Friday, August 31, 2012

Free-Swinging Orioles Making History Again

This Oriole team is looking to make some history by breaking a 14 season winning streak and has a chance to even make the playoffs. But this team is a mortal lock to create even more team history by, for the third straight season, breaking the franchise single season record for striking out.

The 1964 team struck out 1019 times and the 1968 team matched that total. That record stood for more than 40 years but along came the 2010 club who shattered that record with 1056. The 2011 team pushed that record out even further with 1120 whiffs.

But this team already has 1046 strikeouts as a unit and is hurtling for last season's total with great velocity.

Here's a graphical breakdown of the team's strikeout leaders:

This team is striking out over 8 times a game. No Oriole team has ever averaged 7 in a game before.

There's really no great conclusion to this outside of "Damn, this team strikes out a lot!". Just an observation.

Breathe Deep Baltimore at OPACY, September 22

I don't post a lot of press releases but this event is for a great cause and sounds like a cool experience. Check it out.

Lung Cancer Survivors, Loved Ones to Gather for LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep Baltimore Walk to Stop Nation’s Number One Cancer Killer

BALTIMORE (August 30, 2012) – Hundreds of people whose lives have been impacted by lung cancer will gather in Oriole Park at Camden Yards for LUNGevity Foundation’s Breathe Deep Baltimore 5K Walk/Fun Run Saturday, September 22, 2012. The only event of its kind to take place inside the Baltimore Orioles’ home stadium, check-in begins at 9 a.m.; the program, 10 a.m.; and the walk/run, 10:10 am– rain or shine. LUNGevity, the nation’s largest lung cancer-focused nonprofit, hosts the event to raise awareness and funds for earlier detection and more effective treatments of lung cancer.

Fun activities for kids, a video game theatre, prizes and free refreshments, and more will be available for participants to enjoy. Retired Baltimore Orioles catcher (1989-1998) and Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Chris Hoiles is participating in the day’s festivities. The walk will take place on the field, with many pre-event activities, on the stadium’s concourse level. The day will include a silent auction and raffle.

Breathe Deep Baltimore Web Site

The Breathe Deep walks and runs are LUNGevity’s nationwide signature events, launched by the Foundation to raise public awareness and critical funds needed for lung cancer research. Through LUNGevity’s expansive grassroots network, communities, celebrities, corporate executives and elected officials across the country are coming together to stand up to the nation’s number one cancer killer. LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep events offer a place for those impacted by the disease to share, hope and heal.
Lung cancer takes more lives annually than breast, prostate, colon, and pancreatic cancers combined. In fact, with one in 14 Americans diagnosed in his or her lifetime, the number of people who die from lung cancer is equal to having a jumbo jet fall from the sky every single day. More than half the people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked or have already quit smoking. There is no widely available and cost effective early diagnostic test, and only 16 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive five or more years post-diagnosis.

LUNGevity Foundation has the largest grants award program for lung cancer research among lung cancer nonprofit organizations in the United States. In the past two years alone, LUNGevity has awarded over $5 million to the most promising lung cancer research projects. In addition to funding research, the Foundation has a robust national grassroots network, with events happening across the country. The organization also has the largest online support community for lung cancer patients and their loved ones.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Curse of the Andino Is Real After All

OK, so maybe I was wrong.

At the end of last season, when the Orioles won their 69th game and knocked the Red Sox from the playoffs, I was not one of the Baltimore fans giddy with delight. The game was met with excitement and hailed as one of the biggest victories for he franchise in years. I did not agree.

I thought it was a real loser's mentality to get excited about knocking one division rival from the playoffs just so another could go. It seemed pointless to get so worked up about a team with 69 wins and the prospect of Tampa Bay in the ploayoffs versus Boston. It was just sad.

But my biggest objection to the celebration was that the Boston defeat would have no lasting effects on the Red Sox franchise and they would remain favorites to win the AL East for years to come. Evidently, I was wrong.

The knee-jerk reaction to the Red Sox collapse is that this will be a devastating blow to the organization. A death blow. A failure that will result in a changing of the guard and a decline of the team into mediocrity. I would love for that to be the case but that's probably not going to happen.

It's looking more and more like it was a death blow. And the Red Sox have been the embodiment of mediocrity this season.

Boston fans are not clamoring for the heads of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein. Nor is the Boston press. While acknowledging that this collapse was really, really horrible, measured responses are being seen in most corners. No one in the Red Sox management seems to be in danger of being forced out.

This was true. The Boston press, the fans (in general) and the Red Sox ownership all said that scapegoats were not being sized up. But within 2 weeks of me writing the above opinions, Terry Francona was fired, Theo Epstein was off to Chicago and fried chicken-gate had been exposed by the Boston Globe. As it turned out, the Red Sox were ripe for the plucking in terms of a management overhaul. The Orioles had but to push the first domino.

Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, John Lester, Dustin Pedroia, Clay Bucholz and Jacoby Ellsbury are all coming back.

The 2010 version of Beckett came back. Crawford couldn't stay on the field. Youkilis is in Chicago. Gonazalez is having his worst season since he became a regular. Lester and Pedroia are having the worst seasons of their careers. Bucholz has been not great shakes. Ellsbury...see Carl Crawford.

And now Beckett, Crawford and Gonzalez find themselves with the Dodgers.

They have prospects popping up all over the end of year Top 20 lists over at Baseball America.

Only Will Middlebrooks contributed in any meaningful way.

This is not the end of the Boston Red Sox. Win or lose, they will fill some holes, resign some guys, heal their injured and be right back among the favorites to take the division in 2012.

They brought David Ortiz back. But their signings of Kelly Shoppach, Nick Punto, Aaron Cook, Vincente Padilla and Cody Ross did not exactly set the league on fire.

So it appears that Robert Andino's hit was a desperate stab in the dark that hit its mark with deadly accuracy. The Red Sox went from World Series favorites to full rebuilding mode in less than 11 months.

Oriole Magick, indeed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baltimore Acquires Joe Sauders from Arizona

The Baltimore Orioles acquired starting pitcher Joe Saunders from the Arizona Diamondbacks for reliever Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named later. The Diamondbacks also sent some cash to offset the $1 million plus still owed to Saunders for the rest of the 2012 season.

Lindstrom had been acquired before the season along with Jason Hammel from the Rockies in the Jeremy Guthrie trade. Lindstrom pitched well for the O's but a stretch on the DL between May 10th and June 27th had limited him to 36.1 innings for the club. He was the second highest paid player in the bullpen (behind Kevin Gregg) making $3.6 million in 2012. Although he has been valuable, if the Orioles have any strength to deal from it is within their relief corp and it was unlikely that the team would excercise his hefty $4 million option for 2013 ($200,000 buyout). This is not a whole lot for the club to give up in terms of relative value.

Saunders is kind of a left-handed version of Jeremy Guthrie. He's a low-strikeout, low-walk guy who gives up his fair share of homers but seems to survive with a middling ground ball rate and eats up the innings. Indeed, Saunders routinely tops 180 innings pitched and there is value in a slightly above average starter who can provide that number of innings. (Yes, these are the exact things I used to say about Jeremy Guthrie...) Now, there's no guarantee that Saunders will actually be an above average starter coming in from the NL West to the AL East but he should at least approach averagish results. That's more than we can say about some pitchers who have been starting games for Baltimore over the last couple of months.

While it's not exactly a world changer for the team, any move that keeps the likes of Dana Eveland and Tommy Hanson a step further away from the mound at Camden Yards is a good thing. And I like bolstering the starting rotation this way better than trading prospects for Joe Blanton.

Hard to get too excited but I think Saunders helps this team on its improbable wild card chase in September.

A Few Quick Pictures...

...of some of the Norfolk Tides players from Tuesday's game. Some of these guys ended up in Baltimore this weekend and helped the team win the Toronto series.

Tides vs. Braves

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From Jeff Conine to Chris Davis: A Recent History of Offensive Futility at First Base

For more than 10 years, the Baltimore Orioles have been looking for a regular first baseman. By and large, they have failed.

Below is a graph showing the Orioles' offensive output measured by sOPS+, a comparison of OPS compared to the rest of the league's first basemen. (sOPS+ stats pulled from

As you can see, the best the Orioles have done over the past 10 seasons is flirt with average production from their first baseman.

Back in 2003, Jeff Conine was just hanging on and the offensive output was pitiful. Production was buoyed a bit with the second tour of duty of Rafael Palmeiro and the massively underrated Kevin Millar from 2004-2007 (with an occasional assist by Aubrey Huff although he was mainly a DH). 2009-11 saw new lows in bad hitting first baseman with the likes of Aubrey Huff, Ty Wigginton, Garrett Atkins and Derrek Lee.

The Oriole farm system has been bereft of legitimate first base prospects for many years and they team has tried and failed to patch that hole through free agency with disatrous results at worst and mediocre results at best. Andy MacPhail addressed the issue by trading or claiming off of waivers every corner infieder he could  lay his hands on which is why we saw appearances by Rhyne Hughes, Michael Aubrey and Scott Moore over the past few years.

But finally, some of those MacPhail trades have paid off as Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis have combined to provide slightly above average offensive production at the position with some poor production from Wilson Betemit, Nick Johnson and Joe Mahoney dragging it down.

Chris Davis is under team control for the next three years and may be the closest thing the Orioles have had to a regular productive first baseman the club has had in years. He's probably not going to be the answer but he's not a disaster. It's not much but it's a start.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tides vs. Braves: 8/21/12

L.J. Hoes
The Norfolk Tides completely handled the Gwinnett Braves today in Lawrenceville, GA 8-0. Since I felt an acute case of baseball fever coming on this morning, I called out sick and went to the 10:35 AM start.

The Oriole highlights came early as former Dodger farmhand RF Jamie Hoffman launched a 3-run homer that just barely cleared the left field wall and Braves LF Jose Constanza's leap to give the Tides the 3-0 lead. CF L.J. Hoes' bases loaded single drove in two more in the 4th to give Norfolk the 5-0 lead and the game was pretty much over.

SP Dana Eveland gave up only 3 hits and struck out 5 over 7 innings and the Braves mounted no real threat at all. Braves' pitching issued 9 walks and walked in the other 3 Tide runs. Again, not the most exciting game to watch.

On to the individual performances, led by Hoes. He went 1-5 with a walk and reached on a fielder's choice that should have been a hit. He scorched a ball toward right field in the 6th inning but Braves 1B Ernesto Meija reached up and got his glove on it but it was hit too hard for him to hold. Hoffman was on 1st and had to hold up for a beat ot make sure Meija didn't catch the ball. If Hoffman would not have been on base, that would have been a hit for the speedy Hoes. Hoes had good at bats, worked the count and looked poised beyond his 22 years at the plate. He is hitting .369 in August and has maintained good walk rates throughout his minor league career.

RP Brian Matusz pitched the 8th inning. He gave up no runs but was unimpressive while walking one batter and striking out none. His fastball was missing up out of the zone and his breaking stuff was missing low and outside a lot. He got out of the inning with a couple of sharply hit ground balls that his fielders turned into outs but it was not hard to imagine major league hitter turning those mistakes into hits. He got himself into bad pitcher's counts on three of the four batters he faced. He may need more work.

2B Ryan Adams looks like I've seen him before. At the plate, he looked relaxed, worked the count and put the ball into play with authority. A great looking hitter and he is hitting .300 with 5 XBHs in August. In the field, he is not smooth and he made an error in the 7th.

I've never fully understood the enthusiasm for 1B Joe Mahoney. His walk rates are poor, his hit tool is OK and the value is wrapped up in his power as he slugged over .500 over the 2010-2011 in just over 200 games split between Frederick and Bowie. But that power has disappeared in Norfolk this season (.387 SLG in 120 games) and had trouble making solid contact today and could not manage a walk on a day when the G-Braves staff was giving them out freely. He'll be 26 next year and I guess the power could return. But if it doesn't, he's not going to have much value as a prospect.

3B Brandon Waring has hit 20 or more homers in every season he has played professionally. He walked twice today but his walk rates are just decent. His power is really, really impressive. Fun to watch but hard to imagine how he can help the major league club in the future.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Unsung Relief Duo

The emergent stars in the Orioles bullpen, the best in the American League, have been Jim Johnson, establishing himself as an elite closer in 2012 and Pedro Strop as the setup man with the electric fastball.

However, they have not been the best duo in the Baltimore pen. That honor belongs to Darren O'Day and Troy Patton.

Patton and O'Day do not operate in the glamorous 8th and 9th innings, not typically anyway. They do not possess live fastballs that sit in the mid-90's or rack up saves. They just do all the dirty work and do it better than anyone else.

Some stats pulled from

Name            K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9     K%   BB% WHIP  ERA  FIP   E-F xFIP SIERA
Darren O'Day   8.68 1.54 5.63 0.77 24.20% 4.30% 0.99 2.51 2.92 -0.42 3.51 2.90
Troy Patton    8.25 1.89 4.36 0.86 22.80% 5.20% 1.03 2.58 3.25 -0.67 3.33 2.89
Pedro Strop    7.14 4.35 1.64 0.17 19.80% 12.10% 1.1 1.22 3.38 -2.16 3.85 3.51
Jim Johnson    4.99 2.22 2.25 0.55 13.70% 6.10% 1.09 3.33 3.71 -0.38 3.79 3.18

O'Day and Patton lead Johnson and Strop, as well as the rest of the Oriole bullpen, in every major rate and fielding independent stat in the game. With fastballs that average about 85 mph and 89 mph, O'Day are 1st and 2nd in strikeout rate respectively. Their walk rates and WHIPs are lower, their K/BB rates are higher and their Fielding Independent stats, especially the ones that account for batted ball data, are superior.

Now, I have absolutely no issues with a tandem of late innings closers like Johnson and Strop who induce groundballs at rates higher than 65%. That probably helps to keep leads better than flyball pitchers like Patton and O'Day. But make no mistake, O'Day and Patton have been the better pitchers during the Orioles' improbably playoff chase this season.

Manny Machado and Royals Pitch Selection

In what will be an unending overanalysis of the debut series for Manny Machado, I decided to take a look at  how the Kansas City Royals piched to the Oriole phenom, at least in terms of pitch type.

To do this, I broke down percentages of pitch types thrown to Manny Machado by all the Royal pitchers he faced during the 4-game series. To contrast, I also broke down the pitch selection to the rest of the team.

Here it is:

                    CH%    CU%    FA%    FC%    FF%    FT%    SI%    SL%
Machado             9.1   14.6    1.8    0.0   38.2    9.1    5.5   21.8
Rest of Orioles     9.7   13.1    0.8    0.4   48.4    8.8    7.4   11.4

Common wisdom has rookies getting challenged with a bunch of fastballs when they are first called up and if they show they can handle them,teams will start throwing more breaking stuff to see if he can handle those pitches too. In this case, the Royals threw him fewer fastballs overall and fed him a lot more sliders.

If we simplify it further:

                 Breaking/Offspeed  Fastballs
Machado                51%             49%
Rest of Orioles        42%             58%

So Manny got fed a steady diet of breaking stuff, at least more than the rest of the team and still had a stellar debut. In fact, his hits came mostly on breaking stuff. Moving through the weekend, he tripled on curve ball, single on a slider, homered on a curve ball, homered on a slider, doubled on a fastball and homered on a sinker.

Small sample size and there's more to pitching than pitch selection alone but it is encouraging to see that the 20-year old is far from lost against major league breaking pitches.

*Data gathered from

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The "Why Not?" Team Can Take Backseat to The Fightin' Showalters

I was in high school during the 1989 baseball season so I remember the "Why Not?" Orioles vividly and with great fondness. And why not? (See what I did there...) The team had traded away Eddie Murray and Mike Boddicker but were led by Cal Ripken, Jr. in the field and Mickey Tettleton at the plate and young pitchers like Bob Milacki, Jeff Ballard and Gregg Olson led the pitching staff. It was a lot of fun but ended in heartbreak during the last weekend of the season as they were edged out of the division win by the Toronto Blue Jays. (I still hate the Blue Jays more than the Red Sox, if you can imagine that. Not as much as the Yankees but I still hate them...)

Anyway, that team had nothing on this 2012 club. In 1989, it was "Why Not?". Now it should be "How's That?" or "Who Did What?" or "Is That Even Possible?". Many fans have deemed it the "WTF?" season.

This team is on the most improbable run in Baltimore Oriole history. Look no further than the team's run differential where, as of this morning, they have been outscored by 54 runs but still remain 9 games above .500. There are just a handful of teams over the last 15 years who have been outscored by the opposition and still had a winning record. The Orioles are the only team doing that in 2012.

Early in the season, I opined that this team could win, not make the playoffs, but win games more than they lost. But I figured they would need some luck to do this as they were not the deepest team in the division and any key injuries would derail the whole season.

Then Nolan Reimold, he of the .960 OPS in April went down for he season. Brian Roberts started the season on the DL, gave me hope when he returned in June but struggled and wound up back on the DL before the 4th of July. Endy Chavez, such as he was, went down, came back and went to the DL again. Nick Markakis got hurt. Reliever Matt Lindstrom, then Jason Hammel, our most effective starter got injured. Then mid-season acquisition Jim Thome got hurt. But through it all, the team kept winning. Through April, May and June, they just kept winning.

July looked to be breaking point where they finally had a losing month (13-14)as the injuries and struggling starting pitching seemed to finally be taking a toll. But now they are 5-2 in August and looking at the upcoming schedule, only Texas and Detroit strike me as being clearly better than Baltimore. This team could win in August too.

Every time something goes wrong, it seems like someone steps up to give the team a lift. Xavier Avery came up to lift the team when Reimold and Chavez were down. Steve Pearce and Chris Davis filled in nicely (or at least didn't embarrass themselves) when Markakis joined them on the DL. Stu Pomeranz provided quality innings for a couple of weeks when the bullpen was overworked. Omar Quintanilla brought a hot bat and steady defense to the lineup when Robert Andino went down. Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman and now Steve Johnson, none of whom were expected to contribute to the team before the season for various reasons, have steadied a banged up and ineffective starting rotation.

That 1989 team at least had some stability. They were led at the plate by Tettleton, Randy Milligan, Phil Bradley and Joe Orsulak all posted OPS+ numbers greater than 120. Only Adam Jones and Nick Markakis can make that claim on this team (and Markakis only very recently).

The 2012 Orioles are 10th in runs scored and 10th in runs allowed in the American League But today, they are tied for the Wild Card ticket into the postseason. Oriole Magic, indeed.

The Opening Day starter in pitching in AAA. Three of the five best Oriole hitters in 2011 have taken significant steps backwards and another is out for the season. Baltimore's defense is, to put it kindly, shaky. But the team keeps winning.

Sometimes things are just meant to be. This season has been insane. Eleven straight extra inning wins. Chris Davis pitching and winning in Boston and hitting a home run with a broken bat. The bullpen is the best in the AL and was assembled with kids, journeyman and spare parts. They have the highest winning percentage in 1-run games of any team since 1954. (A .786 winning percentage, just ahead of the 1981 and 1970 Oriole clubs.) Matt Wieters has 3 stolen bases and a triple for Christ's sake.

Now, the Orioles have called up 20-year old phenom Manny Machado to the big club. I could temper enthusiasm given struggles young players usually have jumping from AA straight to the majors but I wouldn't be surprised if he hits .300 for the rest of the season because that's the way 2012 has been going for the O's. Everything's been breaking their way.

Now that the trading deadline is over and I am sure that the team won't do something stupid to marginally improve this team, I am giving myself over to this team of destiny. I want this team to win, I want them to make the playoffs, I want them to take the division. And even if they miss the playoffs, this is still the most entertaining team I've seen since 1989.

Why not? Why the hell not?

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Hubbub over Headley

It's been a while since I've seen Oriole fans clamoring for a player that is not an impending free agent and the player they are clamoring for is not exactly a household name. He is San Diego third baseman Chase Headley.

Admittedly, I didn't know tons about the guy and while the Orioles need help at third base, didn't understand the hype. So with some assertions from other fans in my Twitter feed, I set out to find out a little more about him.

Here are three assertions made about Headley and why he is worthy of trading Oriole prospects for:

1. Chase Headley will hit better once he leaves Petco.

This is likely true. But the degree to which it is true is a different matter.

Lefthanded hitters do not really hit that much better once they leave the Padres. Adrian Gonzalez is the perfect example. While his offensive prodcution improved a tick between 2010 and 2011 (152 OPS+ up to 154 OPS+) there was not the dramatic explosion of offensive prodcution that was predicted. You still have to factor in the switch from the NL to the AL, especially the AL East. The AL still has more talent than the NL and is the clearly the tougher league. If you doubt that, look at what David Hernandez and Brad Bergesen have done in Arizona compared to their Oriole careers.

So if Headley came to Camden Yards, his offensive numbers may indeed improve but with the change of leagues they are probably going to be very much like the numbers he puts up now. So he's a lefthanded bat with good plate discipline and modest power. We're talking about 12-18 homers and .425 slugger whether he's in Petco or not.

He is likely to hit very much like he has over the past three season with some slight improvement with his power:

              AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS+ 
2010-2012    .272 .353 .395  111

2. He's a superior defensive third baseman

I admit that I have not seen a lot of Headley in the field. So I looked to Fangraphs and got UZR/150's for the last three years at third base.

A. Beltre      13.9
K. Kouzmanoff  12.3
P. Polanco     12.2
E. Longoria    10.1
C. Headley      9.5
A. Callaspo     9.0

Of the qualified players, he's right on the cusp of the top third of third baseman in defense. It was pointed out to me that his total defensive numbers include his time in left field which brings the number down.

So my assertion that Headley is an average defender is pretty off base. He is not a elite defender but few are and he is among the best in MLB.

(BTW, Kevin Kouzmanoff's bat didn't improve after he got out of Petco. He's in Omaha now.)

3. He's an All-Star

No. No, he's not.

Headley probably deserved to be an All-Star in 2012 but he wasn't and never has been. His All-Star status was touted by more than one person on Twitter but he is not actually an All-Star player. Not that this fact means much.

Now, here's the commodity quantified; Chase Headley is a 29-year old (in 2013), slick-fielding third baseman with good plate discipline and slightly above-average offensive skills (I am predicting an OPS+ of about 110 in the AL over the next three years, just for reference).

That is a valuable commodity.

But how valuable is it for the Orioles? According to Dan Connolly, the Padres were looking for Jake Arrieta, plus two other prospects including a high-ceiling guy.

Is Headley worth all that?

Whatever your feeling are on Jake Arrieta, it's not as if the Orioles are flush with pitching and Arrieta is not without value. In fact, even with his struggles, Arrieta is still second on the team in terms of xFIP and his peripheral stats are quite similar to Wei-Yin Chen's. Arrieta can still be a useful starter for this team.

So it's questionable, but arguable, that Arrieta alone is too much to give up for Headley. What's scarcer? A decent young starting pitcher or a third baseman with a slightly above average bat approaching 30? It's a close call but I would probably side with the pitcher on that count.

But to give up two more prospects in addition to Arrieta? Boy, that seems like too much to give up for a guy like Headley.

And what does Headley do for this team? He'll help with run prevention surely. He'll likely be an offensive upgrade over Wilson Betemit (although not as much as you might expect). But he is not a game changer at the plate or in the field. Not enough to improve the prospects of this team for this season or the next two, not by himself.

The Orioles have scored 4.2 runs per game, tied for 10th in the AL in scoring. They are ties for 11th in runs allowed. They have been outscored by a whopping 60 runs this season and are still 5 games over .500. It is crazy that they are where they are in the standings, with even a hint of a chance at a playoff spot. It's been magical and fantastic and I've enjoyed every bit of it.

But this team is not a serious playoff contender this season nor will they likely be next season, not without some improvements to the starting rotation and some better bats in the lineup. One player will have far less impact on the offensive and the pitching than improvements from players already here or young players coming up through the system.

The Oriole farm system is too shallow to be making deals for a guy like Headley right now. Sure, if you can spin off a couple minor league relievers for a guy like J.J. Hardy and extend him, you do it every time. But you can't trade away legitimate prospects or pitchers who can help you in the majors in the near future for a short term improvement to the team.

Not to mention, there are other solutions out there if you get creative. The Orioles could make a run at David Wright (unlikely but he'll be out there). Or they could platoon a better fielder with Wilson Betemit. Brandon Inge could be a nice left/right platoon and improve the defense at third. Or slide Robert Andino over to third base against lefty pitchers. Or hell, pick up Kevin Kouzmanoff on a minor league deal and platoon him with Betemit. (Chase Headley may be an All-Star away from Petco as many fans have told me but Wilson Betemit is an All-Star if you don't let him hit against left handed pitching.)

All I'm saying is, the price to get Headley is way too high right now. Maybe that price drops in the offseason and I'll feel differently. But while he's a logical target for the team, I don't get the hype.