INF’s Justin Turner and Scott Moore, C Adam Donachie, OF Jeff Salazar, RHP’s Chris Tillman, Alfredo Simon, and Ross Wolf, and LHP Alberto Castillo were cut from the spring training roster and assigned to minor league camp. Also, David Hernandez was announced as the 5th starter, Craig Tatum will be the backup catcher, and Felix Pie will be the opening day left fielder.
I don’t agree with two of these roster decisions, but neither one is too big of a deal. I thought Chris Tillman should have been the 5th starter since I don’t believe he has anything left to prove in the minor leagues. Hes the future top of the rotation starter for the Orioles and he should have this season to adjust to pitching against major league hitters. Hopefully he won’t be down in AAA Norfolk for too long. On the other hand, give David Hernandez credit for coming into spring training in shape and motivated. He has had a great spring and has even added a two seam fastball to try and get more ground balls. I would’ve preferred to see him in the bullpen to start the year but I’ll be rooting for him to do well in the rotation.
I thought Chad Moeller would win the backup catcher spot based on the fact that he had the role last year and seemed to excel there. He got to know alot of the young pitchers and even hit decently at times. Apparently the Orioles like Craig Tatum’s throwing arm and defensive ability enough to send Moeller to AAA to start the year (if he accepts). Tatum’s bat isn’t as good as Moeller’s but neither one is going to light the world on fire. All in all its the backup catcher so it won’t really matter in the long run, but I would’ve liked to have seen Moeller take the job.
Dave Trembley announced that Felix Pie would start in left field on opening day. I think thats the right decision with Nolan Reimold coming off of foot surgery. Trembley noted that it doesn’t mean Reimold won’t be a regular starter but that he wants to take it easy with him to start the season. Pie has looked great when hes played this spring and I really think he can eventually be a very good player. Hes had an issue with nagging injuries (hamstring and shoulder this spring) but hopefully he can put that behind him. The Orioles outfield is its biggest strength and it should be a nice luxury to have the quality depth they have at that position.