Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, was a guest Sunday on MLB Network Radio with Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette. Among the topics: the club’s future with Giancarlo Stanton …
It’s a nice goal, and the type of thing you’d expect any front office person to say about one of the game’s premier sluggers, but what are the odds a long-term deal actually gets worked out by the Winter Meetings (December 7-11) or at any point over the next two years? Stanton could be in line for something in the $200 million range when he hits free agency after the 2016 season and the richest contract in Marlins franchise history is the $106 million deal that was given to shortstop Jose Reyes, who was then shipped off to Toronto.
The Orioles don’t yet have the worst record in baseball. They’re tied for the most losses with 16, but they have two more wins than the Marlins and one more than the Royals, so let’s say that they have overachieved to this point. Kudos to being a bit plucky in the early going!
But make no mistake: the Orioles are not a good team and I suspect they will soon be the worst in the league. When they are, they will likely get blown out quite often and when they are blown out they will put position players on the mound more than almost any other team. Heck, they’ve done it three times already this year and the season is only three weeks old.
The latest Orioles position player to pitch was catcher Jesús Sucre, who took the mound in last night’s 12-2 loss to the White Sox. And he wasn’t half bad! He retired the side in order and needed only nine pitches to do so:
There once was a time when it was a novelty to see a position player pitching. It happens all the time now, partially because of blowouts, partially because teams have decided it’s better to get embarrassed a bit than to burn a bullpen arm in a game they’ve given up trying to win.
I suspect the Orioles will take the practice to a whole new level in 2019, though. For better or for worse.