A possible sweep by the Orioles, yes the Orioles, is on the verge of happening. At this time last year this would be though of as crazy. If we can come out of 2011 with a winning record ill consider it a godsend. What can we salvage from this rare losing season(In the last decade)?
1. We need a Bona-fide lead off man.
2. An outfield full of slow aging players wont cut it
3. Injuries are a part of the game. We need to be prepared
4. If we play a rookie, make sure its not a MLB AAA yo-yo game
5. You can t play the AL style long ball if you don thave an AL power threat
6. Bobby Abreu is a great 3rd slot hitter. 5 years ago.
7. Paying 6 million dollars for a RP doesnt make them All-Star quality
8. A rookie who pitches 5 1/3 innings of 2 run ball is better than a Veteran who pitches 3 innings of 9 run ball
9. A player usually deosnt improve upon a career year the following season
10. When a guy plays his entire career without getting a hit, he generally won thelp spark your offense
Lets dissect each of these:
1. Aybar is a fast guy and a great hitter. He can hit for a very high average and is a legit speed threat. But expecting him to fill one of the greatest lead-off catalysts (In his time) shoes may be a bit much. Ths off season should be one where the FO looks to find a proven lead off guy.
2. We are headed in the right direction with this. The ultra speedy Bourjos made my jaw drop today with his amazing defense. An outfield of Abre, Rivera, and Hunter would have been the best outfield 5 years ago. Hunter still is fast for his age but he is pedestrian compared to Bourjos. Rivera and Abreu are pedestrian compared to Hunter. Yeah thats bad. If we can rid of Rivera or Abreu and sign a speedy outfielder, we'd be in great shape.
3. Depth used to be one of the angels greatest strengths, but when you see McAnulty in place of a fallen player, you know your stretched thin. I applaud Napoli for being a solid 1st baseman but if he wasnt able to convert what would happen? Quinlan? Oh god please no
4. I'm placing money on Bourjos being here to stay. Moving Torii to right just for the remainder of the season isn't realistic so i have a good feeling he will be here next year to. But in B Woods case he went up down up down up down up down. This could have damaged his developement and could be the very reason he is on the bench. If he were called up only once, maybe twice, i think he would have at least a .220 average withmaybe 7 hr. Not very good but a vast improvement of what he is now.
5. Morales was our only power threat in the lineup. Maybe Napoli with a full season could pull off 30 hr to. But the injury to Kmo made it obvious that one power bat cant keep a club above water. This team has won again and again without a power bat but Soscia and crew are playing the Longball instead of their famous small ball. Sign a power hitter if you insist on playing that type of game
6. This goes along with number 5. A guy like Abreu at this poin tin his career isnt the best option in the three hole. I think Napoli would be better. I know this is kinda a stretch but i believe the only way he is goin gto become a clutch hitter is if he starts being placd in clutch situations on a regular basis. Hey, Abreu aint doing a helluva job either.
7. Along with bench depth, the Halos Bullpen was a brickwall. If you were trailing after the 6th, you might as well quit. Now its more like if you can make it over the 7 quality innings by a starter, you can win with the lackluster efforts of the bullpen. Paying guys over 5 million dollars to do a mediocre job isnt logical. Notice how Thompson, Rodriguez, Jepsen, Bulger have done better jobs than Rodney, Fuentes, Shields. Wierd, Half the Price twice the quality! Sign a cheap bullpen arm or two. If they faulter, your money wasnt wasted. If they do well, you got more bang for your buck.
8. This didnt make sense to me. The rookie Bell was pitching a decent game but got pulled out after a walk. The All- star Santana had to give up 9 runs before Soscia got the point. Uhmmmm not much i can say about this. I say sign a middle of the rotation guy just for safety reasons. if one guy gets hurt, we have anohter guy to come in.
9. I think we came into this season expecting Aybar to hit .330, Kendrick .320, and Abreu .300. These guys had awesome years last year but returned to the norm this year. The FO wasnt anticipating this and it bit them in the butt.
10. This is self explanatary. Im sorry Aldridge you dont belong in the majors. Dont get me wrong im sure your a great guy and im psyched you finally got a hit but you are in no way a spark to even the Mariners offense. Sorry.
Well I hope the FO learns from this season an ddoes things to improve in 2011. The signing of Crawford could fill many of these voids but im not sure we have the funds. If we cant sign him then at least sign a cheap leadoff man. Im sure aybar will be a great number 1 hitter but he needs to be eased into the roll, not thown in there. If we cant sign a catalyst im sure Aybar will steadily improve but he wont be a Cataylst style player untill later on. maybe the end of 2011 or the begining of 2012. when it comes to Outfield speed and defense, Crawford again would fill this role nicely but again he might be to much. If nothing can be done i guess we can suffice with Abreu or Rivera in left. Another arm shouldnt be hard to find this offseason and if Santana is once again on the decline then we need one. Unless Kazmir can find his old self, our rotation could be shaky. If Piniero can repitch his 2010 numbers without injury in 2011, then we have a rock solid 1-2-3 punch. The other two may be a question mark. I hope santana is just going through a rough patch and not a season long slump. Now that everyone is playing under their 2009 numbers i think the FO will realize that we may have to go outside the organization to make a serious run at 2011 and years to come.