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Major lineup decisions need to be made


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#1 mikezpen

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 09:50 AM

I know Hays and Mullins have a following here. But neither has hit that well for two years and Mullins at least, has been hurt a lot. Combine that with a logjam at other positions and the need to win before our core free agents elsewhere. That means decisions are needed, now.

 

One is the possibility of moving either Henderson or Holiday to center or left. I've always heard that a superior infielder can move to the outfield. Robin Yount did it and made the Fall of Fame. Orioles are short of good defenders (who can hit) to handle center and left. Moving one of them helps fill that void and also reduces the infield logjam, opening things up for Mayo or Druby..

 

Just because Yount did it don't mean one of our guys can. But it's a thought. Bradfield's 2-3 years away even if he hits, and time's awasting.

 

 


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#2 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 09:58 AM

Why would the solution be moving Henderson or Holliday to the OF?

 

If you want to trade Hays, that's fine. 
Cowser takes over LF.

 

Mullins is not going to be moved imo.
He's still excellent (range wise) in CF.
Yes, he's had a .721 OPS the last two years... but he's also been knocked down in the lineup.

 

Holliday is going to take over 2nd soon.
Westburg is going to move to 3rd. 

 


Westburg (who I like), probably has to produce immediately to hold off Mayo.

 

If Westburg is producing offensively, and looks good at 3rd... than Mayo's future imo goes to 1st, DH, RF (taking advantage of his arm).
You aren't going to play Mayo in LF at OPACY. 

 

Of course, if Mayo is getting time at 1st, DH, RF... that means something for at-least one of Mountcastle, O'Hearn, and Santander. 

O'Hearn is the easiest piece to pull out there.
He was very important last year, but I think it's totally tbd if he can replicate. 

Mountcatle is never going to have great obp skills, but the barrell and exit velos are excellent.
Santander has done enough the last two years, that when combined with his switch hitting ability... means he has a place. 

 

Of course the other thing to factor is how many ab's Rutschman gets at DH. 

 

 

 

Summation...  I think we see Hays and O'Hearn removed by midyear, with Cowser starting in LF, and Mayo getting time.
At some point (maybe after '24) Mountcastle is also moved, and Kjerstad is up, splitting 1st and DH with Mayo.

 

That's my current expectation. 


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#3 Slidemaster

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 10:59 AM

Why would the solution be moving Henderson or Holliday to the OF?

If you want to trade Hays, that's fine.
Cowser takes over LF.

Mullins is not going to be moved imo.
He's still excellent (range wise) in CF.
Yes, he's had a .721 OPS the last two years... but he's also been knocked down in the lineup.

Holliday is going to take over 2nd soon.
Westburg is going to move to 3rd.


Westburg (who I like), probably has to produce immediately to hold off Mayo.

If Westburg is producing offensively, and looks good at 3rd... than Mayo's future imo goes to 1st, DH, RF (taking advantage of his arm).
You aren't going to play Mayo in LF at OPACY.

Of course, if Mayo is getting time at 1st, DH, RF... that means something for at-least one of Mountcastle, O'Hearn, and Santander.

O'Hearn is the easiest piece to pull out there.
He was very important last year, but I think it's totally tbd if he can replicate.

Mountcatle is never going to have great obp skills, but the barrell and exit velos are excellent.
Santander has done enough the last two years, that when combined with his switch hitting ability... means he has a place.

Of course the other thing to factor is how many ab's Rutschman gets at DH.



Summation... I think we see Hays and O'Hearn removed by midyear, with Cowser starting in LF, and Mayo getting time.
At some point (maybe after '24) Mountcastle is also moved, and Kjerstad is up, splitting 1st and DH with Mayo.

That's my current expectation.


I think this is a good summation.

I ultimately expect Westburg to occupy a kind of super utility role that gets him 4-5 starts per week. Mayo probably plays more 3rd than 1st but I imagine he plays both places. Gunnar at SS, Holliday at 2nd, Mountcastle playing some 1st and some DH.

They're going to have 4-5 guys who can be easily plugged into multiple positions as needed. It'll make it easier to give days off and manage rest.

#4 BaltBird 24

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:00 PM

Moving Henderson or Holliday to the OF may have been one of the most ridiculous things I've read on here yet, especially considering we're already at a glutton of OF even behind Hays and Mullins.
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#5 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:36 PM

The O's are actually pretty thin in CF - it's basically the one place where they have no depth.  Bad idea to move Henderson or Holliday there, though, imo.



#6 BaltBird 24

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:49 PM

Enrique Bradfield is the obvious long term hopeful. He's still a couple of years away, though. Fabian could click.

#7 jamesdean

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:52 PM

I think this is a good summation.

I ultimately expect Westburg to occupy a kind of super utility role that gets him 4-5 starts per week. Mayo probably plays more 3rd than 1st but I imagine he plays both places. Gunnar at SS, Holliday at 2nd, Mountcastle playing some 1st and some DH.

They're going to have 4-5 guys who can be easily plugged into multiple positions as needed. It'll make it easier to give days off and manage rest.

I'm still not keen on Holliday being at 2nd.  My ideal infield would be Henderson at 3rd, Holliday at SS and Westburg at 2nd.  First base could be platooned with whoever's on the roster at the time.  Or just leave Mountcastle there as your every day first baseman.  



#8 mikezpen

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:01 PM

You have lots of outfielders but we also have, in a sense, two centerfields to cover. Most of them cannot play there. If Mayo moves to the outfield, can he? (I honestly don't know).

 

Henderson and Holiday are good athletes, and one could perhaps be switched. While my idea may be "ridiculous", it's also ridiculous to maintain a bottleneck that keeps top prospects buried in Norfolk while keeping weak hitters in the lineup.



#9 NewMarketSean

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:42 PM

If Hays and Mullins don't get hot, and quick, they'll find themselves on the bench, traded or released. Especially with the way our OF prospects have been hitting in Norfolk. 

 

But neither Hays or Mullins has been very good offensively for close to a year now.


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#10 weird-O

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:43 PM

You have lots of outfielders but we also have, in a sense, two centerfields to cover. Most of them cannot play there. If Mayo moves to the outfield, can he? (I honestly don't know).

 

Henderson and Holiday are good athletes, and one could perhaps be switched. While my idea may be "ridiculous", it's also ridiculous to maintain a bottleneck that keeps top prospects buried in Norfolk while keeping weak hitters in the lineup.

The O's have played 6 games, and you're ready to declare Hays and Mullins as weak hitters who need to be replaced yesterday?


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#11 BaltBird 24

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:45 PM

Mullins will be productive. He's still a well above average CF. Hays is probably above average in LF, too, but I'm OK if they decide to move on from him.

#12 NewMarketSean

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:49 PM

The O's have played 6 games, and you're ready to declare Hays and Mullins as weak hitters who need to be replaced yesterday?

 

Hays and Mullins second half of 2023 was weak offensively.


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#13 hallas

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 03:09 PM

I don't see how you walk away from Mullins.  His offensive stats appeared to tank a lot more than they actually did, and he was still an above average hitter in 2022.  His un-adjusted OPS dropped a lot because 2022 was a worse offensive year, and because of of Walltimore.

 

Even in 2023 he was on pace for around 2.8 WAR, a solid above-average season, despite being in the middle of a slump.  Considering he plays a premium defensive position well I don't see how you walk from that midseason.

 

Hays I feel much differently about.



#14 weird-O

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 03:52 PM

Hays and Mullins second half of 2023 was weak offensively.

Hays dropped off, sure. Mullins being injured was probably the biggest variable to his year end stats. I think it's premature to cut them from the team and move infielders to the outfield. Which is what's being suggested. To my knowledge, Neither Henderson or Holliday have played the OF at a professional level. So not only will those moves weaken the IF, it will simultaneously weaken the OF. While we're at it, let's move Rutch to RF, and have Santander catch. :D


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#15 85Knight

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 03:56 PM

I know Hays and Mullins have a following here. But neither has hit that well for two years and Mullins at least, has been hurt a lot. Combine that with a logjam at other positions and the need to win before our core free agents elsewhere. That means decisions are needed, now.

One is the possibility of moving either Henderson or Holiday to center or left. I've always heard that a superior infielder can move to the outfield. Robin Yount did it and made the Fall of Fame. Orioles are short of good defenders (who can hit) to handle center and left. Moving one of them helps fill that void and also reduces the infield logjam, opening things up for Mayo or Druby..

Just because Yount did it don't mean one of our guys can. But it's a thought. Bradfield's 2-3 years away even if he hits, and time's awasting.


That's really thinking outside the box.

#16 DuffMan

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 07:41 PM

Norfolk already with 10 tonight, get someone up here for some of these guys

#17 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 08:33 PM

Last I saw MLB doesn't hand out trophies for Scariest AAA Lineup Ever.

 

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#18 Slidemaster

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 08:52 PM


Norfolk already with 10 tonight, get someone up here for some of these guys


They really can't just sit around letting this happen. I'd guess 3-4 of the best players in the organization RIGHT NOW are sitting at Norfolk.

#19 dude

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 10:39 PM

That means decisions are needed, now.

 

Why?

 

I don't really care what they do.  I certainly have an opinion about it, but they've chosen to do what they've done.  This is on Elias, but changes needed to happen, if they wanted changes, 4-5 months ago.  Argue why they did whatever, but none of this is new. 

 

They chose to force a bunch of guys down to AAA.  They didn't want to make room for them.  They didn't want to trade them.  The numbers were never going to work....

 

The bench isn't a developmental position so arguing that a AAA guy is better than a guy on the bench today isn't really an argument.

 

The breathless hand-wringing for another 20-something remains strange.



#20 Slidemaster

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 10:53 PM

Why?

I don't really care what they do. I certainly have an opinion about it, but they've chosen to do what they've done. This is on Elias, but changes needed to happen, if they wanted changes, 4-5 months ago. Argue why they did whatever, but none of this is new.

They chose to force a bunch of guys down to AAA. They didn't want to make room for them. They didn't want to trade them. The numbers were never going to work....

The bench isn't a developmental position so arguing that a AAA guy is better than a guy on the bench today isn't really an argument.

The breathless hand-wringing for another 20-something remains strange.

I think what bothers me is that they would very, very clearly be a better team right now with Holliday and probably Mayo on the big league roster. They announced their decision to (rightfully) go for it this year when they traded for 1 year of Burnes. I love that decision. You can't always play to win next year.

April games count the same as September ones in the standings. They clearly have an uneven lineup with holes in several places. I want the best team on the field this year, and quickly. It would absolutely suck to miss a division title (or even worse, the playoffs entirely), because they putzed around in April playing the service time game. I get the reasons they're doing it, but it's very transparent, and honestly still smacks of Angelos era logic.

I'm ready to win. I want to feel like organizationally they want it just as badly.
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