Tap-In Question: If Manny Machado is an Oriole in 2018, would you start him at shortstop? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: If Manny Machado is an Oriole in 2018, would you start him at shortstop?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The question we all want answered is whether Manny Machado will be an Oriole on Opening Day, March 29.

Well, mosey up to the bar and let me help you out with that one.

My best guess, based on my years as an intrepid reporter, is maybe.

I still think the Orioles pull the trade trigger if they get the right return package of at least two young pitchers and one or two other players with decent ceilings. That may be a lot to ask for a pending free agent, however, even a terrific one such as Machado. So, if they don’t get that desired return, then I assume the Orioles hold onto Machado until July.

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Really, this has been the expectation since the Orioles started fielding offers.

I’m not willing to buy the intermittent reports that he’s now off the market or now he’s back on the market. I think the Orioles will deal him if someone meets their needs and won’t if no teams come close.

So, while that waiting game plays out, there’s another Machado storyline worth watching.

What position will Machado play in 2018 if he stays with the Orioles?

You have to think the answer is shortstop.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has not made that pronouncement publicly, though he has been given ample opportunity. He’s staying with the standard line that the issue is being discussed and is close to being worked out. That, in itself, gives the impression that a switch is going to happen.

Machado is a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman, one of the best in the majors. But he’s always considered himself a shortstop, and has never wavered in the hope that he’d play that position regularly in the majors. Throughout most of Machado’s career, though, shortstop has been the domain of J.J. Hardy.

Machado had too much respect for the veteran shortstop to angle for the position while Hardy manned it. But Hardy is now a free agent, working out in Arizona and deciding whether to play somewhere in 2018 or retire.

With Hardy injured, the Orioles’ shortstop position in the second half of 2017 belonged to Tim Beckham, who is older than Machado (27 to 25), but has less service time in the majors (three-plus to five-plus). Machado and Beckham seemed to bond when Beckham was traded to the Orioles in July, but it’s not the same mentor-protégé relationship that Machado had with Hardy.

And, frankly, it’s difficult to make the argument that Beckham is a better shortstop than Machado.

In 49 games at shortstop for the Orioles last year, Beckham had nine errors; Machado had eight in 52 games at shortstop in 2015 and 2016. Machado’s sample size at the position is rather small, so the advanced defensive metrics may be even less telling than usual, but they are fairly comparable depending on what stat is used.

Beckham looked good at times last year at shortstop, making some difficult stops. But he also had occasional trouble with routine plays and in making consistently accurate throws with his strong arm. He was much flashier than Hardy, but not nearly as consistent.

So, moving Machado to shortstop shouldn’t provide a downgrade, could provide an upgrade and, ultimately, will make the Orioles’ star happy in what likely will be his last season in Baltimore.

Moving Beckham to third would certainly be a downgrade defensively, though he should have the arm and quickness to be OK at the hot corner.

There have been rumblings for the Orioles to go out and get another third baseman – free agent Mike Moustakas, for instance – hold onto Machado this year and make Beckham a utility player. Theoretically, that makes some sense. I just don’t see the Orioles spending the money that it will take to land Moustakas.

So, that leaves you, oh wonderful faux bar patrons, to opine on this.

Would you move Machado to shortstop for 2018 if he remains an Oriole? Not only would it likely increase his value in the open market next winter, but also on the trade market this summer. But it could weaken the club’s overall defense if Machado proves to be simply adequate at short as opposed to outstanding at third.

Tap-In Question: If Machado is an Oriole in 2018, would you start him at shortstop?

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99 Comments

99 Comments

  1. Wade Warren

    January 19, 2018 at 7:26 am

    No. We have a Short Stop. Manny is a Butt for saying he now wants SS. He is in No position to demand a position change.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

      But Wade this isn’t a new thing. He’s wanted to play SS all along. But he waited his time until Hardy was gone. I have no problem at all with him wanting to play there. The question is does it help the team.

    • Dpsmith22

      January 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Who is the short stop, Beckham? Really???!?!

    • Crabill Os fan

      January 22, 2018 at 9:32 am

      I have no problem with manny playing where manny wants to , any trade regarding Manny or Schoop I witstop watching Orioles all together and have been diehard fan since the 70s .duqette you need to extend manny and johathan

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 19, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Yes I would. We still have him for one more year, Why antagonize the guy at this point? Do you believe in Miracles?

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Not when money is involved.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 19, 2018 at 9:26 am

        One more thought: With the way teams are seemingly avoiding the big long term contracts this offseason, who’s to say for sure that Manny’s going to get the 300+ million deal we all believe he’s be looking for? At this point .. it appears that the entire sport may be changing the way they think about these huge long term commitments. I’ll call it the “Crush Syndrome”, and until I see Manny in another uniform, I’m holding out hope.

        • thebookdoc

          January 19, 2018 at 10:59 pm

          why don’t we have ‘like’ buttons? LIKE.

  3. Brett

    January 19, 2018 at 7:51 am

    No. After his past knee surgeries, he shouldn’t be trying to cover that much ground at short stop. We don’t need him getting hurt before the trade deadline.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:10 am

      That’s a solid point. The flip side is effective play at shortstop could attract more suitors.

  4. Brett

    January 19, 2018 at 7:51 am

    No. After his past knee surgeries, he shouldn’t be trying to cover that much ground at short stop. We don’t need him getting hurt before the trade deadline.

  5. JoeFundo

    January 19, 2018 at 8:03 am

    NO!

  6. Os no

    January 19, 2018 at 8:39 am

    No. Why accommodate him when he is out the door. We know what he brings at third, and it’s a contract year for him so he will bring his best while in orange and black. If he wants to play short for the Orioles, sign a damned extension!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:11 am

      Fair enough. There is that sentiment I’m sure among plenty of people.

  7. DutchDinger

    January 19, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Yes

  8. Dblack2508

    January 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

    No, unless the Orioles sign Mike Moustakas. I am hoping they find a trade partner and get the best possible assets. I don’t think moving Schoop or Beckham to third is a good move.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:12 am

      I definitely wouldn’t move Schoop at this point. He has established himself as a second baseman. Leave him there.

  9. BunkerFan

    January 19, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I would not move him to SS unless one of two things happen: he agrees to a contract extension past 2018; we sign Moustakas. Or both: wouldn’t that be nice? I don’t see how moving him there in his walk year makes the O’s stronger unless one of these two things happens.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Again. A fair point. The only thing it does is make him more content. And possibly open up the number of suitors (increase competition) at the deadline.

  10. Creatively_19

    January 19, 2018 at 9:13 am

    When you put it like that, what choice do you have? I don’t see Beckham being particularly good at 3B, but he wasn’t that great at his regular position either. Maybe there’s a chance the O’s can pick up Moustakas on a 1 year deal like they did with Cruz, but I doubt there are good odds of that happening. Saying that Beckham will be at 3rd gives me flashbacks to Mark Reynolds at 3rd with the O’s. Great glove, but couldn’t find 1st base.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Reynolds was the reason we got to know Machado so quickly.

  11. Paul Folkemer

    January 19, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I don’t see the point of moving him to a new position with one year left on his contract, especially when Beckham is a capable defensive shortstop (not great, but capable). I also don’t think it’s clear-cut that Machado will be as stellar defensively at SS as he is as 3B. He’s added more bulk than he had when he first came to the majors, which could limit his range a bit.

    The Orioles have enough issues to address already. I wouldn’t add more complications by switching Machado and Beckham to new positions. Not with Machado likely on his way out the door.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:24 am

      Paul, I think that’s a key point. You know how good Machado is at 3B. There’s no guarantee he’ll be the same at SS. And you aren’t gonna find a 3B that good defensively. That, in itself, is the argument for keeping things the same. Plus, as you said, Beckham is solid at shortstop. Still, I bet the switch will be made.

  12. Teejay

    January 19, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Unless the O’s acquire a long term solution at third i.e. Moustakas or someone else, I don’t see Manny starting at short in 2018. If the O’s stand pat on that area of the roster on opening day Machado will be at third and Beckham will be at short, just my gut instinct!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:53 am

      My gut says otherwise. Mainly because it’s not being shot down.

  13. mlbbirdfan

    January 19, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Makes no difference … we’re a .500 team this year, and that’s a best-case scenario. More likely, last in ALE. If he plays half has games at each position, and is steady but unspectacular at both, does that increase or decrease his value? Decrease. One more point: he’s more likely to be an All Star and Gold Glove at 3B ( with Longoria in NL) and the All Star berth increases his trade value.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      January 19, 2018 at 9:30 am

      Ye of little faith.

      • mlbbirdfan

        January 19, 2018 at 9:33 am

        I’m a practical season ticket holder.

        • Dpsmith22

          January 19, 2018 at 9:48 am

          Your also living in reality. This roster, as is, won’t win 75 games.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:54 am

      This roster as is wont get to May.

  14. Orial

    January 19, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Seems like you’re rewarding him and letting him audition at the teams expense. Probaby being childish denying him. Now on the other side playing him at SS could increase his value which could in turn improve the haul. An unhappy Manny could have negative effect and lest we forget Schoop is watching.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:54 am

      Fair summary. Drink chip.

  15. GSISDANNO

    January 19, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I would play him at shortstop although I think he is a defensive downgrade from J.J.Hardy. But I was not impressed with Beckham’s defense last year. I am not sure he might not be better as an outfielder.
    For the last few years, the Orioles had a great defensive infield with Davis, Schoop, Hardy and Machado. Everyone of them had gold glove ability.
    I guess we better prepare for a rebuild.
    I am going to predict that Machado is going to have a down year. He is immature and I don’t think he can deal with the pressure.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 11:07 am

      It will be interesting. Players ready to walk-Year pressures differently.

  16. mlbbirdfan

    January 19, 2018 at 9:32 am

    PS: I’d rather trade him, unless Angelos shocks the world ( won’t happen ! ) by paying full value and signing Manny long-term. Dan, with the horrendous market, what if we offer him $200 million for 8 years, with $40 million deferred? Would that get it done, today? MAKE THE OFFER. Schoop too! Then, we have hope.

    • Paul Folkemer

      January 19, 2018 at 10:18 am

      There’s no way Machado would sign that deal. He’d be better off waiting until free agency and seeing what the open market brings. Just because the FA market is slow this offseason doesn’t mean it will be next year. I think there will be quite a bidding war for Manny.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 11:08 am

      What he said.

  17. BunkerFan

    January 19, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Moustakas has become a very good hitter; but he’s an average at best fielder at 3B according to stats.
    dWAR: -0.7// E: 12//DP:17// Range Factor/9: 2.47: League RF/9: 2.60//Fielding Pct.: .962: League: .956 7 yrs.dWAR: 2.8
    Manny dWAR: 1.0// E: 14//DP: 37//Range Factor/9: 2.70 : League RF/9: 2.60//Fielding Pct.: .967 6 yrs. dWAR: 11.1

    We know Manny is the superior fielder but it’s interesting to compare them via these Stats.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 11:10 am

      I’m gonna take a pass. I’ve yet to find a defensive evaluation that I can fully embrace. But I think your point is Machado is a better defensive 3B than Moustakas. I’m with that.

      • BunkerFan

        January 19, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        I totally get that. I’m not sure any of these do. But, individually or taken together, they give us a consistent standard by which to compare players in more of a quantitative than qualitative way. Even if each and all are flawed, at least the same flawed measure is applied to each of the players involved, so comparisons are based on more than just what someone saw. These measures give us statistical grounds by which we can support the qualitative observations we have from seeing the players in many games at their positions. Yes, Machado is much better than Moustakas at 3B; these stats give us a sense of how much better he is, last year and in his career.

  18. Dpsmith22

    January 19, 2018 at 9:46 am

    In a perfect world, yes I would move Manny to Short. Beckham is horrible at short and won’t survive the season if he starts there. Keep in mind Tampa acquired Adeiny Hechavarria to start over Beckham and he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a cruise ship. What does that tell you?

    A free agent signing like Yunel Escobar would be fine at 3rd. He brings a different approach to hitting that would be a breath of fresh air for some of us fans. He should be cheap and the guy can hit.

    A motivated Manny certainly can’t hurt and might be necessary given this pitching barren roster.

  19. phildell

    January 19, 2018 at 9:50 am

    At this point, you have to maximize Manny’s value. It’s unlikely he’ll be here beyond the trade deadline so do whatever you need to do to increase his value. After all, he was drafted to be your shortstop. It’s not like he’s never played there.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 11:30 am

      True. But you have to believe it will boost it. If he goes there and stumbles teams needing a SS may be less likely to knock in July. Just bring devil’s advocate.

    • phildell

      January 19, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Fair enough. But if he shows he can handle SS in spring training, let the bidding begin. If not, I would hope he’d be back at third.

  20. bickel57

    January 19, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Maybe. If Beckham doesn’t improve his defense in spring training then I could see him moving to short. If they come up with an alternative at third he will move. I don’t mean bringing back Ryan Flaherty either. There is no one in the minors except Mountcastle that could handle third. Most people don’t think he has an arm for third and still only 20or so.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 11:31 am

      If you are gonna do it though, make the transition for a whole spring training.

  21. Bancells Moustache

    January 19, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Keep him at third. The risk is just too great. You think after last year the Boston Red Sox won’t be coming in hard at Machado on a double play? He’s one hard slide away from disaster and the boys in Massachusetts will be coming at him like Tomahawk missiles. Not to sound cold, but if Tim Beckham gets injured on a hard Mookie Betts slide, the entire franchise won’t be crippled by it. And the Orioles (well really the market) have the leverage here. With Machado heading into FA next year, he must surely realize that pouting about his location on the diamond, for all the MLB GMs to see, may cost him a few Benjamins in the fall. If he’s smart he’ll take his medicine.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 11:44 am

      I’m not sure Boston fear is a reason to scrap the idea. But he would be more susceptible to injury on those DPs.

  22. Brett

    January 19, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Play him where it would benefit the team the most. Manny is looking out for Manny. The Orioles need to do what’s best for them. He’s going to be gone after 18 anyway.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 11:45 am

      Ultimately you are right.

  23. plucknstrum

    January 19, 2018 at 11:09 am

    I can’t see moving a gold glove and platinum glove third baseman off the hot corner. Just can’t see it.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 11:46 am

      They won’t get better there defensively. For sure.

  24. OrioleMaze

    January 19, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Leave Manny at 3rd.
    Imagine the Red Sox glee as he turns that double play?
    Spikes Up!
    Too much injury potential.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      There is that. I just don’t think that will play into the decision.

  25. willmiranda

    January 19, 2018 at 11:55 am

    No. This would be an experiment, and the O’s don’t have such a luxury. It takes about a year, if ever, for a player to adjust to a new position. And don’t tell me he was a high school SS or even a minor leaguer: it ain’t the same thing as playing the Show. It’s not only to see if his tools can develop to match the skills of the individual plays. He’s got to develop chemistry with the second baseman and third baseman, primarily, but also with the left fielder and center fielder, not forgetting the catcher and pitcher. This may not show up in individual statistics, but it affects team defense. Not everyone can do this. Judging by his baserunning gaffes, i’m not sure Machado has a great consciousness of what people are doing around him. I also don’t think the change, even if apparently successful, will increase his premium value, which is in his stick. If he hits as in the first half of last year, it will go down; if like the second half, it will be up. At any rate, we shouldn’t pay for an experiment that will benefit only others.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      I get your point. But he made the transition to 3B in a couple weeks as a 20yo in 2012. And was great from the outset. And he has played 50 MLB games at short in his career. So not a total experiment.

      • willmiranda

        January 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

        Thanks for the response.One quibble: His shift in 2012 was from the minor leagues to the majors, and I think 50 games still qualifies as an experiment. Another thought: I wonder whether part of his motivation to change is that he is not now regarded as the unquestioned best all-around third basemen and is sliding down the ratings. A little bruised ego at work? Anyway, it’s a great discussion.

  26. Schwarzstop

    January 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I’m hopeful the O’s have talked with Manny and know his contract intentions.

    If he plans on staying an Oriole and wants to move to Short, move him and then work on getting/developing an adequate 3rd baseman. Notice I didn’t say replacement! You can’t replace a talent like Manny at 3rd with a comparable talent! As good as he is at 3rd, I am confident he has the talent to be just as good at Short! And if he’s staying, you’ve committed to building the team around him!

    If the Orioles are confident Manny is gone, leave him at 3rd as that is the best defensive alignment for 2018! Sign Schoopie to a long term deal and build the team around him and Trey!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      I think they are fairly confident that he is testing free agency.

  27. JParsley

    January 19, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I don’t really care where he plays. if the O’s don’t get some pitching they won’t have a chance

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      Well, sure. But we’ve kind of beaten that one to a coma, at least.

  28. Rambojr03

    January 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    I would keep him at 3B, allowing Tim Beckham to continue playing SS.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Ok. Another vote for as is.

  29. boss61

    January 19, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    No. Why accommodate him when he about to leave? We know what he brings at third. Beckham is best where he is most comfortable, which is shortstop. If Manny wants to play short for the Orioles, he needs to sign an extension.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      Again. I understand he sentiment. He won’t be signing an extension this close to free agency. Makes little sense.

  30. ClyOs

    January 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    I wouldn’t play Machado at short. I think he is the best shortstop on the team, but moving him to short weakens the defense as a whole. If Manny moves to short, Davis would be the best bet to play third, with either Mancini or Trumbo at first and Beckman in the outfield or on the bench.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      Musical defensive chairs.

  31. Baltjim

    January 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Very good discussion. I have to agree that business comes first, and Manny should stay at third. If the team has the money to sign Moustakas, they should be spending it on pitching.
    Management has dug themselves into a deep hole over the past several years by failing to address the biggest problem they have. All the home run hitters in the world will not bring this team into contention without starting pitching.

  32. PA Bird Lover

    January 19, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Absolutely NO – Why do him any favors. If he would be willing to stay here for reasonable money, okay make the position switch. If I were Buck though, And knew he was leaving, I’d DH him this summer because I’m sure Buck is pissed over Manny’s greed. I’m also pissed.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      Is it greed or is it maximizing value?

  33. acd0

    January 19, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    When we say maximizing value, what are we talking about numbers wise? How much more? I mean, is there a previous comparable player that showed he could play well-above-average 3B and SS and got more (or returned more) than expected?

    Personally, I take a short term, fan enjoyment oriented approach: I’d like to see Manny play any position just to see what happens. Yes I know that’s not realistic, but it would be fun.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 19, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      To me it is more about increasing the number of teams that could have interest and, in turn, creating competition for his services which could create more value. If a team has a stud at third but is having troubles at short they may be more apt to consider Machado if he is playing good short. Maybe not. But widening options isn’t a bad thing. So long as it’s not hurting your team previous to that.

  34. Eldersburg Enigma

    January 19, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Manny to short, Chris Davis to third, and the O’s sign a free agent first baseman with more than 500 home runs and more than 3,000 hits. Them they name Miguel Tejada as assistant hitting instructor.

  35. Delsym

    January 20, 2018 at 8:07 am

    If he gets moved, make it to short and take Schoop to third with his gun of an arm. Pay Machado to teach him the position and be the best infield in the majors with Beckham at second and Davis at first, natural positions for each…pay the men and while we’re at it, move Jones from center to right and put speed in left as well as platoon. Aggressively seek long term deals with our infield, it will make our pitchers strong, if we SEEK ground ball types as needed for OPACY. While we’re at it convert more relievers back to starters and pay Britton to share his skills as well, still young and all that talent can’t simply be replaced, if and when we win with this core, the chemistry could not be duplicated!! That’s what wins championships!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 20, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Lots of money though. But if it is money well spent. …

      • Delsym

        January 21, 2018 at 8:29 am

        Exactly, if he cares about his team and teammates he will be reasonable, how much does a single guy really need to make. We’ve paid much lesser players big money. He’s proven himself immature, understood at his age, but really, we’ve had his back and accepted his need to be a swinging fool last season, run foolishly and whine, enough already, he talks about team and friends but if anyone needs him it’s us. He knows where he is and sees where we’ve put ourselves with big and long contracts. If he can show himself to be a superstar for a full year and repeat a superior glove year, at least a gold glove, then he’s earned it, if not then he can shut up and walk. Really tired of me first guys. At least Ubaldo gave everything he had and was a great teammate, as has Chris T, despite his struggles and Zach as well. Trumbo tried but just doesn’t have a full skill set. Davis needs a shrink, can’t just keep watching strike three. Whatever our pitchers do they better throw strikes or sit their asses down… including Kevin our defense is superior, trust it, and pay what is needed, at least it’s ours. Chemistry wins, I remember watching our early 70s team as a kid and seeing their reactions and comments after games, they all cared, that’s gotta be built not bought. That is why this New York kid is an Os far. Keep our own and support them or just move them and the team. The stadium will fill up with our fans WHEN, AND IF, we field a competitive team. At least keep whatever gives us a chance, be scrappy and use the pen early when the writing is on the wall…talent is sorting itself out and we can keep mining for pitchers, but keep playing to and for OPACY, and we’ll get there…Buck gives us a chance!! We have good people and players, don’t sell out to greed. I don’t think anyone will give us what Mannys worth and it’s our fault for not having any protective years with Manny, Jonathan and Zach! We learned nothing from letting our last first class teammates, glue and talent go…Mike Mussina and Matt Weiters. Manny doesn’t approach them as a teammate and just needs to sign, negotiate in good faith or shut up and we’ll get rid of him as the cancer he can become. I am a Buffalo Bills fan, we expunged great talent, yet still found a way…even with Raven rejects, ok it’s exactly that lack of offense that limits us as well…the Os it’s pitching, Bills pitching and catching…still hopeful for a winning team in a really tough division!

        • thebookdoc

          January 22, 2018 at 5:13 am

          A lot of that is nice, but Wieters is not a top talent. He was as bad as many hopes gone awry.

          • Delsym

            January 22, 2018 at 7:14 am

            I am not disagreeing with the talent gap you note, a disappointment performance wise, yes, but…a great teammate and invested in effort and support, and affirming presence and teacher, his principal contribution was never his bat or glove, but Caleb is a viable mlb catcher who may not have been but for his presence and Zach became a superstar, it takes multiple types and talents. Contributions are often hidden and not apparent except when the hole is left behind…certainly I speculate and may be entirely wrong

  36. Kpalm

    January 20, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Every team out there wants Manny gor 3rd , if you eant to keep him let him have short keep him happy

    • Dan Connolly

      January 20, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      If he plays well at short, he’ll be wanted at short, too.

  37. thebookdoc

    January 20, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I haven’t seen him play much short because in Spain I don’t get to watch the games much…But here is what i think: giving him more of the field is only increasing his effective sphere. Ultimately, it comes down to: everyone knows what he does at 3B even if he likes SS better. I mean, right now, I would expect to be making money as a Photoshop professional because I’ve been doing that for more than 25 years, but I’m making the bulk of what I make editing and writing. That is where my market ends up being. I prefer photo work because I can talk and listen to music at the same time, but can’t very well when I edit and write. Manny likes to have more space on the field or whatever, let him fight out the position with Beckham — who says he wants to play gold glove caliber SS after some nurturing by JJ. Worst that can happen is manny takes the SS position because he’s better, and you need to find a place for Beckham — who can place as a talented athlete probably at 3B or even in the OF. I don’t like the idea of trading him…but there is that option as well. Very little is ever solved by a long-term contract. who really has yet to figure that out?

    • Dan Connolly

      January 20, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      Probably won’t be a competition. They either will move him or they won’t. But I don’t expect a battle. And fwiw, I almost always listen to music when I write.

      • thebookdoc

        January 21, 2018 at 12:37 am

        I think that opinion is short-sighted. You don’t think Buck would say to him “go out and win the position.”? If I am Buck, that’s what I do…Granted Buck is a bit more conservative than I am. What does it NOT benefit to have competition? You can make players comfortable that they have playing time without them being sure where. I played all 9 positions in HS. In college just 2. It was interesting to see where I got into a game in HS, and it was based — I think — on what we showed. In 11th grade I asked to be on JV because there were two seniors who locked almost all the innings for a given week and I’d only see a few spot appearances. Instead I led the JV rotation and chalked up innings. It was more important to play than letter twice. When I wasn’t pitching, I ended up just about anywhere in the field. If you are not an idiot, it isn’t hard to learn a position, where to move in a situation, how to maximize your utility. The coach knew when he put me in right field that I’d be backing up goundballs to third wherever the lead runner was headed. Casual fans don’t get that stuff. You never fold your arms and say “that play doesn’t involve me” and if you do, you don’t love the game.groundball to third and you are in the outfield, you best be coming in to back up overthrows on wild plays or your head isn’t in the game.

        Manny playing aside Beckham fighting for that spot? They will pay attention. They will hop and be ready to move on every pitch. What they don’t already know, they will learn. Someone spends 5 seconds with their arms crossed making pictures in the infield dirt…they might just lose that job. Watch some film of Ripken playing… The guy was in every moment. He wasn’t just durable with a knowledgeable dad…he lived in it.

        Show me you deserve it. I don’t care if you are Chris Davis…on my team your ass eats wood if you don’t make the team better.

      • thebookdoc

        January 22, 2018 at 5:45 am

        P.S. — I listen when I work, too. Just not to stuff with words. When I ‘photoshop’ I can listen to comedians and whatever else I feel like. The words over words thing becomes inefficient when I am writing software documentation.

    • Delsym

      January 21, 2018 at 8:35 am

      MLB.com…just gotta get up early, or watch condensed games…just sayin. I believe your comments are solid! I like Beckham for second and would like to see if Jonathan can handle the hot corner, sure has the arm for it…maybe right field and Davis at third, longer shot though and I believe he’s a gold glove 1st baseman. Enjoy our last year with this degree of talent!!!

      • thebookdoc

        January 22, 2018 at 6:20 am

        I’m an eternal optimist. Like the games I listened to on the radio in the 70s where the Os would come back time after time. One night in ’76 Jim Palmer could have made me a millionaire with 3 Ks in the strikeout sweepstakes. I forgave him for not even getting one. I got free tickets I used years later. When my card came up and they announced my name on the radio, I don’t think I could have had a better shot. But that’s me, and this is my team. Every time a player walks off the field, another one walks on. Might not always be the one you expected. Like back in the day when McDonald was supposed to be the next coming, and Mussina spent no time overshadowing him as he faded into obscurity.

        I get where you are going with the idea of Schoop at third, but I think the Os have other options for 3B and he’s GREAT at 2B. Who do you replace him with? Davis makes every fine infielder better, and while I don’t like the contract I REALLY like him at 1B. Put anyone else at 1B and Manny can’t be as Manny. Beckham sorta reminds me a bit of Melvin Mora…And when MM started logging innings at 3B, it worked out fine — though he wasn’t exceptional at all fielding there. He’d also only played 26 ML innings at the position before the Os slotted him there… I see Beckham as a surprise at 3B…I see him as surprising himself.

        I may be the only one, but I like a lot of the team as is. I have high hopes for Mancini, Hays, Mountcastle, Sisco and Santander. I like the rule 5 pitching selections and would be glad to see that come back and bite NYY fans in the bottom. I’ve called a lot of HRs in my career as a fan when they shouldn’t have happened. I think Os fans are going to be the most surprised THIS YEAR.

        • Delsym

          January 22, 2018 at 7:03 am

          I agree on Davis and remain hopeful he’ll learn to beat the shift and learn to swing again, much is fear of failure. I just can’t see our other great options at third and fear a hole which could eat us alive defensively. I remain hopeful that we’ll find pitching somewhere and recall many frustrating game closures with full house stanhouse, Brittan plays to our strengths as presently built if the gloves aren’t there it could get really ugly. Sometimes Kevin’s not much different than Ubaldo and Dylan and Chris T need to be confident as did Arrieta, and Palmer (like the latter lacked that much?). I remain hopeful with you and will believe till we’re eliminated again, whichever month or year that may be… hanging on the Os branch and counting on Buck to work his wonders and sweat the details, season starting soon…

  38. 54orioles

    January 20, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Why?, we have a SS for the near future. This would only create other problems for the TEAM. He should play where he is needed not where he wants to play. Grow up already.

    • thebookdoc

      January 20, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      Trying him at short as a potential competitive advantage is him encroaching on someone’s incumbency? If he increases your competitive advantage at SS you don’t want to give it to him just because he wants it? You must be female.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 20, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      The real question is will it make the team better? The other stuff is secondary.

    • 54orioles

      January 30, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Been away for a bit and I just read the comment from the book doc. My only question is did you just crawl out of your cave. Your thoughts should stay in the dark. What a Neanderthal!

  39. Ben1

    January 21, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Manny @3b. Schoop at SS. 2 great arms on the left side

    • Delsym

      January 21, 2018 at 8:43 am

      SS requires bigger skill set, that’s Manny!! League wide at present that’s why we’re where we are, if he just had as much plate discipline as defense acumen and skill! Hate to see him go, but really, it’s his wish or greed, if he goes so be it, I don’t see anyway we’ll get much of worth for him where we’re at presently…

  40. woody

    January 21, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I think they’ll play him at SS out of recognition for his ability, his wishes and because he’s earned the right.

    Is it best for the Orioles? No. Firstly i’m not sure Manny is going to be an elite SS. Beckham at 3rd would be a disaster – can’t trust his arm, can’t trust his clock. He’s passable at SS as he makes plays due to his speed, which offsets his sloppiness on regulation plays. Moving Schoop around makes no sense – 2B is clearly his best position. The scenario where the infield 4 of Davis, Schoop, Manny, Beckham lines up with Manny at SS is a disaster no matter how you rejig it.

    Personally if I were DD and knew Manny was at SS this season, i’d be looking to sign a 3B and stick Beckham in the outfield where his plus agility and minus arm is best suited.

  41. thebookdoc

    January 22, 2018 at 6:46 am

    If you believe Beckham to have a minus arm, his best slot is 2B. However, coaches don’t seem to agree… http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/bs-sp-orioles-beckham-hardy-20170813-story.html

    Why sign another anchor when you have talent ready to come up in the minors and too many guys already? Doesn’t seem DD is really very nervous about the infield for 2018. From what I understand he’s still looking to plug in a left-handed right fielder with speed.

  42. Delsym

    January 22, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Here’s hoping, perhaps JJ as a utility coach/player, gotta think outside the box, lots of raw talent which needs development, Mancini standard bearer for new hope…

  43. Sizemo

    January 23, 2018 at 3:03 am

    The metrics say he’s average at SS, and stellar at 3rd, so how are you leaping to, “he’ll draw more suitors” at SS? More like he might lessen his value not increase it.

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