• Jul

    O's pitching depth becoming slim

    The more I see of Radhames Liz the more I think he’ll end up in the bullpen. Sure, I see the 95-98 MPH fastball, outstanding change, and flashes of a decent slider. But his problem continues to be the consistency of that stuff and an amazing ability to get out of whack mechanically from inning to inning.


    Now don’t get me wrong, Liz has to stay in the starting rotation because the Orioles don’t have any other options right now. There is absolutely no one in the minor leagues that’s ready to take his place although the Orioles may have to look at Bowie starters David Hernandez or Brad Bergesen soon if Liz can’t consistently get into the sixth inning.


    Hernandez is more of a strike out pitcher while Bergesen is a ground ball guy who may be the better fit right now for the Orioles due to his ability to go deeper into games.


    Speaking of Hernandez, it’s about time that Ramon Hernandez starts to take pride again with his defense. Ramon’s lazy approach at blocking balls is starting to cost the Orioles and when you combine that with his questionable game calling, you have to wonder whether he’s the catcher the Orioles want behind the plate with so many young pitchers.


    Hernandez is starting to hit a little of late, so hopefully his value will continue to rise.


    Speaking of our future catcher, Matt Wieters has picked up at Bowie where he left off in Frederick. The 22-year old switch-hitter is 7-for his last-17 (.412) with two doubles, a homer and four walks while striking out just twice. He has a .949 OPS in his first nine games at Double-A after putting up a 1.024 OPS in 69 games at Frederick.


    He’s thrown out two of six runners trying to steal (33.3%) after throwing out 25 of 55 (45.4%) at Frederick.


    I know it’s too early to speculate, but my heart just went out when I saw Adam Loewen walking off the mound today holding his elbow. As much as the Orioles need him, I really feel bad for Loewen because his body just keeps breaking down on him and I know how much of a competitor he is on the mound.


    However, I’d be lying if I said this was a surprise. I didn’t think Loewen looked right when I saw him last week in Bowie and although he looked a lot better in his first outing back with the Orioles, you have to wonder if that was adrenaline because his stuff certainly didn’t look that good in his next outing.


    As for the Orioles, with Albers out, Liz ineffective, Olson and Burres struggling to get deep into games, and now with Loewen most likely out again, they are in danger of getting very thin on the pitching staff.

    Hayden Penn is still working himself back into shape at Norfolk after missing some time but the Orioles may want to consider him for that Albers/Loewen role. Rocky Cherry and Jim Miller should also be in the discussion with Cherry having the advantage by being on the 40-man roster.


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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.