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3/24/2010 - What Flavor Pie Is It Today? – Early in Felix Pie's professional career, many scouts compared him to Vladamir Guerrero. This act probably did more to discredit old school scouting than did Michael Lewis' Moneyball. After Pie stole 32 bases in 110 games in 2004, however, it seemed as though Pie could at least become an effective leadoff hitter type. Then, after managing only a .284 on-base percentage with the Cubs between 2007 and 2008, Pie's future seemed to be a fifth outfielder who came in to pinch run a lot.
Pie then went to Baltimore, which is ultimately where all Cub prospect busts wind up. Surprisingly, he became a league-average offensive player, as evidenced by his .763 OPS and 99 OPS+. Amazingly, however, in 101 games, Pie only managed to steal one base while being caught three times.
Will Pie change his offensive identity yet again in 2010? Stay tuned. --KG
September 1, 2009 - The Baltimore Orioles Fab Five – Not since the 1971 Baltimore Orioles pitching staff produced four starters - Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, and Jim Palmer - with 20 or more wins has Baltimore seen anything like what is happening in their 2009 rotation. The Orioles, out of the AL East race essentially since announcing that Adam Eaton and Mark Hendrickson would have roles on this year’s team, are kind of going for broke at the end of the 2009 season and have been starting five rookie pitchers in the hopes of showcase their youngsters and get them some valuable experience that they can build on in 2010. After years of Peter Angelos screwing up this team (whose new team name could practically be "the Once-Prouds"), it looks as though the Orioles may have a roster even he can't bungle. Amazingly, the five pitchers – Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken, David Hernandez, Christopher Tillman, and Brian Matusz – are all in their first ever major league seasons, making them all true rookies.
April 22, 2009 - Baltimore Orioles Notes: In my Baltimore Orioles season preview, I stated the following:
“All of which is to say I’d put Koji at the top of any rotation before I put Hendrickson within sniffing distance of the bottom of any rotation. Right now, the Orioles have four pitchers from last year’s Bowie Baysox team that I would take over Hendrickson – Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken, David Hernandez, and Christopher Tillman. Four guys. Its shocking that the Orioles looked at all the pitchers available in professional baseball and couldn’t do better than Mark Hendrickson as their number three guy.”
Last night, Bergesen proved me right, for the time being anyway. Bergesen made his major league debut for the Orioles last night, going 5.2 innings and limiting the White Sox to one earned run (and two unearned runs) with four strikeouts and two walks. Bergesen is now 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA, which is certainly better than Hendrickson at this point.
(Intellectually honest moment) Actually, of Baltimore’s pitchers, Hendrickson currently has the best ERA other than Bergesen. So I may have been right about Bergesen while still be wrong about Hendrickson. Stay tuned. --ABC
03/26/09: You can draft your own outfielders, you know -
One time Cubs super-prospect Derrick May made his last stop in the majors with the Orioles in 1999, with 26 games at the age of 30. Three years later, in 2002, former Cubs enigma Gary Matthews landed with the Orioles for two halves of two seasons. Three years after that, former Cubs' super-record-breaker Sammy Sosa was traded to the Orioles. The following year, another former Cubs uber-prospect, Corey Patterson, joined up with the Orioles for two seasons. Now, the latest former Cubs super-prospect flameout, Felix Pie, has joined the Orioles.
Seriously, Baltimore - if these guys can't hit in Wrigley, they can't hit anywhere. You aren't going to find any hidden gems hiding at the end of the bench in Chicago.
12/16/08: They Let Him Walk - Sometimes when we make our
pre-season predictions, we phone
in a couple of categories on our leaderboards: Jose Reyes, NL triples; Ichiro
Suzuki, AL hits; Albert Pujols, NL MVP; or Daniel Cabrera, AL Walks. Well,
the Orioles did not offer Cabrera a contract for 2009, and if he walks too many
hitters for their liking, he's not likely to entice many other suitors.
Who might replace Cabrera as the de facto walk king? How about former
teammate Adam Loewen, who has averaged nearly .65 walks per major league inning,
blowing away D-Cab at .57? --KG
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