When you think dynamic duos with regard to the Baltimore Orioles, you may think of Adam Jones and Chris Davis batting third and fourth, you might think Zach Britton and Matt Wieters closing out a game in the ninth inning, but those aren’t the names that should come to mind.
The most important duo for the Birds are Manager Buck Showalter and Executive Vice President Dan Duquette.
In their fifth full year of working together, these two continue to impress with their savvy roster moves, their trust of the process, as well as their overall management of the organization. Yesterday’s roster manipulation was just the most recent occurance which they pulled something off that nobody could expect.
Like many, I speculated about the Orioles pending roster moves. My predictions weren’t even close. Nobody’s were.
Nobody could have seen Buck and Duq sending arguably the team’s most consistent starting pitcher to Frederick. Wei-Yin Chen, coming off a stellar, eight-shutout inning performance Monday night, was optioned to the minor leagues to make room for veteran OF Chris Parmalee. Parmalee’s spot on the 40-man roster was freed up by placing second baseman Jon Schoop on the 60-day DL. This move prevented players like David Lough, Steve Pearce or Travis Snider from having to go through waivers, and could have potentially saved their departure from Baltimore.
Not only did this move contribute to the Orioles historic 19-3 burial of the Phillies last night, as Parm stepped in blasting two of the team’s eight homers, but this roster move is proving even more genius the farther we dig into it.
Chen would have been scheduled to pitch Saturday in Toronto against the red-hot Blue Jays. Winners of 11 of their last 13, the Jays have been rolling. They also have dominated against left-handed pitching this year, putting up some gaudy offensive numbers. Not only does this move potentially save a player from the waiver wire, it allows Buck flexibility when it comes to his starting staff this weekend in a pivotal division matchup.
Sure, the extra rest will do Wei-Yin plenty of good, but if he had to make the start Saturday I’m sure health would not have been a factor. Sure, this may have Ublado’s foot injury written all over it, but at the end of the day, this was, without a doubt, the right move for the club.
This sort of next-level thinking is why the Orioles keep putting themselves in positions to succeed. I believe there are few player personnel managers in Major League Baseball that could have pulled this off, but we have the best in the business. It’s no wonder Owner Peter Angelos won’t grant Duq a release out of his contract and let him explore his options in, ironically, Toronto.
Funny how the Baseball God’s always have it all figured out.
There are very few long term risks with this move. Schoop still has the ability to be activated whenever the team deem’s him healthy enough to start a rehab assignment, which is believed to be later this week. Parmalee gets his shot at the Major League level, and did ever he take advantage of the opportunity.
Stepping into the five-hole in the lineup and starting in RF, Parmalee casually went 4-4 with two bombs, showing all of Birdland what he is capable of. He now gets the duration of Chen’s minor league stint as a tryout with the club, if he continues to perform, great, if he doesn’t I’m sure he’ll be in the conversation when Wei-Yin comes back to town.
Duquette and Buck are both the dynamic duo that Baltimore deserves, as well as the dynamic duo that Baltimore needs right now. Their leadership and expertise has provided the O’s with the stability they need from the top, and I do believe that this affects their on field performance.
Guys are being placed in positions that they can succeed, and there are calculated decisions made along the way to ensure that. Chen is getting some extra rest, missing a start against a team that feasts on southpaw’s, and Parmalee getting his opportunity is just the latest example of a tenure of full of excellence.