Player Profiles: Bud Norris

wpid-724px-bud_norris.jpgHave yourselves some Buds because it is Bud Norris player profile time.  The Baltimore Orioles acquired Bud Norris from the Houston Astros in 2012 before the trade deadline, so far it has been a good trade for the Orioles.  The Orioles did have to give up one of their top local prospects in Josh Hader for Norris and L.J. Hoes.  The Orioles traded for Norris because he still had years left on his contract and the Orioles were in need of some solid starting pitching. Norris while he may not be flashy is almost always solid.  Read more about Player Profiles: Bud Norris

Player Profiles: Miguel Gonzalez

300px-Miguel_González_on_July_1,_2012The Baltimore Orioles had trouble finding starters all throughout the 2000’s, all the losing seasons could point to that.  That changed in 2012 and Miguel Gonzalez was one of the members of the Orioles rotation that really made it stable.  Gonzalez really helped the Orioles make the postseason with a 3.25 era and a nine and four record in his rookie season.   Read more about Player Profiles: Miguel Gonzalez

Player Profiles: Ryan Flaherty

500px-Ryan_Flaherty_on_April_24,_2012Every team needs a super utility player that can play just about every position well.  That is what Ryan Flaherty is for the Baltimore Orioles, Flaherty is the Orioles super utility guy.

The Chicago Cubs selected Flaherty with the 41st overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft.  The Orioles picked Flaherty up in the 2011 Rule-5 draft.

Flaherty is nicknamed “Flash” but is not a fan favorite.  Fans have been tough in Flaherty for his inconsistent bat.  Fans need to remember that Flaherty was rushed to the Majors because he was a Rule-5 draft pick and never got consistent playing time to learn the league.  Remember Rule-5 draft picks must stay with in the Majors unless their is an injury or they go back to their original team. Read more about Player Profiles: Ryan Flaherty

Player Profiles: Nelson Cruz

victory jump opening day 2014
Photo: Greg Mac

It is rare that I profile a player that will likely only be with a team for a short time, but Nelson Cruz deserves a profile.  The Baltimore Orioles signed Cruz to a short one-year deal during the 2014 spring training.  The Orioles loved the signing ever since and that signing may be one of the best signings the Orioles have ever made.

Cruz started his career with the New York Mets and played in the minors with the Oakland Athletics.   Cruz was even with the Milwaukee Brewers for a short time before joining the Texas Rangers where he spent most of his career.  How three teams passed up on Cruz is beyond me.  Read more about Player Profiles: Nelson Cruz

Player Profiles: Manny Machado

479px-Manny_Machado_8-10-2012The Baltimore Orioles have had one of the best third baseman in the history of baseball in Brooks Robinson.  Enter Manny Machado who came up to the Majors at the young age of 19.

The Orioles drafted Machado in the 2010 MLB draft, he was the third overall pick.  Machado made his Major League debut in 2012, his first full season was in 2013.  Machado is one of the reasons for the Orioles return to winning and was a major reason why the Orioles had the best defense in baseball history in 2013.

Machado never really played third base in the minors, he spent most of his time playing short stop.  With little practice at third base the Orioles brought Machado up and had him play third everyday.

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Player Profiles: Darren O'Day

300px-Darren_O'Day_on_April_24,_2012O DAY O DAY O DAY O DAY!!!! The Baltimore Orioles right-handed pitcher Darren O’Day has earned his own chants in Baltimore.  The Orioles aquired O’Day off waivers from the Texas Rangers during the offseason prior to the 2012 season and has become a fan favorite.

Before coming to the Orioles, O’Day was a bit of a journey man as he was with three teams, the New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Rangers.  O’Day made his debut with the Angels in 2008.  The Mets selected O’Day in the Rule 5 draft in 2008 and the Rangers claimed O’Day off waivers in 2009.  O’Day never found a place on any of those teams.

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Player Profiles: Tommy Hunter

370px-Tommy_Hunter_on_August_10,_2011Tommy goes BOOM!!! Meet Tommy Hunter the Baltimore Orioles right-handed pitcher that knows how to light up the radar.

The Orioles acquired Hunter and Chris Davis for Koji Uehara from the Texas Rangers in 2011.  Hunter was drafted by the Rangers in the 2007 MLB draft in the supplemental first round. Hunter made his debut for the Rangers in 2008 as a starting pitcher.

Hunter had mixed success with the Rangers both as a starting pitcher and a reliever.  In 2010 Hunter had a very good season with a 13-4 record and a 3.73 era.  When the Orioles tried Hunter out as a starter he had major problems keeping the ball in the ballpark.  Hunter allowed 32 home runs in 33 games in 2012, the year in which he lost his starting pitching role.  In 2012, the term “Tommy goes Boom” was used in a negative way whenever he gave up a home run.
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