Saturday, August 25, 2007

Roster Moves

The Orioles have made a couple of roster moves over the past few days.

The team demoted starter Garrett Olson to Bluefield and recalled starter James Johnson from Norfolk to pitch out of the bullpen. Olson started the second game of Tuesday night's debacle of a doubleheader against the Rangers and pitched poorly once again. Olson made five starts with the team and posted a 7.33 ERA with 21 K and 21 BB in 23 1/3 IP. He was sent to Bluefield to work out some specific mechanical issues and could be back on active roster even before it expands on September 1. While the incredibly high number of walks is concerning for a pitcher with a reputation of having great control, the high number of strikeouts indicates that while Olson struggled, he was not completely overmatched during his time in the majors.

In need of a starter for tonight's game against the Twins, Radhames Liz got the call from AA Bowie. Liz has put together a very nice season at Bowie striking out 161 but walking 70 in 137 innings, good for a 3.22 ERA. Liz suffers from control problems but has great stuff and gets tons of strikeouts - sort of a Daniel Cabrera figure. He's come on strong this season, changing his perception from future reliever to a possible starter although I still think he's likely a back end of the bullpen reliever. He still has to work on his control, but it's good that the club is getting a look at him this season for a possible role on the team next spring.

The Orioles also signed reliever Fernando Cabrera, recently released by the Indians. He's young and has struggled in the majors after putting up fantastic numbers in the minors. He's given up tons of homeruns, but his rate of HR on FB is ridiculously high, and we'd expect some regression on that number. He'll still give up his share if he gives up as many fly balls as he did with the Indians, but he could be primed to be a very good reliever. It's a very good low-risk, high-reward pickup for the team.

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