I hate to give up guys, but I think the O's are done for 2009. I don't see how the pitching will hold out. Don't read too much into Adam Eaton's last start, and the bullpen has a lot of issues as well, even with the resurgences of Danys Baez and Brian Bass. Here are some interesting things to be thinking about the next few weeks:
1. Left Field. Felix Pie is hitting in the .220s with no power, no plate discipline, and trouble on defense. I think he still needs some more time, at least until mid-May to start showing progress. But Lou Montanez is already up with Ryan Freel injured, and although he's struggled in his first 15 at bats, might compete at some point. Don't forget Nolan Reimold in AAA, where he's dominating and possibly earning himself a callup after the All-Star Break. And then there's even Luke Scott, who has been getting more playing time in left field than anyone expected him to get.
2. Trades. Danys Baez is making himself tradeable to a contending team, which is all the O's can unofficially hope for. Jamie Walker is not doing as well. But hopefully, the O's will be able to move both players and give a chance to some young relievers like Kam Mickolio, Bob McCrory, Jim Miller, Wilfrido Perez, and James Hoey. Both Baez and Walker are gone after this year. On the same note, Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora are in similar situations, but the O's could choose to keep them next year if they felt they didn't have younger options. So depending on the development of Brandon Snyder, Billy Rowell, and Scott Moore, the O's should look to trade these two if possible. I really think the O's can compete next year, and they should be looking to add some finishing touches to their minor league system (shortstop, pitchers). Ryan Freel needs to be traded ASAP. My personal #1 trade target is 3B/SS Brandon Wood on the Angels, who don't have room for him.
3. Prospects. When will Matt Wieters be up? Gregg Zaun is hitting about .100. I'm guessing that the O's will allow Wieters to recover from his recent injury, give him a week or two, and we'll see him by mid-May, and maybe Rich Hill will come with him. Also be on the lookout for David Hernandez or Troy Patton to get a callup when the rotation continues to struggle. Reimold and Chris Tillman should get a shot with Snyder after the break. There's still reason to be excited about the O's.