The case to keep Tike

redman321.jpg

I bring you today’s post from a spot I spend entirely too much time in every week — the cozy recliner in my living room. Hey, if you can tell me a better place to enjoy NCAA Tournament games, I’m all ears. And I’m a multi-tasker, what can I say?

All nonsense aside, Tike Redman continues to fight for his life on a major league roster with the Baltimore Orioles in spring training. So far, it looks like he’s losing that battle. While last year brought the perfect storm of fortunate events for the former York Revolution outfielder, it’s been quite the opposite this time around with the Birds.

First, two separate trades produced two new outfielders for Redman to compete with (Luke Scott and Adam Jones). Then, a flu bug stole some precious at-bats from Redman early in camp. Now, journeyman Luis Terrero has come out of nowhere to make a run at what might be the last outfield spot on the Orioles’ roster. And even that spot — the fifth outfielder job — probably won’t exist on Dave Trembley’s opening day roster.

So what will probably happen here? From reading the Baltimore Sun’s blog regularly, I’ve learned that Orioles beat writer Roch Kubatko has a gut feeling that Jay Payton will be traded with Brian Roberts to the Chicago Cubs. If that happens, it would remove one man from the equation, but here’s the big problem with Redman.

He doesn’t hit left-handed pitching.

Sure, we only saw a small sample of what the Alabama native can do against lefties, but he didn’t fare well in that role last season with the Orioles. He hit .133 in 30 at-bats against southpaws (.373 against righties, if you were wondering). Terrero had a similar record against lefties last year with the White Sox (.196 in 51 at-bats), but when you factor in that he’s about three years younger than Redman, that doesn’t bode well for Tike.

Yes, Jay Gibbons’ 15-game suspension for his performance-enhancing drug use will leave an extra roster spot open to start the regular season, but Redman is probably an Adam Jones meltdown or Luke Scott injury away from being a constant on the Baltimore roster. That’s the sad truth despite his .296 batting average this spring.

But from what we’ve learned about the most successful Revolution player in York’s brief history is clear: He’ll continue to worry about what he can control and he’ll produce. So I have to believe he’s going to be with Baltimore at some point in 2008 — it’s just a matter of when.

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One Response

  1. Luis Terrero has been assigned to Baltimore’s minor league camp, according to the Baltimore Sun.

    But there is another man in the running who could bump Tike Redman from the opening day roster: that’s Chris Roberson. He fits more of the utility description and has hit .321 in spring camp so far.

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