Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Immediate Reaction to Montanez Call Up

Lou Montanez was the best outfielder in spring training not named Nick Markakis or Adam Jones. However, with the commitment the club had made to Felix Pie, Montanez’s hot bat and improving defense was relegated to AAA Norfolk. Let’s not forget that Montanez himself was once the top prospect in the Cubs’ system, now only to be trumped for an experiment with another top prospect in the Cubs’ system. Ryan Freel, still in the hospital recovering from being struck in the head, is being sent to the DL and has opened up the way for Montanez. Lou won’t be an everyday player for Baltimore, but he could be a great bat off the bench (and will likely do a great deal better than Freel, who was hitting .133 and complaining about playing time. Montanez, meanwhile, tore up in Norfolk, with a .429 average to go with a .500 on base percentage. While one cannot expect those stats, Orioles fans could point to the .295 average he hit in 112 at bats last year after being called up, having won the Triple Crown in the Eastern League with Bowie.

With Felix Pie looking completely lost defensively and starting the season off slow at the plate, the Orioles could use the help at the plate. The Pie experiment should continue all season, but it is good to know that the O’s have some quality insurance behind him.

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