What to look for when the games start

What to look for when the games start
Taking a page from Sunday's blog, here are six questions to follow when the spring training games begin tomorrow. It's an exciting time with a real game (granted an exhibition) at hand. We start getting answers to these questions on Wednesday afternoon. How will Miggi do at third base? I expect he will at least be an average third baseman on defense by Opening Day. He may not be as good as Melvin Mora was on defense last year at any point. He has said his biggest hurdle could be handling...
Continue reading

Will this year turn into a do-over for Guthrie?

Will this year turn into a do-over for Guthrie?
Jeremy Guthrie's mulligan for the 2009 season starts today in the Orioles' exhibition opener. When Guthrie takes the mound in Sarasota, all O's fans hope it's the start of a season for him much like the years he had in 2007 and 2008. Based on his first two seasons in the Orange and Black, Guthrie's performance was way off in 2009. Guthrie by year: 2007: 7-5, 3.70 in 175 1/3 innings 2008: 10-12, 3.63 in 190 2/3 innings 2009: 10-17, 5.04 in 200 innings Guthrie's starts allowing two...
Continue reading

After a rough start, the future could be bright for Townsend

After a rough start, the future could be bright for Townsend
It happened to Tyler Townsend. He isn't the first player and won't be the last to put up great numbers in college, then struggle in his first professional season. The 21-year-old Townsend was one of college baseball's best hitters last year, hitting .426-24-77 at Florida International. He set several school records and was a Louisville Slugger first-team all American. Then the Orioles drafted him in round three in June, the 85th pick overall and soon he was playing with the Aberdeen...
Continue reading

Coffey makes solid recovery after surgery

Coffey makes solid recovery after surgery
As he approaches the one-year anniversary of having Tommy John surgery, lefty pitcher Cameron Coffey is throwing well and optimistic about the 2010 season. The 19-year-old underwent the elbow ligament replacement procedure last March 19th, then in June he was drafted in round 22 by the Orioles. Most everyone assumed Coffey was headed to Duke to play college baseball, but the O's made him an offer he couldn't refuse. On August 13, Coffey agreed to a reported $990,000 bonus, one of the...
Continue reading

B-Rob & Nick can lead the way

B-Rob & Nick can lead the way
While some fans wonder who will become the future clubhouse and on field leader of the Orioles, the Birds have two players right now who are leaders on this team. That's Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis. Okay, no one confuses their style of leadership with that of Frank Robinson from the 1966 World Champs and they are not vocal in the clubhouse like a Kevin Millar. But they are well respected by their teammates and are leaders for two primary reasons - performance and seniority. Roberts is...
Continue reading

What B-Rob said on MASN

What B-Rob said on MASN
O's second baseman Brian Roberts remains out of the Orioles lineup again today as he deals with a small herniated disc in his back. This past Thursday, during the Brian Roberts segment on the Scott Garceau show, that airs on MASN and 105.7 FM the fan, Roberts provided an update on his injury. "The back is getting better every day. I'm doing most regular activities that every one else is doing, just haven't gotten in a game yet. I was a little delayed on batting practice, we are taking...
Continue reading

Some facts & overreactions, then some sanity

Some facts & overreactions, then some sanity
Fact: Kevin Millwood gave up six runs and didn't survive the first inning Saturday vs. Detroit. Overreaction: "I told you he was overrated." Sanity: After 13 years and 155 career wins, the man knows how to prep for a season. Wait until at least May to begin to worry. Fact: The O's lost Thursday, Friday and Sunday when they gave up ninth-inning runs. OR: "This club can't blow late leads. They need to learn how to win and losing these games in the ninth won't help." Sanity: ...
Continue reading

MLB Network sizes up the Orioles

MLB Network sizes up the Orioles
For a franchise that lost 98 games last year, has not had a winning season since 1997 and has not won the World Series since 1983, the Orioles are getting their fair share of positive publicity. Countless national media outlets and big-time writers, broadcasters and columnists are bullish on the O's. No one is predicting the playoffs but the message from most is some variation of this - they are clearly making strides forward and getting better and could really have some fun this year if...
Continue reading

Is realignment talk heating up?

Is realignment talk heating up?
The talk of possible realignment of divisions in baseball may become more than just talk. When Andy MacPhail floated the thought at FanFest, some in the audience didn't seem to grasp the concept, but basically baseball officials may be looking at moving teams to another division on a "floating" and not permanent basis. Here is more on that thought in Tom Verducci's article in SI.com. I think the time may have come for baseball to experiment with this concept of "floating realignment." ...
Continue reading

MacPhail's take

MacPhail's take
Earlier today, I wrote about the latest talk of possible realignment of divisions in Major League baseball. All the talk is in the preliminary stages. O's president Andy MacPhail serves on MLB's special committee for on-field matters. At FanFest in January, in response to a fan question about a salary cap in baseball, MacPhail discussed the possibility of division realignment. Here are his comments from that day: "I was fortunate enough for the commissioner of baseball to put me on his...
Continue reading

Looking to the future, Coffey makes changes in his mechanics

Looking to the future, Coffey makes changes in his mechanics
About a week ago, I published a story here on O's pitching prospect Cameron Coffey. He was drafted in round 22 last June, then signed a nearly one million dollar bonus in August with the Orioles. This, even after he underwent Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery last March. During a recent phone conversation with the 19-year-old lefty, I could tell he was a real intelligent young man that is taking his career seriously. He spoke of re-tooling and changing his pitching mechanics...
Continue reading

Forever the voice of sports in Baltimore

Forever the voice of sports in Baltimore
The day began amid sunshine, warm temperatures and blue skies. But most days in Hawaii are like that. On March 6, 2005 I was just weeks into my first season as baseball play-by-play broadcaster for one of college baseball's all-time great programs at Florida State. Lucky for me the Seminoles had planned a ten-day trip to the islands for that March and that day found us in Hilo for a doubleheader vs. Hawaii-Hilo. As the day went on, my cell phone started to ring off the hook. Soon I found...
Continue reading

Joe Jordan sizes up more O's draft picks

Joe Jordan sizes up more O's draft picks
Today we continue a series of articles on the Orioles' 2009 draft picks. To get more information on the players, we are going to the man that drafted them, O's scouting director Joe Jordan. Earlier, Joe provided his thoughts and analysis on the O's selections in the top ten rounds. In this article he discusses players taken from Rounds 11 through 16. In a follow up next week, he'll talk about some later round picks. All the quotes in the article are from Jordan. Round 11 - Catcher...
Continue reading

Is it too early to worry?

Is it too early to worry?
Let's survey the issues. Brian Roberts returns to Baltimore for further examination of his back. Kevin Millwood's ERA is 29.70. Nolan Reimold is just getting into games. Mike Gonzalez left an outing due to back stiffness. Matt Wieters is 1 for 13 at bat and the O's record is 3 and 8. Am I wrong or is spring training not going so well? Suddenly, how Miguel Tejada fields his next ground ball doesn't seem so important. I hope on opening night, April 6th, I get to write this sentence: ...
Continue reading

Still making his pitch for the Birds

Still making his pitch for the Birds
Andy Mitchell admits he was open to leaving the Orioles organization, where he has pitched since 2001. For the third winter in a row, he was a minor league free agent. But after nine years and nearly 800 innings, all in the minors, he is back with the organization for another go around. He re-signed in late January. "I was ready to listen to any offers I might get," the 31-year-old Mitchell said. "I didn't get as many as I wanted and definitely not one as good as the Orioles offer. It...
Continue reading

Is the game trending toward defense?

Is the game trending toward defense?
Last year, the Seattle Mariners finished 85-77 and recorded 24 more wins than they had in 2008. They made such a dramatic improvement and actually scored 31 fewer runs than the season before. But after giving up 811 runs in 2008, the Mariners gave up just 692 last year. That's 119 fewer runs allowed and 24 more victories. The Mariners pitching had a hand in that, of course, but many are crediting a big upgrade in defense with the increased win total. The Mariners had some of the best...
Continue reading

Did you know...

Did you know...
An Orioles and NCAA tourney hoops version. Did you know........ *The Orioles will not play back-to-back series vs. teams with 2009 losing records until May 14th when they begin series vs. Cleveland and Kansas City. *The Orioles will play 12 consecutive games vs. the Red Sox and Yankees from April 23 to May 5. From June 1-10, the O's play nine in a row vs. the duo. That's 21 of the first 60 games vs. NY or Boston. *As of June 10, Toronto will have played just nine games vs. NY and...
Continue reading

One more time: Joe Jordan talks O's draft picks

One more time:  Joe Jordan talks O's draft picks
Today we present the fourth and final article in a series of interviews with Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan. Once again, Jordan sizes up some of the players he selected in last June's draft. He provides insight and analysis today on a few players the Orioles selected in the 18th round and later last year. At the end of the interview there is a link to the previous stories with Jordan on the 2009 selections. All the quotes in this article are from Jordan. Round 18 - LHP Jarret...
Continue reading

Anxious times for O's fans

Anxious times for O's fans
Oriole nation is concerned. Some are more than concerned. If you talk to fans lately, their first comment on the team usually goes something like, "should I worry about (fill in the blank)." The concerns include: *Brian Roberts' back *Koji's hamstring *Nolan Reimold's return from Achilles surgery *Nolan Reimold's batting average *Mike Gonzalez's back *Mike Gonzalez's velocity *Jim Johnson's struggles *Felix Pie's shoulder *Jeremy Guthrie's ERA *Kevin Millwood's ERA *Matt...
Continue reading

Monday morning musings

Monday morning musings
It was a good weekend for O's starting pitching. Four starters worked a combined 20 innings and pitched to an ERA of 2.25. Brian Matusz got it started with 5 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings Friday vs. Philly. Tillman and Bergesen pitched well in split-squad games Saturday and Kevin Millwood gave up just one run Sunday vs. Philly. Don't the O's seem to pitch well vs. the NL Champs? A switch to the NL East anyone? The four combined: 20IP, 10h, 5er, 7bb, 17K. Let's not talk about...
Continue reading