Friday, June 18, 2010

The Story of Scott Moore (or Why Can't These Guys Get At Bats?)

A while back, I wrote a post about how Andy MacPhail has acquired minor league corner infielders and lauding him for producing Rhyne Hughes out of that mix.

Now, Hughes is back in Norfolk but another guy, Scott Moore is here.

The quick background on Moore:

Moore was a 1st Round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2002 and was eventually dealt to the Cubs. The Orioles acquired him from the Cubs for SP Steve Trachsel in 2007. Moore played in Baltimore that season posting a .622 OPS over 17 games.

It looked like Moore would get a shot to play in Baltimore in 2008 but it was not to be. Injuries limited him to 78 games in Norfolk and he only got 9 at bats in Baltimore. 2009 followed with still more injuries.

So in 2010, with the Orioles desperate for bodies, they called Moore up from Norfolk and started letting him play...a little. Moore started out 0-9 over his first 7 games but then the O's started giving him more regular playing time.From June 2nd to June 13th, he went 9 for 24 while posting a .375/.423/.542 line. Then, inexplicably, he hasn't gotten a start since. (OK, not completely inexplicably...he rolled an ankle before Wednesday's game.)

Why would a team that is so desperate for offense leave a guy with a hot bat on the bench? Why would the O's take a 26-year-old player, a former 1st round draft pick, a guy who can play all over the infield, and leave him in the dugout while the corpses of Garrett Atkins and Julio Lugo drag their undead carcasses to the plate night after night? Are the vets going to get better? Do they really give the team a better shot to win in 2010? What about 2011? The season is long lost. Why?

I'm not saying Moore will be a good player...but could he be average? Absolutely. Could he be a late bloomer ala Jayson Werth? Perhaps. But we'll never know while he's on the bench.

Aside from that, couldn't this team still use Rhyne Hughes? Hughes is wearing out lefty pitchers in AAA and his overall MLE numbers would give him a .710 OPS. Again, not great but he's still only 26. He just might get a little better. He's arguably already a better option than Atkins.

The Orioles have two of the worst position players in baseball getting regular at bats. Atkins is OPSing .575 and Lugo is OPSing .495. There is nothing to lose by jettisoning these guys and giving a younger player a shot.

The one upshot to losing like this is that there is no longer anything to lose. You can try anything at this point. Why not make a bold move? (Hell, giving Moore and Hughes more ABs wouldn't even be considered bold at this point...just for this organization.)

Give the younger guys a chance to play regularly; they'll improve the team this season and you'll find out if you have any diamonds in the rough. In 2010, anything else is ludicrous.


The Oriole Way said...

I certainly do not disagree with your thesis, but Moore does not look like he is capable of playing second base to me. I think that's what is keeping Lugo out there. Or Samuel is hoping he'll set the record for most at-bats to start a season without an extra base hit. Could be either one.

DempseysArmy said...

True, I left out defense out of the conversation, kind of on purpose. Moore is not and may never be a good defender in the middle of the infield but I think you could trade some defense for offense at this point. He wouldn't be worse than Wiggy.

And I'll bet he plays first base just fine.

The Oriole Way said...

I agree on both counts. Hopefully with the retun of the DH this week he'll get some more playing time.