Tag:Melvin Mora
Posted on: March 15, 2008 7:40 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2008 6:56 pm
 

O's Season Preview Mailbag: Q's from the fans

Every month, there will be another mailbag where Aaron Folsom answers the Questions of the Fans.


Q: What will the starting infield look like at the end of the 2008 season for the Orioles? Will they be able to trade guys like Ramon Hernandez, Melvin Mora or Brian Roberts?

A: The only guys that might have some trade value at the deadline in the infield are Ramon Hernandez, if he has a good first half, and Brian Roberts. Kevin Millar may be able to attract a team looking for bench help. I don't see Mora going anywhere unless he has a first half like his spring training. I believe Guillermo Quiroz would take over for Ramon Hernandez, if he gets shipped out, and if he gets more time at the position I could see Scott Moore taking over second base duties if the team does not acquire a 2B prospect from any trades.

Ramon Hernandez could be a valuable trade chip for the Orioles come July 31st.

 


Q: Will Daniel Cabrera ever learn to pitch, or will he continue to have high walk totals?

A: I believe no matter what you do, Daniel Cabrera will always have high walk totals. Rick Kranitz has worked with him over the off-season and both Kranitz and manager Dave Trembley feel it will be breakout year for Cabrera. However, that has been said about Cabrera since his rookie year. Maybe Kranitz can help him out, but so far in Spring Training he seems like the same old D-Cab.


Q: Will Hayden Penn and Adam Loewen stay healthy for an entire season?

A: Adam Loewen is making progress from his recovery and the same goes for Penn. Loewen might not be a 100% as of right now though. Penn added some weight and looked very well in spring training. I think they will stay healthy for atleast a good part of the season, but injuries are spontanious, so I can't give my full confirmation on there full season status.


Q: Will the Orioles show enough this season to persuade Mark Texeira to sign with Baltimore?

A: I think regardless of what the Orioles do this year, they will still persuade Texieria to come to Baltimore. He is a native of Maryland and grew up a Orioles fan. I also think Tex would want to come here tro be around this rebuilding program. I understand he wants to win, but if Tex came to Baltimore, the O's would be on the upside of rebuilding and would be on the rebound. He would probably like being around some vets and some young guys.


Q: Will Troy Patton recover?

A: Patton has a pretty serious injury, but I believe in a year or two he could become a good member of the Orioles team. It will take a while to heal, but regardless is a Top notch prospect. I think he will recover well but may take a while.


Q: Will Nick Markakis continue to develop into a star player?

A: I think by the end of this season, Markakis will go from a top 20 outfielder to a top 15 outfielder. He continues to get better and will probably get even better by seasons end. I believe N-Mark could be a All-Star back-up for the AL this year. Look for good numbers and a solid season from Markakis all season long.

Nick Markakis has the potential to be an All-Star in 2008.


Q: Will Matt Weiters be a september call-up?

A: If The O's elect to trade Ramon Hernandez(Or can find a suitor), I think there is a 70% chance of a Weiters sighting in Baltimore come September. However, if Ramon is still with us, I think there is only a 40%-50% chance of a Weiters sighting in Baltimore. I believe MacPhail and Trembley will want to gte him a few at-bats in the majors here and there to prep him.


Q: Will the Orioles really finish below the Rays this year?

A: Without any significant injuries, I would say yes. The Rays got better over the off-season by adding Cliff Floyd and Troy Percival and bringing up thrid base super prospect Evan Longoria improves the team atleast 10 wins. Now with Wheeler, Reyes and Percival, theyhave a decent bullpen and there offense looks well rounded with Longoria, Crawford, Upton and Pena. Plus, they have a pretty good Top 3 in the rotation in Kazmir, Shields and Garza. However, one or two major injuries could put the Rays right back where they have been for so many years, 5th place.


Q: Will the O's look like they are heading in the right direction by the end of the year?

A: Every year the O's look like a contender in April, then suck it up the rest of the way. This year, it will be the opposite way. The O's will do bad and get better as the season progresses and the younger players get legit playing time. Expect last place in the division, but it will be a fun losing season in my mind. The team will eventually get better and be in the right direction.

Randor Bierd appears as one of the young O's players who will progress as the season goes on.

 

 

 

Posted on: March 13, 2008 8:15 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2008 6:52 pm
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

2007 Record - 69-93, 4th in AL East, 27.0 GB

Key Departures: Miguel Tejada/SS(HOU), Erik Bedard/LHSP(SEA), Corey Patterson/OF(CIN)

Key Acquisitions: Matt Albers/RHP(HOU), Adam Jones/OF(SEA), Dennis Sarfate/RHRP(HOU), Luke Scott/OF(HOU), George Sherrill/LHRP(SEA)

Into the off-season, GM Andy MacPhail made a statement by turning the franchise into a rebuilding state. Unfortunaltly, it will be a while before the O's climb back on the horse and become a contender. Peter Angelos did them in for the past ten years. Now, the O's lose one of the best southpaws in the game, Erik Bedard, but gain a new closer, a very talented center fielder in Adam Jones, and three young pitching prospects. Before that, macPhail dealt shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros for outfielder Luke Scott, two young pitchers expected to step in immediatly in Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate, a third base prospect expected to see some playing time and one of the best southpaw prospects in the game, Troy Patton. Even with the departures of Bedard and Tejada, I expect the O's to be better. Both Bedard and Tejada were bad clubhouse players. The O's tossed them out and started new. The 2008 Orioles have a good chemistry of young components along with some oldies to help the young guys out.

 

Offense: The Offense of the O's will be a torture to watch at the beginning, but expect it to get a fire lit underneath after a bad April. Expect to see Ramon Hernandez to bounce back to somewhat of his 2006 form, where he hit .275 with 23 home runs and 91 rbi's. Kevin Millar will start the season at first base. Millar is a good team player, but he is not at all a starter. Hopefully Mike Costanzo or Scott Moore can take over at some point. Brian Roberts comes back to the Orioles after dodging a spew of trade rumors this off-season. Roberts may very well be the best player on the trade block, and will be a hot commodity at the trade deadline. Unfortunatly, shortstop is a horrible position of the O's as well. Luis Hernandez is currently the starter, but is absolutley horrible in Spring Training. Brandon Fahey may very well be a better option and with Hernandez's play, could be the starter at shortstop on opening day. Melvin Mora is doing very well in spring training , but probably will not bring it over to the regular season. He could be a trade chip, but I don't think too many teams will be interested. Maybe either Costanzo or Moore will take over eventually. Here is where the O's are best, the outfield. Nick Markakis is just one of the few top 20, under 25 outfielders. He will get help from Luke Scott, who becomes the new starter at left field. Stuck in the middle of these two is youngster Adam Jones. Expect good seasons from all three of these players.

Pitching: Last year proved that just because you have one of the top 10 pitchers in the game dosn't mean you pitching is good. Adam Loewen and Jeremy Guthrie are in a tight battle for the ace of the staff, while Daniel Cabrera and Steve Trachsel basically sit calm in the 3-4 spots. The other battle is between Matt Albers and Lance Cormier for the 5th rotation spot. The bullpen was where the team was a blow up last season. The had two non-closer's under 4 ERA(Chad Bradford and Jaime Walker). Both Bradford and Walker along with closer george Sherrill will be on the trade block come deadline time. Other than that, the bullpen becomes a toss-up. There are two others who will probably make it, they are Dennis Sarfate and Randor Bierd, who was a Rule-5 pick this off-season. There is also Garrett Olson, Radhames Liz, Brian Burres, Greg Aquino and other battling for the last one or two spots.

Strengths: The O's have a few bright spots. There strong at catcher(Hernandez), second base(Roberts) and outfield(Markakis, Scott, Jones). It will not be a pretty year to be a Birds fan, but it will be fun watching the new guys and the young guys form the team and try there hardest. Probably there best strength is that they have around $30-$40M to spend in free agency next year on young but talented guys like Mark Teixeiria

Weakness: Man, was it easier to just name the strengths. The O's need a first baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and a lot of good youth pitching to become a contender. The good news, they have a potential prospect at just about every position. The offense is half and half, kind of like they have been in spring training. They will be great one day, then come out and fiddle around for 3 hours the next day. If they can become a team that wants to win, who says they can't.

Line-up

player photo1. Brian Roberts/2B

player photo2. Melvin Mora/3B

player photo3. Nick Markakis/RF

player photo4. Aubrey Huff/DH

player photo5. Ramon Hernandez/C

player photo6. Luke Scott/LF

player photo7. Adam Jones/CF

player photo8. Kevin Millar/1B

player photo9. Luis A. Hernandez/SS

*Editors Note: The Projected Line-up is what I believe the O's opening day line-up should look like.

 
 
 
 
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