10 August 2015

Arrivals And Departures: Improving The 25th Man

There was a great deal of roster juggling this past week, so I will only list when players arrived or left the organization.

      8/4/15 - signed RHP Andrew Robinson to a Minor League Deal
     8/7/15 - recalled LF/DH Junior Lake and DFAed OF Travis Snider
     8/8/15 - released RHP Bud Norris
     8/9/15 - signed LHP Nick Additon to a Minor League Deal

To provide enough information to be dangerous on the smaller deals, Additon and Robinson are likely only to be expected to provide pitching depth.  You may remember Additon from last year when he signed with the Orioles system after leaving the Cardinals organization.  He found success in Bowie with a nice run of five games, but found it difficult to replicate that performance in Norfolk and was relegated to the bullpen.  This year he signed with Milwaukee and was brutalized pitching at Colorado Springs.  What kind of pitcher is he?  Additon maxes out around 88, but is able to play that off of good feel for a changeup and excellent control.  He has never tasted the Majors even though he has logged 108 games at AAA with 73 starting.

I cannot make you dangerous on Andrew Robinson.  I have nothing on him either than him being released after having a successful 34 game stint in the bullpen for the Braves AA team.

This past week also saw the Orioles throw the towel on Travis Snider.  They acquired Snider for Stephen Tarpley and Steven Brault.  Tarpley has solved A ball with a 2.32 ERA and an 8.8 K/9 over 14 starts.  However, he is regarded by some in the industry as still not being among the Pirates top 20 prospects.  Brault has risen to AA and has a 2.80 ERA and a 9.7 K/9 over 10 starts.  He also is not regarded as a front line prospect despite the dominating performance.  In other words, these two still appear to be on a path to being somewhat meaningful middle relievers, which would be worth more than what Snider was worth for the Orioles this year.

Snider was acquired to increase the odds that the Orioles would have right field resolved after the departure of Nick "Two Home Runs" Markakis.  As we all know, corner outfield has been a major issue for the club this year and is now being largely addressed with Chris Davis pretending to be an outfielder and deadline acquisition Gerardo Parra.  Snider's 237/318/341 bat was relegated to the bench, which marked the beginning of the end.  He showed poor contact, poor power, and a marginal walk rate.  It was reminiscent of his performance when he suffered from bone spurs in his foot a couple seasons ago.  This year there has been no word about any foot injury, so that might simply be a convenient narrative without any truth to it.

With Snider's departure, in comes what might well be a bit of a merry-go-round.  Junior Lake is politely described as a "post-prospect."  Lake raged through the minors, showing off flashes of basepath brilliance and big power.  These tools were particularly interesting as the Cubs kept trotting him out at shortstop.  Eventually, they gave up on that defensive experiment and shifted him to the corner outfield where he also has shown little aptitude.  He also lost his baserunning prowess along the way.  What remains is a 25-year-old who has 646 plate appearances over several cups of coffee in the Majors and a slash line of 241/283/381.  Maybe the club sees something in Lake that Snider did not have or maybe Lake is simply not Snider or, more cynically, they felt they had to bring Lake up for a cup of coffee to explain away why they dumped Tommy Hunter.

Over the next week, it would not be surprising to see Lake drop back down to Norfolk.  Others following the team have offered outfielder David Lough as a DFA candidate.  The argument goes that Gerardo Parra provides the team with a backup centerfielder, which was the main function Lough served.  This year Lough has seen his hitting crater with a 213/256/336 slash.  He appears to be more willing to swing early in the count.  Also, echoing sentiment from what Buck has professed Lough to do, he is putting the ball on the ground more with softer contact and is no longer trying to pull the ball.  My suggestion here is that the Orioles have tinkered with Lough, making him into something that is unworkable for him.  He needs to go back to focusing on driving the ball and stop slapping.  If he can somehow perform similarly as he did last year, he could be worth about 0.6 wins over the last two months.

Your 40 man roster with options:


Boss61 said...

Sometime can you re-post what the colors and codes mean? Thanks.

Jon Shepherd said...

Sure. Red means the option is expended. Yellow means that it has been used this year and is active. Green means that it has not been used. Blue means the player decides whether the team can use the option.