Monday, September 22, 2008

Five Big Disappointments of 2008

1. Adam Loewen as a Pitcher

Loewen's career as a pitcher is over. He will attempt to come back as a hitter but his value to the organization is greatly diminished and perhaps is now nil. A guy who was thought to finally develop into a solid big league pitcher in 2008 is now lost for good.

2. Nobody Could Play Shortstop

I was suspect of Luis Hernandez before the season but even I didn't imagine he would fail so spectacularly with his bat and with his glove. Brandon Fahey gave no relief. The Warehouse ran out of patience with Freddie Bynum. By the end of the year, an old defensive specialist (Juan Castro) and a utility infielder with a shaky glove and an average (at best) bat (Alex Cintron) were splitting time at short.

Add to this that there are no prospects ready to step up and that the free agent pool for shortstops is very shallow, it looks like more of the same in 2009.

3. Nobody Could Help Jeremy Guthrie in the Rotation

Loewen went down. Neither Olson nor Liz was able to step up to be a serviceable starter. Ditto for Brian Burress. The cupboard is nearly bare as far as the rotation is concerned.

4. AAA Prospects

Few of the advanced prospects from Norfolk contributed to the big club. Jim Johnson and Jim Miller were notable exceptions.

Scott Moore and Mike Constanzo had down years. Hayden Penn continued his struggles and got injured again.

Again, the upper tier of our farm system offers little hope.

5. Matt Albers Injury

Out of all the candidates at the time, Matt Albers looked like he was best equipped to take over for Steve Trachsel in the O's rotation. Unfortunately, he got injured right about that time and we'll have to wait until at least Spring Training to see if he's capable of grabbing a starting role in 2009.

Dishonorable Mentions -

Troy Patton Injury

Before the season, he was a dark horse candidate for the rotation. We'll have to see if he ever returns to form after shoulder surgery.

Brian Burres -

While I thought he was better suited to a relief role, he did not perform well while starting or coming out of the pen.

Ramon Hernandez -

He came to Spring Training in shape and with a new focus. He never broke out of his early season slump and had a very mediocre year. Disappointment tempered by impending arrival of Matt Wieters.

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