Friday, June 19, 2009

O's notes: series win, HR ball mini-controversy, trade chips

Down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the Orioles battled back against Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez to earn a 5-4 victory and a second consecutive series win.

The situation appeared grim as Rodriguez -- 0.56 ERA, 9.74 K/9, 0.99 WHIP, 17 saves -- entered the game, but Matt Wieters greeted him rudely with a leadoff double to commence the rally. Felix Pie pinch-ran for Wieters at second, and Nolan Reimold, pinch-hitting for Robert Andino, drew a walk. Brian Roberts then bunted down the third-base line, and Pie was called safe on a close play at third base. With the bases loaded and no outs, Adam Jones walked to tie the score at four. Nick Markakis then struck out, but Aubrey Huff picked him up by singling in the winning run.

After the dust settled, Rodriguez had his second blown save on the season and his ERA had nearly doubled to 1.10.

The Orioles now go on the road to play three games in Philadelphia and three in Florida.


Remember the Wieters home run ball? According to Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun, there appeared to be a bit of a disagreement between the Orioles and the fan over what exactly the deal was for the ball:

It seemed like a simple enough transaction. Matt Wieters hit his first major league home run and a guy named Sam Mayfield was on the other end of the deal, retrieving the ball and trading it back to the team for a Wieters autographed bat and ball and a chance to meet and talk to the boy wonder.

Except we all have awakened to a different version of the story. Mayfield and his wife have both posted comments on the blog (and I believe the posts are legit because of the e-mail addresses that accompanied them) claiming that the Orioles should have offered them much more for the ball and making it sound like the Orioles owe them more stuff and some kind of apology.

Well, that's fantastic. Thankfully, Schmuck talked to Mayfield, who said the whole thing was a "misunderstanding." Schmuck: "He has talked to the Orioles and he got an invitation back to the ballpark with his family to meet Matt." So at least that's over with.


Jorge Says No! recently took a look at the Orioles' possible trade chips as the all-star break approaches. Aubrey Huff, George Sherrill, and Danys Baez are listed as "obvious" players to move, while Luke Scott is characterized as "debatable." I've already written about what I think of a potential deal involving Scott, so Scott should definitely be considered if the right offer comes along from a team looking for a left-handed power bat. Gregg Zaun could also possibly be moved for a lower-level prospect, but another team would have to be pretty desperate at catcher for that to happen -- plus, the Orioles seem to like Zaun as a mentoring figure for Matt Wieters.


Finally, Keith Law had a few Orioles-related notes in his latest ESPN chat:

Anthony (MD): Who are the front runners for AL Rookie of the Year? Brad Bergesen and Nolan Reimold have to be in the top 3 right?

Keith Law: Bergesen would definitely be in my top 3 of players to sell now, fast, before they implode.

Andy (Baltimore): How concerned, on a scale from 1 to 10, should I be that the O's may have blown their #5 pick by taking Hobgood instead of a more highly regarded pitcher?

Keith Law: 1.

John (Baltimore): So you're a fan of Hobgood?

Keith Law: Yes. Would he have been my pick at 5? No, definitely not over Zack Wheeler, but I do like Hobgood. Chance for a plus FB/plus CB combo with some feel, and he really competes.

Vincent (DC): Can I get your thoughts on Brandon Snyder? His star has certainly faded a bit, but he's having a very strong season. Thanks.

Keith Law: Liked his swing a lot in AFL but had two concerns - I don't see him getting to the ball down without trouble, and I don't see where he plays other than 1b.

I was mostly intrigued by Law's comments on Bergesen. The rookie has come on strong as of late, winning three of his last four starts by giving up two, zero, two, and two runs, respectively, in those starts.

Bergesen -- 4-2, 3.79 ERA, 4.16 K/9, 1.94 K/BB, 1.14 HR/9 -- has been pretty consistent too, with his worst start being his second one when he gave up five runs in four innings against the Texas Rangers. He doesn't strike out a whole lot of batters, but he doesn't walk many either. Still, he has a 2.05 groundball-to-flyball ratio, with his two-seamer being his most effective pitch. With a .276 BABIP, he also hasn't been particularly lucky (the league average is about .300).

So, as long as Bergesen doesn't elevate the ball and keeps it in the ballpark, he's been effective. Law could be right, though; after all, Bergesen is a rookie and seems likely to go through a rough patch or two as the season rolls along, but he's certainly been better than expected.

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