Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Baltimore Wants Mark Loretta?

It's no secret with the injury to Freddie Bynum, the on-again, off-again Cubs/Orioles & Roberts talks, the Orioles are looking within and outside the organization for some bench help.

With things being as they are, Baltimore is taking a look at all options, and over the weekend, a new name of interest came up--- veteran Mark Loretta.

The versatile infielder's name was mentioned in the Baltimore Sun today, and needless to say, he's one who would fill in a need for the team. Although, he's not a slugger by any sense of the imagination, he's always hit for average and is a scrappy type of player that could pay a lot of dividends.

Loretta is currently with Houston in a reserve role; however, he'll have a spot for sure if the Orioles can acquire him.

From the Baltimore Sun: Seeking to add some infield depth and to find a potential replacement if they trade second baseman Brian Roberts, the Orioles have expressed interest in Astros utility infielder Mark Loretta.

Loretta, 36, hit .287 with four home runs and 41 RBIs in 133 games last season, but he lost his starting job after the Astros revamped their infield by trading for third baseman Ty Wigginton last year, signing Kazuo Matsui to play second base this winter and trading for shortstop Miguel Tejada. The roster also includes utility infielder Geoff Blum.

Loretta, a career .298 hitter in 13 major league seasons, played all four infield positions last year. That's an appealing quality to the Orioles, whose depth grew thinner when Freddie Bynum decided to have arthroscopic surgery Wednesday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

The Astros sent a scout at today's game.

Yes, he's not the sexy player we desire; however, considering the alternatives in house -- much like I said about Kyle Lohse, his presence in a super-utility role or even a starting one could not hurt at all.

Baltimore needs the veteran presence, and someone who can be not only a teammate, but a mentor.

Should a young guy come and fill in? Therefore, does the team need another guy who is on the wrong side of thirty?

Unlike some of the other guys on the squad, Loretta is a quality, and a versatile player who can be a viable piece of the puzzle for any team.

I say take the chance.

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