Dan Duquette signed local product Adam Kolarek to a minor league contract for the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. Kolarek is a southpaw reliever, who was born and bred in Baltimore. After he attended Catonsville High School and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2010, he was drafted by the NY Mets.
Kolarek was an 11th round draft choice, and was released earlier this month. Many folks are going to say that this is Duquette getting guys off the scrap heap again. Here’s the thing folks – it may well be. Or it just could be a very slow news cycle moment in Birdland and this could be one of the only things making waves on the radar. You be the judge.
Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
While Duquette is certainly good at scraping guys off the scrap heap, he’s also good for what you might call depth signings. Kolarek is probably a good guy to have signed to a minor league deal and stashed on the farm someplace. Over six years in the minor leagues with the NY Mets’ organization, Kolarek posted a 3.56 ERA. However he has an ERA of 2.05 against lefties. Could he possibly be a lefty specialist?
Keep in mind that teas rarely make these low-level signings over the course of the off season with the intention of bringing that guy north for Opening Day. If Kolarek dazzles the Orioles in spring training he’s probably going to end up having earned a roster spot. And there’ll be few people in or out of the organization that will be able to be critical of that given the fact that he would have had a great spring.
And that’s really the key in a lot of this; everyone wants to retrospectively criticize the fact that Paredes was an Oriole this year. However keep in mind that he looked really good in spring training. He earned the right to be on the team. The same will be true of Kolarek or any other low level signee if he has a great spring.
That’s partly why spring training exists as “a thing.” It’s also for guys to wear off any rust that’s collected over the course of the off season and so forth, however it gives other guys a shot at making the team. The Orioles, or any other franchise would be foolish not to give people a look in spring games so as to try to better their franchise.
However obviously you don’t want the likes of Adam Kolarek to be their big splash in the off season. And I don’t think it will be. Incidentally the fact that he’s a local kid is a bonus. Baseball’s a business where very few people get to stay close to home and work. That’s a luxury that most of us take for granted, but it has to be a thrill for him to now have the opportunity to be in the organization of his hometown team.
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