Here's hoping the Orioles will save some room for Pie

February 11, 2011|By Matt Vensel

The signing of veteran slugger Vladimir Guerrero was encouraging news for the Orioles organization. Well, except for maybe Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie, who are now expected to battle it out for the team's fourth outfielder spot during spring training.

I don't know how Reimold took the news, but Pie was probably too busy putting out rap albums and chasing after umpires to take notice (this is all speculation, of course).

Luke Scott is expected to be the team's regular left fielder, though he will move back to the DH spot he occupied last season if Guerrero needs a break, suffers an injury or if the matchups call for a switcheroo. That means whoever wins the spring showdown between Pie and Reimold will still play a significant role.

We'll see how things shake out in Sarasota. No offense to Reimold, likely the odd man out since Pie is out of options, but I will be selfishly pulling for Pie to make the 25-man roster.

Patrolling left field after Reimold was demoted early in 2010, Pie played in 82 games last season (he missed nearly three months with a shoulder injury). He batted .274 with five home runs and 31 runs batted in, created chaos on the base paths (sometimes good, sometimes bad) and provided serviceable defense in left field despite a few adventures out there.

You never know what's going to happen when Pie is involved in a play, which is why he is easily the most entertaining O's player (also, the thought of Pie busting rhymes for his rumored LP should not be discounted.)

That constant threat of calamity when Pie attempts to advance on a sacrifice fly or shag a routine fly ball is also why plenty of fans would be happy to see him go. He's a pretty polarizing player.

Sure, I'd like to see if Reimold can recapture the mojo he had in his rookie season -- even with Scott, Guerrero and Mark Reynolds, the Orioles could use more pop -- but if I'm picking a guy, it's Pie.

So which guy do you prefer?

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