PART 1: SOME O’S THAT NEED TO GO
I’ll be the first to tell you that Andy MacPhail has given this team direction. The Orioles finished with one less win in 2008 than they did in 2007 but I still feel a lot better about the team’s future than I have in the past five or so years. But some guys need to go before we can continue to move on.
I realize that pitching has hurt the Orioles in their past two seasons. I fully blame the injuries on the pitching staff for the free fall in the latter half of the 2008 season. With your ace Jeremy Guthrie and set up man Jim Johnson riding the bench, how can you expect to win big games?
With that said two pitchers need to go though. We can build with out them through free agency in the off season (which I’ll talk about later in part two).
Jamie Walker: 1-3, 6.87 ERA, 4 Blown Saves
An Orioles Veteran and left handed specialist really did nothing to help the club this year. Jamie would come in to get one out and would ignite the game for the opposing team. Walker was not a threat to left handers, but often times a momentum changer after good starts from the Birds. His role here is no longer needed and the Orioles are paying him $3 million. Time to go.
Daniel Cabrera: 8-10, 5.25 ERA, 11 starts under 6 IP
At the beginning of the season there is no way I could post these comments, but I am here to say that the Daniel Cabrera experiment is over. The guy can throw in the upper 90s, though he didn’t in the latter part of the season. Cabrera can not locate a pitch and it doesn’t matter how fast you throw it any big league hitter can hit a ball right over the plate. Cabrera did a good job adjusting at the beginning part of the season but could never get there again. I don’t think he’s going to make it. He’s got a contract for $2,875,000. Time to go.
No doubt the Orioles offense was strong this year. The team batting average was .267, the O’s drove in 750 this year, with 6 players with 15 or more homeruns. Just by comparison, the Tampa Bay Rays team batting average is .260, they drove in 735 RBIs, and had only 3 players with 15 or more homeruns.
As Andy MacPhail says, its about pitching and defense.
And this guy does not have the defense…
Ramon Hernandez: .257 AVG, 15 HR
The only reason I could see leaving Ramon in the starting lineup is because he hits a homer every now and then. Ramon can not block the plate and allowed runners to score on him countless times this year. He had his fair share of passed balls and I cringed when runners would steal second because if Ramon could make a throw to the bag and not to Adam Jones in centerfield that was an accomplishment. Hernandez never hustled down the line and looked out of shape and lazy. He’s making $7.5 Million. Time to go.
I could put Kevin Millar in this spot and the O’s might get rid of Millar but I like him solely for his spirit around the club house. Millar really struggled getting his bat going this year and it hurt the O’s, but his defense never faded. He picked more balls at firstbase than anyone in the league. I want to keep him but I suppose he could be an honorable mention here.
I just saved you 13,375,000 bucks. Now what?