Sunday, August 19, 2007

Patterson and CF

Corey Patterson got hot not long after Dave Trembley came aboard and made him a fixture in the number two spot in the order which led some to conclude that the lineup shift coaxed more offensive production out of Patterson. But in 16 August games Patterson is hitting .254/.292/.373 which is a shade below his already poor .264/.304/.377 line. His OBP in the #2 spot this year is .319, which is better than what he posted at the bottom of the order, but it's still a sinkhole that high in the order.

Patterson does some things very well like steal bases and play defense, but it's clear now that he can't be a long-term option in CF. With the number of high dollar Free Agent CF available this winter (Rowand, Hunter, Cameron, Jones), it's possible that Patterson could be had for cheap, but the team has to look to add an above average contributor en lieu of Patterson unless they can trim some fat at a few other places.

Nolan Reimold might be the long-term solution, but he's been set back by injuries this season. He's been torrid at Bowie in limited time, but Opening Day 2008 might be considered ambitious by the organization.

One option that likely will not be explored but perhaps should is the idea of moving Nick Markakis to CF. It's probably not going to happen now that Markakis has already been tagged as the RF of the future. He plays the corner spot well, but he's young, quick and athletic and could probably play a capable CF. If that's the case, a possible .300/.360/.460 type season would hold a lot more value.

The Orioles have had a bunch or trouble finding capable players to fill corner spots, but in theory filling RF with a relatively productive bat with a credible RF glove should be fairly simple. It could be a Knott/House RF equivalent off the scrap heap. In fact a Knott/Payton/RF combo manning the two corner OF spots might not be half bad for next season. What the front office must not do is sign another Jay Payton/BJ Surhoff hoping for one more season of league-average production out of them.

No comments: