Olney’s Latest: Orioles, Diamondbacks, Delgado

In today's blog post at ESPN, Buster Olney says a question being asked by some is whether the Orioles' constant losing is infecting the team's great young core, most notably Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Matt Wieters. One evaluator said that even though players like Ty Wigginton, Kevin Millwood, and Luke Scott would have trade value at mid-season, the team might be better off holding onto them to help stabilize the young players.

I respectfully disagree, because those players are with the team now and it's obviously just not working. Some new blood might not be the worst thing in the world for Baltimore.  

Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • Diamondbacks' manager A.J. Hinch pointed the finger directly at himself with regards to who to blame for the team's struggles. "This group hasn't responded that well to me," said Hinch. "I'm scratching and clawing, trying to find the right solution, but I'm not going to run from any accountability."
  • The Angels have checked into the condition of Carlos Delgado, who is making his way back from hip surgery and could return in six weeks, if all goes well. They're looking for a Kendry Morales replacement, of course.

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5 Comments on "Olney’s Latest: Orioles, Diamondbacks, Delgado"

5 years 3 months ago

delgado to the angels, doesnt sound like a bad idea. give him the pro-rated minimum, who knows maybe he still has some life in that HOF bat

5 years 3 months ago

I sense bias in this post. But Delgado can’t hurt. If Burrell’s got a job after his awful start, Delgado would be worth a shot.

5 years 3 months ago

Re: Orioles:

It’s obviously not working. Those veterans aren’t helping. If they can trade them for decent prospects, then they maybe should do it. The only thing the Os should think long and hard about, is if trading such a veteran might actually hurt the development of a prospect, or, expose a young guy to injury by having no option than to lean on him more than you would choose to. It would be a shame if, trading, say, Millwood would force them to rush Arrieta, or, overburden Matusz with too many innings on his still developing frame, that might produce an injury in a year(s) from now.

5 years 3 months ago

Good thoughts on this. To me, the biggest difference between the Orioles and the Nats this year is that the Nats invested in making sure that they would have a competent bullpen to encourage the team to fight and scrap for every out and the Orioles didn’t. The Orioles tried with Mike Gonzalez, but I think that they overvalued him and didn’t have a credible backup plan. Rizzo had two options (Capps and Bruney) for closer and had a backup plan in Doug Slaten for a roster spot if one of them didn’t work out. I’ve got to believe that bullpen woes may be hurting Matusz’s development and the motivation of some players.

For me, it would depend on how close those prospects are to the majors about whether to make moves. Frankly, I’m surprised that Orioles have been as bad as they are. I thought Wieters would be a force right now. Jones was a force last year and Markakis is quite a player. Add Matusz to that mix and the young core of the Orioles compares favorably to the Nats of Desmond, Zimmerman, and Strasburg (Dunn and Willingham aren’t long term controlled pieces).

5 years 3 months ago

Don’t forget Roberts – the seriousness of his injury took everyone by surprise.

About our bullpen – I know conventional wisdom says that relievers are fungible and that even the best and worst relievers don’t post extreme WAR values, but the O’s relievers were simply at another level of suck. We have 8 players with negative WAR values; 6 of them are relievers. The worst part is, most of them haven’t pitched significant innings. Among relievers who have thrown fewer than 15 innings, Alberto Castillo (-0.5 WAR in 8.2 IP) has the 3rd worst WAR, and Cla Meredith (-0.4 WAR in 15 IP) has the 4th worst WAR. The other players with negative WAR are Mike Gonzalez (our closer), Jim Johnson (our primary setup man), and Kam Mickolio / Frank Mata, who in their defense were expected to spend most of the season in the minors.

Was it poor planning? Maybe, but I don’t think anyone expected Meredith, Johnson, and Gonzalez to all struggle so badly. I would have put solid money on at least one of them posting solid numbers and staying healthy for the whole season, based on their previous track records… I know conventional wisdom says that even if these guys were having good seasons, it would only account for a couple more wins at best, but there is the psychological aspect you mention, and I think it’s significant for a team with an ingrained losing culture. A couple of badly timed bad losses, for whatever reason, can really send a team like that downhill…