Archive for March, 2011

ST: The Good and the Bad

March 31, 2011

With the season starting tomorrow night, its time to look back at spring training and see who impressed and who we might need to be concerned about.

The good:

Jake Fox: .297/.325/.797, 7 doubles, 10 HR, 15 RBI, 74 AB – Fox came into camp and won a spot on the bench. He absolutely crushed the ball all spring long.
Vladimir Guerrero: .364/.366/.621, 2 doubles, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 66 AB – Guerrero didn’t look like hes over the hill but its still early. We’ll have to see how he holds up over the course of the season.
Adam Jones: .304/.314/.580, 4 doubles, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 69 AB – Jones is a breakout candidate this year. We’re going to need him if we’re going to do anything significant.
JJ Hardy: .351/.397/.509, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 57 AB – I didn’t know shortstops could hit…
Nick Markakis: .375/.435/.607, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 56 AB – Markakis is trying to rebound from what was a down year for him. Off to a good start.
Nolan Reimold: .315/.448/.537, 3 doubles, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 54 AB – Reimold was sent down to AAA Norfolk but he looked like he was back in 2009 form. If he continues that he’ll be back before long.
Brian Roberts: .359/.435/.538, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 39 AB – Roberts gave everyone a scare early on with more back trouble but went on to have a great spring, staying healthy in the second half.
Zach Britton: 3-0, 1.35 ERA, 13 K, 5 BB, 20 IP – Britton had the best spring of any pitcher but was sent down to AAA because of service time. He’ll be back before the end of the month most likely.
Josh Rupe: 1-1, 1.23 ERA, 4 K, 4 BB, 14.2 IP – Rupe earned his way onto the pitching staff as the long man in the bullpen. I don’t think he’ll last long though. Other relievers with good springs: Jason Berken (3.21 ERA), Jim Johnson (1.00), and Jeremy Accardo (2.08). All three made the team.

The bad:

Mark Reynolds: .232/.293/.348, 5 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 69 AB – Reynolds was messing around with new hitting mechanics but scrapped them after the results weren’t good. I think he’ll be fine.
Luke Scott: .210/.234/.452, 3 doubles, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 62 AB – Scott started off ice cold before going into one of his red hot tears in the last week. Hopefully he carries that over into the season.
Cesar Izturis: .105/.190/.105, 1 RBI, 38 AB – I know Izturis can’t hit but my god.. could he be getting even worse? Defense be damned, I’m not sure why hes on this team.
Jake Arrieta: 3-0, 5.79 ERA, 14 K, 7 BB, 18.2 IP – This was a trend with all the starting pitchers minus Britton. I think they were all working on different things. We’re going to need them, hopefully the light comes on when the season starts.
Brad Bergesen: 1-1, 5.82 ERA, 7 K, 6 BB, 17 IP – Bergesen was also hit in the forearm with a line drive. His bad spring means he’ll start the season in the bullpen before taking over the 5th starters spot.
Jeremy Guthrie: 1-2, 6.43 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB, 14 IP – I’m not worried about Guthrie. Hes a veteran, he should know how to get ready for a season. Plus he only walked two batters.
Brian Matusz: 0-2, 5.93 ERA, 13 K, 7 BB, 13.2 IP – Matusz was also hit in the arm with a line drive. Hes going to make his start but I’m a little worried he hasn’t built up enough innings for the start of the season.
Kevin Gregg: 1-0, 9.82 ERA, 6 K, 4 BB, 7.1 IP – Gregg is supposed to be our closer but he didn’t perform like one. He was working on something mechanical but I still would prefer Koji as our closer.

Opening Day Roster Set

March 29, 2011

The final cuts of spring training have been made: LHP Zach Britton, C Craig Tatum, and INF Brendan Harris will be sent to minor league camp and RHP Justin Duchsherer will be placed on the 15 day disabled list.

Some interesting news here. Jake Fox will enter the season as the backup catcher. Hes had a great spring at the plate and hopefully he can get some playing time at other positions as well to keep his bat in the lineup. Robert Andino will be the last man on the bench. I don’t see the point in carrying Cesar Izturis along with Andino as they both play the same positions, except one of them can hit and the other can field. This also means that Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen have both made the team as part of the pitching staff. One of them will start the third game of the season on Sunday and I assume the other will start out in the bullpen until a fifth starter is needed on April 10th. Jeremy Guthrie will start opening night on Friday. Brian Matusz, who was hit in the left bicept by a line drive yesterday during a simulated game, will start game two if hes healthy. If he can’t go then Jake Arrieta will take his place. If he can, then Arrieta will pitch the home opener on Monday instead. Britton will start the year with AAA Norfolk but hes not expected to stay there long. If he stays in the minors until after April 21st the Orioles will gain an extra year of control over the young lefty, so I would expect to see him shortly after that date in a big league uniform. Today is the last spring training game and the roster has finally taken shape. I’ll be back tomorrow to take a look at who had the best spring stats and who had the worst.

Latest Round of Cuts

March 28, 2011

The Orioles have released OF Randy Winn and optioned and infielder Nick Green, outfielder Nolan Reimold, and pitchers Mark Hendrickson, Clay Rapada, David Riske, Ryan Drese, and Pat Egan to minor league camp. RHP Rick VandenHurk was placed on waivers.

The only surprise here would be Hendrickson and Rapada getting cut, which means the O’s will only have one left handed pitcher in the bullpen (Mike Gonzalez) and Josh Rupe has made the team. Rupe hasn’t given up an earned run this spring over 13+ innings but doesn’t have as good of a major league track record as the other two. Hendrickson and Riske can both opt out of the minor league assignments. Winn asked for his release so he could try to find a spot on another team. Felix Pie wins the fourth outfielder position as expected despite Reimold putting up much better numbers this spring. His lack of options and inability to play center field were the main reasons for it I’m sure. Green, Rapada, Drese, and Egan will report to AAA Norfolk to start the year most likely. The roster is now down to 30 and the final cuts should come on Thursday. If VandenHurk passes through waivers (and I’d be surprised if he didn’t) then he can either elect to become a free agent or be a part of Norfolk’s pitching staff.

Rule 5 Redux; More Cuts

March 24, 2011

The Orioles have returned rule 5 draft pick RHP Adrian Rosario to the Brewers and also got RHP Pat Egan back from them. Other players cut were catcher Michel Hernandez, infielders Brandon Snyder, Ryan Adams, and Josh Bell, outfielder Matt Angle and pitchers Armando Gabino, Wynn Pelzer, Mike Ballard, Chris Jakubauskas, Alberto Castillo, and Chris George.

Rosario was a longshot to make the team but I was hoping we could keep him in the organization somehow. He has a great arm and alot of potential. We do get Egan back, who could help out in the bullpen at some point this year. He had a good chance to make the Brewers bullpen but I’m sure some kind of agreement was made to swap the rule 5 picks. He’ll start out in AAA Norfolk’s bullpen. None of the cuts are surprising. Bell showed up in much better shape and helped erase some of the memory of his big league tryout last year. He’ll play third base every day for Norfolk and hope to make it back to the Orioles later in the year. He needs to regain some of his prospect status. Adams hit the ball great in spring training and put himself on the radar but he still has to work alot on his defense and attitude. Snyder really needs a good year before he gets passed up on the first base list by Joe Mahoney. Angle is a potential fourth outfielder in the making but he doesn’t have a place on the team with Felix Pie here. All of the pitchers are organizational types that don’t have a great shot of pitching for the Orioles this year.

First Round of Cuts

March 12, 2011

The Orioles made their first round of cuts of the spring. 13 players were re-assigned to minor league camp. Catchers Caleb Joseph and Adam Donachie, shortstop Pedro Florimon, outfielder Tyler Henson, and pitchers Brandon Erbe, Chorye Spoone, Luis Lebron, Raul Rivero, Mitch Atkins, Mark Worrell, Troy Patton, Pedro Viola, and Nick Bierbrodt have seen their chances of making the big league club come to an end. There are no surprises in this bunch. Erbe and Lebron are coming off major injuries and still working their way back to full health. Joseph, Florimon, and Henson are decent prospects that just aren’t ready yet and weren’t getting nearly enough at bats to get them ready for the season. The rest of the cuts are minor league filler types that were needed until the starting pitchers got their pitch counts up. Of them, Patton, Spoone, and Rivero are the only ones with a real chance to make the majors at some point this year.