RNR 24 - PPV Replay Available to Order Until May 5thBUY HERE

I Understand Why…..But I Absolutely Hate That Jackson Holliday Isn’t Starting The Season In The Bigs

I've stewed over this for a few hours now and I hate what I have come up with. The decision for the Orioles to keep Jackson Holliday in AAA Norfolk to start the season and not Baltimore is the right move. It is. It just is. I don't agree with it but that's because I'm a bozo. I get the decision on keeping him down but I disagree strongly. His incredible run this spring had me insanely excited, especially when back in December GM Mike Elias said there was a strong possibility of making the team. So when your GM says that and the 20 year-old goes and puts up numbers like this, you begin to think it's almost a certainty that we see Jackson run down the orange carpet next week. You don't think he's going to get sent down and have Ryan McKenna, Tyler Nevin, Nick Maton or Kolten Wong taking his spot. 

Not too bad! Hitting over .300, 2 long bombs, 14 hits, 2 stolen bases, decent OBP, OPS over .950 and again, all at 20! That's crazy.. But the one knock on him if you want to nitpick is the 15 Ks to only 3 walks. I didn't think that would be enough of a reason to keep the consensus #1 prospect in baseball down, but I guess it is. 5 of the Ks came in the first 3 games, with only 10 in the next 11 games, but that's here nor there. Spring stats are bullshit though, they don't mean anything. Look up Jake Fox. Look how long he lasted in the bigs. Mike Elias spoke with the media and addressed it head on, and again I will say I fully understand why they are doing this but I don't like it. Elias also spoke to reporters about his lack of experience against lefties. 

My only issue with this, why not have him out there almost every time a lefty is out on the mound? It's spring training, you can make sure he's getting quality at-bats against lefties! You know which guys are pitching in these games, you can kind of control that. But if he's only 2/14 against lefties in spring training, again, I get it. The Orioles will face some lefties early and I guess the idea is they'll expect him to struggle if he faces them, or just sit him. They want him down in AAA gettin at-bats against these guys who were late spring DFAs, pissed off old guys trying to make it back to the show, guys trying to prove their worth to new teams and hoping for a spot. So you'd think these at-bats would be high leverage and competitive. Elias saying playing second is enough to keep him in the minors too, I mean he only had like 4 starts there last year. You knew you'd have Gunnar Henderson at short, why not make him play 2nd all the time after Westburg got called up? Only 4 games over there, that is on you guys. You played him at short for like 2 years, you made that call.

I'll say that Elias hasn't given us any reason not to trust any move he's made so hard to think this won't work out for the Orioles. If they start out 9-1 no one will blink. Jackson will be up soon enough, but fuck I wish it was Opening Day. Call me old fashioned but I'm in the camp of wanting all your best players up when they are ready. I thought his numbers were good enough, I thought he looked like he belonged, everyone who saw him in Florida said he was ready, players were saying how awesome he looked…..but it wasn't in the cards. We can't really say it's service time manipulation either, if he finishes in the top 2 of ROY voting he gets that year of service time. Plus he won't get an additional pick since he isn't on the roster Opening Day. They really, really just seem to think he needs more work. I didn't think it would be like this but damnit it is. 

I've been told a billion times already that you can't win a World Series in April, I'm aware. I also know to recognize that the Orioles season probably isn't a whole lot different if he comes up and plays 120 games or 140 games. I get it yet again. I thought he had done enough to make the squad, especially at 2nd base. Again, I thought he was one of the 26 best players and regardless of if he struggled with strikeouts I thought he earned a starting spot with the O's. I guess I'm a fool. I do trust Mike Elias and company, but this is one that bugs me. Even though it's the right move, it bugs me. 100 win team, Division champ, eyes on a World Series in 2024 and they don't have their best roster to start the season. Woof. 

I shouldn't be surprised either, this was always going to be the move, even though Elias literally said he had a strong possibility. They're thinking of the future and 2030, the added year of Jackson they can get if he's called up after the specific date. I fucking hate that though. I hate that we are thinking of 2030 when we have one guaranteed year of Corbin Burnes and a window that is wide open to win right now. That is what chaps me the most, I want a World Series in 2024, I'll worry about 2030 when it gets here. We legit don't know if Adley or Gunnar or Grayson will be here in 2030, so what will it matter? Plus you know the way to avoid worrying about your prospects and if they can be a free agent in the future? Extensions. But this organization absolutely will not openly skip out on a year of Jackson if they really don't have to.

They'll bring him up soon and we'll forget all about it and hopefully watch the O's make a deep run into October and we'll sit back and laugh about this. But right now I'm against it, even though it's right. That's just me being a dumb fan. I think fans have earned the right to at least be annoyed by this one but also knowing it's the right move when you think with a clear mind. I rarely do so I got nothing for you there. I honestly don't know what else he could have done to get better, strikeouts are part of baseball, they'll happen. I guess just face more lefties, something he can't control. 

I think Elias has been fantastic in his role, he's been awesome. I think this one was wrong though. They've handled pretty much every prospect and call up perfectly, but this one I will say I shake my head at. Saying he had a chance to make it, watch him put on a clinic and then send him down? Maybe he knew all along he wasn't breaking camp and was saying in AAA. I'll be over this move by the time the weekend is over but for now I'll have a sour taste in my mouth. Go out and win some games and let's forget about it. Jackson will be up soon and the O's will be winning, which is all that matters. But man it would have been sick to see Holliday on Opening Day.