Starting a New Year pondering starting pitching

Starting a New Year pondering starting pitching
There are many factors which will determine if the O's can make a solid improvement in 2010. Chief among them is what happens on the mound. It all starts with the starting pitching. The O's rotation for 2010 projects to be, not necessarily in this order, Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman.
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For the love of the game

For the love of the game
The movie "the rookie" was on TV last night. It reminds us all that baseball produces great stories. It's about Jim Morris, the pitcher that made the Tampa Bay club as a 35-year-old rookie in 1999. The game of baseball can be so great. So can the people that play it. Of course there are plenty of times when those people that play and run the sport show their flaws. Many of us have had a life-long love affair with the sport. Some can pinpoint the exact moment when it all began.
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Jays join O's and Rays in pursuit of NY & Boston

Jays join O's and Rays in pursuit of NY & Boston
The team that once signed B.J. Ryan to a five-year, 47-million dollar deal and then later released him, is going back to the future. The Toronto Blue Jays, who once built championship teams partially due to shrewd drafting, will now put added emphasis on the First-Year Player Draft. It seems the Jays now realize like the Orioles and Rays that you can't outspend the Yankees and Red Sox but maybe you can outsmart them on occasion.
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Not so fast on the Erbe to the bullpen talk

Not so fast on the Erbe to the bullpen talk
O's minor league hurler Brandon Erbe was recently named by Baseball America as the O's 7th-best prospect. After going 5-3, 2.34 in 14 Double-A starts in 2009, with Eastern League batters hitting just .170 vs. him, it looks like Erbe could be a future stalwart in the O's Major League rotation. The only problem with that thinking is some project Erbe's future to be in the bullpen.
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Pondering the pitching roles for Hernandez and Berken

Pondering the pitching roles for Hernandez and Berken
Last season David Hernandez and Jason Berken combined to start 43 games for the Orioles. But will that pair start any games for the Birds in 2010? Will they be moved to bullpen roles? It is a key question to be answered, probably not until at least deep into spring training. First the O's have to make sure the projected starting five of Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman are all healthy and ready to go come opening day.
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Tough time for a real good guy

Tough time for a real good guy
It has been a tough few months for now former Orioles pitcher Bob McCrory. After pitching in good health most of the 2009 season between Norfolk and Baltimore, he felt some pain while pitching for the O's in September and underwent labrum surgery October 2nd at Johns Hopkins hospital. Several weeks later the O's out-righted him to Triple-A and he was removed from the 40-man roster. He became a minor league free agent.
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How former Twin Denny Hocking joined the O's organization

How former Twin Denny Hocking joined the O's organization
A friendship with a member of the O's public relations department and a Little League coaching dispute have combined to lead former Twin Denny Hocking to the Orioles organization. Hocking will be a first-year pro coach when he serves this coming season as Frederick Keys' field coach. Hocking, who played in the Majors from 1993 to 2005, has known Jeff Lantz, the O's media relations manager, for a long time.
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Stockstill talks about Bordick's new role

Stockstill talks about Bordick's new role
Mike Bordick played six seasons for the Orioles and had a reputation as a smart and very solid defender at shortstop. But it's the smarts he also used with his bat that he'll use in his new role as O's minor league offensive coordinater. Bordick, a career .260 Major League hitter with 1,500 career hits, served as roving infield instructor for the Toronto Blue Jays last season.
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Minor League notes

Minor League notes
The Orioles began the offseason with 22 of their own players that qualified as minor league free agents. While the club has not officially announced any signings yet, the O's have re-signed five of those players: pitchers Josh Perrault, Ross Wolf, Chris George and Alfredo Simon and third baseman Scott Moore. Perrault is a 27-year-old right-hander the O's selected in the 2008 Rule 5 minor league draft from the Nationals' organization. In 2009, between Bowie and Norfolk, he went 1-4, 2.13...
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Staying put for Reimold

Staying put for Reimold
I don't understand why some fans want to move Nolan Reimold to first base. I know the O's have an opening at that position. But they still might acquire someone to play there - plus they have three first basemen on the 40-man roster in Brandon Snyder, Rhyne Hughes and Michael Aubrey. If the O's had any designs at all to put Reimold at first base, we would have heard more about it by now.
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It's Complicated

It's Complicated
That might be the title of a Meryl Streep movie. It could also be a phrase used when talking about Mark McGwire and his admission that he used steroids. McGwire should score some points with fans and media for admitting his mistake. He should lose some points for the fact that it took him this long. But he has at least admitted using steroids. Anyone expecting to hear a similar confession from Barry Bonds and/or Roger Clemens, who many assume also used steroids?
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Hernandez preps for 2010 season

Hernandez preps for 2010 season
After making 19 starts for the Orioles on the mound last year, right hander David Hernandez is quite aware that he is not assured a rotation spot in 2010. But right now he has other important issues to deal with. When I spoke with David by phone Wednesday afternoon, he was speaking from his new house in Elk Grove, California. He and his wife Rachel were awaiting the birth of their first child, a son, that could come at any time. For now, at least for Hernandez, thoughts of the 2010 season...
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More with David Hernandez

More with David Hernandez
Earlier here I presented a story and interview with O's pitcher David Hernandez. He talked about his winter workouts, his outlook for the coming season and his goal to improve his control for 2010. Here are some more quotes from that interview.
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A matter of leadership

A matter of leadership
So what makes a leader on a Major League baseball team? Do all teams need a leader and in what ways does it help to have a strong leader? In a game so filled with statistics, we can't put a number on leadership. And we can debate whether it's important or not.
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More on the Minor League coaches and staff

More on the Minor League coaches and staff
The Orioles recently announced their minor league coaches and staff for the 2010 season. Here are some comments from the man that put the staff together, the O's Director, Player Development, David Stockstill, about this year's staff. Click here to check out the staff for 2010. Of your seven U.S. affiliated teams, five managers return to the club they managed last year. The other two managers return to the organization. How important is continuity like that for the minors? "Very pleased...
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Looking at the Orioles' big picture

Looking at the Orioles' big picture
There are certainly a lot of upset O's fans around here lately. They feel like the club should have added another bat by now and are concerned who will play first and third base next season. But keep in mind this fact - the O's don't need to play a game tomorrow and they still have time left to make a move. Some are unhappy the O's have not spent a lot of money this winter.
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Have you noticed...

Have you noticed...
There are a lot of high draft picks among the players projected in the O's rotation and starting lineup in 2010. The Birds will feature eight starting pitchers or players that were drafted in the first or second rounds, nine if Michael Aubrey starts at first base.
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Pondering a worldwide draft with the O's Joe Jordan

Pondering a worldwide draft with the O's Joe Jordan
It's been discussed for years and now there are reports that Major League baseball has convened a committee to study the possibility of implementing a worldwide draft. Right now, the First-Year Player Draft, that is held in June, covers players from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico only. Players from countries like the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are not eligible to be taken.
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Trembley sets the record straight on Reimold

Trembley sets the record straight on Reimold
He's the Oriole that has probably been the most talked about by the fans this winter. Some suggest Nolan Reimold should be the DH or tried at first base this year. Some feel he should be part of a left-field platoon with Felix Pie. Some have questioned his defensive skills.
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More Dave Trembley comments on Reimold & Pie

More Dave Trembley comments on Reimold & Pie
Earlier today, we posted a blog where O's skipper Dave Trembley confirmed that Nolan Reimold will be the O's starter in left field and that the club has no plans to use Reimold at first base. Here are some other comments from the O's manager.
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