Will Joel Guzman return to the Orioles next season?

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 in extra-base hits. Guzman is a one-time top Dodgers prospect, who signed with Los Angeles as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican in 2001. At the time, his signing bonus...
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Not too concerned about strikeouts

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 on that is basically, so what. Power hitters usually strikeout at a higher rate than most. Some do it at a very high rate. Often it's a...
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Jeter's contract talks: It's gotten messy

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 me - Jeter's current negotiations with the team are getting messy. After his agent said he was "baffled" by the Yankees approach to the...
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Rule 5 prep and the Pie video

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 Stockstill said. "In our case, (assistant director of player development) Tripp Norton we be...
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Checking the minor league free agents list

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: Alberto Castillo, Jose Diaz, Jose Duran, Chris George, Mike...
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After three seasons in Bowie, Komminsk looks forward to the next challenge

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 Norfolk Tides hitting coach in the Triple-A International League for the 2011 season. "As much as I loved Bowie and the staff and fans...
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Time to hear from the new O's coaches

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 and one of the smartest guys I know in the game. He's going to delegate and let us do our jobs, which is all...
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Victor goes to Detroit and O's fans feel spurned yet again

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 it always seems to go. I don't subscribe, however, to any theory that the club came up with a figure of 48 million they knew they could...
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Mahoney could get more OF starts next season

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 a week (next season). The more versatile you can be, the more valuable you are," Mahoney said. There are a few good reasons for Mahoney to try his hand in...
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Expanded playoffs may be the right move for baseball

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 playoffs, my first reaction was negative. Were the powers that be in the game going to mess with something that is working...
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More O's minor leaguers are released

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 14 were taken by the club in either the 2008 or 2009 draft. Preston Hale and Brad Decater were players taken in the 2010 draft. In a...
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The 40-man: A look at who made it and who didn't

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 most likely return to Baltimore. By the way, it should be pointed out that Britton was drafted in round three, Mahoney in round six and Angle in round...
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Britton on Boras and his offseason plans

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 pitcher of the year for the 2010 season, decided it was time to change agents. He moved from the Hendricks brothers, neither of which he had ever...
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Britton joins forces with Boras

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 Hendricks brothers myself, so I just never felt comfortable going forward with people I hadn't met. So I had a...
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O's release eight minor leaguers

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: *C Moises Beltre, 20 years old, who hit .182-1-10 in 21 games. *C Carlos Paez, 19 years old, who hit .151-0-9 in 44...
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Talking about Buck and the King

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 you manage just 57 games. Well, maybe if you went 57-0, but how likely is that? I'm sure some readers and fans may find a reason to be upset over this, but...
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To trade or not to trade pitching, that is the question

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 is no way they can avoid dealing some young pitching, I don't think. But here is the key reason the O's should not deal any young pitching right now. ...
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Britton and Griffin joined forces in 2010 at Norfolk

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 three seasons and said Britton clearly stacks up well with all of them. "I think so. He is knocking on the door...
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Mike Griffin is returning to the O's organization

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 by the O's, who have also yet to finalize their Major League staff. Griffin has worked with...
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Taking the pulse of the fans

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 answered how you did. Feel free to select "other" if none listed below characterize your feelings and tell us what thoughts you do have on the team. A: The O's...
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