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Spikes Up: The 25th Oriole

March 5, 2007 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Baltimore Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo has some tough decisions to make this spring.
Apparently, for O’s manager Sam Perlozzo, left, part of the decision process for picking his 25th man will be the age-old butt grab test. Here, he samples candidate Terry Tiffee’s tush.

Baltimore will have some interesting battles this spring with its first base/left field/designated hitter slots and its starting rotation, but let’s focus today on another issue facing the O’s, namely, who will be the last player on the 25-man roster.

The early favourite is Freddie Bynum, who offers the flexibility of being able to play all three outfield spots plus second base. Acquired from the Cubs in December after hitting four homers in 71 games last season, Bynum, 26, has impressed Manager Sam Perlozzo with his infield defense in the early going.

Brandon Fahey, also 26, was a surprise last season when he became somewhat of a super sub for the Orioles, starting games at second, short, third, left and right, while batting .235. While I admire his taste in ballplayers ‘ Will ‘The Thrill’ Clark was Fahey’s boyhood idol ‘ I don’t like his chances of following in Clark’s footsteps. In fact, I’m not sure the beanpole (6′2′, 160-pound) Fahey will be able to duplicate the success he enjoyed last year.

J.R. House could be an intriguing sleeper in AL-only leagues if he lands the 25th man gig. He could see time at both corner infield spots, but also has a chance to qualify at catcher, and given his offensive potential that would make him worthy of consideration. If Baltimore is seeking offense, House would be the way to go here.

Jon Knott is another player known for his bat, especially the long ball. He’s just mashed incessantly at Triple-A the past three years (83 homers), but all it’s earned him is a lousy 17 at-bats for the Padres in 2004 and 2006. Knott could handle a corner outfielder job and help at first base. I have always been curious what he’d do if he got a legitimate chance in the bigs.

Former Twin prospect Terry Tiffee is also in the mix and the change of scenery may do wonders for him as he had clearly fallen off the map in Minnesota. But he’s limited to a corner infielder spot and has never really done any one thing well enough to merit serious consideration.

Finally, Adam Stern has a chance for the job as well, but the fact that he can only play the outfield hurts his prospects and a current injury may leave him behind the others, so this Canadian, a former Cornhusker, is looking like a longshot.

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5 Responses to “Spikes Up: The 25th Oriole”

  1. Adam Stern will make the Orioles. But I agree it might not be this year. The Birds are massively overloaded on outfielders. Some should be playing at the Major League level, some shouldn’t. But the Oriole front office values almost everyone above Stern (right or wrong) at this point.

    But Stern will make it eventually.

  2. RotoRob says:

    As a former Bosox, I actually really like Stern, Mike. I think he’s a solid defensive player who’s capable of handling CF, which makes him a good option for as an extra outfielder. In fact, I was quite surprised the Braves didn’t hold on to him going back even further. Obviously, injuries have played a factor to an extent, but I would love to see Stern get an extended opportunity. I agree that he has upside, but probably not as a regular.

  3. James Morris says:

    The Arizona Cardinals of MLB. The Orioles can’t get out of their own way and make smart baseball decisions. Thats a problem that has plagued them for years now. Baltimore… always willing to settle for middle of the road.

  4. RotoRob says:

    Well, at least they got rid of the useless big dollar deals that weighed them down for years. I like what they are trying to do now by locking up a young nucleus of players and if Loewen can get his act together and/or Penn can take a step forward, this team might not be bad.

  5. [...] When he wasn’t deciding to pursue his real passion of football, House is someone who has always intrigued me because of his power potential and catcher qualification. In fact, back in Spring Training, I talked about how House’s sleeper potential should he break camp with the O’s. [...]

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