Tuesday, October 21, 2008

O.G. Orioles...This Ain't Pretty

Reading this article by Matthew Namee at The Hardball Times got me thinking. Namee hypothetically returns all MLB players to the original organizations they signed with and takes a look at the rosters. He only covered the teams that could field competent major league rosters so, of course, the Orioles were left out of the article. You can guess what comes next.

If you aren't eating anything, take a look at the 2008/2009 Baltimore Orioles 25 man roster consisting only of players originally signed by the club.

The Starting Lineup

C Matt Wieters
1B Jayson Werth
2B Brian Roberts
SS Augie Ojeda
3B Brandon Fahey
RF Nick Markakis
CF Willie Harris
LF Nolan Reimold
DH Gregg Zaun

Wieters would have been rushed to the bigs and along with Roberts and Markakis would be the bright spots in the lineup. Fahey would be forced to play third and former catching prospect (and current Phillies outfielder) Werth would be converted to firstbase.

I figured that the organization would rush Reimold to the majors in lieu of trotting out Alex Ochoa in left. Current Nationals centerfielder Harris would be back in black and orange. Ditto at DH for Rick Dempsey's nephew.

The Bench

C Eli Whiteside
Util Jerry Hairston
Util Mike Fontenot

Whiteside would be the only available option for a backup catcher. Eeesh. Hairston could be the fourth outfielder and Fontenot would be a capable infield backup.

The Rotation

SP Mike Mussina
SP Erik Bedard
SP Daniel Cabrera
SP John Maine
SP Garrett Olson

It's not a great rotation but, given good health, it's better than we have right now! Brian Matusz would still be waiting in the minors for a shot to crack this rotation too. John Maine would be competent in the AL but not great and Mussina would be wrapping up an illustrious Oriole career.

The Bullpen

RHP Jim Johnson
RHP Hayden Penn
LHP John Parrish
RHP Chris Britton
RHP Radhames Liz
RHP Jim Hoey
LHP Arthur Rhodes
RHP Chris Ray

Liz and Penn take the Albers\Johnson route to the bigs and are probably better for it. But overall, the pen is shaky outside of Johnson and Ray. Welcome back Arthur Rhodes!

In conclusion, it's just another example of the Oriole's poor drafting over the years. The inability to develop corner infielders and corner outfielders is especially glaring since those prosepcts are usually to easiest to find!

Also, only two players on this list were signed from outside of the U.S. (Cabrera and Liz). That will have to change if the Orioles hope to return to contention.

Tomorrow, a check in with some of those players that we hope will change that!

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