Q & A on Canadians and the Baltimore Orioles
We asked the head huncho of Camden ChatÂ Scott ChristÂ (Make it a point to check out this website. It delievers multiple updates daily on the Orioles, and is an Orioles fans community in every sense of the word)Â a few questions about the top Canadian Born Players that are in Orioles spring camp. Onto the questions!
With Loewen out of options, how long of a leash do you expect him to be given? If he struggles, will the Orioles stick with him in the rotation or move him to the pen?
A: Loewen is definitely in the long-term planning of the organization, a lefty with great stuff, and he showed some good compsure during his 20-game stint with the club last year. He didn’t always pitch well, but he never got on too bad of a run where he couldn’t come back from it, as we’ve seen from other pitchers at his age. Truthfully, Loewen has been rushed, but his contract stipulated that he had to be on the 25-man roster this year or waived, so the Orioles had to see what he could do. He did enough to stick around. With Mazzone on the job, I think we’ll see Loewen stay in the rotation so long as he’s healthy and not absurdly bad. I don’t see a move to the bullpen, simply because there isn’t enough depth anywhere to replace Loewen just because of routine struggles for a pitcher as young as he is.Â
Adam Stern is the least well known of the Canadians on the club. Will he be able to make
the team out of spring training? If so, what do you expect his role to be?
A: Stern is probably destined to be a fifth outfielder for the rest of his career, and he’s competing with guys like Freddie Bynum to make the team out of spring training. If he does, he’d most likely be used as a pinch-runner, defensive replacement, and left-handed pinch-hitter. His injury history is also a problem, but he could be an effective reserve for a long time, and a valuable situational player to have. He’s a very easy guy to root for, though, and there are certainly worse things to have on a team than a hard-working lefty bat with speed and a decent outfield glove off the bench.Â
To your knowledge, do the Orioles have an increased scouting focus on Canada?
A: I don’t believe it’s anything too far out of the ordinary.
Bedard is clearly one of the most under-rated pitchers in the majors. Is he also under-rated to a point amongst Orioles fans?
A: No, he’s not underrated among O’s fans at all. I think most Orioles fans — myself included — have been simply waiting for the Erik Bedard of 2006 (and the first part of 2005, before his injury) to show up for three or four years now. It was always clear that the guy could pitch, but his character was questioned for a long time. I think doubts about his makeup are fading quickly, too. League-wide, I don’t think a lot of fans realize how good Bedard is, but part of that is simply because the Orioles are not a marquee team.Â
Do you have any predictions/outcome scenarios for Loewen and Bedard?
A: Our community projects Bedard to pitch about the same as he did in 2006, and for Loewen to experience a learning curve this year, which is only natural. Long-term, Loewen has a shot at being very good, and Bedard is probably the type of guy that will be consistently strong and have a season or two where he’s truly outstanding and maybe wins a Cy Young if things break right. There’s really nothing that’s stopping Erik Bedard from being one of the game’s very best.
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