When the Orioles first acquired Felix Pie from the Chicago Cubs this past offseason, I remember saying to myself, “Hmmm…..the experiment begins.” This is all the former Cubs’ top outfield prospect was when the O’s wished to add him to the roster. The idea was simple: Take a guy with plenty of potential and see if he works out in a new home. If he succeeds, then we have an outfielder for years to come. If he fails, then we can turn to either Lou Montanez or Nolan Reimold, two prospects known for tearing up minor league pitching.
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Now 17 games into the season, we as fans watch on as the process unfolds. We see Pie stride out into left field, attempting to do his best to prove to Orioles’ management that he is “the guy” for the future. Instead of impressing, though, he just appears to fail miserably. Looking back over the last few weeks, we see Pie look lost in left field, taking horrific angles on fly balls and simply watching as line drives fly by. Moving to the plate, he seems to come as advertised: He can hit minor league pitching, but when it comes to the pros, the guy is a bust. At least that’s what I got from Cubs’ fans when I asked about him after the deal was made.
Felix had his moments, though. His first homer as an Oriole against the Rangers, a couple of two hit nights, and a few leaping grabs as he races towards the left field line. However, one thing is known throughout the organization. It can be seen through both the fans disgust and the lack of performance. Felix Pie’s time is slowly, but surely, coming to a close.
The real question, though, is when. When will the team decide that the future is currently raking at Triple-A Norfolk instead of inside Camden Yards’ walls? The true destiny of the Orioles’ left field situation lies within Nolan Reimold, someone who has done all he can to deserve a Major League call up. Looking at the situation as a whole, people keep wondering why Reimold did not begin the year with the big league club. The answer is simple, he has options; Pie did not. Thus, the experiment was born, and now, it is slowly dying away. What was once potential now looks to be one of the bigger prospect busts as of late. As O’s fans, though, we must always look at the bright side. Reimold is waiting in the wings, and it’s about time he got his chance to succeed.
So how long do I believe it will take? I say two weeks. Two weeks and this entire debate can be put to rest. For all we know, it may be sooner than this. Pie is currently hitting for a .163 average, while Reimold is hitting .423 at the highest level of the farm system. So, to conclude, the Felix Pie experiment is almost over. We just have to wait it out.