Luke and the longball: How many homers can he hit?

Luke and the longball:  How many homers can he hit?
Here is a question I've been wondering about for a while: How many homers is Luke Scott capable of hitting if he were to get more at bats? Scott hit 27 homers this past season, which ranked 14th best in the American League. But he ranked 6th in the AL in at bats per homer. Here are the top six in at bats per home run this year in the AL: 10.54 - Jose Bautista, Tor 14.05 - Paul Konerko, CWS 14.42 - Miguel Cabrera, Det 16.19 - Josh Hamilton, Tex & David Ortiz, Bos 16.56 - Luke Scott,...
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Monday quick takes

Monday quick takes
Checking in with a few thoughts and opinions while waiting for the next Cody Ross homer. Bell and Snyder: The Orioles are not saying it publicly, but it sure seems pretty certain that they are not planning to start either Josh Bell or Brandon Snyder in their infield to begin next season. There are two schools of thought here: You could just send them both out for the whole O's season in 2011, realize you are still most likely a ways from making the playoffs and let them sink or swim at the...
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This just in: Tom Hicks says he was stupid

This just in:  Tom Hicks says he was stupid
When you list the men that have helped escalate salaries in baseball over the years like Marvin Miller, Don Fehr and Scott Boras, don't leave out the name Tom Hicks. He was the owner of the Texas Rangers who gave Alex Rodriguez a 10-year, $252 million dollar contract in December of 2000. Hicks now agrees that was a dumb move. Well, duh. Most of the baseball world knew it was a dumb move then. I don't remember every detail and won't try to rewrite history here. But, by my recollection,...
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The O's vs. the East & Avery's breakout AFL game

The O's vs. the East & Avery's breakout AFL game
There were so many ways to statistically quantify how dramatic the turnaround was for the Orioles under Buck Showalter. You can look at the starting pitching stats or the hitting with runners in scoring position stats. You could also look at how the O's did when playing the Beasts of the AL East. Before Showalter took over, the club won just one of 15 series vs. the East. Then, under Buck, they won five of nine. They were 10-35 before Buck and 14-13 vs. the East with Buck. Here is what...
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In pursuit of homers: Should Markakis pull the ball more?

In pursuit of homers:  Should Markakis pull the ball more?
It's been said and asked before about Nick Markakis by those with the Orioles and some others from outside the organization. Why doesn't he pull the ball more and hit a bunch of homers over that right-field scoreboard? Some think that short right-field porch should become a regular landing place for Markakis homers. That is, if he would turn on the ball more and drive the inside pitch to right. We know Markakis loves to hit to left and left center and has gap-to-gap power. But he can...
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One final thought: My take on the top prospects' lists

One final thought:  My take on the top prospects' lists
There is no spin or excuses that can explain the fact the Orioles had just four players listed on the Baseball America minor league top 20 prospects lists while the rest of the AL East had 56 combined. The O's come up lacking big time here and got blown away by the rest of the division. To me it raises a red flag or two and is cause for concern, but certainly not wide spread panic. It doesn't mean everything the O's are doing is wrong or that they can't produce talent. They do have a...
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MacPhail's take on the Baseball America lists

MacPhail's take on the Baseball America lists
I checked in with Andy MacPhail to get his thoughts on why the Orioles had so few prospects on the Baseball America minor league top 20 prospects lists. He can see, like we all can, that the O's had just four players listed and it tied Oakland for last in baseball. "The last two drafts, for whatever reason, we've had an inordinate amount of our players hurt, just didn't play a lot. Givens, Townsend. Then you add to the fact that no one is signing until August 15th these days. "But...
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Jim Callis on Machado, Mahoney and more

Jim Callis on Machado, Mahoney and more
Earlier today, I ran a story with quotes from Jim Callis of Baseball America discussing the O's lack of players on the publication's top 20 prospects lists in minor league baseball. Only four players from the O's farm - Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Xavier Avery and Wynn Pelzer - were listed in the top 20 of any league. In Baseball America online chats about each league, several O's prospects were referenced. Manny Machado would have likely been the top prospect in both leagues in played...
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A look at the O's lack of prospects listed by Baseball America

A look at the O's lack of prospects listed by Baseball America
This is not a good statistic for the Orioles farm system. Just four players from the O's organization were listed among the Baseball America top 20 prospects lists for each league in minor league baseball. One of the four came in a trade. That tied Oakland for last in all of baseball. Pitcher Zach Britton was ranked 2nd in the Eastern League and 6th in the International League. Outfielder Xavier Avery was rated 12th best prospect in the Carolina League and pitcher Jake Arrieta was 14th in...
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Talking with Buck about the minor leagues

Talking with Buck about the minor leagues
As new O's manager Buck Showalter continues to put his stamp, if you will, on this organization, what about the minor leagues? During his brief time as O's skipper, Showalter already has made trips to Bowie and Aberdeen and saw some of the O's younger prospects workout during the instructional league camp at Camden Yards. How much impact and input does Showalter want to have on the minors? In a recent meeting in his Camden Yards office, Showalter talked on that topic. "I trust John...
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For O's Erbe, the comeback begins

For O's Erbe, the comeback begins
In 2009, with Bowie, Brandon Erbe was limited to 14 starts due to shoulder problems. This year he had to deal with more shoulder issues. He made 14 starts for Triple-A Norfolk. He would pitch just once after June 20th, throwing a couple of innings on July 24 in an injury-rehab outing with Aberdeen. This time, the problem led him to undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum on August 13th. Angels' physician Dr. Lewis Yocum performed the procedure. "It was the same injury (this season),...
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A couple of notes

A couple of notes
There seemed to be some confusion among fans as to whether Xavier Avery will be playing in the Arizona Fall League. He will be and is indeed on the Scottsdale Scorpions' roster. The AFL season starts on Tuesday. It should be an interesting challenge for the 20-year-old Avery. "It means a lot. It's an opportunity and I'm going to take it, a chance to get better and see better pitchers. Some of the best talent in the minor leagues will be there," Avery said of playing in the AFL. Avery...
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The O's need to keep Izzy at short

The O's need to keep Izzy at short
When it comes to quantifying defense, we just don't have many stats that really provide the value of a player that offensive stats can provide. It is easy to see which player drives in a lot of runs and gets on base a lot, but which players keep runs from scoring? Which players create confidence and a real peace of mind for a young pitcher when they are playing behind him? Hard to put a stat on that. Despite the obvious offensive shortcomings, I think the O's should resign Cesar Izturis...
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Analyzing Markakis

Analyzing Markakis
Here's a question for you. If Nick Markakis hit .338 this year with runners in scoring position and .299 last year, how come last year he drove in 101 runs and this year he had just 60 RBI? Twice in his previous four full seasons with the Orioles, Markakis knocked in 100 runs and he averaged 91 RBI per year from 2006 to 2009. Clearly this was a season where Markakis' batting average and on base were around what he has done before, but the power numbers were down. If you analyze some...
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The five biggest developments of Buck Ball

The five biggest developments of Buck Ball
Well, a lot of good things happened in the last two months for the Orioles. Here is one man's take, ranking them from five to one, on the biggest developments with the club under Buck Showalter. 5 - Matt Wieters was empowered to become a leader. Under Buck, you get the impression that Matt Wieters knew he had to, at some point, become a leader on the Orioles. He was at the center of the core group of young talent on the team and plays a position that demands a certain level of...
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Can the Twins go toe-to-toe with the Yankees in October?

Can the Twins go toe-to-toe with the Yankees in October?
I guess the Rays didn't call the Orioles for a scouting report on Cliff Lee. The Rangers lefty shut down the Rays today as Texas won game one of their playoff series, 5-1. In his two Rangers starts vs. the Orioles, Lee gave up 14 ER over 14 2/3 innings, allowing seven homers. Now tonight in the AL, it's the Yankees at Minnesota. While I have plenty of respect for the Twins and their entire organization, I wonder if they are just a little psyched out about playing New York in...
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Solid first season for Arrieta ended on high note

Solid first season for Arrieta ended on high note
By the end of the 2010 season, Jake Arrieta was what we thought he was. One of the top pitching prospects in baseball. In his last three starts, which were against Boston, New York and Toronto, Arrieta went 2-0, 2.60. Over 17 1/3 innings, he walked just two and fanned 13. The reduced walk number was a key stat for Arrieta during his 18 Major League starts this season. Arrieta when he walked 2 or less: 5-0, 2.66 in 8 starts. Arrieta when walking 3 or more: 1-6, 6.70 in 10 starts. That,...
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During a trying season, Reimold turned to Brady for help

During a trying season, Reimold turned to Brady for help
Nolan Reimold admits he had reached a real low point in his season. Expecting to be an every day player in the Orioles lineup, instead he was the regular left fielder in Norfolk. And he was struggling badly at bat. His average was low and so were his spirits. He needed someone, anyone to reach out to for some advice, tips or anything that could get his bat going. He was given the phone number of former Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson. "I had his number for two weeks and then just...
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Reimold ready to regroup for next year

Reimold ready to regroup for next year
Coming off a 2009 season where he hit .279-15-45 in 358 at bats, Nolan Reimold looked poised to have a solid sophomore season in the Major Leagues. But it started with an injury and later it was his bat that wasn't well and he spent more time in the minors than the big leagues in 2010, playing 94 games with Norfolk and just 39 with the Orioles. Reimold said he can sum up his season in one word. "Brutal. If there is one word to describe it, it's probably that. It's been a tough year,...
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Two noteworthy items

Two noteworthy items
When teams begin play in the Arizona Fall League a week from tomorrow, it turns out that Tyler Townsend will be playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The team's roster includes 8 O's minor leaguers. Townsend told me recently he would not play in Arizona, but rather Australia. The reasoning being that he is a "taxi squad" player on the Scorpions and said player can only start once or twice a week. He needed more at bats than that and playing in Australia would provide that. Now, word is...
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