The Camden Bard

Morning Moves, 3/20/09

Posted in fantasy league, orioles, Uncategorized by audienceoftwo on March 20, 2009

Amidst gathering speculation that Matt Wieters will start the season at AAA, I found myself in need of an everyday catcher to start the fantasy season.  A proposed deal with EJ for Geovany Soto or Russell Martin (he has BOTH of them, plus Joe Mauer) was rejected, so I found myself scrambling.  I have Kelly Shoppach on my bench already, but he figures to start the season as Victor Martinez’s backup and it was starting to look like I would be heading into the season with a hole in my everyday lineup.  Fortunately, Oakland’s Kurt Suzuki went undrafted and was available as a free agent, so I signed him (and dropped Cesar Izturis like a bad habit) for the interim between Opening Day and Wieters eventual recall from Norfolk.

Having resolved that particular dilemma (for the moment), I next took a long hard look at my bench, upon which were seated Ty Wigginton (3B, OF), Rick Ankiel (OF), Jay Bruce (OF), and Kelly Shoppach (C).  It became clear that I am hosed if any of my infielders gets injured, since Wigginton will be a backup at best in Baltimore and primarily in the outfield.  I set about perusing the free agent listings for an ideal solution, and after a brief fliration with Marco Scutaro, settled upon Felipe Lopez, who is eligible at 2B, SS, 3B, and the outfield, and figures to play everyday in Arizona as their leadoff guy.  He’ll add hardly anything stastically (though he’ll likely hit around .280), but should be available to plug a hole should any of my regular infielders get hurt, and will have a better lineup behind him than Scutaro.

This, however, prompted a tough decision–should I drop Shoppach (who is now my third catcher) or Wigginton?  Wigginton is the sentimental choice to keep (being an Oriole), plus he’s got bench power and doesn’t strike out a lot.  My gut, however, knows there’s no room in the Orioles outfield for him to be reliably available for fantasy points, whereas the Indians are both nervous about Martinez’s elbow and looking for ways to get Shoppach into the lineup, hoping to capitalize on the 21 homers he cranked in only 350 at-bats last season.  Since either guy will be playing off the bench for the Taxibirds, I figured it makes more sense to go with the one who is more likely to be in the real-life lineup on the day I need him, so Wiggy got the boot.

Moments later, I cruised over to the Baltimore Sun’s Orioles page, to discover that Wieters was unexpectedly NOT included in today’s round of roster cuts from the major league squad.  This seems like a temporary situation, however, as there are overwhelming financial reasons that compel the front office to keep Wieters on the farm until May.  Speaking of financial matters, the only thing to dislike about Wieters is the fact that Scott Boras is his agent.

In other real-life Orioles news–why the hell are they handing Felix Pie (career BA: .223) the starting job in left field when they have organizational prospect Nolan Reimold (.321 with four homers this spring) and Ty Wigginton (23 HR in only 386 AB in 2008) as alternatives?  Shouldn’t you start Wigginton in left, put Pie on the bench, and tell him he’ll have to keep his job away from Reimold, who will theoretically be only a phone call away in Norfolk, with the gory remains of AAA pitching dangling from his maw?

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