Friday, July 31, 2009

Base Hits: 7/31/2009

Reaction to the George Sherrill Trade:

Rob Neyer of ESPN:

I'm not going to criticize the Dodgers for trading Josh Bell. Who knows? Maybe Casey Blake will live forever.

What I will do is send up a big hip-hip-hooray for the Orioles, because the single best thing any rebuilding manager can do, ever, is trade a relief pitcher in late July for a couple of solid prospects.

Let me repeat for anyone not paying attention: a relief pitcher....

If I were an Orioles fan, I would be organizing a party right now.

Evan Brunell of The Hardball Times:

The Orioles won the deal by far, however. Yes, Sherrill is a very good left-handed reliever. However, he's already 32 and is about to get extremely expensive in his second year of arbitration. Also, did I mention his career high for innings pitched is 53.1? For that, the Dodgers gave up someone who is certain to anchor the Orioles' order in a few years and an intriguing arm....

The Orioles did very well here, while the Dodgers clearly overpaid...

Matt Pouliot of NBC Sports:

So much for the thought that the Orioles would have to be overwhelmed to move their closer...

(Josh) Bell isn't the problem...Johnson is the weak link here. The Orioles should have insisted on a better second prospect than the 21-year-old. It'd be very disturbing if they let the fact that his father, Dave, was a former Oriole influence their thinking here...

...I think the Dodgers did quite well here...

Keith Law of ESPN:

The main return for Baltimore is third baseman Josh Bell, who alone is probably worth more in asset value than a good but sub-Joe Nathan, 60-inning-a-year reliever with two years of control left. Bell is a strong, athletic switch-hitter with ridiculous bat speed from the left side -- so much that his bat might be in and out of the zone too quickly. He has improving power that probably is above-average to plus in the future. He's a little rough at third but projects to stay at the position, and he has the athleticism to be above-average there with more work....

The second player Baltimore acquired, right-hander Steve Johnson, has a solid to average fastball that will touch 92 with a fringe to average changeup and a below average to average breaking ball. But Johnson has a long arm action; he shows the ball to the center fielder, pronates his forearm and comes around with a "pie-thrower" action that really looks like it's costing him command. He's a local kid and the son of former Orioles pitcher and current Orioles broadcaster Dave Johnson, so there's some karmic value there, but he looks more like a good organizational pitcher than a prospect right now.

Drew Forrester of WNST:

They’ll survive without Sherrill, obviously. I wonder, though, did the O’s inquire about Cliff Lee before the Indians dealt him to the Phillies for a couple of decent prospects and some towels? Was there ever a consideration to approach the A’s about Matt Holliday and use him as a DH and 4th outfielder?...

Selling off good players is what the Pirates do. And we all know they stink....

I wanted to be a seller by jettisoning the scrubs, not the good players.

Good teams acquire good players at the deadline.

Bad teams trade good players at the deadline.

R.J. Anderson of

In Bell, the Orioles receive a 22-year-old switch-hitting third baseman with impressive power potential. His ISO in Double-A this season is .203, but there are some questions as to whether he’s going to stick at third for the long haul or move to a corner – either first or left/right field. Bell has had issues with strikeouts in the past which reached their apex in 2008. His walk rate has grown impressive and his strikeout numbers are down for this year, so he’s definitely an interesting player to watch for in the next few years....

The two seem like a nice coup by the Orioles in exchange for a two years and a third of Sherrill as they continue to build with impressive young talent.

Frostking of Camden Crazies:

I have mild concerns about Bell sticking at third long-term, but if he keeps hitting this well then there’s a possibility that he’ll begin 2010 as the Orioles starting third-baseman. Johnson is pretty good as a throw-in and might develop into an interesting arm. I don’t immediately love the deal, but I sure like it and it was the right thing to do. There will be talk about who takes over as closer, but given the team’s record I don’t think that really matters right now - a lot of fans (this one included) will certainly miss seeing Flat Breezy coming out from the pen though. Not a steal (the O’s come out maybe $1-3 M ahead), but Andy MacPhail once again moves the team closer to contention.

neal s at The Loss Column:

I think we’ll see Bell here either in late 2010 or 2011 at the latest — and he’ll be here as a third baseman. You can book that.

Johnson’s harder to project, but if he keeps doing what he’s doing I can see him making a bid as a back-rotation guy in maybe 2011 or 2012.

On paper this looks like another MacPhail winner. I’ll miss Sherrill, but I’ll also wish him the best out in LA. It’ll be nice to watch him pitch in October.

Cliff Corcoran from

The reason the Orioles should be clicking their heels over this deal, and Dodgers fans should hot under the collar, is Josh Bell. He's not true blue-chipper, but as a 22-year-old switch-hitting third baseman who was hitting .296/.386/.497 in Double-A this season, he has a high ceiling and fills a big hole in their organization. Bell's defense at the hot corner could use some work, but he's already shown an ability to improve in the field.

On the chat rooms, comment sections and Twitter, the casual fan base is split between hating the deal and loving the deal. That's understandable since Sherrill has become a fan favorite in Baltimore but I love the move. It made the team younger and addressed an organizational need.


The Baltimore Orioles are 14-24 against the AL East. But they are 30-33 against the rest of the league. We're getting close guys/ As bad as the pitching has been, we are nearly a .500 team outside of the AL East.


Patrick Sullivan of The Baseball Analysts thinks the Orioles are close to competing in the AL East:

Given their youth, Baltimore might consider tacking on a free agent to the rotation. They will also have to cobble together a bullpen. But as it stands right now this Orioles starting staff looks like it will be able to post a season's worth of above average pitching in 2010 and quite a bit better than that in 2011 and out. When you combine this with their offensive nucleus, the Orioles appear positioned to make the moves necessary to put a contender on the field.


Bergey's on the DL!

What good is having Matt Wieters on the team is he can't heal the sick and make the lame pitch again?


Speaking of Wieters, his 40 games in the wilderness is over. Time for the miracles. Wieters has hit .271/.320/.392 but has hit .423/.444/.462 in the last 7 games so he's stepping it up for August.


Cal Ripken Jr. will be building more youth ball parks in Baltimore and one will be something special:

The former Orioles great plans to build five youth ballparks - including one at the site of the former Memorial Stadium.

Ripken's plan is to turn the little-used field at the stadium site into a multipurpose, artificial turf sports complex.

God bless Cal Ripken. Baseball at the Memorial Stadium site will continue.


Stacey said...

Shocking that Drew Forrester has an issue with this trade.

DempseysArmy said...

Yeah...I let his words and history speak for themselves there...

Crys said...

I don't mean this in a bad way, but, um, has anyone else besides me seen Sherrill pitch? Is that really as good as it gets when it comes to a closer these days? I haven't seen that many games this season, so I must be really missing something. Seems like the Os did the right thing with this trade, but what do I know. :-)