This is purely a hypothetical situation, but I started to think about Ryan Adams and where he fits into the Orioles future plans after he was called up recently. Short term, Adams will most likely start at second base while Roberts is on the disabled list. Long term, it is much more difficult to tell. I have been looking into where Adams potentially fits into the Orioles future plans and I don’t see a lot of options. Maybe the most likely option is Adams becomes a bench player for the Orioles giving them a solid bat at second and third base. What if Adams excels though?
Ryan Adams was never really considered a “top prospect”, but he has quietly made himself known througout the organization and for good reason. I mean, it’s not like the guy doesn’t have talent. Adams was a second round pick in 2006 and has hit at every level in the minors. Adams was also ranked the Orioles 8th best prospect by Baseball America and their 5th best prospect by MLB.com. The one major knock on Adams has been his defense, but he apparently has worked hard and improved his defense. Only time will tell how good of a defender he will be.
Brian Roberts is signed through 2013 with the Orioles. At the time it was a fan friendly move. Andy MacPhail locked up the team’s home grown cornerstone at second base. Now, it looks like the extension may have been a mistake. Roberts dealt with numerous injuries last season resulting in him playing just 59 games. This season, Roberts has stayed relatively healthy until recently, but there are still concerns on his long term health. On top of that, Roberts just hasn’t been hitting this season. He was hitting just .221 with a .273 on base percentage in the leadoff spot. Those aren’t typical numbers from Roberts and they aren’t good numbers for a leadoff hitter. What is worse is, Roberts is 33 years old and his best days may be behind him. This is where my “Would You Rather” comes in….
Starting tomorrow, would you rather have Ryan Adams as the Orioles starting second baseman or Brian Roberts and the remaining 2 1/2 years of his contract? Obviously, Adams has played just one major league game, so it is tough to judge how good of a player he will be if he is even good enough to stick around in the majors. Then you have Roberts and his $10 million a year salary for a now injury prone, on the decline, second baseman. Can Roberts stay healthy and get back to the production where he was when he signed the extension?
This is why I want to find out from you the readers what you would do if this hypothetical situation came up. Maybe this would be closer to reality if Roberts has to stay on the disabled list for an extended period of time and Adams takes advantage of his opportunity and shows he can be an everyday second baseman. The Orioles would then be left with a tough decision…what do they do with Adams and Roberts? I doubt they would even be able to trade Roberts and his remaining salary even if they wanted to. In addition, Adams other potential position is blocked by a struggling Mark Reynolds. Once again, Reynolds is hitting for a very low batting average, but this year, he hasn’t shown the same power that he did with Arizona. Reynolds would also be tough to trade given his recent production and the $7.5 million he is owed next season. I don’t foresee Adams being an everyday third baseman anyways. Josh Bell is probably first in line to take over third base and I don’t think Adams has the power to be an everyday third baseman.
With all that said, the question is simple….As of you reading this, if you had to choose one or the other, would you rather have Ryan Adams or Brian Roberts on the Orioles as their starting second baseman?