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Out at second

Sometimes you really have to wonder about curses. For years, the Orioles had absolutely no depth anywhere. Now they finally have depth at second base, are in a position to trade away talent to pick up other talent, and everything goes wrong. First Jerry Hairston gets hurt. Now backup Mark McLemore does, tearing his knee and requiring arthroscopic surgery, putting him out six to eight weeks. Now they're pretty much stuck with Brian Roberts playing second.

Not that there's anything inherently wrong with Roberts playing second; that could have been their plan all along, if they chose. But whichever of Hairston or Roberts was chosen, the other one should have been trade bait. Now it's likely neither one will be. After the season starts, it's going to be too late to trade them for anything of value -- and before someone comes back, they don't have the depth to make a trade.

Oh, well, we still have four or five DHs.


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Comments (2)


They could still move Roberts. They could play that dude name Forermont(sp) could hold on to second until Hairston comes back. Roberts trade value is higher than Hairston's because Roberts is a switch hitter.

Mike Fontenot had a very promising year at Bowie last year; in particular, in the second half he was hot. And he's having a good spring.

But the Orioles are very unlikely to trade away Roberts in order to bring in Fontenot. They've generally shown a strong aversion to (what they consider) rushing young players. And in this case, there are significant downsides beyond the intangible: it burns an option year for Fontenot if they do that, and starts his arbitration clock ticking.

And if they did trade Roberts and then decide Fontenot isn't ready, what's plan B? I believe the only other middle infielders on the 40-man roster are Jose Morban and Jose Bautista. Neither one of whom is a serious option as a starter. Obviously they could purchase the contract of Clay Bellinger, or Luis Lopez, or the like, but that's particularly unappetizing.


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