With the trade of Jeremy Guthrie this week, it looks like the Orioles long-term project of rebuilding the organization is one with no end in sight.
As Spring Training opens up in a little more than a week and it’s obvious the team needs – a) pitching, pitching, and more pitching; plus, another big bat.
It looks as if there will be a lot of pitchers in camp, and except for maybe the closer position, a couple of starter spots, plus a setup man, positions are open for the taking. The young arms know that a spot in the rotation isn’t guaranteed, and maybe that will serve as motivation.
Right now, I know people like to compare the Orioles situation with the Rays of a few years ago. For at least a decade, Tampa Bay stunk until they got lucky in the draft with their continual losing; however, they also got some brains in the front office, plus a a great scouting department.
That has made the difference in Tampa Bay more than anything.
Of course, the Orioles have been kind of in the same boat; however, their draft picks have not worked out – until recently. In addition, the revolving front door of executives coming in and out of the organization have not helped out matters.
While the Rays have emerged as perennial contenders, the Orioles will still probably struggle for a few years before a breakthrough occurs – if it does. At this point, Baltimore needs to stockpile their whole organization with draft packs, trade for as much young talent possible and stick with a viable plan.
As a fan, I would like to see a player or two signed that I can go the ballpark and say, “damn, with this guy, he can be an impact player and change a ballgame”.
Not that the current crop of Orioles can’t do the job; however, there’s not an true bat or arm on the squad heading into 2012 that can be a game-changer.
When it comes to Duquette, I like he’s willing to step outside the box with his thinking and find new ideas to improve the organization. So far, some of his ideas are causing me to shake my head.
However, Duquette is only in Baltimore because no else – literally – wanted the job for one reason or another. He’s only been at the helm for a few months and rebuilding this team will be a one hell of task, especially considering the Orioles play in the American League East.
In order for Baltimore to even factor in the division – and that is a big if – the young pitching that was supposed bolster the big league squad needs to figure it out; meanwhile, the core of the offense for now need to take their game to another level.
Now, four years later, most are simply wondering — can this organization turn the tide for a change? If the Rays can do far more with less, and a team like the Washington Nationals – who seemed to be a joke several years ago – are able to rise up in their division and now be contenders, the Orioles should be able to do it.
Ok, so that’s far easier said than done. Then again, a team has been losing for 14 consecutive years has a lot of problem — some of it insitutional.
The road will be painful, but I’m pleased to see the team use a blueprint in order to become competitive again. Let’s hope it works.