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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.

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2014 NBA Draft Profile: Aaron Gordon

August 18, 2014 | by Steve Krebs | Comments (0)
Last year in Arizona, Gordon averaged a mediocre 12 points, eight boards and two assists in 38 games — with a block and just below a steal per game. Apparently not even those stats could translate to Summer League action, taking hits across the board. His game lies in an incredible amount of explosiveness and eye popping athleticism. Above all, the weakest parts of Gordon’s game are his foul shooting (just over 42 per cent) and post skills.
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2014 NBA Draft Profile: Joel Embiid

August 11, 2014 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
Embiid’s shot blocking prowess will be a much-welcomed asset, especially when you consider that playing beside him will be Noels — another shot blocker, and that gives Philly a huge advantage on D. For the Sixers, we think this was the right pick — for other teams, maybe not so much. There is no reason to believe they will be any good this season, so the chances of deciding to rush him back are negligible. Embiid will most likely miss all 82 games.
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2014 NBA Draft Profile: Jabari Parker

August 9, 2014 | by Steve Krebs | Comments (0)
It is interesting to see the different situations the two tops picks are in; top pick Wiggins is not even certain to have a starting gig and his name was in the media constantly tied to being dealt once his 30-day contractual clause is over (and sure enough, where there was smoke, there was fire in this situation). Second pick Parker, however, is being embraced as a top star that the team cannot wait to grow with. We’re not trying to say he will carry them to the championship — or even to many more wins than the league-worst 15 the Bucks managed last season. We just think the team, with the addition of Parker, is headed in a successful direction.
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2014 NBA Draft Profile: Andrew Wiggins

August 6, 2014 | by Steve Krebs | Comments (0)
The lanky, 6′8″, 200-pound Canadian showed there is something very special about his game, posting a 20.8 points, 7.9 boards line per 40 minutes at the University of Kansas. Wiggins’ length and speed made it very easy to break down defenders, and get to the basket. In Summer League action, he seemed to show the same kind of explosiveness getting to the basket with confidence and seemingly with ease. In four games, Wiggins averaged 15.5 points, 3.5 rebound and 0.3 assists, shooting 40.7 per cent from the field.
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