Diving into the depths: Baltimore Orioles

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Baltimore Orioles
Rotation
1. Kevin Millwood
2. Jeremy Guthrie
3. Brad Bergesen
4. Brian Matusz
5. Chris Tillman
6. David Hernandez
7. Jason Berken
8. Mark Hendrickson
9. Jake Arrieta
10. Troy Patton
11. Alfredo Simon
12. Brandon Erbe
13. Zach Britton
Barring the addition of Braden Looper or another inning eater, the 22-year-old Matusz and 21-year-old Tillman will head into spring training as clear favorites for rotation spots. Tillman, though, is the more vulnerable of the two. He’s not as polished as Matusz, and he’s not as good of a bet for this year.
Bullpen
1. Mike Gonzalez
2. Jim Johnson
3. Koji Uehara
4. Mark Hendrickson
5. Matt Albers
6. Cla Meredith
7. Kam Mickolio
8. Alberto Castillo
9. David Hernandez
10. Dennis Sarfate
11. Alfredo Simon
12. Armando Gabino
13. Ross Wolf
14. Mike Hinckley
15. Chris George
16. Wilfido Perez
17. Luis Lebron
Sarfate is currently on waivers. He’ll be back to battle for a bullpen spot if he clears.
I like Uehara in the bullpen and think he’ll be a valuable setup man. Everyone after him is a significant question mark, but Mickolio could step up and become a big contributor over the course of the year.


Catcher
1. Matt Wieters
2. Chad Moeller
3. Craig Tatum
4. Michel Hernandez
First base
1. Garrett Atkins
2. Ty Wigginton
3. Michael Aubrey
4. Rhyne Hughes
5. Brandon Snyder
6. Scott Moore
Second base
1. Brian Roberts
2. Justin Turner
3. Robert Andino
4. Scott Moore
Third base
1. Miguel Tejada
2. Ty Wigginton
3. Garrett Atkins
4. Justin Turner
5. Josh Bell
Shortstop
1. Cesar Izturis
2. Robert Andino
3. Pedro Florimon Jr.
The Orioles should have bypassed Atkins if they didn’t want him to play third base, but maybe he’ll be OK. If not, Snyder could take over during the second half of the season. Likewise, Bell could be ready at third come August.
Left field
1. Nolan Reimold
2. Felix Pie
3. Luke Scott
4. Luis Montanez
5. Jeff Salazar
Center field
1. Adam Jones
2. Felix Pie
3. Jeff Salazar
4. Matt Angle
5. Lou Montanez
Right field
1. Nick Markakis
2. Felix Pie
3. Lou Montanez
4. Jeff Salazar
Designated hitter
1. Luke Scott
2. Ty Wigginton
3. Michael Aubrey
4. Rhyne Hughes
The outfield is awfully nice, especially with Pie back as a fourth outfielder. There was talk that he could be traded for pitching help. The bench should be made up of Pie, Wigginton, Andino and Moeller.

Murray Chass rightfully nails Major League Baseball on minority hiring

Rob Manfred
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When Murray Chass lays off his vendettas against the people he feels have wronged him, he’s still capable of making some sharp points. Particularly when he’s working in his old bailiwick of the business of baseball.

On Sunday he wrote a blog post about minority hiring in baseball. As in, the nearly complete lack of it, at least in front offices:

Manfred has talked a better job on minority hiring than he has performed. He has created a pipeline program through which members of minorities are supposed to be able to advance into major league front office positions. However, no role models seem to exist as inspiration for younger employees.

In Manfred’s 20 months as commissioner, clubs have hired or promoted 19 high-ranking executives. Eighteen of the 19 are white males. The lone minority is Al Avila, the Tigers’ general manager.

Chass reports that Rob Manfred and, in the past, Bud Selig have leaned on clubs to hire friends or trusted lieutenants but claim they have no power to tell clubs who to hire when it comes to minorities. It’s pretty dang good point.

Moving beyond Chass’ points, it’s worth observing that one way baseball could better populate the executive ranks would be to hire more minorities in entry-level positions. What a better way to become a friend and crony than to have, you know, been there a long time? The game has had a horrible track record in doing this, however, for one simple reason: it pays crap wages for all but the highest of executive positions, pushing away candidates for whom money is, in fact, an object to pursuing a dream in baseball which, by demographic necessity, favors the rich and thus favors whites. Earlier this year MLB launched a pipeline program aimed at getting more minority candidates into entry level MLB jobs. That’s a good start to addressing the problem, but it’s going to take years for that to bear fruit, assuming it ever does.

Back in June Kate Morrison and Russell A. Carleton of Baseball Prospectus wrote a four-part series regarding this very issue, and it’s well worth your time. Among the points made is one that, given his vendettas, Chass surprisingly didn’t make himself: sabermetrics is partially to blame! Go read Kate and Russell’s work on that, but the short version: front offices want MBA/STEM types now, not people with athletic backgrounds. People with those degrees have expensive educations and, in turn, cannot afford to take pennies to work in baseball when they can make far more in other industries, thereby continuing to favor the rich and the white.

I don’t think Rob Manfred or Bud Selig before him or the people who run major league baseball teams are bigots. I don’t think that baseball, as a whole, wants to keep minorities out of top jobs. Chass doesn’t make such a claim either and he, like I, noted the pipeline program.

But baseball is a business rife with cronyism and nepotism which leads those in power to hire friends and relatives, thereby keeping the executive class overwhelmingly male and white. Baseball has shown that, when it wants to, it can lean on teams to make certain hiring choices. Will it do the same to push for greater minority representation in management ranks? Or will it continue to throw up its hands up and say “hey, that’s on the clubs?”

Tim Tebow hits a homer in his first instructional league at bat

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets hits a home run at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Because of course he did.

It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt.  The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.

Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.