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September 2006 Archives

September 1, 2006

Rookie of the Year watch?

For obvious reasons, I've been tracking the progress of Nick Markakis this year. And with the new month, it seemed like a good time to take a look back at his season so far. At the end of July -- a month in which Markakis had hit a stellar .403 to lead the majors for the month -- I noted how much he had brought up his seasonal totals after a lousy start. Well, shockingly, he managed to improve on that month, and bring up his numbers even more. There's no way to slice the numbers such that he doesn't look great, but here are a few interesting tidbits:

  • His monthly OPS, April-August: 558, 667, 803, 999, 1140 (!)

  • Breaking down his numbers, makes it really clear how much he improved every month. This chart shows his performance in April, and then his performance since April, allowing us to salivate at the thought of what would happen if he hadn't started off so slowly:

    April 2006       - 182/270/288 (558 OPS)
    May 1  - Aug. 31 - 340/394/531 (925 OPS)
    June 1 - Aug. 31 - 366/414/588 (1002 OPS)
    July 1 - Aug. 31 - 376/418/659 (1077 OPS)
    Aug. 1 - Aug. 31 - 354/400/740 (1140 OPS)

    Add it all up, and his seasonal totals are: 312/372/488.

    (What does the above chart mean? Essentially, he had a miserable April, and a mediocre May, which bring down his early numbers. As the season went on, he got better and better. Of course, those months count, but they illustrate that since he became acclimated to the majors -- remember, he had never played above AA ball before April of this year -- he has been on a complete tear.)

  • Continue reading "Rookie of the Year watch?" »

    September 5, 2006

    Mainely nonsense

    On January 21, the Orioles traded Jorge Julio and John Maine to the Mets for veteran pitcher and Jim Duquette pet Kris Benson. I disliked the trade at the time, feeling that it was yet another example of the Orioles knee-jerkedly seeking guaranteed mediocrity rather than taking a chance on actually developing talent, and I've been following the various players in the trade ever since Maine was called up by the Mets in mid-season. I had intended to blog on this point anyway, but this Question and Answer session in the Baltimore Sun today prompted me to do so now:

    Karl, Georgetown, Del.: Now that John Maine is a starting pitcher with the Mets, and considering his recent scoreless inning streak, do the O's have any second thoughts about having traded him away?

    Jeff Zrebiec: I don't think so Karl. I certainly haven't heard anybody from the organization express second thoughts.

    If I were the sort of person who were snarky, I'd note that having second thoughts require that a team have first thoughts, but since I'm not snarky, I won't say that.
    Kris Benson, who they got for Maine and Jorge Julio, has had his moments, and everybody from Leo Mazzone to Sam Perlozzo to Jim Duquette feel like the Orioles starter should probably have about 14 or 15 wins by now if not for some bad luck and bullpen mishaps. They also give him some of the credit for helping out with Erik Bedard.
    That's the sort of spin I expect from the front office; it's also the sort of lack of analytical thinking I expect from the local media, which so often uncritically parrots what the team tells it. Before I break that quotedown, though, I want to continue quoting, the part that really raised my blood pressure:
    Team officials projected Maine as a No.5 starter No.4 at best. He's obviously improved dramatically. I haven't seen that much of him, but he seems to have improved his velocity and is getting more movement on his fastball. I watched him in his starts with the club last year and he was extremely hittable. Obviously, you have to give him a lot of credit, but I can't imagine that he would have the same numbers if he were pitching in the American League, specifically in the A.L. East.
    Yes, and that's the whole point of having young players. They "improve dramatically." Not always, of course. But when you've got a 25-year old (Maine), he's a lot more likely to do so than a 31-year old (Benson). The Orioles never seem to realize that point, and what's worse, they never seem to care.

    Anyway, on to the numbers. First, let's just directly compare the players involved:

    Continue reading "Mainely nonsense" »

    September 14, 2006

    Play it again, Sam

    So, aside from Erik Bedard pitching yet another stellar game on Wednesday, the big news for the Orioles is that manager Sam Perlozzo is officially coming back in 2007, according to assistant general manager Jim Duquette. (Well, it's relatively big news. How much can you expect to get out of a team that's 20 games under .500 and 25 games out of first?)

    I guess it's hard to blame Perlozzo too much for the team's poor performance this year; it's not as if this roster was projected (at least not by me) to be any better than this. And I guess there's something to be said for stability and continuity; shuffling managers every year is just a recipe for chaos and confusion, and without fixing the roster, what's the point? Still, a day after the Orioles clinched their ninth straight losing season, extending the worst streak since the St. Louis Browns moved east, it's not exactly a decision designed to fire up the fan base, now is it? And no matter what his excuses are, so far Perlozzo is hardly distinguishing himself in the annals of Orioles managerdom:

    Continue reading "Play it again, Sam" »

    September 26, 2006

    O's are Norfolkin': Good.

    The tide finally came in for the Orioles in their search for a new Triple-A affiliate. Or rather, the Tides came in, as in the Norfolk Tides of the International League. Yesterday, the Orioles agreed to a four-year player development contract with the Tides, who replace the Ottawa Lynx atop Baltimore's farm system. The Lynx, as reported earlier, will switch their parent to the Philadelphia Phillies for next season before moving to Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 2008. Meanwhile, the Orioles' most advanced minor-leaguers will reside at the foot of the Chesapeake Bay from 2007 until at least 2010.

    Continue reading "O's are Norfolkin': Good." »

    About September 2006

    This page contains all entries posted to The Orioles Warehouse in September 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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