May 06, 2010, 07:34AM

Are changes coming to the Orioles?

Andy MacPhail calls out team.

Before the start of the series finale against the Yankees yesterday, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail made some threats about the abysmal offense. Quickly summing up the comments, he spoke about either performing or being sent to Triple-A Norfolk. MacPhail also mentioned, “change for the sake of change.”   

The second comment may be directed at Dave Trembley and a managerial change in an attempt to spark the team. I have questioned Trembley in the past about lineups, and his timing of pitching changes, but firing Trembley won’t help this team too much. Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, or Joe Torre wouldn't have too different of a record if they were managing the Birds. You have to score runs to win games, and Trembley can only use what’s been given to him. Trembley is not telling these guys to hit under .200 (Scott, Reimold, Lugo, Montanez). Four consecutive hitters in yesterday’s lineup were under .200 heading into the game, and those batting averages sat at .179, .100, .129, .125  (Reimold, Tatum, Montanez, Lugo). In fairness, Reimold did have a home run and raised batting average up to .200 yesterday. However, having that lineup a month into a season is disturbing. You can fire Trembley to prove a point, but it won’t matter much in the wins-loss column.   

Who would replace Trembley? Bench coach Jeff Datz? Former Indians manager Eric Wedge? Bob Melvin? That’s not going to help if the hitters don’t hit, especially with runners on base. He has been handcuffed by injuries to Brian Roberts and Felix Pie, but every team faces that throughout the year.   

Many of the players on the roster just aren’t good enough, and those expected to produce, haven’t. Scott, Reimold, and Jones are not hitting. I think those three are the main targets of the first comment from MacPhail about performing in the majors or being sent down. MacPhail might want to shock the team by sending a “name” player to the minors. Is MacPhail feeling the heat to make a change? Would he send a message by demoting the team’s lone All-Star last year and one of the core building blocks? Would he send a veteran like Scott down? That’s fine, but who would be brought up?  Hitting prospects are nearly nil for the Orioles. Going down to Norfolk and bringing up Corey Patterson or Joey Gathright isn’t a great plan. 

The Orioles swept the Red Sox last weekend, and it appeared things might have been turning around. A few days later the Yankees sucked away any momentum the O’s had. At 7-21, change—right or wrong—may be coming soon. 

  • I think that they should go after a young but intelligent manager, someone to liven up the clubhouse. They also need a little bit more young talent, and they could get lucky if Jameson taillon falls to the third pick. Then they should add a free agent after 2011 like Adrian Gonzalez or prince fielder, then they could compete!

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