But now his immediate goal is clear. And it's not winning an
"We're in a position now that we have the kind of ballclub that we could win the division," Duquette said Tuesday. "We have an opportunity to win the division, that's like advancing a round in the playoffs."
Heading into Tuesday night's game in Seattle, the Orioles held the second AL wild-card post but were also just a half-game behind the
Taking over a team that was 69-93 last year and hadn't had a winning season since 1997, a .500 finish and meaningful September games would have probably been enough for Duquette and his staff when the season started.
But that equation has changed now — especially with a club built on depth thanks to a dizzying number of personnel moves. The Orioles have used 50 big leaguers and 75 Triple-A players this season.
"I knew we were going to be a lot more competitive because we had much better pitching depth," Duquette said. "And, I said this a lot, we have a group of core players that are pretty good. And all have hit over 20 home runs."
There may be some more roster moves on the horizon after the club leaves Seattle, Duquette admitted. But he said he is content right now with veteran
"Endy Chavez has done a good job, he helped us win a ballgame in Oakland," Duquette said. "And we're trying to get into position where Jim Thome can come up and help the ballclub, too."
If the Orioles added someone from outside the organization now, that player would not be eligible for the postseason roster. More likely, the Orioles will summon another player or two from within the organization to provide depth.
The Orioles may soon have need for reinforcements. Starting catcher
In addition, first baseman
Mahoney is already on the 40-man roster, but room would have to be made for Paulino and Hall.
Duquette, however, is no stranger to juggling his roster. And, right now, he's just enjoying the way his team is playing as the end of the season nears.
"That's what all executives get up for in the morning, right? To be in a pennant race," Duquette said. "It's a fun time of year when you are chasing the pennant. Fun for everybody."
Around the horn