Among news items coming out of the Orioles organization over the past day has been that Miguel Tejada is working out for the team in Sarasota on Monday – essentially a tryout situation. There will be a physical, and depending on how it all goes, it sounds like there is something of a slicked pathway for this to happen. Everything written about it appears to not be a “well maybe, it could go either way” … but rather it is all couched in an aura of probability.
Tejada is age 37 – at least that’s his story and he’s sticking to it! For now. Would you bet your net worth on that number as accurate?
This of course raises all sorts of questions about Mark Reynolds and where that situation is headed. Obviously with J.J. Hardy around, Tejada is not going to be playing shortstop; but Tejada is very capable at third base and played there for the Orioles in the past (in one of his two previous lives in Baltimore).
Mark Reynolds has indeed had a difficult start this season. He is a common whipping boy for O’s fans, and I have to admit he brings much of that upon himself. I confess also to being a part of that choir a year ago. But I’ve changed my tune (though don’t count me as a huge fan!). There aren’t many people around who can hit 37 homers in a season, and though he strikes out a lot, he makes up for much of that with the large number of walks he gets. However, his defensive blunders are almost unforgiveable and are the larger problem. Lately, it seems that throwing the ball is a bigger issue than even catching it. Though he does not embrace being at first base, it seems the better position for him, yet I see Davis as a more viable long-term answer at that position.
Reynolds did factor heavily into the Friday night victory over Boston – probably more than any other single individual on the team – hitting a homer, double, and sac fly RBI.
Let me list out the positive and negative aspects of bringing Tejada to Baltimore again:
Positives on Signing Tejada
– Tejada is a veteran who has seen it all and done it all
– Tejada would be a defensive upgrade at 3rd over anyone else the O’s have
– Who would you rather have on the bench? Tejada or Nick Johnson?
– He has hit over 300 homers in his career with a .285 batting average
– Tejada always seemed to enjoy being in and playing in Baltimore
– Miguel is full of good one-liners that help writers like me!
Negatives on Signing Tejada
– Tejada is a veteran who has seen it all and done it all … and yes, I also said this as a positive. And yes, Miguel has done it all – enhancements, testimony before Congress, etc.
– The Orioles are enjoying a season with a relatively young and unusually happy clubhouse. What would this addition do to that? Is that a fit?
– The Orioles have a disastrous record on late career veterans.
– If anyone thinks Tejada is a homer upgrade over Reynolds, consider this: Reyolds got his first after 67 at bats this year, Tejada hit one homer per 80 at bats last year with San Francisco. Reynolds was 1 per 15 at bats.
– Tejada’s OBP for 2011 was .270 … Reynolds was .323.
– Reynolds is nine years younger than Tejada – at least we think it is only nine years!
I view this as another “mud thrown against the wall” technique of Duquette. He is clearly not going to stay still; he is going to make moves that provide an abundance of options. So far, that is working rather well!
I am not necessarily totally against the resigning of Tejada, but I’m falling out on the Reynolds side of this discussion. I believe that Reynolds pretty much needs to play every day and get into a rhythm to maximize his skills. I realize how difficult that is to do when the team is playing well, while Mark is struggling to break .150 and keeps throwing the ball past the first baseman.
I won’t be wearing a Mark Reynolds jersey at any games, but I’m not ready to feed him to the sharks just yet.
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