Quick Hits: Orioles, Nationals, Manaea, White Sox

The Orioles and Nationals may be based just an hour away from each other, but they're far apart in terms of strength of schedule this year. The Orioles' 2014 schedule is projected to be the toughest in baseball, while the Nationals' is projected to be the weakest, Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs writes. Unsurprisingly, AL schedules are much tougher than NL schedules, and schedules for AL East teams rate as the toughest of all — after Baltimore, the other four AL East teams' schedules are the third-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-toughest. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • Sean Manaea is healthy, which could make him a bargain for the Royals, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star writes. Manaea was widely considered a top-tier draft prospect last year before hip and shoulder issues damaged his stock. He fell to the Royals with the No. 34 overall pick. He's now throwing 93-94 MPH in Royals minor-league spring training.
  • Manager Robin Ventura and the White Sox aren't concerned about potential trades, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. "Something could come up and that changes but Iā€™m preparing with this group. If something happens then you can roll it and change and go from there. Right now it is what it is here and you have to get your roster together with these guys," Ventura says. Outfielders Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza have recently been the subjects of trade rumors.


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10 Comments on "Quick Hits: Orioles, Nationals, Manaea, White Sox"


Derpington
1 year 4 months ago

“White Soxx”? Sounds scandalous

Antonio Nicarelli
1 year 4 months ago

I would hope the Sox trade DeAza instead of Viciedo. Granted, Dayan has disappointed thus far, and DeAza is the better player right now. But DeAza is also 6 years older, has already been replaced in CF by Eaton, costs about $2M more than Viciedo, and has no place in Sox future plans. I give Viciedo the final shot before trading him for low prospects next year, or non-tendering him.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 4 months ago

I have nothing against the White Sox coaching staff, but I wonder if Viciedo is one of those guys who flounders until he matches up with the right hitting coach or instructor.

Antonio Nicarelli
1 year 4 months ago

Well, he is now on his 3rd one, in 4 years in the majors. Even if one was a good one, he has to be a little confused by now. Really, there are just a few pitches he needs to learn to lay off, and that will both increase his average and walk totals. He’ll never be Mike Trout, but he should develop to where he can protect a good cleanup hitter. If he does it with someone other than the Sox, I’ll be mightily torqued.

Damon Bowman
1 year 4 months ago

It’s kinda funny how some folks downplay the importance of a good hitting coach even though we can all see the effect that it has on a young player when a team changes out coaches every year like they’re changing socks. Sometimes teams need to trust that they did their research on a coach before hiring him and letting things progress a bit longer before pulling the plug and starting all over again. If the players and the coach aren’t coming to blows, let it ride and see where it goes — sometimes the personal conflict or slower progress pays off in the end if a little patience is shown.

NRD1138
1 year 4 months ago

If Viciedo hits 10 less homers but 50 points higher than Dunn you have an upgrade at DH, which is where I’m guessing Tank goes and then one of their young outfielders can hopefully plug that LF position in a year. Until then, or Dunn gets traded. Tank is unfortunately our LF. He has a heck of an arm and can kill the ball when he hits it, but he just looks lumbering out there in Left.
I see him being an eventual 1st base/DH once Dunn is gone and Paulie retires.
This is a big year for him. People forget he had a hand or wrist injury last year and those can be nagging. Lets see if he gets a whole healthy year under his belt and the new hitting coach connects with him. I have a feeling his numbers will be close to his rookie season in terms of power than last season. If he can hit .260-.270 with around 25 homers can get hits in the Clutch then that will be good. People also forget that he 25 (today).. Lots of upside still.

Antonio Nicarelli
1 year 4 months ago

I agree, except for the characterization of Viciedo’s defense, which gets a worse rap than it deserves. Granted, at a career -5.5 UZR/150, he is below average. But he is a far cry from the -15 and -20 that some guys put up. Now, if he did THAT, and still hit like he did it ’13, he becomes a candidate to be non-tendered. But if he can stay at -5, and put up even a .265/20/80, he will continue to have a ML home for at least a few more seasons.