• Jan

    Roberson acquired from Phillies


    The Orioles acquired switch-hitting outfielder Chris Roberson yesterday for cash considerations from the Phillies yesterday. The Orioles added him to the 40-man roster and outrighted outfielder Jeff Fiorentino to make room.

    Here's what Chuck Hixon at Phillybaseballnews.com had to say about Roberson and the move.

    "Unfortunately for Chris Roberson, many Phillies fans are likely to remember him as the guy who forgot to wear sunglasses to the outfield when he took over as a defensive replacement late in a September game against Atlanta. The mistake was the reason that two balls were able to drop in front of him, giving Atlanta a win in a key game. Had the Phillies not won the division, that game would have become a major point of contention and Roberson would have been doomed in Philly. As it is, the Phillies decided that there wouldn't be room for Roberson on the 2008 roster and since he was out of options, they sent him to Baltimore for cash considerations.

    Overall, Roberson didn't play badly in his two auditions with the Phillies last season, hitting .286 in 28 games. He was once considered one of the top outfield prospects in the organization, but his star has fallen in recent seasons and he'll look to regain his status with the Orioles, who are looking for potential replacements for Corey Patterson."

    MLB.com had this to say about the move as well.

    Basically this looks like a depth move to me since right now the Orioles are looking at a Jay Payton/Tike Redman platoon in center field in centerfield right now. Roberson has never hit above Double-A and he did that at the age of 25-years old, so this suggests his defense must be pretty solid in Center Field, at least when he brings his sunglasses (see the Hixon report above).

    With neither Payton or Redman exactly know as defensive wonders in center field, this gives the Orioles a defensive option and a little speed which might not be bad off the bench. Roberson looks like the kind of guy if you pick and choose how to use him, he could have some value.

    The dropping of Fiorentino tells you all you need to know about how the Orioles feel about the once promising outfielder. Since his unconscionable promotion from A-ball back in 2005, Fiorentino has struggled to find any consistency and his approach at the plate had become a liability as he moved up the latter. He's an extremely slow starter but normally gets red hot in summer. I wouldn't completely give up on him though because he might make it with someone after a hot July or August, but the days of looking at Fiorentino as any kind of regular option in the major leagues has passed.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.