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Orioles101 Mailbag: Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and Manny Machado the Focus

February 1st, 2015 at 7:30 AM
By Josh Michael

It’s Sunday and that means it’s time for another edition of Orioles101 Mailbag, and this week the focus was once again Executive VP Dan Duquette as well as looking ahead to the returns of Matt Wieters, Manny Machado and Chris Davis.

'J. Peterman Counterfeit Mailbag' photo (c) 2012, Bry D. - license:

As we always do, we want to remind you that if we receive multiple questions on the same topic, we answer them with one general response as opposed to answering each one and repeating ourselves.

Do you think that the moves recently made by the Orioles are because Duquette was finally able to focus on the Orioles and not the Toronto rumors?

There is no way to know for sure, but it could be or it could simply be a coincidence of timing. Baltimore had been inquiring on OF Travis Snider for a while this winter, and we believe it was simply the fact that the Pirates lowered their asking price to something the Orioles were comfortable with is why the move finally happened.

Duquette was asked about the Toronto rumors yesterday at FanFest, and reiterated that his “sole” focus was on improving this Orioles team.

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More Quotes from Baltimore Orioles FanFest Including Ryan Flaherty, Dave Wallace and Wesley Wright

January 31st, 2015 at 1:03 PM
By Josh Michael

The annual Baltimore Orioles’ FanFest has been hopping all day, with festivities galore for fans. Several players have been available for the media throughout the day with looking forward to 2015 being the main focus.

In our latest check-in with some more players as the day has progressed, we talked with Jonathan Schoop, Ryan Flaherty and Wesley Wright, as well as Pitching Coach Dave Wallace.

Wright, the left handed reliever signed by the Orioles this offseason, is one of the few newcomers to the Birds projected 25-man roster, and it was easy to tell he was enjoying the sea of Orange here at FanFest.

Wright mentioned that it’s exciting to be a member of a club that is expected to be in contention after not experiencing it since his time with the Tampa Bay Rays.

When asked about how he would describe himself on the mound, Wright said, “I’m a guy who likes to compete and am not afraid of any situation.”

The ultra-utility man, Flaherty was asked about the end of last season, and said “It’s a good feeling to get that far, but you don’t forget that feeling when you lose.”

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Early Check-in from Baltimore Orioles FanFest: Quotes from Dan Duquette, Buck Showalter, & Chris Davis

January 31st, 2015 at 11:33 AM
By Josh Michael

The 2015 Baltimore Orioles FanFest is underway here in Charm City and it's a packed house to say the least. To begin the festivities the Executive VP/GM Dan Duquette, Manager Buck Showalter and VP Brady Anderson fielded questions from season ticket holders.

Emcee Jim Hunter got the crowd going and when he introduced Duquette the crowd gave a very good ovation and Showalter garnered a standing O from the crowd.

The white elephant in the room was immediately addressed when Hunter asked about the Toronto Blue Jays rumors surrounding Duquette this offseason. Duquette admitted there was substance to the rumors regarding Toronto's interest.

Duquette also stated that his number one goal or "sole" purpose is and has been to improve the Orioles.

The first fan question regarded the Orioles not re-signing Nick Markakis:

"We had some concerns with the medicals on Nick," said Duquette.

Duquette also praised Markakis for what he accomplished and did for the Orioles organization while here.

Showalter was asked by a young fan what was going through his head when he won AL Manager of the Year honors and among the words in his response, he stated one fun little statement.

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Minor League Spotlight: ESPN’s Keith Law Ranks Baltimore Orioles’ Farm System 22, Two Pitchers Among Best

January 31st, 2015 at 7:30 AM
By Josh Michael

It’s Saturday, and that means it’s time for another edition of Orioles101’s Baltimore Orioles Minor League Spotlight. This week we turn our focus to ESPN’s Keith Law and his top 100 prospect list as well as his rankings of the 30 MLB farm systems.

First we will take a look at Law’s rankings of all 30 farm systems. Law tabs the Orioles with the 22nd best farm system in the league.

“The Orioles still have a pair of future aces atop the system, but they traded one of their top starting pitching prospects for Andrew Miller and didn't pick until the third round last year, which means they missed out on a chance to add more high-end talent to the system.” Law stated in his piece.

The pair of future aces he mentions are right handers Hunter Harvey and Dylan Bundy, but does not seem high on the Orioles’ third ranked prospect C Chance Sisco. We believe this because he does not mention him, and stated that not picking until the third round last year prevented them from adding high-end talent, thus must not believe that Sisco is high-end talent. We disagree.

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If not Alejandro De Aza, Who Would Be the Next Baltimore Orioles Candidate to Leadoff?

January 30th, 2015 at 9:59 AM
By Josh Michael

The departure of long-time Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis in free agency left some holes to fill. One of those is at the top of the order as the leadoff hitter, but the O's appear to have an easy replacement for that in outfielder Alejandro De Aza.

If De Aza were not to be the leadoff man this season, which we have no reason to believe is the case, who would be the next option for the O's?

Before we answer that, let us first state that it appears that De Aza is the favorite to leadoff for the Orioles in 2015, and rightfully so. Over the course of his career, De Aza has hit in every spot in the lineup in the big leagues, but without question, the leadoff spot is where he has the most experience.

1,358 of De Aza's 2,176 career plate appearances have come from the top of the order. The top spot has been pretty good for De Aza, which bodes well for the Orioles.

Over his career, De Aza has hit .271 with 26 home runs, 64 doubles, 11 triples, 117 RBI, 48 stolen bases, scored 174 runs and boasts a .334 on base percentage when hitting in the leadoff spot.

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