Tag:Nolan Reimold
Posted on: December 18, 2011 6:50 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 9:46 am
 

Reports: Orioles sign Endy Chavez

By Matt Snyder

The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to sign free agent outfielder Endy Chavez, several different outlets are reporting (MASN.com). The New York Daily News reports the deal is for one year.

Chavez, 33, hit .301/.323/.426 for the Rangers last season in limited duty (274 plate appearances). He also had 10 stolen bases. The Orioles will mark Chavez's seventh team in 11 seasons.

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New Baltimore general manager Dan Duquette had said earlier this offseason that a left-handed outfield bat was a need, as Felix Pie -- who has signed with the Indians -- just wasn't cutting it. Chavez is a lefty and a definite upgrade over Pie.

Chavez could even land some significant playing time for the O's. Obviously Nick Markakis and Adam Jones are firmly entrenched in right and center field, respectively, but Nolan Reimold is slotted as the left fielder. Reimold has good power, but inconsistency has plagued him the past two years. In fact, he didn't even make the team out of spring last year. He had a really good September, but who knows if that continues. With Chavez, the Orioles have a potential platoon-mate (Reimold is right-handed) or even insurance to take over. If Reimold does hit well all season and remain the starter, Chavez is a fine fourth outfielder.

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 6:35 am
 

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

Erik Bedard

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The Orioles haven't had a winning season since 1997, and part of that has been the team's inability to draft, sign and cultivate its own players. Even the teams with the biggest payrolls, like the Yankees and Red Sox, have learned the lesson that you need to have a steady crop of homegrown players, not only to keep costs down, but also to have the commodities to trade if needed. The Orioles' Matt Wieters emerged as an All-Star in 2011 and Brian Roberts has had a solid career, but the team has still struggled to produce a consistent pipeline to the majors, and when those players have gotten there, they've often disappointed.

Lineup

1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Mike Fontenot, SS
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Jayson Werth, 1B
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Nolan Reimold, LF
7. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
8. Willie Harris, DH
9. Darnell McDonald, CF

Starting Rotation

1. Erik Bedard
2. Zach Britton
3. Jake Arrieta
4. Brad Bergesen
5. Brian Matusz

Bullpen

Closer - David Hernandez
Set up - Arthur Rhodes, Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, Jason Berken, Pedro Beato, D.J. Carrasco

Notable Bench Players

Eli Whiteside is the backup catcher, and a pretty good one. But other than that, the Orioles' bench is thin. Brandon Snyder? Ryan Adams? That's about all the team has to offer.

What's Good?

The middle of the lineup -- Markakis, Werth and Wieters is solid and the bullpen is deep. Other than that? Not much.

What's Not?

Take your pick -- the rest of the team's lineup isn't up to snuff. The rotation, minus Bedard, is similar to the real team's rotation in 2011. And then there's not much depth, either in the rotation or the lineup.

Comparison to real 2011

Only the Astros, Twins and Mariners had a worse record than Baltimore's 67-95 mark in 2011, and this team could be even worse. The rotation is about the same and the offense isn't as good without J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds. The Orioles once were known for throwing money at free agents and not developing their own players, now they just don't develop their own players. A team of homegrown Orioles could challenge the 100 loss mark and maybe even the worst record in baseball.

Next: Washington Nationals

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Posted on: September 29, 2011 12:18 am
Edited on: September 29, 2011 2:17 am
 

Playoff race: Epic finish sends Rays to playoffs

Evan Longoria

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Evan Longoria's solo homer off of the Yankees' Scott Proctor capped what was perhaps the most exciting final day of the regular season in baseball history, and solidified two epic collapses by the Red Sox and the Braves.

Longoria's homer gave Tampa Bay an 8-7 victory just minutes after the Orioles' Robert Andino's liner scored the winning run in Baltimore to seal a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Red Sox. Longoria was in the on-deck circle in St. Petersburg, Fla., when the Red Sox score was announced. Just three minutes later, Longoria hit his second homer of the game.

It was just another comeback for the Rays, who were behind in the wild card race by as many as nine games and then were down 7-0 in the eighth inning of Wednesday's game against the Yankees. Tampa Bay scored six in the eighth inning, including three on Longoria's first homer of the night. Dan Johnson hit a two-out, pinch-hit homer in the ninth to tie the game.

While the Rays were within a strike of losing, the Red Sox were within a strike of winning.

Jonathan Papelbon, who had never surrendered an earned run at Camden Yards until Tuesday, struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning trying to protect a 3-2 lead. But Chris Davis doubled and then Nolan Reimold hit a ground-rule double to tie the game and then Andino hit a sinking liner to left that Carl Crawford -- the former Ray -- couldn't catch, scoring Reimold.

Three minutes later, Longoria ended Boston's season, and completed the Red Sox collapse.

The Rays will now head to Texas to face the Rangers in the first round of ALDS on Friday, while the Yankees will host the Tigers.

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Posted on: September 21, 2011 11:41 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 11:43 am
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Baltimore Orioles

By Matt Snyder

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Baltimore Orioles
Record: 64-90, 29.5 games back in AL East
Manager: Buck Showalter
Best hitter: Adam Jones -- .283/.324/.466, 23 HR, 80 RBI, 63 R, 25 2B, 11 SB
Best pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie -- 9-17, 4.28 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 128 K, 202 IP

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Orioles haven't been in playoff contention since 1997. Following that season, they finished fourth nine times and third once. They're now headed for their fourth consecutive last-place finish.

2011 SEASON RECAP

Things appeared to be looking up early in the season for the Orioles. They started off 6-1, and this wasn't against pushovers. They swept the Rays, took two of three from the Tigers and then beat the Rangers. Of course, it was too good to be true. They proceeded to lose eight straight. They did battle back to .500 twice and lingered close to .500 until being buried by an awful stretch, when they went 6-23 from June 11-July 15. That would end any hope of breaking through, as the Orioles wouldn't be closer than 20 games in the AL East after July 22.

The Orioles did get younger in trading Derrek Lee, Koji Uehara and Mike Gonzalez, and there were some positive signs. They now have a decent offensive core of catcher Matt Wieters, third baseman Mark Reynolds, shortstop J.J. Hardy and outfielders Nick Markakis and Adam Jones (any of the four could have been picked as the "best hitter" above). None of those players are older than 28. Of course, none are younger than 25, nor do any appear to be superstar material. On the mound, the Orioles saw enough from rookie Zach Britton to believe he's one of the pieces of the future, but Brian Matusz had a disaster of a season. Jim Johnson is showing himself the answer at closer and Pedro Strop -- who was acquired from the Rangers in the Gonzalez deal -- is throwing the ball very well in front of him.

2012 AUDIT

The outlook would be a lot more sunny in a different division. The fact of the matter is that the Orioles are set up to improve their on-field product, but probably not be drastic enough to translate into more wins next season -- because the AL East is so good. The Yankees, Red Sox or Rays don't appear to be getting much worse any time soon and the Blue Jays are pretty well set up to take some significant steps forward. That means that even if the Orioles get better, they're still behind the 8-ball, so to speak.

One area where they can improve is from simple progression from all the young players. Matusz can't possibly be worse, so long as he stays mentally balanced, healthy and works hard in the offseason. Tommy Hunter has good enough stuff to be a part of the rotation, too, just as Jake Arrieta does. Chris Tillman is still too young to give up on. Shifting to the position players: Brian Roberts will still only be 34 and should be healthy, so there's hope he comes back with a productive season. Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold are fine pieces of a supporting cast and we already mentioned the offensive core. Also of note: Wieters is becoming a great defensive catcher. That matters.

FREE AGENTS

Cesar Izturis, SS
Vladimir Guerrero, DH

OFFSEASON FOCUS

They need to quit trying to make a patchwork lineup (Lee, Guerrero) for the short-term and instead use some money looking long-term. You aren't competing in the AL East by filling holes with washed-up vets. Here are five big things I'd do to improve the Orioles with the eyes on the future.
  • Sign Prince Fielder. Whatever it takes. I mentioned above the offensive core is good, but lacking a centerpiece. Prince ties it all together. The top seven in the lineup would go something like: Roberts, Markakis, Fielder, Jones, Hardy, Reynolds, Wieters. That looks pretty good, no? Fielder might not want to head to the worst team in the AL East, but money talks. Blow him away. Worried about his durability due to weight? He's only 27 and hasn't played less than 157 games in a season until this year (and he's at 155 and primed to surpass that mark again). He just doesn't miss games. After the big splash signing, try to keep everything else in-house and see what other holes definitely need to be filled after '12.
  • Move Mark Reynolds to DH permanently. He's an absolute butcher at third, but his power and on-base abilities are helpful to the offense.
  • Let Josh Bell and Chris Davis compete for the third base job. Both players have upside, so the Orioles could strike gold here and make the lineup even stronger.
  • Trade Jeremy Guthrie. He's going to be 33 next season and -- as long as you can ignore the high-loss totals his Orioles have saddled him with -- isn't a bad pitcher. He could give a contender 200 decent innings as their fifth starter. Thus, he'll get something like a mid-level prospect back, but the main reason is the Orioles need to see what they have by giving extended looks to the young pitchers who have already seen time in the bigs. Go into the season with a rotation of Britton, Matusz, Hunter, Arrieta and Tillman and give it an extended look. By midseason, if one or two aren't working out, it's time to dip into the minors for others. If three or four aren't working out, more drastic measures will have to be taken in the offseason.
  • Stick with the Strop-Johnson duo at the end of games. There's no reason to go out and grab another retread like Kevin Gregg again. Trade Gregg if they could, but it's doubtful much comes back. Whatever, let him pitch in non-save situations.
This wouldn't make them a contender in 2012, but they'd be better and would have the chance to evaluate where everything stands with the young players after the 2012 season. You have to take babysteps to get back to respectability after finishing fifth four straight times.

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 9:59 am
 

Pepper: Beltran OK with trade

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: NESN.com's Tony Lee joins Lauren Shehadi to talk about tonight's Red Sox-Phillies matchup, as well as the Brewers' struggles in the Bronx and the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates.

BELTRAN OK WITH TRADE:
Carlos Beltran told the New York Post he would waive his no-trade rights if the Mets wanted to move him, but it would have to be the right situation.

"The team is always going to do what is best for the team, and as a player you have to make decision if the trade makes sense or not," Beltran told the Post.

The Mets are 40-39, but 9 1/2 games behind the Phillies and five games behind the Braves in the National League East. They're also five games back in the wild card, trailing Atlanta, Arizona, St. Louis and Pittsburgh and tied with Cincinnati.

Beltran is in the final season of his contract, and the Mets have already agreed not to offer him arbitration, which means neither the Mets nor any other team that acquires him for the stretch run will get free-agent compensation if Beltran signs elsewhere after the season.

The 34-year-old is hitting .281/.373/.489 with 11 home runs and 53 RBI this season. While he has an injury history, when healthy, he's still one of baseball's premier players.

SETBACK FOR JOHNSON: Bad news for the Marlins: Right-hander Josh Johnson will have his shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews today. Johnson reported stiffness in his shoulder after throwing a bullpen Friday. Johnson is in the second year of a four-year, $39 million contract. [Miami Herald]

BUCHHOLZ DELAYED: Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz is unlikely to make his July 4 start against the Blue Jays. Buchholz is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday, but he may need more time to recover from his lower back strain. [Boston Globe]

BASTARDO TO CLOSE: With yet another Phillies closer on the disabled list, lefty Antonio Bastardo will get the first shot at closing, manager Charlie Manuel said. Right-hander Michael Stutes could get the call if a particularly tough right-handed lineup is scheduled for the ninth. Ryan Madson went on the DL with a bruised right hand. [MLB.com]

SOX STANDING PAT?: MLB.com's Peter Gammons tweets the Red Sox can't add payroll this season. It looks as if they'll have to make due with that paltry $160 million payroll. How can they compete?

GENTLEMAN'S NAME: Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan explains his "gentleman's name" -- Tony Plush, also known as T-Plush, of course. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]

BOURJOS BLOOMING: An adjustment to his stance and swing has paid off for Angels center-fielder Peter Bourjos, who is hitting .328 in June with 14 strikeouts after hitting just .176 with 31 strikeouts in May. [Orange County Register]

TIME TO SIGN GORDON: Is it time for the Royals to lock up Alex Gordon? The one-time savior of the franchise has served his time as a bust before busting out this season, hitting .294/.363/.481 so far in 2011. [Kansas City Star]

OGANDO OPTION: The Rangers could option Alexi Ogando to Triple-A until after the All-Star break, but just to get rest. After starting the season 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his first 12 starts, the former reliever has gone 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA in his last three starts. The Rangers could make a move if Ogando doesn't pitch well Friday against the Marlins. [MLB.com]

Rockies WANT 2B HELP: The Rockies are targeting the Dodgers' Jamey Carroll and other second basemen, but probably won't be able to afford the price of another starter. The team could also look at Orlando Cabrera if the Indians fall out of the race next month. Both Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson are slumping for the Rockies. [Denver Post]

MORE REIMOLD: Orioles manager Buck Showalter wants to use Nolan Reimold more. Maybe he should talk to the manager and make that happen. [MLB.com]

BULLPEN BUBBLES: Who better to judge a bubblegum taste-test than relievers? That's at least what the Washingtonian thought. The winners were Bubble Yum and Dubble Bubble. The video, though, is the key.

WHO DOESN'T LIKE NICKELBACK AND CREED?: Yeah, we've all thought it and said it to our buddies, but Riley Breckenridge, drummer for the band Thrice, wrote it for OC Weekly -- MLB players have terrible taste in music.

ANOTHER CALL FOR REPLAY: Good column by Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram calling for replay in baseball. I agree with LeBreton that umpiring hasn't suddenly gotten worse; it's that replay has gotten better with HD and every game televised, so we see the mistakes more.

FRANKRUPT: So those killjoys at MLB.com won't let you order a Chapter 11 Dodgers jersey, well, you can still get these cool "Frankrupt" T-shirts.

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:25 am
 

Looking back at second-round picks

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


While the first-round of the MLB Draft is gaining more attention in the last couple of years, the later rounds are where most of the work is done. 

The second round starts today at 11 a.m. ET, so here's a look at some of the best second-round picks in recent memory.

Angels: In 1999, the Angels took John Lackey out of Grayson County Community College with the 68th overall pick in the draft. In 1995, they took Jarrod Washburn with the first pick of the second round.

Astros: Perhaps the team's best player right now, outfielder Hunter Pence, was the 64th overall pick in 2004. 

MLB Draft

Athletics: The A's took Vista, Calif., high schooler Trevor Cahill with the 66th overall pick in 2006. Two years before that they took Kurt Suzuki in the second round and in 2003 they took Andre Ethier in the second round. They traded him for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in 2005.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Dave Bush in 2002 is probably the team's best second-round pick since taking Derek Bell in 1987.

Brian McCannBraves: Current first baseman Freddie Freeman was selected with the 78th overall pick in 2007, but the best pick was easily 2002's No. 64 overall pick, a local high school catcher named Brian McCann.

Brewers: The Brewers took Yovani Gallardo with the fifth pick of the second round in 2004.

Cardinals: In 2001, the team took Dan Haren with the 72nd overall pick. More recently, Jon Jay was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

Cubs: You have to go back pretty far -- unless you go with Bobby Hill -- to find much success with the Cubs' second-round pick, but if you go as far back as 1984, they took Greg Maddux with the third pick of the second round and he turned out OK. Also among their second-round picks is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (1996).

Diamondbacks: A's starter Brett Anderson was Arizona's second-rounder in 2006. He was part of the big trade that send Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks.

Dodgers: The Dodgers got future closer Jonathan Broxton with the 60th overall pick in 2002.

Giants: Of recent vintage, the Giants have taken Nate Schierholtz in 2003 and Fred Lewis in 2002, but the most interesting second-round pick by San Francisco was in 1982. That year they took the son of a team legend with the 11th pick of the second round (39th overall), but Barry Bonds went to Arizona State instead.

Indians: Jason Kipnis is one of the team's top prospects, taken in the second round in 2009. In 1995, the Indians took first baseman Sean Casey out of Richmond with the 53rd overall pick.

Mariners: Recently-demoted Orioles starter Chris Tillman was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 second-rounder Rich Poythress, who had 31 homers in Class A last season.

Mike StantonMarlins: It wasn't until the 12th pick of the second round -- and 76th overall -- for someone to pick up Mike Stanton in 2007. 

Mets: There's some slim pickins for the Mets recently, but few Mets fans would trade their second-rounder of 1977, Mookie Wilson. (Seriously, this one was tough, the only players the Mets have picked in the last 15 years who have made the majors were Kevin Mulvey, Neal Musser, Pat Strange and Tyler Walker -- maybe that explains some things.)

Nationals (Expos): Jordan Zimmermann was the team's second-rounder in 2007. Current Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken by the Expos with the sixth pick of the second round in 1999.

Orioles: Nolan Reimold was taken 61st overall in 2005, but if you want to go back a few years, the team took Cal Ripken with the 22nd pick of the second round in the 1978 draft. Ripken was the third of four picks the Orioles had in the second round that year.

Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins was the team's second-rounder in 1996, going 46th overall.

Pirates: Last year's pick was Stetson Allie, who many expected to go in the first round. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny was taken in the second round in 2003 and catcher Ryan Doumit was taken 59th overall in 1999.

Rangers: The only player taken by the Rangers in the second round of the last decade to make the majors is Jason Bourgeois.

Rays: The Rays famously took Josh Hamilton No. 1 overall in 1999, but their second-round pick that year was pretty good too -- Carl Crawford.

Red Sox: How about Justin Masterson (2006), Dustin Pedroia (2004) and Jon Lester (2002)?

Reds: NL MVP Joey Votto (2002) was the third pick of the second round (44th overall) and Travis Wood was taken in the second round of the 2005 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 pick Billy Hamilton, who already has 45 stolen bases this season for Class A Dayton.

Rockies: For recent vintage, Seth Smith (2004) is the pick, but you can go back a few years and pick Aaron Cook (1997).

George BrettRoyals: For all the prospects the Royals have stockpiled in the last couple of years, strangely not too many are second-rounders. Outfielder Brett Eibner (2010) was the only member of the Royals' Top 10 by Baseball America taken in the second round. You have to go back to Carlos Beltran (1995), Jon Lieber (1992), Bob Hamelin (1988), Mark Gubicza (1981), Darryl Motley (1978) and Dennis Leonard (1972) to find serious big-leaguers. Oh, and also a kid out of El Segundo, Calif., in 1971 named George Brett. He was pretty good, too.

Tigers: The Tigers took Brandon Inge with the 14th pick of the 1998 draft as a catcher out of Virginia Commonwealth. In 1976, Alan Trammell was the second pick of the round.

Twins: A nice run of arms earlier in the decade with Kevin Slowey (2005), Anthony Swarzak (2004), Scott Baker (2003) and Jesse Crain (2002). Frank Viola was the team's second-rounder in 1981.

White Sox: A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney (2003) is the team's best second-rounder since Bob Wickman (1990) -- not counting Jeff Weaver, who went back to school after he was picked in 1997 and was taken by the Tigers a year later.

Yankees: In the last 20 years, only two Yankees second-rounders have made the big leagues, Shelley Duncan (2001) and Randy Keisler (1998). Catching prospect Austin Romine was the team's second-rounder in 2007. In 1982, the team did take a shortstop from McAdory High School in Bessemer, Ala., who went on to play football at Auburn instead. His name is Bo Jackson. That was the year after the team took Stanford outfielder John Elway.

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Posted on: March 4, 2011 10:00 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 10:02 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/4: The return of Peavy

Peavy
By Evan Brunell

It feels like the days are dragging now that spring training games are started. Craving relevance, it's important to take the performances of players -- especially day-to-day ones -- this early into spring training with a grain of salt. That said, there's still plenty news of note...

3 UP

1. SP Jake Peavy, CHW: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Scott Miller has more on Peavy, but here's the gist: the White Sox starter pitched in a game for the first time since injuring his shoulder in July. While the road to pitching in the regular season is still long, the fact Peavy made it through a game and had no issues during and after the game is a milestone.

2. SP Bartolo Colon, NYY: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Who saw this coming from Colon? He flat out dominated the Red Sox and turned enough heads that one has to wonder if Colon really might claim that No. 5 spot. It's way, way too early to proclaim Colon the front-runner, but Colon was an afterthought before this start. No longer.

3. LF Nolan Reimold, BAL: 3 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. Reimold is battling for a spot on Baltimore's bench and is doing everything he can to avoid a demotion. Unfortunately, his inability to play center puts him behind the eight-ball. It's possible the O's could deal Reimold at the end of spring training, but that's hard to imagine given Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero are temporary. Baltimore needs to keep its depth and young players, even if that means more seasoning down on the farm.

3 DOWN

1. SP Ryan Rowland-Smith, HOU: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Not good for "Hyphen," who is battling for the No. 5 spot in the Astros rotation. He has no shortage of challengers, including Nelson Figueroa, Aneury Rodriguez and Jordan Lyles, plus a few others. If he fails in his quest, he will be shuttled off to the bullpen.

2. RP Juan Gutierrez, ARI: 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Gutierrez gave up 13 home runs last season but somehow managed to save 15 games with a 5.08 ERA. That won't repeat itself this season, and if the 27-year-old wants to be an important part of the bullpen, he can't have outings like this with plenty of competition around him.

3. CF Dexter Fowler, COL: 4 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI, 1 K. Now with the center field job his free and clear, Fowler needs to take another step forward this year after two years of over 500 plate appearances. Fowler was good enough those seasons, but he needs to take the next step forward if he wants to be considered an integral piece of the club. A .182 average to start spring training isn't helping.

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Posted on: February 16, 2011 8:15 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 8:16 pm
 

Josh Bell could make Orioles as backup

BellOnce the Orioles acquired Mark Reynolds, it appeared to confirm that prospect Josh Bell would be ticketed for Triple-A.

However, manager Buck Showalter revealed to MASN Sports that Bell was in the running to be a utility infielder, backing up third and first base.

"I think Josh is going to come in here and have a really good spring," Showalter said, noting that Bell took a big step forward with his conditioning in the offseason. Bell is listed as 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds on player card, so he could have stood to lose some weight, which he appears to have done.

But how can Bell make the team if he would be limited to just third and first? Most managers like backup infield players to have more versatility.

"There's a way he can make this club if I feel like the at-bats are there for him, being a switch-hitter," Showalter revealed. "[Cesar Izturis] has the middle infield covered, so that guy doesn't necessarily have to be a guy who can play the middle of the infield."

Once (and still potentially) thought of as the O's third baseman of the future after being acquired from the Dodgers midway through the 2009 season, Bell hit Triple-A for the first time in 2010 as a 23-year-old. He impressed with a .278/.328/.481 line in 344 plate appearances along with 25 doubles and 13 home runs.

However, his major league stint was nothing short of disastrous, whiffing 53 times in 161 plate appearances, checking in with a .214/.224/.302 mark. That's simply brutal, even though Bell was just 23 and in his first taste of the majors. (It certainly doesn't mean Bell can't hit big league pitching -- Dustin Pedroia hit .198/.258/.303 in 98 PA in his first taste of the majors back in 2006.)

Although Showalter is leaving the door open for Bell to make the club as backup infielder, don't bet on it. It's far more important to Bell's development -- and Baltimore's future -- to amass at-bats on a regular basis down in Triple-A. Vet on Robert Andino or Nolan Reimold winning the extra spot.

-- Evan Brunell

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com