Thursday, April 1, 2010

5 Things To Watch - Spring Training 2010 (Final)

1. Chris Tillman - I didn't see this happening but Tillman did not win the 5th spot in the rotation, losing the job to David Hernandez. Tillman will start the season in Norfolk which isn't the end of the world but hopefully he's down there to work on the cut fastball. In terms of dominating AAA, the guys already done it.

2. The Bench - The only shock to me is that Ty Wigginton is still on the club. I felt sure that he would be traded before Opening Day and the team would carry Michael Aubrey or Scott Moore. Perhaps the Brian Roberts injury kept Wigginton on the team.

Justin Turner played well. Robert Andino will start the season on the club but Turner may play his way to Baltimore and push Andino out of the organization. Andino has hit better this spring but still doesn't walk and looked shaky in the field. Turner has a better bat and he looked good at short for Norfolk, at least the two times I saw him.

3. Health - Brad Bergesen and Will Ohman look to be fully healthy . Nolan Reimold is recovering (and admittedly, he has looked like he's moving well, better than I expected at this point) but is not 100%. Felix Pie will be the starting left fielder on Opening Day but Reimold will avoid the DL. Koji Uehara has hurt his leg yet again and may not be ready for Opening Day.

4. The Battle for the Backup Backstop - Chad Moeller did nothing to lose the job but lost it anyway. In a mild upset, Craig Tatum wins the backup catcher job. Not sure how I feel about that but for the first time in the last four years, the team went with the younger upstart rather than the steadier veteran.

5. Shaking Out The Pen - Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson Mark Hendrickson will be joined by Cla Meredith who seems to have recaptured his pre-2009 form. Will Ohman pitched himself into the left specialist role and showed that his arm is healthy. Jason Berken got lucky that David Hernandez beat out Chris Tillman and opened a spot for a second longman in the Oriole pen. Berken has not been good this spring but he'll go north. Matt Albers had a decent spring but got lucky that Uehara will start the season on the DL.

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