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Orioles give up on Felix Pie, promote Matt Angle

Aug 23, 2011, 6:35 PM EDT

Felix Pie AP

After taking a big step backwards this year, 26-year-old Felix Pie was designated for assignment by the Orioles on Tuesday.  The team has called up fellow outfielder Matt Angle to take his place.

Pie, a former Cubs prospect, seemed ready to start in center field for some team after a 2009 season in which he hit .266/.326/.437 with nine homers in 252 at-bats, but rather than trade him, the Orioles instead kept him around as a part-time left fielder in 2010.  He wasn’t really an asset in that role, hitting .274/.305/.413 in 288 at-bats.

Pie’s hopes of an expanded role this year died with the Vladimir Guerrero signing, and he was unable to capitalize after injuries to Derrek Lee, Luke Scott and Guerrero opened the door for him to seize the left-field job.  He was hitting just .220/.264/.280 in 164 at-bats.   Since the beginning of June, he was hitting .184 with two RBI and six runs scored in 87 at-bats.

While Pie may yet be young enough to turn into a useful player, his hopes of making it as a regular appear dashed.  His lack of plate discipline is a huge issue at the plate, and he doesn’t use his speed to the best of his ability.  Advertised as a quality defensive center fielder when he arrived in the majors, his fielding numbers have gotten worse every year to the point at which he was actually abysmal in left field this season.

To replace their underachiever, the Orioles are calling up an overachiever with a similar profile.  Like Pie, Angle is left-handed-hitting outfielder with limited power and good speed.  He was hitting .272/.347/.345 with 27 steals in 30 attempts for Triple-A Norfolk this season.  Angle is just seven months younger than Pie, and he’s probably a fifth outfielder at best.  Still, the Orioles have nothing to lose by giving him a look.

  1. hoopmatch - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    I remember Len Casper and Bob Brenly talking about how much potential Pie had when he was still the Cubs top prospect. Some of the “can’t miss” guys apparently can.

    • flavadave10 - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:03 PM

      The poor guy was a top prospect for the Cubs. He was doomed from day one.

      • phillyphever - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:48 PM

        +1

  2. randomdigits - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Angle has zero power so yes he isn’t someone you want to give a lot of at bats to. He does however work the count, utilize his speed and play good defense. He might have a bit of a career as a pinch runner/defensive replacement off the bench.

    • flavadave10 - Aug 23, 2011 at 11:08 PM

      That’s better than Felix, who is only good at retrieving batting helmets

  3. Utley's Hair - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Further proof that CAKE is better than (Pie).

    • Panda Claus - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:06 PM

      I have it on good authority that Pie was DFA’d exactly for this reason.

      Actually, I think it was because the O’s finally had enough of his LF misplays on tape to fill up a blooper reel for 2011.

  4. roycethebaseballhack - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Still kind of a shame. I got pretty good left field seats for a game in Arlington in 2009, and had a front-row seat to watch him then, and was pretty impressed. I recall him having a pretty good defensive game that day, which was punctuated by some impressive damned speed – this dude is greased lightning, when inspired. Too bad he does not appear to be, though. When people spoke about how the 2009 and 2010 Orioles were better than their record, I felt Pie was a big part of that observation. No idea what he would be money-wise to get picked up, but I’m of the opinion that a season in AAA, with the right coaching might turn this guy into a beast. It would be a shame if he festers in the minors. But, that’s how baseball go sometimes, eh?

    • Panda Claus - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:10 PM

      Pie will probably receive the post-Orioles career bounce-back if he ends up leaving the organization. It worked for Corey Patterson, Darnell McDonald and Jeffrey Hammonds before him. Well, not so much for Hammonds.

      • flavadave10 - Aug 23, 2011 at 11:09 PM

        Didn’t even really work for McDonald either. It worked for about… a week.

  5. Charles Gates - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    Free Nolan Reimold!!!

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