Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gone, Gibby, Gone

Jay Gibbons has been released by the O's. The team is responsible for paying the amount remaining on his contract, but it was still a good move. The contract was bad to begin with; it was based largely on his 100 RBI in 2003 when he was the team's clean-up hitter. At this point, Gibbons had no position - the O's have players for LF, RF, 1B, and DH - and so if his bat couldn't carry him (likely, no, it couldn't) then it didn't make sense to waste a roster spot. I think it was the correct call, but I am kind of surprised that it was made. I guess MacPhail does have control of the team.

This decision was made easier by the quality play by Scott Moore. Though he won't hit for a high average, but be should still be an asset at the plate (projected 258 / 337 / 451) when you take into account his position flexibility. If Moore can become competent at second base, then four players (Moore, Fahey, Redman/Payton, Quiroz) can cover all of the positions as back-ups. I don't think it's 100% necessary to keep a 12-man bullpen, and if the rotation can prove that it can go 6-7 innings semi-consistently, then I can see an arm getting traded without another pitcher taking his place. The position players aren't that great overall, but there is a good deal of flexibility. Trembley can get an extra lefty into the line-up by playing Moore at third for Melvin Mora or first for Kevin Millar. Aubrey Huff can go to first or third without too large of a defensive drop-off. Both Moore and Fahey should be OK at second if Roberts needs a day off. In fact, if Roberts is eventually traded without a second basemen coming back in the deal, then it might be a good idea to see if Moore can handle second all the time. When the Atlanta Braves needed a second baseman, they brought Kelly Johnson in from the outfield, which has worked out very well. Moore isn't the stereotypical slick-fielding no-hit 2B, but his bat would definitely be a plus their and his defense - with plenty of practice - should be manageable (he used to play shortstop).

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