Monday, March 22, 2010

5 Things To Watch - Spring Training 2010 (Update)

We're only two weeks from Opening Day! How are things shaking out in Sarasota? Let's revisit some pre-training questions.

1.  Chris Tillman - Despite Dave Trembley's assertions to the contrary, the last spot in the rotation is Tillman's to lose. He has pitched well in Sarasota and nobody else has stepped up to challenge him. He's going north with the big club.

2.  The Bench - Brian Roberts' back injury has this situation in flux. I didn't think Ty Wigginton would break camp with the team with Garrett Atkins and Miguel Tejada on board.but now it looks like he will be the first bat off the bench with Robert Andino taking over at second if Roberts can't get healthy before the season starts. Wigginton could also be part of a package to bring a second baseman to Baltimore if Roberts' injury looks to be more serious.

Justin Turner has played well when he's been on the field and Rhyne Hughes has hit well. One of these guys could slide onto the roster if Roberts starts the season on the DL.

3.  Health - We've talked about Roberts but I mentioned 4 other players to watch before the O's reported to Sarasota. Brad Bergesen and Will Ohman have looked good as they make their way back from 2009 injuries. As I've mentioned, Nolan Reimold has played but not well and has not played the field for a week. Koji Uehara has hurt his leg again and may not be ready for Opening Day.

4.  The Battle for the Backup Backstop - The competition started out between Chad Moeller, Craig Tatum and Michael Hernandez. Hernandez is out with an injury and Tatum has missed some time with a bruised hand. Chad Moeller has done nothing to lose the job and still appears to have a leg up on the competition.

5.  Shaking Out The Pen - Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson Mark Hendrickson were locks for the pen before Spring Training started. Will Ohman has seemingly pitched his way into the lefty specialist role. Cla Meredith has pitched his way into a similiar role from the right side. That leaves two spots and Uehara's injury has opened a door for Matt Albers (who has pitched very well this spring). I would imagine that Dave Trembley would like another long man to go with Hendrickson and David Hernandez would seem to fit the bill.

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