldom talked about and for sure went under the radar this past year. This is nothing new for right hander Kenny Moreland. If you spend a few minutes talking to the 23-year-old Moreland you

Talking Baysox pitching with Brad Komminsk

Today we continue our review of the 2009 Bowie Baysox season with a look at some of the Bowie pitchers and how they fared during this past season. All stats in bold are from Bowie only and all the quotes in this article are from Baysox manager Brad Komminsk.

Andy MacPhail talks about Billy Rowell

Since he hit .328 in 2006 between Bluefield and Aberdeen, the career of Billy Rowell has been on a downward spiral. While he's still very young, and the O's management remains solidly behind him, Rowell has put together back-to-back mediocre years at Frederick. Rowell w-Fred, 2008: .248-7-50....315 OBP.....368 slug......104 K's Rowell w-Fred, 2009 .225-9-39....284 OBP......336 slug.......122 K's

Erbe gets a clean bill of health

O's pitching prospect Brandon Erbe says the sprained right pinky finger that limited him to nine innings in the Arizona Fall League is no longer a problem. "It's doing well. Everything is fine. I'll start throwing here in the next week or two, just now, give it a little rest. There has been plenty of time to let it heal. I'll be ready for spring

Looking back at the 2009 Bowie Baysox season with Brad Komminsk

Today we continue our look back at O's minor league teams from the 2009 season with a feature on Double-A Bowie of the Eastern League with comments from Baysox manager Brad Komminsk. Komminsk has been in the O's organization for two years. His 2008 team went 84-58, made the playoffs and he was named Eastern League manager of the year. Last season, Bowie was 3rd

Not lacking in their rotation

Should we worry that John Lackey, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester are a combined 24-5 in their careers vs. the Orioles? If and when the Red Sox complete the deal for Lackey, they will have the most formidable top three starters in the game. Who is the number one and number three? Are they just interchangeable? Remember the O's went 2-16 vs. Boston last year

More beef for Tillman

It's not like he plans to begin a steady diet of double cheeseburgers, but O's right hander Chris Tillman, at the urging of club officials, would like to add a few pounds for the 2010 season.

In MacPhail fans can trust

There is probably a reason you don't hear much criticism of Andy MacPhail in the Baltimore media. He hasn't done much to criticize. No, I'm not drinking any cool aid or spouting any homer comments, just an honest opinion. MacPhail's pickup of Kevin Millwood this week could turn out to be big during the 2010 season and if Millwood is the positive influence on the

Good news on Bergesen

O's pitcher Brad Bergesen is no longer worried about his left leg injury. In fact, he now pronounces himself completely healed as he gets ready for the 2010 season. "Everything is good. It finally feels 100 percent. It took awhile, about three months it turned out, until I felt this way. I've been working out now doing my normal routine for five weeks and everything

Stockstill sizes up Jose Duran

If it's a long shot for a Rule 5 Draft pick to stick with the Major League team that selects him, then the odds must really be against a player taken in the Minor League phase of the draft ever making it. That didn't keep the Orioles from taking RHP Jose Duran from the Houston organization in today's Triple-A phase of the draft.

Dave Johnson on Steve's selection in the Rule 5 Draft

Here are some comments from MASN broadcaster Dave Johnson. This morning Dave's son Steve was selected from the O's organization by the San Francisco Giants in the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings. Dave says Steve was sleeping at the time. "I didn't want to wake Steve up before the draft because I knew if he didn't get taken he was really going to

Talking to the newest San Francisco Giant

Steve Johnson, it turns out, was playing it rather cool today during the Rule 5 Draft. So cool that he was sleeping when his name was called by the San Francisco Giants. His dad, MASN broadcaster and former Oriole Dave Johnson, was listening live to the draft and rushed upstairs to tell his son he'd been taken by a Major League team. "I got up

Duran's stats (updated)

With the third pick in the Triple-A phase of today's Rule 5 draft the O's selected RHP Jose Duran from the Houston organization. Duran is a 6'1", 205 pounder from the Dominican Republic. He is 16-19, 4.08 in his career in 101 games, 39 starts. Duran is 24 years old. Last year, with Lancaster of the California League, he went 2-5, 8.06 in 27 games,

Steve Johnson awaits the Rule 5 draft (taken by Giants)

Thursday morning Johnson was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft. The next few hours will certainly be interesting for O's minor league hurler Steve Johnson. Traded by the Dodgers to the O's in July in the George Sherrill deal, Johnson has not been placed on the Orioles' 40-man roster and he could be taken by

A Rangers' broadcaster talks about Kevin Millwood

To find out about more about the likely soon-to-be newest Oriole Kevin Millwood, I put in a call to my friend Josh Lewin, former Baltimore radio broadcaster. Josh, one of the top broadcasting talents in the game, is the Texas Rangers' TV play-by-play broadcaster so he knows Millwood well and has seen him pitch often. He provided some excellent insight. Here is what Lewin said

Chris Ray: "I haven't heard anything"

Chris Ray has now been mentioned as an Oriole that could possibly go to Texas in a deal for Kevin Millwood. But that's news to Ray himself. "I haven't heard anything. I'm not surprised I haven't heard anything. I don't think my agent would know anything about this either," Ray said by phone from Baltimore's ESPNZone where today he took part in the O's annual

Not overwhelmed by the Granderson deal

Let me understand this, or try to. The Yankees, who are looking to cut payroll some this year, acquired a player owed $23.75 million over the next three years and gave up three young players earning less than $1 million combined so far. Oh those misers in New York. I know that as an O's fan we might look to criticize anything the Yankees do,

Pondering Millwood

We don't know for sure how hot or cool the O's trade talks are for Kevin Millwood. That doesn't stop us from expressing a few opinions and facts about the right hander. One reader suggested (without any documentation I may add) that the pitcher the O's are considering sending to Texas for Millwood is Brandon Erbe. If that is true, no thanks to that deal.

Would short-term gain be shortsighted?

There are a mountain of stories you can read on the internet about baseball and each team in the Majors. You can be online all day and still not come close to checking it all out. But the other day, I read an article in the Boston Globe that was very interesting to me. It was written by Sox writer Amalie Benjamin and is filled

Are free agents looking at Baltimore in a different light?

ESPN's Buster Olney recently wrote an article praising the Orioles young base of talent. Baseball America listed Josh Bell as the fifth best prospect in the Arizona Fall League. That same publication listed six Orioles among the best players in their Double-A and Triple-A leagues from 2009. A picture has emerged that some national media think the O's have top young talent to build around.

Talking about the batting order with Dave Trembley

As the baseball off season moves on, O's manager Dave Trembley never keeps that legal pad too far away. On it he makes notes about the upcoming season and writes down different possible lineups for his 2010 Orioles. Of course, Trembley is hoping there is player that will be in that lineup that he can add later, a middle of the order type hitter that

One vote against trading O's young pitchers

As baseball's Winter Meetings are set to begin on Monday, some fans are stoked to see what the O's first move will be. There seems to be a segment of fans who just want a move, the bigger the better, to create a little excitement around here. I can understand that, but if the O's make a trade, I hope they don't deal much if

Trembley talks Winter Meetings

The Orioles have made their needs pretty clear for this offseason. Now the time to make acquisitions is near with the Winter Meetings starting Monday. O's skipper Dave Trembley expects the Birds to be active in Indianapolis and on into the offseason. "I think the Orioles will be aggressive. But I also think some decisions throughout baseball may go further into the offseason than they

For now, Johnson is staying in the pen

Dave Trembley mentioned late last season that there was some sentiment in the O's organization and even among the coaching staff, to move Jim Johnson into the starting rotation After all, that was his role throughout his entire time in the minors. But, with spring training now less than three months away, that talk has cooled according to the O's manager.

Talking glovework

When the Orioles were consistent winners in the 60's and 70's, they did it with pitching and defense. That's not pitching and homers or pitching and a good on base percentage. That's pitching and defense. If you can standout in those two areas, you will be in a lot of games and probably win your fair share of them.

The O's minor league All-Stars

Let's take a look at the O's minor leagues today. I present Melewski's 2009 Orioles minor league All-Star team. I didn't consider a player that made the Majors before August 31, eliminating players like Brian Matusz and Matt Wieters. I didn't consider players that played in fewer than 50 games, eliminating Josh Bell, among others, from consideration. This isn't necessarily a listing of the best

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