Monday, March 30, 2015

Possible 2015 Orioles Debuts- Pitchers

In today's post, I'm going to highlight the pitchers who could potentially be making their Orioles debuts in 2015, once again starting with those who I feel like are most likely to pitch in Baltimore through the least likely.

Logan has two major plus signs in his favor to making the club out of Spring Training; he is a rule V pick who has to be offered back to the Mets if he doesn't make the team, and he has pitched very well this spring. My gut says he is on the Orioles 25 man roster next Monday.

Wesley Wright is a LOOGY (lefty one out guy) who the Orioles signed as a free agent this past off-season for $1.7 million. As I wrote about Everth Cabrera, the O's aren't the type of team to spend $2 million on a pitcher to send them to AAA. So even if Wright doesn't make the team on Opening Day, I would expect to see him in Baltimore at some point. His making the team might be related to Brian Matusz's possibly being traded.

Like Verrett, Garcia is another Rule V pick, so I know that the Orioles would love to keep him in the organization, but he has a few factors working against him. He's been injured for part of the spring, and he has never pitched above single A, whereas Verrett has had success at AAA. Garcia supposedly has the more electric arm of the two, but I don't see how the O's could keep two Rule V pitchers.

Roe, De La Rosa, and Drake have all been sent to the minor league camp already, so are extreme long shots to make the team. Roe was sent out most recently, and could become a bullpen piece at some point this summer. De La Rosa was injured for much of the Spring but has had some Major League success in the past so I don't know what to make of his chances. And the Orioles re-signed Drake to a major league deal this past winter after he had pitched at every level of the team's farm system over the past seven seasons, so there is obviously something they like about him.

As always, a big thanks to my dad for getting all of these autographs on his Spring Training trip, and making all of these awesome OMCs to boot!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Possible 2015 Orioles- Positions Players

Today's post is going to focus on the autographs my dad got on his Spring Training trip of the new position players in the Orioles organization who will likely/possibly be playing in Baltimore at some point during the 2015 season. I'm listing them from most likely to least likely to make the team out of Spring Training.

After Travis Snider, Everth Cabrera might be the second most likely new Oriole to start the 2015 season. He can play everywhere and has some legit speed. Also the O's don't pay players $2.4 million to play in Norfolk. He's had a few minor hiccups during his time in Sarasota following a few major life-choice blunders during his time with the Padres over the past few years, but I am very confident that he will play in Baltimore at some point in the near future. 

Dariel Alvarez, who obviously took some time out of his baseball schedule to sign quite a few autographs, at least for my dad, has made quite the mark in Sarasota. He seems to have the strongest throwing arm in camp and can certainly hit. Buck has mentioned his issues with the English language, confirmed by my dad while trying to get Dariel to personalize one of these cards, as well as some showmanship issues with him, but I can fairly well guarantee that he will make at least an appearance in Baltimore this summer.

I'm not really sure how this trio of infielders, Paul Janish, Jayson Nix, & Chris Parmelee fit into the mix. A lot has been made of improving the defense at AAA Norfolk and I have a feeling that these guys will be playing there to start the year at least. A lot has been written about the quality of Janish's defense at short, Nix has had a good spring at the plate, and Parmelee sounds like a smooth operator with the glove at first. All of them or none could really appear in games for the O's. 

Matt Tuiasosopo (who has to have one of the most fun names to say in baseball) and Rey Navarro have both already been sent to the minor league camp and are long shots to make it to Baltimore. It seems like there might be more utility infield flexibility or openings than in the outfield, so who knows is Tuia ever plays in Baltimore. Either way I'm prepared!

The one player that I'm confident who will not play in Baltimore, at least in 2015, is Alex Hassan, who the Orioles lost on a waiver claim to the Athletics when they had to make room on the roster for Everth Cabrera. But if he ever makes his way on to the team, I have a signed and personalized Orioles card ready to slide into the collection!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Potential 2015 Orioles- Catchers: Ryan Lavarnway, J.P. Arencibia, & Brian Ward

Having some new autographs to write about really has reinvigorated my interest in writing and talking about autographs. Thanks again for the autograph fuel old man! The approach of baseball's regular season certainly doesn't hurt either, it's almost time for another playoff push, O's fans!

Since I'm focusing on players who could be making their Orioles debuts this season, today I'm going to examine the catchers. With Matt Wieters starting the season on the disabled list, there will be an opening for at least one additional catcher on the roster.

It seems like Caleb Joseph will be the starter while Wieters is out, and the backup catcher slot is one of the tightest contests going on in Sarasota.

My money is on Ryan Lavarnway being the backup on Opening Day. Buck puts some major emphasis on catching defense and I think Lavarnway is pulling away from the pack.

The guy likely trailing Lavarnway seems to be J.P. Arencibia, which again seems to boil down to a defense thing. 

I sent this card with my dad on his trip because it shows Arencibia attempting to tag out Nolan Reimold at home plate when they were members of opposing teams. Pretty cool that they are both in Orioles camp this year.

Two other guys are on the fringes of the competition, "The Pride of Pigtown" Steve Clevenger who can absolutely hit at the Major League level but has allowed 9 steals this spring. 

And career minor leaguer, Brian Ward, who seems to be the best defensive option of the group but is also the least experienced. You can't rule anything out, but since he was sent to the minor league camp a few weeks ago, he would seem to be the longest of the long shots. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I'm Back? Spring Training & Travis Snider

Oh, hi there, fellow Orioles autograph collectors. Wow, where did the time go? I have no idea where the past four months went, but I certainly did not plan to go without posting for so long. 

Obviously, I'm not nearly as active with this blog as I used to be, thanks in large part to my amazing, now six-month old little boy. He is my world now, and my autograph collection has taken a much deserved backseat. But I don't intend to let my collection, or this site, completely fall by the wayside. Especially with the baseball season rapidly approaching, I hope to at the very least cover the new Orioles debuts, with additional posts on other past Orioles from time to time. 

While I was not able to make my (typically) annual trip to Spring Training, my parents spent an entire month in Sarasota, and my dad had some amazing autograph successes with the team. I believe that he got an autograph of nearly every player in the Orioles camp, besides Darren O'Day, who sounds like he was being a real piece of work. He's never been an easy autograph to get, but sounds like he stepped up his ignoring-the-fans shtick. 

Not only did my dad spend a good chunk of his trip watching the Orioles practices and games, but he even used some of his free time to continue to produce his Old Man Cards of players new to the Orioles organization. While I know he had a great time making the cards and getting the autographs, at the end of the day he gave them all to me to add to the collection. He's a really great guy, and while I know that he had fun with the whole thing, it's really nice that he used his vacation time to help out me and my collection. Thanks old man!

I will be showing off his autographs over the next few weeks leading up to Opening Day, with a focus on the new players who will likely break camp with the Orioles. 

Starting out today is one of the last players that my dad got to sign for him on the trip, Travis Snider. It sounds like my dad only saw Travis sign one time and that was these three cards for him. 

I would say that Travis is likely the best "lock" to make the Orioles Opening Day roster out of all the new players in camp. Wesley Wright is likely 1b in this category, and Everth Cabrera is pretty likely to be in Baltimore as well, but Travis is the one I'm most confident will break camp with the O's. 

This card is heading for my collection as soon as Travis appears in a game. Personalized, inscribed, awesomeness. 

It sounds like Travis was so impressed by my dad's efforts with the OMCs that he took the time to sign all three at once. So these two are available for trade if anyone is interested. My scanner decided to cut the borders off the card above, as well as many of the others I scanned (super), but what can you do?

Thanks again to my dad for all the time and effort he spent making the cards and getting the autographs, but knowing him, he had a blast with all of it. And I'm sure the combination of the Florida weather and the Orioles were a pretty perfect combination for him!