If there is one beef we hear often from the fans about the Orioles, it is that they are losing with some older players on the roster.
It is one thing to lose, but fans seem very frustrated right now to see players like Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero in the lineup every night. I don’t think it is anything personal against them at all, just a sentiment out there that if the season is headed south, and no doubt it is big time, why not take a look at some younger players who may help in the future?
Maybe we will see some of that after the trade deadline passes Sunday.
But that brings to mind a bigger issue: Should the Orioles consider going all-in with a youth movement?
It is a direction the club has not committed to at any point during the 13 straight losing seasons. There have always been some veterans and the Orioles have often been in an in-between mode - not going all youth to rebuild, but not getting enough good players to make a run at a playoff spot.
It is a tough spot to live in, but that has been the Orioles’ baseball residence for many years now, in my opinion.
The club could go all youth or mostly youthful if it chose to do so. How would the fans feel about that, if it meant looking at some players that may not be ready for the majors and perhaps losing even more games than they already are losing?
Just within the organization now, the Orioles have plenty of players they could try that are fairly young just about everywhere on the diamond. Here is a listing of almost all players under 30 the club could look at next year.
Keep in mind the club is likely locked in at several spots on the field already with some good, under-30 talent. I may have left some candidates out and this would not include any players the team acquires this weekend or over the next few months.
1B: Brandon Snyder (24), Joe Mahoney (24), Josh Bell (24).
2B: Ryan Adams (24), Robert Andino (27), Blake Davis (27), Greg Miclat (24).
SS: J.J. Hardy (28).
3B: Mark Reynolds (27).
LF: Nolan Reimold (27).
CF: Adam Jones (25).
RF: Nick Markakis (27).
C: Matt Wieters (25).
Possible rotation: Zach Britton (23), Brian Matusz (24), Jake Arrieta (25), Chris Tillman (23), Brad Bergesen (25), Jim Johnson (28).
Bullpen and some potential rotation candidates: Jason Berken (27), Troy Patton (25), Brandon Erbe (23), Wynn Pelzer (24), Pat Egan (26), Armando Gabino (27), Alfredo Simon (30), Chorye Spoone (25), Pedro Viola (28), Jose Diaz (27), Cole McCurry (25), Steve Johnson (23), Brandon Cooney (25), Zach Phillips (24), Tim Bascom (26), Dan Klein (23), Rick Zagone (24), Oliver Drake (24).
OF reserves: Matt Angle (25), Tyler Henson (23), Kyle Hudson (24), Felix Pie (26), Robbie Widlansky (26).
C reserves: Craig Tatum (28), Caleb Joseph (25).
The downside would be a club like that could potentially lose more than 100 games and maybe the franchise goes backward to step one before moving forward. Some young players could be over-matched, lose confidence and never be heard from again.
On the other hand, a team mostly full of young and hungry players trying to make their mark could win over the fans of Baltimore with hustle and desire.
The club would have a clear direction and there would be no question about what kind of players they would be looking for. Young players giving their all to try and be future nuggets.
What do you think: Would the fans support an all-out youth movement or would going back to square one not be tolerated by some fans?
Remember: You can follow me on Twitter @masnsteve. Hope you tune in and call in on my radio show each weeknight. It is called “Baltimore Baseball Tonight” and heard from 10 p.m.-midnight on 105.7 FM The Fan in Baltimore. You can listen online. Please do and call in sometime.