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Orioles101 Mailbag: Lineup Questions Frequent, Jeff Samardzija the Hot Topic

June 1st, 2014 at 6:30 AM
By Josh Michael

It's Sunday, and you know what that means, it's time once again for another edition of Orioles101 Mailbag and this week we received some interesting questions regarding the Baltimore Orioles lineup, but the hot topic of the week was Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

'Jeff Samardzija' photo (c) 2012, Mike LaChance - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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 answer as opposed to answering each one and repeating ourselves.

This week's edition only includes two questions, but both questions are answered in depth.

So let's get to this week's best questions shall we?

If the Orioles were to trade for Samardzija, what would they have to give up?

This was by far the most common question we received this week and understandably so. Reports came out from everywhere it seemed that the Orioles are the "front runner" or the "most interested" team in trying to acquire Samardzija, including CBS Sports, but as all of us have learned over the years, reports such as these are easy to make and often "leaked" in order to spur competition amongst prospective trade partners, so we have to take these reports for what they are.

An important thing to remember about Samardzija is that he is not a rental, he would be under club control through the 2015 season.

In regards to the actual question, it is tough to answer, but from everything we have read and our own opinions, we believe it would most likely take either Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman and one of Eduardo Rodriguez, Hunter Harvey and Jonathan Schoop, with possibly a Christian Walker or Josh Hart in the latter group.

Of course, if the Orioles deem both Gausman and Bundy untouchable, they may be able to group three of those players in the latter group to satisfy the Cubs.

In the end, it is up to the Orioles if they want to pull the trigger on a potential deal and which prized pitching prospect(s) they are willing to give up.

The Orioles lineup has some holes, what adjustments to it should the Birds make?

We thought this was an interesting question with the Birds coming off of a pretty decent showing in the middle of May, including a stretch of nine games where they scored 55 runs, which is pretty good. Baltimore has begun to hit the long ball with more frequency, but the absence of Matt Wieters does play a big factor in the lineup, especially against right handed pitchers as he provides that extra left handed bat.

'Adam Jones, Chris Davis' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

In regards to adjustments, we saw Manager Buck Showalter move Manny Machado down to the seven spot on Thursday in hopes of him getting on track offensively and placing the hot bat of Steve Pearce there, which is a move that is understandable.

Something we here at Orioles101 would like to see is to switch Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones, meaning Cruz hit in the three spot and Jones fifth and here's why. Managers often say that you put your best hitter in the three spot and right now there is little argument that Cruz is that guy, plus he would have Chris Davis behind him, whom pitchers obviously fear. Also, Nick Markakis is having a good season, especially in the first inning and the more often you can have Cruz hit with someone on base, the better.

In addition, Jones would benefit as well. Cruz and Davis have the highest on base percentages on the team and it is no secret that when runners are on base, you get pitched to differently and more holes are open around the field. Jones is one of the more aggressive hitters in the league and when you can present him with more holes to hit through and perhaps better pitches to hit, that will benefit everyone.

Those were the top two questions of the week and they were so frequent that we decided to answer just those two, but to go more in depth with each answer. We thank everyone for their questions throughout the week, and we continue to urge you to send us questions every week as Orioles101 Mailbag is here to stay as a weekly edition.


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Tags: Adam Jones, Baltimore, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, Dylan Bundy, Jeff Samardzija, Manny Machado, MLB, Nelson Cruz

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