Media roundup: What they're saying about O's signing Guerrero

February 07, 2011|By Baltimore Sun reporter

The Vladimir Guerrero signing was another big move for the Orioles as Spring Training approaches. Here's what other media outlets have to say about the signing, and the team's off-season as a whole.

• ESPN.com's Tristan H. Cockcroft thinks the Guerrero signing will be big for the man slated to hit in front of him, Nick Markakis.

A final note on Guerrero's arrival in Baltimore: Might it improve things for Nick Markakis, the Orioles' projected No. 3 hitter? Markakis most often had Ty Wigginton hitting behind him in 2010 (also Miguel Tejada and Scott, on occasion), and saw 4.2 percent fewer pitches in the strike zone than his career average. Meanwhile, Josh Hamilton, who batted ahead of Guerrero most often in Texas, saw 3.2 percent fewer than his career average, and don't think his gaudy numbers weren't at least somewhat responsible for pitchers' fear. Markakis could see a few more quality strikes, so if you were already on his bounce-back bandwagon, you've got reason to toss an extra buck or two in his direction.

• ESPN.com's Stats & Info Blog took a look at the numbers and point out that Guerrero's signing is another in a string of off-season improvements for the Orioles.

Guerrero boosts the Orioles in multiple areas in which they were deficient last season. Baltimore slugged .358 against left-handed pitching, fourth-worst in baseball last season and the team's worst since 1988.

In adding Guerrero, Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds, the Orioles netted three players whose combined slugging percentage vs lefties last season was .495. Guerrero slugged .536.

In all three spots in the lineup (DH, first base, third base), the Orioles have a player whose numbers vs lefties were better than the primary player used by Baltimore last season.

• The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo wrote in his Sunday Baseball Notes that with Guerrero, the Orioles lineup isn't the fastest, but has a ton of power.

Guerrero, who should be grateful for landing an $8 million deal this late in the process, adds an intriguing element to the Baltimore lineup, which now has quite a bit of sock. One problem, though, is the defensively challenged Luke Scott moving to left field. But this lineup is no day at the beach: Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Guerrero, Scott, Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, Matt Wieters, and J.J. Hardy. "Lots of strikeouts, but lots of power," is the way one AL executive summed it up. "There are guys who can clog the bases but guys who can win it with one swing."

• Not all the reaction was positive, though. Rob Neyer of SBNation.com isn't particularly thrilled with the signing.

Everyone loves what the Orioles have been doing, especially with Buck Showalter in the dugout. But is anyone going to figure them for anything better than fourth place?

Guerrero's got a name, obviously. But can you really imagine the good people of Charm City getting excited about the chance to see Vladimir Guerrero bat four times? The truth is that there have been very, very, very few players who baseball fans would specifically pay to see. And while there might have been a year or two when Guerrero was one of those players, sort of, he's not anymore.

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