Saunders as I said is a good pitcher, not a great pitcher. If the starters we have perform to last year's numbers, DD will look like a genius. If one or two of those guys falter, we'll all wish he spent the $5m on Saunders
Hunter, Matusz, and Arrieta were all depended upon, and they failed miserably.
With Bundy and Gausman on the horizon, and the large number of ML level starting pitchers in the minors, this team has a good shot at being good again.
As for Saunders, I will acknowledge that I would have liked to have resigned him, but I am OK that we did not and think that we will be fine.
that's DD's M.O. sign 15 guys and hope a couple of them pan out. it worked last year, but it's a less reliable process than signing an established player that can be penciled in for 150+ games. DD has already DFAed a handfull of guys he signed or traded for earlier in the off season.
he is essentially picking through the garbage cans of the other 29 teams.
as cousin Jim said, having a ? at 1B or DH or LF or 2B isn't so bad. having a ? at all those positions makes it challenging, if not impossible, to compete, especially in the ALe
TJ MacFarland has some promise. Jurrjens was a top pitcher that was put off to the side because of his injury issues, which gives him extra incentive on top of his talent.
Most of the pitchers he likes to choose are also the kinds that are durable and aren't afraid to pitch to contact. I think he knows that these kinds of pitchers are the types that you can teach minor adjustments to without much friction. They are also willing to use the defense to make outs.
This is something that propelled Gonzalez to the season he had last year.
You can only use this philosophy if you have some established stars on hand. See StL a few years ago for a good example.
I have confidence that Nate will be a reliable offensive contributor in LF. and his D can't be disputed. Casilla was a bonafied player in Minn. his D is very good, but his bat is a questionmark. however, Flaherty's bat really started to pop at the end of the season. I think he's the answer at 2B if Casilla comes up empty on the offensive side of his game. long term, it looks like Schoop is the guy to take over the job, but probably not this season.
DH can't be sugar coated. there just isn't a clear answer for that spot in the line up. Davis at 1B is promising if his D shows up. he's been called a plus defender, hopefully that's true and he'll show why that's in his scouting report.
the thing is, I laughed at DD last winter. I was expecting an O's team that would be worse than they were in 2011. he showed all of us that his big spending days in Boston didn't erase his memory of how he built a winner in Montreal. he was a major player in building the fabled 1994 Expos.
if he's honestly confident in 2013, so am I. and another good sign is that no one wanted to leave. Nate set his self up nicely when it comes to being a FA. but he waited it out to stay in Baltimore. Reynolds didn't jump on any offers until it was obvious the O's weren't bringing him back.
that seems like a good sign.
Looks like the Jurjjen's deal is going to die so it sucks that Saunders signed before we knew about Jurjjens health. Hopefully DD will sign more arms to potentially fill the #5 spot.
To be honest I'm more concerned about the starting pitching than the offense.
I would have rather had Saunders than Reynolds.
That said we have about 3 or 4 guys on the team right now who could probably give you the same production that Saunders gives you. He was great for us in the playoffs last year but he's a mid-4.00, 5.00 ERA pitcher.
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