The Camden Bard

The Fog Is Lifting In My Crystal Baltimore

Posted in fantasy league, orioles by audienceoftwo on March 23, 2009

It appears that Rich Hill will not be ready for Opening Day, which leaves the Orioles’ rotation still unresolved with two weeks to go.

AWESOME.  This means that Mark Hendrickson (hooray!  Mark Hendrickson!  Who the hell is Mark Hendrickson?) will likely get the ball every fifth day simply by virtue of the fact that he is left-handed.  It’s looking like another year of potent offense and non-existent pitching for the O’s, about which I’d be more upset if it weren’t for the gathering concensus that the Birds may finally be just a few years away from putting it all together again.  With Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, and Jake Arrieta a year of seasoning away from the bigs, and Angelos apparently finally prepared to make a big move, 2009 represents an opportunity to consolidate an offense and new team attitude that will lay the groundwork for the future.  It suddenly seems as if we may find ourselves cruising into 2010-2011 with Nick Markakis in his prime, Adam Jones playing at the top of his potential, Matt Wieters entrenched as the offensive core of the lineup, Brian Roberts providing veteran stability (albeit probably decreased productivity), Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott providing power deep in the lineup, three young horses anchoring the rotation, and Chris Ray in place as the bullpen stopper.  Add to this mix a move like Alomar or Palmeiro (you know, before we found out they were both horrible people), and suddenly it’s looking like 1997 again.

I also found it interesting to read that Koji Uehara has begun experimenting with a change-up.  In my season as the XBOX 360 version of the Orioles (in 2K Sports’ MLB 2K9), Uehara got hammered in his first start, largely due to his use of a two-seam fastball and a screwball as off-speed pitches, which the virtual Yankees tagged to the tune of 11 runs through three innings.  Real-life O’s manager Dave Trembley would probably have been a bit quicker with the hook, but it’s hard to see real-life Uehara having distinctly different results without developing a serviceable change.

In fantasy news, it appears Taxibirds’ bench outfielder Rick Ankiel is poised to nudge Ryan Ludwick out of the running for the cleanup spot in the Cardinals lineup behind Greatest Player In Baseball Albert Pujols–which means Ankiel will be seeing lots of delicious pitches.  There aren’t many players who can artificially lift other guys’ stats (we’ve seen David Ortiz for what he really is with ManRam’s departure) like Pujols, so I’m provisionally swapping Ankiel into the DH spot to start the season–especially since there’s been a dearth of good news about Jim Thome’s back.  I’m continuing to gamble that depth and no real drags on the lineup will be the key to my team’s success–but with some people now predicting Wieters’s arrival as late as July, I’m starting to get nervous that my offense doesn’t have enough pop.  So please, Ryan Ludwick, if you’re reading this: continue to underperform so that Rick Ankiel gets your job.


2 Responses

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  1. Poppy said, on March 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Will you be doing a post explaining who is Alfredo Simeon (or is it Simon)? I follow this stuff reasonably closely, and I have never heard of Alfredo Simeon (or is it Simon). Still RotoWorld says he’s in the rotation for your beloved byrds.

  2. audienceoftwo said, on March 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Here’s the first I heard about Simon, from the Sun last Thursday:,0,4532566.story. Separately, has the Washington Post stopped covering the Orioles altogether? Because that is WEAK!

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