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Matt Riley

I want to make a quick correction on something I said yesterday as pointed out by Meg at the Belfry. Matt Riley probably won't be going to Ottawa, as it slipped my mind that he is out of options.

This actually opens up some debate about what to do with Riley, though. He's a talented pitcher, no one has ever questioned that. I do think he's over the immaturity that was the biggest knock on him early. But what do you do with someone who flopped last season and has been roughed up this spring? There are only so many spots, and a team in the position the Orioles are in (they want to contend, they probably won't be able to) can't afford a pitcher that can't get outs, either in the rotation or the bullpen.

If Chen and Bedard had had lesser springs so far, this wouldn't be as big of a deal. If Baldwin hadn't been at all effective, it wouldn't be much of a debate.

But do you keep Riley in the rotation? The Orioles want him to succeed. I want him to succeed. You want him to succeed. However, we can't sacrifice even the fifth spot in our rotation on a guy that is still a bit of a project, a big question mark with lingering possible makeup issues and, frankly, an inability to get hitters out. If Lopez, Ponson and Cabrera are sure things, which the first two are and the third appears to be, then you have two spots for Chen, Bedard, Riley and Baldwin - three lefties and a righty, with the first three spots all right-handers.

I'm not a big righty/lefty guy really. If pitchers can pitch and get hitters out, they're good for a rotation. If it were up to me, at this point I'd go with Chen and Bedard.

Baldwin is the first to say thanks and sorry to, in my opinion, and then you're still left with Riley. Bullpen? Trade? There are teams that would take Matt Riley on, especially given his sagging value right now and the fact that the Orioles, to trade Riley, might have to take less than what they'd want for him.

So what do you do? Honestly, I don't know. At this point I'd think we'll at least give him some bullpen time. I hope that would be enough to keep Riley happy, and I hope it would help enough to get Riley straightened out.