It's Sunday, and of course that means it's time for Orioles101 Mailbag and this week we were flooded with possible Baltimore Orioles September call up questions as well as playoff questions.
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.
At what point should the Orioles turn their focus to teams like the Tigers, Angels and A's as opposed to the AL East?
First, we will preface this with that the team itself would likely not turn their focus to any of these teams until the division is completely locked up and there is no mathematical way an AL East team could catch them, that's just the way it is.
Now as for how we would feel about it, we believe that the O's should begin looking at the three mentioned teams once September begins if their lead in the AL East is seven games or more. The reason is, you cannot begin to look at potential playoff matchups in August as that is how teams could find themselves on the wrong side of history. Also, the Orioles play a AL East heavy schedule in September, so anything could happen when you are facing the teams chasing you. The number one goal for this Orioles team is not to secure home field advantage in the playoffs, it is to win the AL East so they do not find themselves in the one-game wild card scenario, so before you can even think about home field, you have to get yourself into a series first and foremost.
Is there an off the radar pitcher that could be called up from the Minors once September 1 comes around and rosters expand?
There are the obvious pitchers who will be added to the bullpen once rosters expand because we have already seen them here, but we believe there could be two arms that could be called up and are considered off-the-radar. Suk-min Yoon, although struggling mightily at the AAA level could get a call up as a just incase long reliever as he is on the 40-man roster and if the Orioles were to find themselves on the wrong end of a blow out early in a game, Yoon could eat those innings and allow Manager Buck Showalter and Pitching Coach Dave Wallace the opportunity to see him face Major League hitters to help them provide him the feedback for next season on what he needs to work on.
Another name is one we saw for one day in Baltimore and that is left hander Tim Berry, who is also already on the 40-man roster. Berry did not appear in the game when he was called up to the Orioles earlier this season for one day, but he has pitched well in AA Bowie and it never hurts to have another left handed arm in the bullpen just incase.
Which position player could make a big contribution to this team that could get called up when rosters expand?
We do not believe there is a player that could be called up that will make a huge contribution to this team because if they could, they would already be here, but we do feel that Quintin Berry could make the team better instantly. Berry, who is a left handed hitter, has hovered around the .300 mark for the Tides this season, which is a nice addition to a bench that does not have very good left handed options, but also the speed he would bring the roster would be big. Berry has stolen 22 bases this season for Norfolk and has shown a high rate of success at the Major League level as well, and being able to have two speedy guys on the bench could allow Showalter more freedom in using a pinch runner in a close game as opposed to just having David Lough.
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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