As the whole uproar over my comments last week on Bob Haynie’s radio program dies down and as the trade deadline approaches, I can’t help but think something big is going to happen. I’m not sure why, and I don’t have any inside information saying Mr. Angelos has changed his mind on not trading Miguel Tejada, but I do know the Orioles are certainly entertaining offers for the star shortstop.
Of course, it’s only prudent that they do field offers, but either way, they’ll need Mr. Angelos to sign off on the deal and whether he can do that in time to get something this big done remains questionable.
As for the Angels deal, one scout I talked to who is intimately familiar with the Angels system loves Brandon Woods “He’s going to hit for high average and power…. has fantastic instincts and can stay at short despite his size” but is less thrilled with Aybar “he’ll hit, but he makes some terrible errors in the field”. However he believes Wood is untouchable.
Personally, I think we have to get Orlando Cabrera back in any deal for Tejada because that at least gives us a major league ready SS for the time being. I’d love to see Woods involved in the deal and I think Morales is going to be a hitter.
Either way, if you move Tejada you have to get back a major league ready SS, a major league ready or nearly ready front line starter, and a potential
big bat at a minimum.
Everyone has seen Daniel Cabrera’s stuff, and no one doubts it’s some of the nastiest around. However, perhaps it’s time to take a look at his future in the major leagues. Here’s what we know about Cabrera:
He throws in the high 90’s
He has a devastating slider
He has trouble commanding both pitches consistently
Batters have hit .249 with a .389 OBP against him this year thanks to his walks.
He doesn’t really have much of a changeup.
He has a reputation as a hard worker, but struggles do retain coaching at times. There is no doubt he has taken a step back this year with his command and now that’s he’s put less than stellar numbers up in three Triple-A starts, perhaps a role change would do him well.
Imagine bringing in Cabrera into the 7th or 8th inning to face the tough portion of the lineup for inning or two? Command is not as big an issue for a reliever and guys like Eric Gagne and Jose Mesa are two examples of pitchers who were similar to Cabrera before finding success in relief.
Now, a good point can be made that Cabrera may have more worth for his starting potential, and if that’s true, and the Orioles can pick up a nearly ready or ML ready power bat, then by all means the Orioles should entertain offers.
There have been whispers in the organization for years that Cabrera would be better off in a reliever’s role and understandably the Orioles wanted to see if he could make it as a starter. However, at some point Cabrera has to either fulfill his potential or the Orioles need to do what’s best for the organization. Whether that’s through trade value or moving him into a different role or giving him one last chance in the rotation, the Orioles have to make decision before next season begins.
· Keith Reed still doesn’t walk, but he’s putting up some solid numbers (.287/.758 OPS) at Ottawa this year. He’s certainly nothing more than a 4th or 5th outfielder in the majors leagues at best, but he might carve out a major league career after all.
· Two scouts from outside the organization like Ottawa left-hander Brian Burres. Apparently they have pitching around 90-91 MPH with a solid breaking ball and decent change. They suggest he could have some success at the backend of a major league rotation of out of the pen. Lefties are batting .280 off him this year compared to .220 for righties (.233 overall) so it would appear by the stats that he’s not suited for a left-handed relief specialist’s role. Either way, he probably has to be considered after Hayden Penn if the Orioles are looking for a starter.
· I’ll have more on this soon, but put Beau Hale back on the prospect radar screen. His command of his fastball on both sides of the plate along with a much-improved slider makes him a candidate for the Orioles bullpen in the near future.
· Don’t be surprised if Keiron Pope (.361/.424/.613) gets a promotion to Aberdeen soon. Although his BB:K ratio of 8:33 is not fantastic, it’s an improvement over last year and he’s certainly putting up some impressive numbers at the plate.
· I know that 25-year old Vito Chiaravalloti (.321/.419/.717) is too old to be a prospect, but he’s certainly been a nice spark for Delmarva. Like most Orioles affiliates, anytime they can find a hitter to help out can only be a good thing.
Sometimes I wonder if stats like OPS were really considered just 10-15 years ago whether or not a player like Randy “Moose” Milligan would have had a longer career? Milligan put up a career +127 OPS including a +1443 and +155 OPS with the Orioles in 1989 and 1990 respectively.
However, Milligan’s career was over by age 32.
Since then, Moose has scouted for several teams including the Reds, Indians, Expos, Mets and now works as a professional scout for the Orioles. If you head out to one of the Orioles minor league affiliates you just might see the former Orioles first baseman behind home plate.
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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.