Thursday, January 29, 2009

Base Hits: 1/29/2009

Some transaction news:

SS Brandon Fahey has signed a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. It's the end of the Fahey era... Fahey seemed like a good guy and a team player but he couldn't hit his way out of a wet paper bag and his glove wasn't nearly as good as advertised. In fact, he was surprisingly bad in the field. Good luck to Toronto as they try to find value in another one of our cast-offs.

Oscar Salazar cleared waivers and was invited to Spring Training. I'm not sure why so man fans thought some other team was going to swoop in and claim a soon-to-be 31 year old career minor leaguer but I think the fact Salazar cleared waivers speaks volumes on his ability.

Non-roster invitees to watch: Jake Arrieta, Brad Hennessey, Chris Tillman, Adam Donachie, Matt Wieters, Blake Davis, Chris Gomes, Donnie Murphy and Brandon Snyder. More on this later...


Cal Ripken, Jr gives Texas SS cum 3B Michael Young advice about making the switch to the hot corner.


An article on former Oriole first-rounder Adam Loewen and his quest to switch from pitching to hitting this season. To quote Silky Johnston, "I don't even know you, but I hate you. I hate your guts. I hope all the bad things in life happen to you and only to you. "


It's been pretty standard to be critical about the Baltimore Orioles' lack of focus on being "fan-friendly" under the Peter Angelos regime and admittedly most of it has been valid. But I can't say enough about the Junior Orioles Dugout program. I have signed my son up for this for the last 4 years and their customer service for this program is top notch. They always have the information available shortly after New Year's Day (if not sooner), the price is reasonable (especially compared to similar programs run by other teams) and my son looks forward to getting his package every year. A very well run program.

Even though fan relations have changed for the better under Andy MacPhail, this is a program that was well-run before he got here.


Seattle may soon have two former Oriole lefties in their rotation. The Cubs sent recently acquired Garrett Olson and IF Ronny Cedeno to Seattle for RP Aaron Heilman.

Heilman was acquire at the winter meetings in a three team trade that sent J.J. Putz to the Mets. Let's break it down...

Seattle traded RP J.J. Putz, RP Sean Green, IF Luis Valbeuna and OF Jeremy Reed for OF Endy Chavez, IF Mike Carp, OF Franklin Gutierrez, OF Ezequiel Carrera, SP Maikel Cleto, IF Ronny Cedeno and SP Garrett Olson. That trade looks a bit better for the Mariners now.

The Cubs ultimately traded OF Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno for...Aaron Heilman and Class A RP Henry Williamson. Wow. All that for Aaron Heilman? OK....

On another note, the trade is great for Garrett Olson. He'll have a better shot at making the starting rotation and Safeco Field is a pitcher's park. If Olson is ever going to develop into an effective major league starter, there are worse places to pitch than Safeco.


Koji Uehara is reportedly hard at work developing new pitches, including a changeup. (If you can't read Japanese, click here...) In Japan, Uehara got by mainly with his fastball and fork ball, with the occasional cutter and "shuuto" (whatever that is). He is working on a changeup and has reportedly developed a new "spike-curvey" pitch, a curve that he throws while gripping the ball with his middle finger only. Perhaps he should call it The Bird?

Uehara is working out with Houston infielder Kaz Matusui, trying to adjust to the MLB strike zone, adjusting to the MLB ball and working on his stamina. It doesn't appear that Uehara will fail due to lack of preparation...

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