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Birds in the Winter Leagues, on the Stove

Outside of the fact that A.J. Burnett opted out of his contract as expected, the hot stove has yet to really get going. As far as the Orioles are concerned, anyway.

They continue to be linked to both Burnett and Teixeira under the “teams that may be interested” banner, but that’s about it so far. I’m intrigued by the fact that Khalil Greene is apparently available in trade, but I wonder whether the O’s would be willing to give up the significant pieces Kevin Towers is sure to demand in return. You have to figure they’ll at least make the call, right?

In the meantime, I thought I’d respond to the many requests to provide some information on how the Oriole minor leaguers are faring in the winter leagues.

All told, the O’s have 15 position players and 17 pitchers active for various teams. That includes names you know (Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Nolan Reimold, Brandon Snyder) as well as some less heralded guys (Chris Roberson, Scott Chiasson, Carlos Rojas).

The Hitters
In looking over the numbers the only thing that jumps off the page — and this was noted in the comments but I can’t remember who said it — is that Roberson is having a hell of a run. In 86 at-bats spanning 21 games, the 29-year old outfielder is hitting .395 with a .442 obp. Most of his hits are singles and he’s got 11 Ks to only eight walks. He does have eight doubles, but hasn’t hit a home run.

Those numbers are pretty consistent with what he did at Norfolk. Add it up and I’m not sure he’s anything to get too excited about given his age — I’d much rather see those numbers from a 22-year old. Still, it’s nice to see, and he obviously provides some needed organizational depth.

Wieters is putting up good-but-not-amazing numbers. In 14 games he’s hitting .286 with a .417 obp, one homer, eight RBI, 10 walks, 11 Ks. Snyder looks good (.325, six doubles in just 11 games) but Reimold appears to be struggling a bit (.250, 13 Ks, six walks, but he does have 13 RBI in only 16 games).

Luis Hernandez has surprisingly good numbers, but let’s not go there.

Third baseman Tyler Henson is struggling mightily, hitting just .232 in 28 games with 36 Ks during that span. Not that you were looking for him in Baltimore next year anyway.

The Pitchers
Poor Gerardo Casadiego. The 27-year old righty is 0-0 in eight games with a 7.04 ERA. Opponents are hitting .303 against him and he’s given up six earned runs in just 7.2 innings. He’s the one that jumps out at me.

Matusz is struggling a bit at 1-2 with a 4.50. Opponents are hitting just .226, though, and he’s got 16 Ks to just four walks. Seems about right for a guy in his position, and certainly nothing to worry about.

The aforementioned Scott Chiasson — a 31-year old righty reliever — is holding it down at 3-1 with a 3.86 in 14 innings. He’s 4-for-6 in save opportunities, opponents are hitting .264, and he’s got 10 Ks to seven walks. Seems like the kind of guy who might get a look in the spring as a middle-relief type.

Beyond that, I see a lot of guys with high ERAs, but I hesitate to read too much into it. The only thing that really disappoints is that nobody is dominating right now.

The complete list of stats can be found by clicking here. I know some of you follow this a little more closely than I do, so feel free to add on to what I’ve assembled here.

10 comments to Birds in the Winter Leagues, on the Stove

  • Greg

    wtf does Oscar Salazar have to do to get a place on the Orioles? I mean seriously. He’s got 45 winter league at bats and is hitting .511.

    Yeah. I said .511… Has a 1.395 OPS. Ridiculous.

    Brandon Snyder is also hot, as is Chris Roberson. Matt Wieters has cooled off.

  • neal s

    I think I missed those Salazar stats because my brain wouldn’t let me believe they were real.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Salazar’s age and major league stats don’t fill me with any confidence. At all. He could probably be a wash against Kevin Millar – except Millar can work a count better than anyone not named Markakis. Wieters looks like he might be coming back to earth and/or getting tired finally. He’s had a loong season since spring training started in February, so I’m not worried. I imagine he’ll be in Norfolk for at least a couple of months, but yeah, he’s The Best because he’s fucking awesome.

    I’m really happy to see Snyder make an impression. I wish I saw more out of Reimold and Matusz, but if I get Snyder instead I’d be pretty happy.

  • Greg

    I wonder what jersey number Wieters will have? It could wind up being a very important number for the O’s– like 4, 5 or 8.

  • some facts.

    Greg, I’m going to guess one in the “teens” range for some odd reason…


    there, 12. Thats my guess…

  • dan the man

    I don’t see why Salazar wouldn’t be on the O’s next as a bench guy. He’s got a legit bat and can play a bench-worthy 1st and 3rd base, and probably 2nd, SS, and LF in a real pinch. Fill up time before Snyder gets a look.

    Is Montanez playing in the AFL? He seems like a guy you would want to get at-bats since he’s going to be gunning for the 4th OF slot.

    Not concerned at all about Matusz – if he was any other draft pick pitcher, we wouldn’t have as high expectations. It’s just that he’s been touted as a guy that could be ready to pitch in the bigs by the end of next season.

  • neal s

    I can’t imagine any scenario where Wieters gets 4, 5, or 8. Can you even imagine what would happen if they tried?

    “Here, kid, take Cal’s old number. Nobody’s using it.”


  • Greg

    That’s not how my post should have been interpreted Neal.

    I’m trying to say that Wieters’ number may get retired someday and be and important number like 4, 5 or 8.

  • Joe the Guy

    I love wieters

    I would probably donate a non-vital organ to charity if the O’s would promise to cut Ramon and start Wieters from Day 1 in 2009.

    and most importantly, WIETERS is the anti-spam word RIGHT NOW (cue spooky theramin sci-fi vortex music)

    but let’s suspend any Retire His Number talk right here. please.

  • neal s

    Oh, damn, I’m sorry. I completely read that wrong — my mistake.

    Now that I know what you’re saying, I think you’re absolutely correct.