What People Are Saying About the Baltimore Orioles (Aug. 9)

Lawrence BarrecaAnalyst IAugust 9, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 13:  Catcher Gregg Zaun #9 of the Baltimore Orioles during play against the Texas Rangers on April 13, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

This is the fifth article of my weekly series "What People Are Saying about the Baltimore Orioles."

This week, the topics discussed ranged from an outside view on prospect Josh Bell to the Gregg Zaun deal, the Birds' 2010 potential saves leader, Jake Arrieta's struggles, and the second half of the season.

Let's see what people are saying.


1. MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski talks with De Jon Watson, the assistant general manager in charge of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers, about third base prospect Josh Bell:

"He has big, raw power. I think it will be above average in time, and he has a chance to be a middle-of-the-order run producer. He's a good-looking young kid who makes great adjustments from at-bat to at-bat. He's a very competitive young man; the Orioles got a good player."


2. The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck blogs about the recent Gregg Zaun trade:

"The move makes sense for one reason. It relieves manager Dave Trembley of the obligation to play Zaun twice a week and tell him in advance when he's going to play. He felt like he had to do that, but likely won't make any promises to returning backup Chad Moeller, who was elevated from Triple-A Norfolk. Moeller is a pure backup, so he'll play when needed. He'll still probably get a start or two a week, but [Matt] Wieters is the clear No. 1 now."


3. Also from The Baltimore Sun, Dan Connolly asks his readers, "Who will lead the 2010 Orioles in saves?":

"Johnson certainly has the stuff to take on the role, but he hasn’t done it since high school.

"Chris Ray has struggled in his return from Tommy John surgery but is looking better now. And pitchers are usually better in the second season after elbow surgery.

"Kam Mickolio has nasty stuff and is 10 feet tall, so he would certainly strike an imposing figure in the ninth.

"Cla Meredith has a funky delivery and is a tested late-inning guy.

"And my wild card is Koji Uehara, who has been a closer previously in Japan."


4. Zach Wilt of the Baltimore Sports Report believes the second half of this season could be one of the most important halves in the last decade:

"Don’t be fooled by the Orioles. Their second half might not mean jack to anyone in the East or the AL altogether, but this may be one of the most important second halves Baltimore has been a part of in over a decade. They’re not going to win the division, they’re not going to win a wild card, I don’t even think they’ll finish .500. But their finish this season is incredibly important."


5. Bleacher Report's Isaac Barrow encourages fans not to worry about starter Jake Arrieta's recent struggles:

"So should we think there's no way Arrieta doesn't turn it around?

"No, we shouldn't; it'd be foolish to say that.

"But at the same time, Arrieta is making adjustments at the Triple-A level. As stated, he has the intangibles that ERA, WHIP, and H/9 IP don't represent that all successful pitchers have.

"He also is learning on the job, so give the kid time. He's shown the ability to rebound throughout his minor league career, and I don't see this minor league stop as any different."


6. Jeff Wolfson of MASNsports.com posted an entry here at B/R, as he discussed the Zaun deal:

"I like Zaun and thought he saved Baltimore a few runs with his ability to keep balls in the dirt in front of him. His defensive prowess has helped the Orioles pitching staff stay confident about throwing balls 59 feet or buzzing a batter up and in. He even had an unaffordable option for next season, or an option buyout.

"With all that said, this is what Zaun going to Tampa means: Wieters getting more time to play. Wieters, according to manager Dave Trembley, will now play six days a week. This is roughly 130 games per season, which I think is average for a starting catcher. What else does Zaun being traded to Tampa mean? It means that Chad Moeller will now back up Wieters."