Friday, December 10, 2010

Kevin Gregg

Jeff Zrebiec at The Sun has news today that the Orioles have a 2-year, $8-$10 million offer out to former Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg.  Jeff is wondering whether Gregg would "unseat" Koji as the closer if he signs.  Leaving aside whether or not the O's should be throwing millions of dollars at free agent relievers (they shouldn't be), having Gregg close games might not actually be a bad idea.  He's a Proven Closer (TM), though not a great pitcher (career 8.3 K/9, 3.7 BB/9), meaning that the Orioles don't really want him pitching in the highest leverage situations.  Moving Koji--and his great strikeout numbers--into potentially higher leverage situations with runners on base in the 7th and 8th, could be a better use of bullpen assets.  I don't know if this is how MacPhail is approaching the situation, but if that's how it works out, we probably shouldn't complain too much.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2011 Roster

At the risk of getting overly excited and jumping the gun, it appears that the O's may be getting close to trading for J.J. Hardy.  If true, the Orioles will have gone a long way toward filling out their 2011 roster.  Let's take a quick look at how things are shaping up.

CA: Matt Wieters
1B: open
2B: Brian Roberts
3B: Mark Reynolds
SS: J.J. Hardy
LF: Felix Pie
CF: Adam Jones
RF: Nick Markakis
DH: Luke Scott

B: Nolan Reimold
B: Craig Tatum
B: Jake Fox
B: open (utility IF - Robert Andino/Cesar Izturis?)

SP: Brian Matusz
SP: Jeremy Guthrie
SP: Brad Bergesen
SP: Chris Tillman
SP: Jake Arrieta

CL: Koji Uehara (rumored)
LRP: Mike Gonzalez
RRP: Jim Johnson
RRP: Jason Berken
RRP: Alfredo Simon
LRP: open
?RP: open

That leaves four open spots (assuming the O's come to terms with Koji): 1B, utility IF, another lefty for the bullpen, and one more bullpen arm.  There appear to be lots of irons in the fire for 1B (maybe Derek Lee?), and utility IF won't be tough to fill, but what to do with the bullpen?  My guess is the O's sign one of the many available righties and also bring back Mark Hendrickson.  They could also bring in another veteran starter to provide some depth, perhaps shifting Tillman or Arrieta back to Norfolk (again) or to the bullpen for the time being.  Either way, the 2011 roster looks close to being set.  Not a contender, but that looks to me like a big improvement over what was on the field for most of 2010.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Beer at the Ballpark

It looks like Delaware North, the new concessions company for Oriole Park at Camden Yards, is taking a food tour of Baltimore today.  The Orioles (@BirdlandInsider) and Delaware North officials (@BallparkRick) are tweeting about.  If you're a beer fan, be sure to let them know we want good craft beer at the Yard in 2011.