• Jun
    28

    One guy to build around, one to send packing

    Did I mention I hate the house buying experience? I mean, I’m pretty sure underwriters are spawned from the devil. No matter what you do it seems something else needs to be verified at the last second. Thank God this is almost over. Tomorrow we settle and I don’t want to even think about “the process” for a long, long time.

     

    Speaking of  “the process,” is it just me or is Ramon Hernandez the Orioles best free agent signee since the first Rafael Palmeiro contract? Coming off two days rest, Hernandez was forced to catch all 18 innings of the double header last night after Javy Lopez’s back tightened up between games. What does he do? He not only catches every inning, but hits two home runs and drives in five.

     

    The Orioles have had some good defensive catchers in the last twenty years or so with the likes of Rick Dempsey and Charles Johnson, and few good hitting catchers like Chris Hoiles and Javy Lopez, but I’m hard pressed to find a better all around catcher who has worn an Orioles uniform. After the double header, Hernandez is first in home runs (15) and RBIs (58) among major league catchers and tops in the American League by catching 50% of the bases stealers (22-44). As long as he stays healthy, I think the Orioles have found a mainstay behind the plate.

     

    Hats off to Flanagan for getting Hernandez even when the team had Lopez locked up for another year.

     

    Looking for Matos’ replacement in Ottawa

     

    I’m certainly not calling Keith Reed a prospect anymore, but he’s been quietly hitting quite nicely this year in Ottawa. The 27-year old former number one pick has hit safely in 23 of 34 games while batting .307 (39-127) with 12 doubles and 18 RBI during one streak of late. On the year Reed has 24 doubles with a .280/.317/.424/.741 line. Unfortunately, he’s hit just four home runs and walked just 10 times, but his strikeouts are down to just 39 in 284 at bats.

     

    He’s never going to be an everyday, but he could be an option if the Orioles ever tire of Luis Matos hovering around the Mendoza line.

     

    However, the main guy to keep an eye on is Luis Terrero. He was up for a cup of coffee with the Orioles earlier in the year, but I’d be hard pressed not to give him another shot soon with Matos proving his detractors right on a daily basis with the O’s. Terrero is putting up a .961 OPS with 10 homers in just 159 ABs with Ottawa. He’s not the most patient batter, but he’s a good defensive outfielder and he’s got a better pedigree (former top Diamondback prospect) than Matos ever had.

     

    Ok, I know I’m Matos bashing here a bit, so I’ll say something nice. Matos is at least consistent – coming into the night he was batting .203 against righties and .204 against lefties this year.

     


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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.

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