Orioles GM Andy MacPhail makes another trade, and I…AM…LOVING IT!
Yes, the Orioles' bats have come to life the last two games. Yes, Chris Tillman came up and made his major league debut yesterday (and you really have to grade that start on the curve. He had warmed up and was on the mound when the rains came and then he had to sit through a 40+ minute rain delay - a game that in the minors would have been called off – and the mound was not in ideal shape for a guy that throws the curve as much as he does). He did not get the decision, and he was up in the zone a bit. But give him a few starts. You don't pitch to a sub 3 ERA in AAA and suddenly lose everything once you get to “The Show”. Gregg Zaun is the guy who caught Tillman last night, and he said it best when he said (this is a paraphrase) “the kid's got the stuff. He needs to face major league bats now”. But with all of that, the big news is…
The Orioles Traded George Sherrill to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two AA players: 3rd baseman Josh Bell (stats: .296 BA, 11 HR, 30 2B, 52 RBI in 94 games) and pitcher Steve Johnson, son of former O's pitcher and current broadcaster Dave Johnson (stats: 9-5, 3.61 ERA in time split between A and AA). Bell fills a needed corner infielder position (he is probably 2 years away, or at least until midseason next year). I cannot believe that Mora is going to be brought back, and I can see Ty Wigginton covering 3rd until he is ready, although there is some talk that Bell's size (he is 6'3″ and is built like one of those brick @#$%houses you hear about from time to time) he might wind up at 1st, but it isn't like either position is backed up with prospects in the minors. And Johnson is not only a feel good story since he is a local boy that is the son of a local boy that plpayed for the local team, but he is projected to be a solid major league prospect, possibly a back end of the rotation player (of course they said the same thing about Brad Bergesen, and so far he is exceeding those expectations by a wide margin). And the 1st deadline is still a shade under 20 hours away, so don't think it is over yet, kids.
Hold on to your hats, and get something to cut the names off of some of those jerseys, because MacPhail is not done wheeling and dealing yet.
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!