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Was This Steve Clevenger’s Last Chance?

September 5, 2014 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
Steve Clevenger had a chance to stick with the Baltimore Orioles.
Steve Clevenger’s home run trot is rare footage. (Kim Klement, USA Today Sports)

Last winter it seemed highly likely that Steve Clevenger would be the Orioles’ backup catcher this season.

We liked the idea, believing that having a good-hitting backup catcher might allow the O’s to keep Matt Wieters fresh with more rest.

Well, things didn’t quite work out as planned.

Wieters was on his way to the offensive breakout we’ve been waiting on forever, but his elbow started barking in early May and a month later he underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Great news for the Baltimore-born Clevenger, right?

Not necessarily. Two things happened to put the kybosh on Clevenger’s potential coming-out party. First, Caleb Joseph was recalled and a couple of weeks later, the O’s acquired Nick Hundley, a backspot perfectly capable of handling the starter job.

Joseph was brought up merely to provide depth but about six weeks later, he started hitting. And he continued to do just enough with the stick to surge to the top of the depth chart, leaving Clevenger as the third stringer — despite Wieters’ injury.

With Hundley on board, Clevenger was on borrowed time. Even with a decent .246 BA and the ability to take a pie in the face (see video below), he was excess baggage.

At the end of May, B-More shipped Clevenger back to Triple-A. He was back up for a week and a half in July, a few days in August and then earned himself a September call-up earlier this week.

Clevenger, who only has three MLB at-bats since his May demotion, has actually shown better extra-base power this year (his first career triple helped), but he hasn’t gone yard since 2012 and has typical catcher (nonexistent) speed.

At this point, he’s simply an extra bat that can come in handy at various times of the season, but it’s not clear he’s done enough to put himself in position for a backup gig in the majors. Clevenger was productive at Triple-A, but overall in the minors he wasn’t nearly as impressive as he was in 2013, when the Cubs’ seventh rounder from 2006 was still somewhat of a prospect.

For our money, that shipped has likely sailed. And it’s highly unlikely Clevenger will see enough PT this month to get on anyone’s radar. The fact that he’s all the Orioles have left from the Jake Arrieta trade probably doesn’t help ingratiate himself to the B-More faithful, either.

RotoRob Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast

Crave more in-depth Fantasy analysis? Then join us every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST for RotoRob Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast on Blogtalkradio as we entertain and edify you for an hour or more each week. RotoRob’s guest next week will be Peter Kreutzer of AskRotoman.com. Tune in here.

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RotoDerby August Report: Freeman Hits For Average

September 3, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments (0)
The Peakers have been a savage disappointment. We selected this team based on the fact that we saw them producing more power than they showed the last season. We knew guys like Troy Tulowitzki and Will Venable were gambles, we’re just glad our wallets didn’t suffer the same kind of negative totals.
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The Wire Troll: Miguel Gonzalez Grooving for B-More

August 31, 2014 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
In his last three starts, he’s only given up 14 hits, four earned runs and three walks while fanning 13 in 19 1/3 IP. He’s won twice and taken a hard-luck loss. Gonzalez, part of a very cheap Orioles rotation (except for that Jimenez dude), seems to do enough to put himself in line for some wins given how strong the B-More offense is, so give him a look in deeper mixed leagues and add him in AL-only formats.
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Podcast: Madison Bumgarner Flirts with Perfection

August 29, 2014 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
RotoRob Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast, heard every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on Blogtalkradio, was back in action this week, this time featuring the return of RotoRob.com MLB Editor Michael Seff. RotoRob had a wee bit of technical trouble just as the show launched, but otherwise, it was smooth sailing.
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The Wire Troll: Jon Jay Plays His Cards Right

August 24, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments (1)
Jay’s good friend Freese is starting to show the Angels what the Cardinals got glimpses of prior to trading him. Mr. October (2011) has turned it around after a very slow start, posting a .300 average in August with seven RBI. His season numbers are pedestrian (.259, six homers, 41 RBI), but when you consider he was hitting just .203 at the end of May, his stock is headed in the right direction.
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