June 25, 2008
Updated June 23
• SI.com's Jon Heyman says the Orioles will have some of the best available relievers, if they decide to be sellers before the July 31 trade deadline:
The relief market looks like it may be pretty limited. The best relievers available may be Colorado's Brian Fuentes and whatever the Orioles may offer up, starting with George Sherrill, Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker.
• Heyman also thinks the Seattle Mariners are ready to listen to trade offers for former Orioles ace Erik Bedard. The Mariners (27-49) have the worst record in the majors:
The Mariners are getting ready to make almost everyone available, including Carlos Silva, Erik Bedard, Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, Jose Vidro and Jarrod Washburn. Almost everyone, but not their main man Ichiro. ...
• SI.com's John Donovan says the Mariners are not very happy with how Bedard has performed this season:
Erik Bedard (4-4, 3.97 ERA), the ex-Orioles' ace who was the centerpiece of what was thought of, at the time, as a blockbuster winter trade, has been a severe letdown. Critics question his heart and his health, and deride him as an ace that refuses to pitch deep into games. He hasn't made it past the sixth inning in any of his last four starts. On Friday against the Braves, he was pulled with back spasms after just three innings and 36 pitches. It's unclear as to when he will make his next start.
• Yahoo Sports' Steven Henson says the Orioles are among the teams that will be sellers as the deadline approaches:
More of the same from the Orioles. Except now they can't keep up with the Rays, either. Melvin Mora, Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff and Jay Payton are tradeable, and Kevin Millar is in front of the store with a clearance sign around his neck.
• SI.com's Heyman also comments on the New York Yankees' decision to sign former Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson, saying it's a sign of "desperation" from a team in need of depth in the rotation.
Nothing short of desperation caused the Yankees to bring back troubled pitcher Sidney Ponson. They'll need a sixth starter since they have a day-night doubleheader vs. the Mets Friday, and Ponson appears likely to get a start. (Editor's note: Darrell Rasner and Dan Giese are currently listed as the Yankees' Friday starters on the team's Web site).
• FoxSports.com's Dayn Perry says Brian Roberts should be the American League's starting second baseman in the All-Star Game:
Ian Kinsler's been slightly better with the bat this season. However, Roberts is the better defender, has been an All-Star twice before, and is batting .287 AVG/.364 OBP/.461 SLG on the season. So he gets the nod.
• In a different story predicting the next managerial firing, Perry puts Orioles skipper Dave Trembley in his "Safe ... for now" category:
Predicting what the Orioles will do is a fool's errand, but one would assume that the team's nominal successes in 2008 will spare Trembley. That the O's are hovering around .500 and not in last place speaks to Trembley's, well, adequacy. But things can change. Especially in Peter Angelos' Baltimore.
• Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com discusses the Orioles' recent homestand and the role of Trembley and pitching coach Rick Kranitz in the club's solid start:
The Orioles, after trading shortstop Miguel Tejada and left-hander Erik Bedard, are a combined 9-9 against the Red Sox and Yankees. They've also developed a unique camaraderie under manager Dave Trembley, who is in his first full season.
Pitching coach Rick Kranitz, the replacement for Leo Mazzone, has played a major role in helping develop Daniel Cabrera, Garrett Olson and Radhames Liz. The Orioles have more young pitching coming, including Class AA right-hander Chris Tillman, who was acquired in the Erik Bedard trade. A scout who saw Tillman recently compared him to Rick Sutcliffe.
The pitching depth could enable the Orioles to trade for young position players, but MacPhail says the best way for the team to compete against the Red Sox and Yankees is "to outpitch them." Meanwhile, a potential selloff of veterans -- Roberts, Cabrera and closer George Sherrill all would be attractive -- is on hold.
• ESPN.com has the Orioles ranked 14th in its latest MLB power rankings, up one spot from the previous week:
Garrett Olson has pitched far better at home (3-0 with a 3.49 ERA) than he has on the road (2-2 with a 6.23 ERA).
• SI.com's Gennaro Filice has the Orioles ranked 14th in his current power rankings, up two spots from last week:
Young reliever Jim Johnson's got a ways to go with his command, but this flamethrower is fun to watch. His .163 batting average against says it all.
• CBSSports.com has the Orioles ranked 13th, up three spots from last week:
We really have little explanation for how long they have stuck around the .500 mark. Manager Dave Trembley has done more with less than almost any manager in baseball.
[Compiled by Dan Morrison]