It's Sunday, and that means its time for yet another edition of Orioles101 Mailbag, and this week as we all enjoyed, or dreaded the lack of baseball from the All Star Break, we were flooded with Baltimore Orioles questions on the approaching trade deadline as well as the starting rotation.
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.
What should be the top priority for the Orioles at the trade deadline?
We touched on this earlier this month (click here to view article) and our opinion has not really changed. We believe the top priority should be a solid left handed bat to come off the bench. Seth Smith would have been the type of player we are talking about, but his trade rumors ended when he signed an extension with the San Diego Padres a couple of weeks ago. If you look at the current Orioles lineup and bench, the only left handed hitters you have available off the bench in the late innings is David Lough and Ryan Flaherty. No disrespect to those guys, but neither of them strike any type of fear in opposing pitchers while at the plate. A left handed reliever would be a nice addition as well.
Who would be the perfect player for the Orioles to acquire at the deadline?
While this is somewhat of a similar question to the previous one, it is different as it specifies one particular player. While we feel a left handed bat is the top priority, the perfect player to acquire would be Boston's LHP Andrew Miller. He has continued to be phenomenal out of the bullpen and his strikeout to walk ratio is fantastic and he is deadly against left handed hitters. Of course, the issue here is that he plays for the Red Sox, and the odds that either the Orioles or the Red Sox would want to trade within the division are very slim, but Miller, in our eyes, would be the perfect player the Orioles could acquire.
The Orioles starting rotation still has six pitchers, that can't last, so who is the odd man out?
Yes, this topic has been beaten into the ground over the past month, but we understand the consistency of the questions because it is something that needs to be addressed eventually by the Orioles. Currently, the Birds only have five starters because Ubaldo Jimenez is on the Disabled List and although he is eligible to come off the DL on July 29, we are hearing that he will not return until August. It's possible the ankle injury was a little worse than first thought, or the Orioles want to let him work on some things in 'rehab' starts in the minors, but odds are that by the time the Orioles are comfortable enough to activate him, one of the current five starters will have pitched themselves out of the rotation. If none of the five have pitched poorly enough to do that, yes it will present a tough decision for the Orioles, but that would also mean Baltimore has been aprised to some good starting pitching in the meantime, which is a good thing.
As always, 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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