Orioles ups and downs

April 15, 2001|By Joe Strauss

UP -- Willis Roberts

Wednesday's four shutout innings heated up an internal debate over whether he is the closer of the near future. As a Syd Thrift find, the former minor-league free agent with "Tom Seaver stuff" won't lack for opportunity.

DOWN -- Roster inflexibility

With so many "kids," how can the Orioles be so set? They're the only major-league team without a reserve middle infielder. And is No. 3 catcher and Thrift signee Greg Myers really worth an 11-man pitching staff?

DOWN -- Jose Mercedes

Thursday's finger-thrusting, cooler-kicking exit at Fenway made great "SportsCenter" footage but didn't do much for the staff image.

DOWN -- Delayed steals

It's already bombed twice, once with Cal Ripken running. Let's delay the next one 'til August.

UP -- Mike Trombley

Check out last season's finish and this year's start. Has become as durable and as effective as the Orioles thought when they bull-rushed to sign him after the '99 season.

DOWN -- Powerball

One home run in the first 348 at-bats. We're not talking Craig Grebeck, but the Orioles' entire roster.

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