Orioles Preview 4/27-4/29

Pitching:
Baltimore’s starting pitching hasn’t come by many wins, but they have faired alright.  Millwood pitched a six hit complete game against Seattle on Wednesday, but also collected the 4-1 loss.  Of course, he will be facing some Yankee batters who have owned him over his career, particularly Alex Rodriguez who has hit .429 off Millwood and Nick Swisher who has gone .345 against the righty.  Guthrie has had equally bad luck, giving up only five hits and two walks against the Red Sox on Friday, but taking a no-decision.  Matusz has found a way to win, but with the Orioles bullpen, no lead seems safe.  Matt Albers has given up nine runs over 8.1 innings while walking seven.

Offense:
The Orioles offense has shown some signs of life recently, but is far from formidable.  Nick Markakis, who has his fair share of big hits against the Bombers, has started to heat up bringing his average up to .282 after the last four games.  …

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Curious About Curtis

With Mark Teixeira’s and Nick Johnson’s collective struggles at the plate getting a lot of the Yankee press–along with the success of the starting pitchers–Curtis Granderson’s getting lost in the shuffle. Perhaps that’s a good thing, as he’ll be able to fly under the radar and not come under too much scrutiny...

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Could Howard Deal Impact Jeter Negotiations?

From the AP:

Ryan Howard preferred securing his future in Philadelphia to testing free agency in two years — and boy is he getting his pay day.

The slugging first baseman agreed to a $125 million, five-year contract extension Monday that could keep him with the Phillies until 2017…..

While he has put up monster numbers, averaging...

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Yankees vs. Orioles in the unbalanced schedule era

In light of the Red Sox’s dominance of the Orioles this decade (Sunday night’s loss to Baltimore aside) and the fact that the Yankees embark on the first of 18 against...

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The Great Debate: Closing Remarks (….At Long Last)

Net-net, the 2010 team is better than the 1998 team offensively. Easiest way to demonstrate this? Well, if you read through the lengthy argument here, discussing 2010 versus 2009, I think it’s fairly clear that 2010’s team is better at the plate. Johnson and Granderson compare positively to Matsui and Damon (though plenty of people have let me know, in no uncertain terms, that they think that’s bologna—nevermind the statistics!). Feel free to disagree. But bring some statistics to back you up, would ya? Next, add in a full season of A-Rod (rather than having him on the DL the first month, and a shell of himself for the first month or so after he was back). Finally, just for good measure, slot Brett Gardner in for Melky Cabrera. For those of you who think this isn’t a big difference (or that Melky is better, even), consider this: two weeks ago Gardner took the lead over Melky for career WAR.…

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Curt Schilling-Occupation Foole (part deux)

The always opinionated Curt Schilling was at it again yesterday, this time with our very own Javier Vazquez in his cross hairs. Appearing on ESPN radio’s  Colin Cowherd show yesterday, he made some comments addressing Javier Vazquez’s slow start in pinstripes, and brought up some commonly heard tags...

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Maybe waiting until the contract expires isn’t such a bad idea after all

Of course, as I was heading to HBT to pull Craig Calcaterra’s thoughts (also here, and here, and here), I ran across this from Matthew Pouliot, who seems to be sharing the same thoughts as I am:

Look at the Yankees. Obviously, they have a huge advantage in these circumstances, since they don’t have to worry about being outbid in free agency. But they made no attempt to re-sign Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera last winter. Their policy probably cost them some money when they had to re-sign Jorge Posada as a free agent after his career-year in 2007, but it’s worked out well overall and the team has fewer bad contracts now than probably at any point in the past 15 years.

It’s something the Phillies should have looked at very carefully before committing an additional $125 million to Ryan Howard on Monday. Howard was already signed through the end of next year, and it’s hard to imagine that the Phillies are saving any money over what it would have taken to sign him a year from now.

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Minor League “Week” in Review

Of course, as their record shows, all is not roses down in Pennsylvania.

  • Jesus Montero is probably the name everyone is watching.  He has had an up and down season so far, but may be hitting his stride. Right now his line is .237/.308/.407 with two homers, four doubles and nine RBIs.  He has walked six times and struck out twelve times.
  • Reegie Corona has played in every game for Scranton, but has little to show for it.  He is hitting just .169 with an OBP of .246.  He has hit one triple and stolen two bases.
  • Jon Weber has also started off the season slowly.  He is hitting .160/.232/.200 with one triple and four RBIs.  He was also caught stealing once.
  • Romulo Sanchez has struggled on the mound.  He is 0-1 with a 8.50 ERA.  While he has struck out fourteen hitters, he has walked thirteen over his eighteen innings of work.

Trenton Thunder

The Thunder is also sitting at 9-8 as they kick off a three game set against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Tuesday.

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