Baltimore Sun

What do you do with the Orioles' left-fielder situation?

Hope everyone who celebrates it had a great Easter.

I did, though I might have set a record for attending the most Easter egg hunts in a week's span. Such is the life of a father of three. I also enjoyed the final round of the green-jacket sweepstakes. I was pulling for Kenny Perry. Love those aging, paunchy guys.


I skipped Sunday's Orioles game, but covered the first five. And I wanted to address one subject that is on a lot of your minds (or so my e-mail box says).

In the Orioles' six games so far, they have had three different starting left fielders, and that doesn't include Ty Wigginton, who will play there on occasion.


Felix Pie has started four games in left, Ryan Freel one and starting designated hitter Luke Scott one (Opening Day against tough lefty CC Sabathia).

The Orioles have not been cryptic about their plans for left. It is Pie's job to lose. Like Nick Markakis in right in 2006 and Adam Jones in center in 2008, Pie will get a majority of starts there until he proves he can't hack it. He certainly has the defensive tools, though his route-taking needs refinement.

But they also want to make sure they get guys like Wigginton and Freel in the lineup on occasion, and left is the only spot on the diamond that is not fully set.

There already have been some interesting decisions made. On Thursday, Pie had two hits, both singles going the other way, something he has worked on this spring. And then Friday he was out of the lineup in favor of Freel.

Some questioned that decision. But Freel needs to get in the lineup, and I don't have a problem giving Pie a day to contemplate his first successful offensive day in an Orioles uniform. Others, of course, would have liked to see him try to continue the momentum. He has been hitless in his two starts since.

I've said this before, but I like what the Orioles are doing with Pie. Give him a low-pressure chance. Let him know that if he goes into a 0-for-10 slump, he still has a job.

If he continues to flounder, say in July, then cut bait (like the fishing theme?), put him through waivers and bring up another unproven player such as Nolan Reimold or Lou Montanez and give him the same extended chance.

Because Pie is out of options and the above two aren't, it made sense to give him the first chance, even though he didn't play as well in the spring.


So, for now, I think Pie should be the primary starting left fielder, especially if this season really is about the future. But I know many of you disagree. Some want to see Reimold (big power. but still raw), Montanez (can hit, but limited defensively) or even Scott (though as a DH, he'll play plenty) in there full time.

So, I'll give you the sticky, beer-soaked floor on this issue. If you were O's manager Dave Trembley, what would you do? Would you have a platoon in left or would you give it to one player, see what happens and re-evaluate in a few months?

Daily Think Special: What would you do with the Orioles' left-field situation?