Monday, August 3, 2009

Base Hits: 8/3/2009

OK, let's cover the big story first. Melvin Mora is angry that he's been benched during 3 of the last 4 games, spouted off about it and may be on his way out of town.

Some Mora quotes:

"I don't appreciate the disrespect, because I've been playing hurt for a guy who won't respect you. I don't deserve it...Whatever he wants to do, he can do it. But like I told you before, I need to have my respect. This is not a guy who just came to the Orioles. This is a guy who's been here for nine years busting his butt for the organization....

"Don't give me the excuse that I cannot beat John Smoltz, that I cannot beat Josh Beckett or I cannot beat [Jon] Lester or I cannot beat Pedro Martinez or I cannot beat nobody here because I've been here for nine years...All those guys in the [American League] East, they know me. They know me and you don't make the All-Star team for nothing. You deserve respect. That's the only thing I can say."

First, I'll continue to beat a dead horse and point back to the Oscar Salazar trade (hi frostking...). On July 19th, the day Salazar was traded away, Mora had a slash line of .272/.322/.333. Salazar was moved due to a need to make room on the 25-man roster. Now, MacPhail got value back for Salazar which was admirable but he got value back at a position that the Orioles have some depth at in the minors. Instead, he could have cut loose Mora, given Wigginton the starting job at 3B and kept Salazar, giving Oscar more ABs between, thirdbase, firstbase and DH. (Mora has been even worse over the past 3-4 weeks...)

Now, they likely find themselves in a position where Mora will be released anyway and there is no chance to find out if salazar could have been a good stopgap at firstbase/DH in 2010.

Second, aside from the Marlins' Emilio Bonafacio, Melvin Mora is the worst third baseman in baseball. The worst. And he feels entitled to play regardless of performance. The Orioles, in some manner, showed respect for his tenure by keeping him on the team and let him play out his contract. They were not bringing him back next year. They threw him a bone by keeping him on the roster.

The Orioles seems to understand the concept of a sunk cost (see Jay Gibbons) and you would like to see them take some non-traditional directions as they move forward in the rebuilding process. Now Mora is forcing their hand. It's timeo for Melmo to go.

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I have little comment on the Boston series except to reiterate that Andy MacPhail did a lousy job at assembling a repsectable starting rotation to start the season. Jason Berken is getting his brains beat out because he was not ready for the majors and is only here because the Orioles had no other options.

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Speaking of guys arriving ahead of schedule, Brian Matusz is set to make his major league debut with a Tuesday start in Detroit.

While this is yet another move that smacks of desperation, I feel OK about this. This is not like rushing up a 20-year-old Hayden Penn or Jason Berken who had very little on his minor league resume to recommend promotion. Matusz is a polished college pitcher and has dominated every level of the minors. He's worthy of a shot, at least for two or three starts. I don't get the impression that he will be in over his head.

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The Arizona Diamondbacks are reportedly pursuing former Oriole hurler Daniel Cabrera.

Cabrera's career 5.09 ERA looks good right about now.

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This is interesting. Liz pitches well for the Tides but Chris Waters has been recalled to Baltimore according to the note at the end of the article. Waters for Berken perhaps?

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Work and personal life will be insane this week...see you next Monday?

3 comments:

Crys said...

I can't believe Bergesen is out now. Do we have a pitching curse on us or something? Let's hope Matusz proves promising. Thanks for keeping us updated with so much good info!!

FrostKing said...

I laughed audibly when I saw that (hi frostking...). I just never though that Salazar was more than around a 1 win player, so while he does have some value and the entire situation may not have been handled completely optimally, I'm not losing any sleep over it.

They should be able to find a guy not too disimilar from Salazar to play first next year just hanging around in Triple-A somewhere - remember that Oscar himself was available to all teams for free this spring when he was placed on waivers to be sent down to the minors.

And if getting Meredith made Andy comfortable enough to do the Sherrill deal them I'm even more fine with "losing" the Salazar-Meredith trade (which I'll agree they did).

Heath said...

Crys - thanks for going back and leaving all the comments! God love ya!

And on Sherrill, I loved the guy but he's probably as good as he's going to get...and I think Jim Johnson makes a good replacement. He got us a 3B back...now we jsut have to hope.

frostking - yeah, had to acknowledge you there...you're probably sick of hearing Oscar is all my rationales.

But the Orioles will have to get creative to fill the corner spots next year. Maybe not with Salazar types but there are no primo free agents at either corner infield position for 2010...