Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Melvin Mora and Aubrey Huff will hopefully not be back in 2010.
Currently, Mora is sitting at a .644 OPS with only 3 HR and 12 doubles. He's complained to Dave Trembley and the press about a "lack of respect" he received when Ty Wigginton began to get more starts at 3B. Clearly Mora doesn't believe in stats.
The Orioles have an option to bring back Mora in 2010, but it appears unlikely. Especially after Mora's little outburst last week.
I've always liked Mora. I appreciate his loyalty to a team that hasn't played a meaningful game since he arrived in 2000. But Melvin needs to realize that he's not what he used to be. And as his career in Baltimore (and in baseball) winds down, the Orioles should start thinking about the future at 3B. If that is Ty Wigginton, then he should be getting more starts at 3B.
However, since Mora's blow-up (and Trembley's comments that Mora will sit more), Mora has started 4 games in a row at 3B.
Josh Bell, the 3B prospect who was acquired from the Dodgers in the George Sherrill trade, can't get here soon enough.
Huff is also playing out his contract, which ends at the end of 2009. His .720 OPS for a 1B is among the lowest in baseball. It's beyond safe to say his 2008 season was a fluke. Yet he is regularly penciled in for 1B and still bats clean-up on most nights.
There's not much Trembley can do, since there are no clear-cut clean-up hitters on the roster, but it's gotten to the point where anyone but Huff is a better option. And when rosters expand in September, hopefully the Orioles will use the time to get a better look at a potential 1B solution.
Michael Aubrey, who was claimed in June when the Indians put him up on waivers doesn't look to be anything special (.742 OPS in Norfolk), but he is a former first round draft pick who, when healthy, can be decent.
A more realistic solution could be Brandon Snyder, who crushed Bowie (1.018 OPS) and got off to a slow start in Norfolk. But he has raised his average up to .280 in the last few weeks and looks poised for a September trial at first.
In the meantime, it's frustrating to watch 2 veterans end their career in Baltimore during yet another horrid finish to the season. For Mora, he will likely be remembered as the Orioles second best third basemen in franchise history and a loyal Oriole, despite his random tirades. With Mora, it's a little easier to swallow.
For Huff, who was a misguided signing by Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette in 2007, well...we'll always have that "defining season" of 2008.