• Apr

    Chen situation last night, and around the minors

    Quite simply, with an 8-man pen, a day off tomorrow, and the fact that batters hit .292 off Wei-Yin Chen from 75+ pitches on, and .333 after 101 pitches, and I'm not sure I want Chen trying to get a right-hander out at 104 pitches with two guys on in a tie ballgame.

    Yes, I know that Nava hits right-handers better than left-handers, but Chen was on fumes. That was a perfect situation for Darren O'Day who hadn't pitched since Saturday. This won't be the first or last time we are concerned about Buck leaving his starter's in too long. He's got a rotation full of six inning, 90-100 pitch starters who go on major fumes once they reach those marks. This is why a guy like Steve Johnson, if he's not in the rotation at some point, can be an important pitcher because he can come in the 7th and pitch three innings of relief and save the bullpen on occasion.

    On top of it all, Chen entered the 7th inning with no one warming up despite teh fact that his pitch count was pretty high. This is one of the things that drives me nuts about Buck's management of his starters. I know he knows when his pitchers get tired and he had to know Chen was getting up there in his pitch count. There is absolutely no way you can convince me that he should not have someone warming up as Chen entered the 7th. He should have never given Chen a chance to lose that game. Once he ran into trouble, especially after he went over 100 pitches, he should have been pulled.

    Around the Minors

    - In better news, how about the 2013 debut of Josh Hader? Two days after his 19th birthday, the left-hander allows just a walk and hit over six innings of shutout work while striking out six. In case you were wondering, Hader now has a career 1.56 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 10 walks in 34.2 career innings pitched. Oh, did we mentioned he was 91-93 MPH now?

    - Russ Canzler is off to a hot start at Norfolk after a poor spring. He homered last night, but if the boxscore was right, more importantly he played second base for the first time in his career. Now Canzler is not known for his defense, especially his infield defense where he's put up a .871 fielding percentege in a 129 games at third base in his minor league career, so this might have been just a need situation. Either way, he did start a 4-63 double play last night and didn't make an error. I doubt he can be come an effective second baseman, but if he can prove he's not brutal there, it will help his versatility and chances of getting a role in the big leagues.

    - Matt Hobgood tossed another two shutout innings last night behind Hader. He now has four shutout innings of work and batters are hitting just .154 off him out of relief.

    - Maybe we know why Julio Rodriguez was available for Ronnie Welty afterall. Rodriguez allowed six runs on seven walks and two hits in two and two-third innings of work. Rodriguez has always been a high walk guy, but seven is a lot of guys to walk in two and 2/3 innings.

    Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board

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.