Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday Thoughts

Brandon Fahey still looks like a kid. No matter how many times he's been up and down. He still looks like he's 12. But he just had an RBI double into the corner to give the Birds a 2-1 lead in the second.

A great 800 meter men's final at the Olympic Trials last night. I haven't seen a closing finish like that since Big Brown. And the battle to get the third and final slot on the team was truly thrilling.

Tonight there is more from Omaha. Michael Phelps highlights the night. Natalie Coughlin also goes in the 100 meter backstroke hoping to hold onto her spot. She set a new world record in the prelims.

Haven't commented on the Orange losing Brandon Gilbeaux yet to academics. Gilbeaux is the second returnee who won't return this fall. He's also the second academic casualty of Greg Robinson. He's another Robinson recruit who played early and hasn't made the grade. These type of grade issues happen everywhere, but they are easier to swallow when the wins are more plentiful.

A little bit more high tech from NBC tonight (coverage is actually on USA) but they've come back with the world record time line in the pool and the swimmers names in each lane. Phelps has won the 200m freestyle securing another spot on the team.

Lou Montanez is starting to look like one of those guys who might be a late bloomer. He was drafted in the top ten a long time ago by the Chicago Cubs as an infielder. Now as a 27-year old outfielder he's tearing up the AA-Eastern League. He's hit another homer at Harrisburg tonight, his 17th on the season. Nolan Reimold, the more thought of prospect has hit a pair of homers as the BaySox lead 7-0. Matt Wieters is 1-for-2 with a double tonight. The Orioles continue to look strong at the lower levels. Brad Bergesen continues to get it done after starting the year at Adv-A Frederick. Making his 13th start with Bowie, Bergesen has allowed just one run through six innings while striking out seven, as the Senators have pulled within 7-1.

But back to Montanez, I'm in favor of giving the guy a chance to earn the fourth outfielder job next year. I think that means you've got to give him an extended look at the end of this season. And then maybe he becomes a fourth outfielder/designated hitter for them in the future. It's almost starting to look like the Orioles have too many outfielders going forward as Nick Markakis and Adam Jones appear fixtures for awhile. Then when you consider the development of Luke Scott and the potential of some others like Montanez and Reimold and don't forget the Orioles reacquired Jeff Fiorentino. Then at the lower levels you've got Brandon Tripp, Joe Nowicki, Matt Angle and all the young draft picks and it's almost a situation where the Orioles have some young depth in the outfield.

I've been excited about the young pitching for awhile and now some of those young outfielders are starting to make me feel better. Obviously, not all of them will become major leaguers. But the philosophy has been developing organizational depth. And I'm really starting to like the possibilities of the outfield.

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