Forgive me, but it's 7:30 am, I'm awake, it's Michigan/Ohio State day, and I'm watching a repeat of SportsCenter while being absolutely jacked out of my gourd. GO BLUE.
If any of you root for Ohio State publicly, I'll ban you.
The 2007 O's roster is sort of taking shape with the additions of Jaret Wright and Jamie Walker, and with the unfortunate subtraction of Believe It Britton. There's still plenty of moves that could and should be made, but let's look at where we stand right now.
C: Ramon Hernandez - .275/.343/.479, 23 HR, 91 RBI
Ramon is a plus offensive catcher and fine behind the plate. We're solid here.
1B: God knows
Here's where we need to upgrade. We could re-sign Millar, which I advocate, but there's work to be done regardless. Kevbo is a solid hitter and he beats Sean Casey, but I'd really like to get a big bat here. The problem is that the list isn't very long, we're not getting Nomar Garciaparra, and the only thing to do could be to trade. Todd Helton is past his prime, plus the Rockies don't have Ryan Shealy there anymore to step in. Who else could possibly be available that's really a step up over Millar? We may have to just stick with Kevbo another year and look to fill the void again in the '07 offseason, as painful as it is.
2B: Brian Roberts - .286/.347/.410, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 36 SB
Brian Bob is a fine player, but nothing to get excited about. He will not hurt us, but he isn't really a leadoff man with that .347 OBP. Then again, that placed fourth-best on the team behind Tejada, Millar and Markakis. We have no better option to lead off. Roberts showed some more power as the season progressed, hitting nine of his ten homers after the All-Star break.
I still don't understand why he switch hits, though. He hit .235/.332/.324 from the right side, which is beyond abysmal, and .308/.354/.448 from the left side, which is fair enough. He walks more as a right-handed hitter, and that's it. His career splits are .240/.309/.351 RH v. .297/.361/.427 LH. Could he be worse as a left-handed hitter against left-handed pitching than he is as a right-handed hitter against left-handed pitching? It makes no sense anymore for him to continue to switch hit.
3B: Melvin Mora - .274/.342/.391, 16 HR, 83 RBI
Melvin's power died. We've been over this and back again. 16 homers, 25 doubles, no triples. He was just not the same hitter. Mora needs to rebound, and that's really all we can hope for. Signing someone capable to fill in if 2006 proves to be the first step toward a total Mora collapse would be nice, honestly. I love Melvin, but I hate shitty players.
SS: Miguel Tejada - .330/.379/.498, 24 HR, 100 RBI
I won't have any more Tejada badmouthing. He hit .330 with 24 homers. What the hell more do you want him to do, really? Become Honus Wagner?
LF: Nick Markakis - .291/.351/.448, 16 HR, 62 RBI
Not a bad rookie season at all. While I feel the faith in him and I love Nicky Kakes, I still feel inclined to just pray to whatever you define the higher power as that he pans out in the long run. Not to put any added pressure on the kid, but Nick Markakis is our greatest hope. He is a hyped prospect that actually doesn't suck.
CF: Corey Patterson - .276/.314/.443, 16 HR, 53 RBI, 45 SB
It proved to be a worthwhile pickup, but don't fool yourself into thinking Patterson is any sort of long-term solution in center.
RF: Jay Gibbons - .277/.341/.458, 13 HR, 46 RBI
JAY GIBBONS LOVES TO HIT .277. I am not a big Gibbons fan. I would rather Millar stay at 1B and Gibby move to the bench if we can get Carlos Lee or Soriano (move Markakis to right, where he hit better) than have Gibbons move to 1B and we lose Millar. My reasoning is that Millar is better than Gibbons. Look it up.
DH: I don't know
The starting rotation's numbers don't need to go up. Bedard is good, and then there's five mediocrities behind him. It's all well and good to say, "Benson and Wright make for OK fourth/fifth starters!" but they're the two and three guys in this rotation. Rodrigo Lopez must be traded to please me if for no other purpose, though there is another one, which is that he sucks beyond all belief and he's an annoying turd to boot. Cabrera is a freakin' mystery and Loewen is not someone I put much faith into. We've got six starting pitchers for five spots. Trade Lopez. If an injury comes up I'd rather see Bob Milacki attempt a comeback than more goddamned Rodrigo Lopez starts.
The bullpen has Chris Ray closing things out, with new lefty Jamie Walker, plus The Todd, the returning Aaron Rakers and John Parrish (although I'm not big on Parrish and his nerve-wracking approach to every single batter ever), and then a ton of scrubs like Sendy Rleal, Jim "Gary" Hoey, and Kurt Birkins.
We're not even mentioning the fact that Jim Johnson and Brian Burres are more attractive in theory than Rodrigo Lopez. TRADE RODRIGO LOPEZ.
I guess we need a backup catcher since Nobody Beats The Widge is gone, and I am totally in favor of DH/once or twice a week catcher Piazza. If we do that, though, Perlozzo will still be nervy enough to carry a third guy, Eli Whiteside or some other dork that can't hit his way out of a paper bag, just in case all hell opens up in a game against the Indians or some such.
There are plenty of holes to fill, but it's hardly the worst team we've looked at in November.