Posted on: December 11, 2011 6:35 am
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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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.
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
1. Erik Bedard
2. Zach Britton
3. Jake Arrieta
4. Brad Bergesen
5. Brian Matusz
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.
The middle of the lineup -- Markakis, Werth and Wieters is solid and the bullpen is deep. Other than that? Not much.
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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Tags: Arthur Rhodes, Brad Bergesen, Brandon Snyder, Brian Matusz, Brian Roberts, C. Trent Rosecrans, D.J. Carrasco, Darnell McDonald, David Hernandez, Eli Whiteside, Erik Bedard, Homegrown, Jake Arrieta, Jason Berken, Jayson Werth, Jerry Hairston, Jerry Hairston Jr., Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, Matt Wieters, Mike Fontenot, Nick Markakis, Nolan Reimold, Orioles, Pedro Beato, Ryan Adams, Willie HArris, Zach Britton