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Will Joel Guzman return to the Orioles next season?

Joel Guzman was one of the top hitters on the O's farm last year. He hit .279-33-98 at Bowie, leading the O's farm system in homers and runs batted in. In 130 Baysox games, he recorded 21 doubles, scored 87 runs, slugged .519 and had an OPS of .863. He led the Eastern League in homers and total bases, was 2nd in RBI and 5th

Not too concerned about strikeouts

Well, it's a big "if", but "if" say the Orioles were to add Adam Dunn or Carlos Pena at first base and Mark Reynolds for third base, they'd gain some power for next year's lineup. But they'd be adding a lot of strikeouts as well. Dunn and Reynolds combined for a whopping 410 strikeouts last year and Pena and Reynolds combined for 369. My take

Jeter's contract talks: It's gotten messy

I think Derek Jeter needs to understand something. His next contract will not pay him an average of 18.9 million dollars per year like his last one did. His 10-year, $189 million dollar deal ran out after the 2010 season and Jeter is now a free agent. The Yankees' captain is just 74 hits from 3,000 but something is happening now that is surprising to

Rule 5 prep and the Pie video

Now that all Major League teams have set their 40-man rosters, clubs have begun preparations for the Rule 5 draft which comes up December 9 at the Winter Meetings. "Now you simply go through all your reports and most people don't realize that there are more than 10,000 reports on this year's (available) players in virtually every club's system," O's director of player development, John

Checking the minor league free agents list

Since the season ended, 24 players that were with the Orioles in the minors and/or big leagues this past year have become minor league free agents. They are now free to sign with any organization. Here is the list. Infielders: Michael Aubrey, Scott Moore. Outfielders: Lou Montanez, Jeff Salazar, Jonathan Tucker, Joel Guzman. Catchers: Zach Booker, Phil Britton, Michel Hernandez, Steve Lerud, Rolando Pettit. Pitchers:

After three seasons in Bowie, Komminsk looks forward to the next challenge

Brad Komminsk can probably tell you a lot about Portland, Reading, Akron, Erie and New Britain. He visited those cities in six of the last nine years as an Eastern League manager, first in Akron for the Indians from 2002-04 and the last three years for the Orioles with the Bowie Baysox. But after three winning seasons in Bowie, Komminsk will take the job as

Time to hear from the new O's coaches

The Orioles made most of their new coaching staff available to reporters on a telephone conference call today. Here are some excerpts and quotes from the new coaches. Bench coach Willie Randolph talked about his relationship with Buck Showalter: "Knowing Buck for as long I have, hopefully, we'll have some fun and the only way you have fun is winning ballgames. Buck is very prepared

Victor goes to Detroit and O's fans feel spurned yet again

I certainly understand the angst and depression that is prevailing among some O's fans tonight with the news that free agent Victor Martinez is going to sign with Detroit. Those fans feel the O's will never get anyone good through free agency and that the O's will always come up short here. The reason they feel like that is obvious - that is the way

Mahoney could get more OF starts next season

Last season, O's minor league player of the year Joe Mahoney, a first baseman, did start a few games in left field for the Double-A Bowie Baysox. Next year, Mahoney will be back at first base, but the number of games he plays as an outfielder should increase also. "I didn't mind it and they said they may put me out there once or twice

Expanded playoffs may be the right move for baseball

It looks like Major League Baseball is on its way to expanding the playoffs from eight to 10 teams. MLB's special 14-man, on-field committee, a group that includes Andy MacPhail and Frank Robinson, will meet on the topic at the upcoming winter meetings. Under the plan, there would be two wild-card teams in each league. When I first heard of this talk of expanding the

More O's minor leaguers are released

The Orioles have released 14 more minor league players as the club continues to reduce its number of players in the minors after trimming two minor league clubs at the end of the 2010 season. Now that the O's no longer need to send players to Bluefield or fill the roster of a second Dominican Summer League squad, some players became expendable. Six of the

The 40-man: A look at who made it and who didn't

Congrats are in order for Zach Britton, Joe Mahoney and Matt Angle, who were added to the Orioles' 40-man roster on Friday. Now they cannot be taken by another club in the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings. But some players were left unprotected and can be taken by another club, however, must stay in the Majors for all of 2011 or they will

Britton on Boras and his offseason plans

It was about a month ago that O's top pitching prospect Zach Britton sat with agent Scott Boras for lunch. Nearly four hours later they were still talking. "We had a long lunch with Scott and talked baseball a lot, but it was more just getting to know him and I was really impressed," Britton said. So the lefty that was the O's minor league

Britton joins forces with Boras

The Orioles 2010 minor league pitcher of the year, Zach Britton, has become the latest player in the organization to be represented by agent Scott Boras. About a month ago, Britton decided to switch from the Hendricks brothers to the Boras corporation. "I was with Hendricks Sports and dealt with Matt Laird," Britton said. "He was great but I never really had contact with the

O's release eight minor leaguers

The Orioles have released eight minor leaguers, seven of which played in their Dominican Summer League program last season. There are likely to be more releases coming since the O's will have two fewer minor league teams next season as they cut back to one, not two clubs, in the Dominican and they have also moved out of Bluefield. The players that were released are:

Talking about Buck and the King

So Buck Showalter didn't get a single vote for AL manager of the year. My reaction? I didn't expect him to. The award is for manger of the year, not manager of the last two months. Buck would have been a strong contender for that. Don't worry, this is no lack of respect for Buck or the Orioles. You just can't win this award when

To trade or not to trade pitching, that is the question

Let me start by repeating that I am, for the most part, against trading young pitching. Not in every case and there are probably some deals that could really help the O's where they just have to part with a young arm or arms. But, if they have any interest in getting a top talent like Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder in a deal, there

Britton and Griffin joined forces in 2010 at Norfolk

After working with pitching coach Kennie Steenstra at Delmarva in 2008, Frederick in 2009 and Bowie last season, when lefty pitching prospect Zach Britton made it to Triple-A Norfolk last summer he worked with Tides' pitching coach Mike Griffin. He was certainly in good hands with both gentlemen. Griffin has worked with most of the best young arms on the O's farm over the last

Mike Griffin is returning to the O's organization

Mike Griffin, the O's well-respected pitching coach at Triple-A Norfolk, confirmed today that he is returning to the organization in 2011. "I'm returning and looking forward to it," he said. Griffin, who was pitching coach at Bowie in 2008 and at Norfolk the past two seasons, will likely serve as pitching coach at Triple-A once again although the final coaching positions have not been announced

Taking the pulse of the fans

Now that free agency is here, it's time to find out what the fans think. At least those of you that will read this blog today. Pick one of these listed below that you feel best represents how you feel the club will do this winter in an attempt to fill some holes and improve the club. Feel free to explain more about why you

Does MacPhail move too slowly in free agency?

Here is a question that will probably make Andy MacPhail's critics, and some feel that is a large list, move front and center. Do you feel that MacPhail moves too slowly in dealing with free agents? For those critics, I just lobbed a softball that they can hit out of the park. But one thing I have come to realize over the years, first as

A few final words from Caleb Joseph

During my recent interview with O's minor league catcher Caleb Joseph, not only did we talk about some adjustments he is making on offense and defense, we hit on some other topics as well. Like the fact that last year he was ranked as the O's 10th best prospect by Baseball America. But, now, after hitting .235 at Double-A Bowie, he has fallen out of

Caleb Joseph makes changes with his defense

Most minor league players are thrilled to be invited to the Arizona Fall League. The League is often filled with prospects and has graduated many players to the Major Leagues. O's minor league catcher Caleb Joseph is there now with the Scottsdale Scorpions. As a taxi squad player, he only gets into two games a week. But that hasn't stopped him from reaping big benefits

The quality start stat is a good one

I have heard some fans and media guys over the years say the quality start stat is not a good one because you can have an ERA of 4.50 and get a quality start. For those that don't know, a quality start is defined as an outing where a starting pitcher goes six innings or more and gives up three earned runs or less. So,

Talking Lee, Samuel, Greinke & Joseph

Checking in and commenting on some recent news around the baseball world: Cashman courts Lee: No one should be surprised the Yankees' GM headed to Arkansas to talk with Cliff Lee and his agent. Why aren't the O's headed there too? Because they have no shot at Lee and it's crazy to pay 100 million or more for a pitcher. Pitchers get hurt and most

A take on the free agent first basemen

If the Orioles are going to add that so called "big bat" during free agency, the supply of quality hitters is certainly larger at first base than at third. Adrian Beltre heads up a not great list of free agent third sackers, while Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko top the list of first baseman. Dunn and Konerko are both type A free agents. Because the

AFL Update: Joseph finds his swing with Scottsdale

When catcher Caleb Joseph went home after this season, he had time to think about his play at Double-A Bowie this year. The O's seventh-round pick out of Lipscomb University in 2008, he hit .235-11-51 in 106 Baysox games. He called it a "terrible year." It came a season after he hit .284 with Frederick and was among the O's top ten prospects on some

Free agency: An exciting or discouraging time?

In the wildest dreams of an Orioles' fan, there will be a day soon when, at a press conference, the O's announce the signing of Cliff Lee to a five-year, $125 million dollar contract. Lee steps to the mic and says he noticed some of that good young pitching on the O's roster and how the team responded to Buck Showalter and wants to be

Under the radar minor leaguers

Earlier this week, I wrote about Ronnie Welty. The 22-year-old played right field for the Frederick Keys in 2010 and had a very good season, finishing among the Carolina League leaders in several categories. Yet, Welty is almost never mentioned as one of the O's better prospects. But he has made three post-season All-Star teams in three different leagues over three years. That is pretty

Is this baseball's silly season?

The hot stove season in baseball can be a lot of fun. It's a time where there is a lot of speculation about which players will end up where, who will sign for what dollar amounts and so forth. It can also be a bit of a frustrating time. There are just so many reports and speculation out there anymore and, to me, pretty much

Wondering about a few things

Did you ever wonder...... *Why in baseball, when a fly ball hits that big yellow pole down the line, it's a home run even though it just hit the "foul" pole. *Why baseball doesn't have a stat for team error? When a pop that clearly should be caught, drops between two defenders, the batter should not get credit for that hit. That should be an

The Giants make the case for pitching

If the Orioles want to challenge the big boys in the American League East, their best chance may be to win the arms race. While I keep hearing the O's need a big bat or two to add to their lineup, didn't we just get yet another strong lesson that it's more about the pitching. The San Francisco Giants finished ninth this year in the

Under the radar All-Star: Another solid season for Welty

When O's fans talk about some of the best prospects on the Orioles farm, they often leave Ronnie Welty off the list. Maybe they shouldn't. Sometimes overlooked, but productive now for three seasons in a row, the 22-year-old Welty is coming off a real solid season in the Carolina League. In 130 games with Frederick, the right fielder hit .282-18-82 with 32 doubles, 86 runs

What to make of the NFL's ratings win over the World Series

It's believed to be the first time it's ever happened, but on Sunday, an NFL regular season game beat a World Series game in the television ratings. The Steelers and Saints drew an 11.8 rating on NBC, while the Rangers vs. the Giants posted a 10.4 on Fox. No, it's not because the Simpsons or Cops are a lousy lead-in. You want to know why

The O's top ten prospects

Baseball America has released its list of the Orioles current top ten prospects, with Manny Machado number one after playing only a handful of games. That's no surprise really, given the hype about his talents. O's minor league player of the year Joe Mahoney did not make the top ten - Maybe no surprise after the comments we got recently from Jim Callis when he

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