Wednesday, November 18, 2009
O's 40-man set
The Orioles set their 40-man roster today as the Rule 5 draft approaches.
The Rule 5 draft is where any team can draft a player not on another team's 40-man roster. The kicker is that the drafted player has to be placed on the 25-man roster come opening day, and remain there for the entire year. If that player doesn't make it with their new team, they are offered back to the original team.
Anyway, the Orioles failed to protect Steve Johnson, the 22-year-old prospect they acquired from the Dodgers earlier this season in the George Sherrill trade. Johnson is a decent prospect, nothing close to Brian Matusz status, but why the Orioles failed to protect Johnson is beyond me.
Granted, it's unlikely that a MLB team drafts Johnson, who has not even pitched 50 innings at AA ball, and keeps them for the entire season. But when you look at who the Orioles did protect over Johnson, it's enough to at least raise some eyebrows.
SP Chris Waters, age 29. 5.07 ERA in 76 IP. Waters is a dime a dozen bullpen arm who can start on occasion but probably shouldn't.
1B John Hughes, age 27. Career 798 OPS in MiL. Hughes has extremely poor plate discipline and with 1B prospects Brandon Snyder and Michael Aubrey in the system, this is a real head-scratcher.
RP Radhames Liz, age 27. Liz has spent time with the Orioles that most people want to forget. Straight fastball, poor control. If he is claimed, don't cry over spilled milk.
So there you have it. Johnson is in danger of being drafted by some other team who could stick him in their bullpen. He's got upside. And he should have been protected.
Now we'll just have to wait and see if this is a mistake that will come back to bite the Orioles in the ass.