Orioles Think Tank

Orioles Coverage for the Information Age

Some Notes

Posted by Mike on June 10, 2006

Dave Sanford, of Royals Corner, was kind enough to pass along some photos of the O's 6th round pick, Jason Berken.  They are from his start against UVA this year.

Be sure to stop by Royals Corner and say hi.  A good place to start is with RC's interview with #1 overall draft pick, Luke Hochevar

  • Rodrigo Lopez

Lopez threw another quality start tonight (7 ip, 6 K, 3 BB, 7 H, 3 R) and it looks like he's finally back on track.  After not having one all season, Lopez is now 3 for his last 4 in quality starts.  Of course, it's only fitting that Bruce Chen registered the loss by giving up a home run in the 12th inning.  That's 18 home runs in 51 innings if you're keeping track at home.

  • Promotions Ahead? 

While Jeff Fiorentino (.200/.275/.335) and Brandon Snyder (.202/.242/.363 with 47 K's in 32 G's) continue to struggle, a few O's farmhands are clamoring for promotions.   

Nolan Reimold is now hitting .304/.435/.538 for a .973 OPS.  Offense is down throughout the minors (many believe as a result of replacement umpires) and the league OPS is sitting right around .700.  I see no reason that he shouldn't see some time at Bowie shortly, unless, of course, the O's use that as a reason to start him in Baltimore on opening day 2007

Brandon Erbe is also making a name for himself, even outside of the usual O's circles.  After a terrific start earlier this week, his season line looks like this:

  IP     H      ERA       K        BB     HR

  53     37     2.04      65        14       1

It'll be interesting to see where he ranks on MLB-wide prospect lists at season's end, but it will likely be between Erbe and Nick Adenhart  for the title of top pitching prospect yet to reach AA.  Erbe's only in his age 18 season, so I commend the O's for their patience thus far.  But it's unlikely that Erbe will continue to dominate his competition this thoroughly and not see some significant time at Frederick in 2006.

And, of course, there are candidates in Frederick's rotation that would be happy to make room for Erbe.  The top candidate has to be Radhames Liz, but there is also a case to be made for Garrett Olson.  Here are their respective lines thus far:

              IP     H      ERA       K        BB     HR

Liz          64     39     2.53       80       32       6

Olson     70.3   73     3.07       65       18       6

Liz's dominance is easy to see, but he is also still walking a batter every other inning.  Another advantage that Olson has over Liz is his ability to induce a ton of groundballs.  In 2005, over 60% of balls put into play against Olson were on the ground.  That's better than over 99% of major league pitchers.  Liz, on the other hand, will have to succeed by continuing to miss bats.  He's a pronounced flyball pitcher. 

  • Brandon Fahey in LF?

Through 92 AB's, Fahey is batting .272/.309/.348, which is actually exceeding my expectations.  I have no doubt that he has the athleticism to play a good LF, but his bat makes him a marginal backup shortstop.  Although, I will be the first to admit he is phenomenal defensively (at shortstop).

It seems like many GM's are trying to cultivate a Chone Figgins-like utility player of their own without any regard for the players actual ability.  Let me let you in on a secret: Chone Figgins is a great fantasy player, but he is, at his best, an average everyday third baseman or center fielder.  His value is directly linked to his ability to play wherever he is needed, making him a great utility player. 

So what do you get when you take someone who is distinctly below average at the plate and put him at one of the easiest defensive positions on the field?  Brandon Fahey as your starting left fielder. 

I'm not saying the kid has no place on the team.  Most teams carry a backup shortstop (although the O's are one of the few teams that can actually afford not to) and Chris Gomez is hurt.  It just makes no sense to stick him in left field.  Not when Luis Terrero is putting up a .900 OPS in Ottawa. 

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5 Responses to “Some Notes”

  1. MayM said

    I dont understand the Fahey move at all. Also, I didnt realize that Olson was such a groundball machine.

  2. Stu said

    So exaclty how big of a deal is it that Olson is a groundball machine? I mean, how many fewer strikeouts can he get away with and still be effective? I know it’s good to induce groundballs, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody try to quantify it.

  3. Crawdaddy said

    One of the big things about groundball pitchers is that their ERA is often misleading due to a greater number of unearned runs. The chance of errors are increased, so they benefit a little by that. The team sure doesn’t though. Look at Lowe he is the epitome of groundball pitchers.

  4. Kilbs said

    The best thing about Patterson’s surprising production is that the Orioles won’t promote Reimold to Baltimore. But methinks he should be in Bowie by the A ball ASB, which I believe in a few weeks. The two reservations I have about Reimold is that he seems maybe old for his league (maybe…) and his K ratio. I look forward to him arriving to the big club and being instructed that walks are for bad hitters, you know, like giambi.

  5. Jeremy said

    So I wasn’t the only one to notice that the former #1 prospect in the DBacks organization (Terrero) is lighting up AAA, yet Fahey is still getting starts in LF? I’d like to see Terrero get an extended shot with the O’s, maybe he’s another CPat-like success story?

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