Monday, October 29, 2007

As we move into November...

*Kurt Birkins was selected by the Devil Rays off of waivers. It's not a big loss for the organization, although with the clear lack of quality bullpen options available this season, it might not have been the best move to give away a potentially helpful arm. Pitching as a starter in Norfolk, Birkins struck out almost a batter an inning. He got hit hard in a couple starts in Baltimore, but that's clearly not where his future is, if he has one. He managed to strike out 27 in 30.1 innings as a reliever in Baltimore, but his numbers were superficially inflated by poor luck on balls in play. Birkins will never be a dominant reliever, but he probably has a future in the age of the seven man bullpen.

*Lots of shuffling on the 40 man roster in recent weeks. Fredy Deza was added. He pitched in relief and as a starter this year with Bowie, putting up a 4.43 ERA. At 25 and having never made it past the Eastern League, his future is limited at best.

Reliever Bob McCrory was also added to the 40 man roster. He's 25 and made what was essentially his full season debut, splitting time between Frederick and Bowie and striking out a man an inning. He worked almost exclusively as a ninth inning man (finishing 37 games in 44 appearances) and performed well, but his walk totals still suggest some unresolved command issues. The feeling seems to be that he has a real shot to contribute to the bullpen in 2008 in some capacity. There could be worse solutions.

Val Majewski lost his place on the 40 man, finally extinguishing any faint hopes of prospectdom that he still had. Majewski once seemed destined to have some role in the big leagues, but after missing all of 2005 to injury, he completely lost any power he once had, leaving him with a bat that doesn't play in the corner outfield, even as a reserve.

Adam Stern is gone too. He didn't hit again this year in AAA, but the Javy Lopez trade was still a net positive for the Orioles. Sayanora to Elder Torres. At least Brandon Fahey and Luis Hernandez augment their lack of hitting skill by playing SS rather than 2B.

*The Orioles still don't have a full coaching staff. Roch says that the First Base coaching job is down to Chris Hoiles and some guy named Mo. If we could only be so lucky as to see the return of Chris Hoiles to an Orioles uniform.

*The Red Sox win again! Fuck them!
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*Alex Rodriguez is officially a free agent after opting out of his contract yesterday. And there sure seems to be some acrimony between Rodriguez and the Yankees suggesting he will play elsewhere next season. No surprise there. I'll guess that the end result is 8 years for a quarter of a billion dollars.

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