Spring Postcard: Orioles hope for right mix of youth and experience
This spring, SI.com's baseball writers will be filing postcards from all 30 camps. To read all the postcards, click
Trembley joined the Orioles' major-league staff prior to the 2007 season because of his track record with young players -- in 20 years as a minor-league manager, he won manager of the year awards at three different levels. He advanced to manager after the club fired
Now, however, many of the organization's best young players -- from starters
Said Trembley: "Now [my job] is to take player development to team development."
The organization's top two pitching prospects -- Tillman, 21, a former second-round pick of the Mariners acquired in the Bedard trade and Matusz, 23, a No. 4 overall pick of the Orioles -- made their major-league debuts within a week of each other last summer. With nowhere else to live, the former minor-league spring training roommates turned to each other and fellow young pitcher
Matusz and Tillman have become just about the best of friends and are living together again this spring in Sarasota. They say they won't be roommates again this season in Balitmore, but Tillman indicated they'll probably get apartments in the same complex. "It's huge to have that guy to talk to," Tillman said, "and if I'm doing something wrong, he won't be afraid to tell me."
To aid the development of their young arms, the Orioles traded for veteran starter
The era of outlandish, multi-year free-agent contracts is over. There will be no more crippling handouts given away to players like
Instead, Baltimore signed 31-year-old closer
By MacPhail's estimation, Atkins was the third most-proven right-handed power hitter available in free agency, trailing only
MacPhail said that after the All-Star break, when the temperatures and humidity soar in Baltimore, Camden Yards plays very small and that the division is getting more lefty-heavy with its pitchers. "Sometimes you just have to outbash the other guy, which is why Atkins was attractive to us."
The best name in camp belongs to 24-year-old minor league pitcher