Monday, April 14, 2008

Roster Blunder

The Orioles needed an extra arm in the bullpen after the double-header with Texas screwed up the starting pitching schedule, so they called up Jim Johnson from Norfolk and sent down utility-man Scott Moore, opting to keep Brandon Fahey in Baltimore.

And so starts the 2008 Campaign of Awful Roster Moves.

Last year, the Orioles mistakenly kept career minor-league sluggers Jon Knott and JR House down on the farm for most of the season while Jay Payton, Brandon Fahey, Freddie Bynum and Paul Bako collected a total of 740 AB's to the tune of a .580 OPS.

Scott Moore and Brandon Fahey fill the same role. They can both play multiple positions. The difference is Brandon Fahey makes Scott Moore look like Jim Gentile at the plate.

The Orioles probably kept Fahey because of his ability to play SS, but in doing this they lose Moore's bat off the bench. Now, the O's will be forced to send Luis Hernandez or Fahey to the plate late in close games instead of being able to pinch hit for them with Moore.

To everyone's surprise, Luis Hernandez isn't horrible at the plate so far this year, which makes Fahey that much more expendable.

But the O's got it wrong again.

Andy MacPhail has proven that he knows what he's doing when it comes to making trades and envisioning the future of the Orioles. But he still doesn't appear to know how to make roster moves in-season, as this move proves.

Keeping Fahey over Moore is just plain old stupid.

The Orioles said they wanted Moore to get more AB's in Norfolk, and they played him at SS in his first game, perhaps hoping that he could potentially play some SS in Baltimore. He was after all, drafted as a SS.

But if there is anyone in Baltimore who needs "more AB's", it's Fahey who has done little to prove himself deserving of a major league roster spot throughout his career.

The only positive that comes with adding one more arm to the bullpen is that Matt Albers gets a spot start today. Albers has been dominant out of the bullpen so far this year and deserves the chance to start.

But it still doesn't justify the move.

Let's just hope this isn't the first of many bad roster moves in 2008.

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