undefinedIs 17% of the season enough to make a decision?
Last time we casually mentioned the Felix Pie Experiment (which is now the official name of my Rock Band band, if I ever get that game) and the beginnings of clamoring for it to be terminated. In today's Baltimore Sun there is a question of if it is time to move on, and how upset would you be as a fan if he goes somewhere else and succeeds. Now there are two schools of thought on this…
1) We do have quality players in the minor leagues (or with the Orioles, but injured) in Nolan Reimold and Lou Montanez. And they are playing as well in the minors as Pie was for the Cubs last year, so why do we not just use them? Not to mention that guy we got in a trade last year, Luke Scott. He played pretty well in the field, and we KNOW he can hit. Why should we waste our time and our team on this guy who can't seem to tell a ball from a strike, and who can't seem to take a decent path to a ball if his life depended on it?
Well, let's look at that. Reimold and Montanez ARE (or were, in the Montanez, who is hurt) playing well, and you could say that they deserve a chance. And Luke Scott served the team well in 2008, and took his move to DH as well as a player could this year. And Pie IS struggling. But…
2) Pie is 24 years old. And it isn't just the Cubs and Orioles who liked him, he was considered a top prospect by pretty much all of baseball. The fact that he was the sticking point for the trade of Brian Roberts to the Cubs just last year (for both sides. The Orioles refused to make the deal without him being included and the Cubs refused to deal him) says that he is not some random player to be named later. And he is trying to adjust to a new league, and a new position (he was a CF until he came here). Yes he needs to shorten his swing and use the entire field, and yes he needs to take a lot more outfield fly ball practice. It is now on him to show the work ethic to make himself a viable major league player and not the next AAAA wanna be roster filler. And most importantly he has only played in 24 games this year. That is not enough to make a decision on, as long as he is willing to work and show that he is going to put in the effort to improve his game. The Orioles are NOT going to be a good, playoff caliber team this year. Reimold and Montanez have minor league options. Pie does not. You need to give him to at least the All Star Break, playing every day (or damn near close to it) to see what he can do before you even start making decisions on his future with the team. And on the off chance he DOES pan out, then suddenly you have a couple of blue chip trade prospects in Reimold and Montanez. Use them to get some more pitching depth, maybe a quality reliever or two. Or use them to bolster other areas of your farm system that need some help (at this point pretty much anywhere). Whatever it is, there is no such thing as too much depth in the farm system, especially when you don't get to play with Monopoly money like the Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman. Also, Luke Scott is not a long term solution for this team. He is currently on a one year contract, and if you don't think he is going to be dangled as trade bait to every team within sniffing distance of the playoffs this year you are fooling yourself. He is a veteran who can hit for power and a good role player coming off the bench as a DH or an outfielder. And if I recall correctly he can play both corner outfield positions. If he is with this team in 2010 I will be shocked, and if MacPhail doesn't get SOMETHING for him before the trade deadline I will be disappointed. He could be our Doyle Alexander!
About the Author
Written by Ron Burr
Ron is a lifelong resident of Maryland and has been a passionate player and fan of sports for as long as he can remember. When he is not watching the games or explaining to his lovely wife why he is cursing at the television, he runs an improv/sketch comedy troupe, Drop Three. He can't hit a curveball or run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, but he knows the games and loves talking about it with anyone. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged!