Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Orioles Trim 3 More, Put Duchscherer on DL

The Orioles re-assigned RHP Zach Britton, IF Brendan Harris and C Craig Tatum to Norfolk today and placed oft-injured former All-Star Justin Duchscherer on the DL.

So the roster looks something like this.

The Infield:
1B Derrek Lee
2B Brian Roberts
SS JJ Hardy
3B Mark Reynolds
C Matt Wieters

This is as expected. Lee looks healthy now, as does Roberts. Hardy has hit well and looks great with the glove. Mark Reynolds looks like you would expect, at the plate and in the field and we are all just waiting for Matt Wieters to really hit although his defense has been sensational this spring.

The Outfield:
LF Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
RF Nick Markakis
DH Vlad Guerrero

Again, no surprises here. Everyone has looked pretty good this spring, even with Scott's slow start at the plate.

The Bench:
C Jake Fox
IF Cesar Izturis
IF Robert Andino
OF Felix Pie

Jake Fox had a hot spring and beats out Craig Tatum for the backup. Some seem to think that Tatum is a far superior defensive catcher than Fox. I have seen very little evidence of that. Just because a guy can't hit, it doesn't automatically make him a good defensive catcher (see Paul Bako, 2007).

Robert Andino and Cesar Izturis both make the club. This seems redundant but I suppose there is still real concern about Roberts' health. Andino has all the physical skills to be Izzy's equal in the field and at least his equal at the plate (low bar and all). But he doesn't hustle. Ever. If you've read this blog for any time at all, you know I do not call out guys on this lightly. But I've watched him at the major league level and in AAA for two seasons now. And he doesn't hustle. Ever. He is subject to defensive lapses, baserunning gaffes and just plain doggin' it at really bad times. Andino and Izturis will not both co-exist on this roster long term. One of them is going.

Pie is out of options and is a prototypical fourth outfielder. He sticks and should all season.

SP Jeremy Guthrie
SP Brian Matusz
SP Brad Bergesen
SP Jake Arrieta
SP Chris Tillman

Guthrie is the Opening Day starter yet again. Matusz seem to be ready to go for his Saturday start. We don't know about Bergesen yet. Arrieta and Tillman have backed into the rotation at this point but I'm glad they are there.

The Bullpen
RP Kevin Gregg
RP Koji Uehara
RP Michael Gonzalez
RP Josh Rupe
RP Jason Berken
RP Jim Johnson
RP Jeremy Accardo

Gregg looks like he's the closer with that big contract and all. Uehara is healthy again...for now. That's great...for now. Gonzalez still doesn't look like the guy I watched in Atlanta for two seasons. I thought they overpaid for him but I thought he'd be better than this. Berken looks fine and Johnson looks really, really good. Accardo, who I thought would be a slightly more expensive version of Matt Albers, has looked very good, throwing strikes and getting swinging strikes. Kudos to the Oriole scouting department for rescuing him from the Toronto farm system.

Josh Rupe made the team while Mark Hendrickson was released. Rupe didn't look so great this spring save for the ERA. Hendrickson is no great shakes but a useful middle reliever. I doubt very sincerely that Rupe will be even that. Hendrickson may decide to report to Norfolk and be called up when needed. But he will probably move on. This may be a blessing in disguise as younger arms in AAA get a shot at the Baltimore pen when Rupe inevitably flames out.

Rick Vandenhurk cleared waivers and will be in the starting rotation for Norfolk.

As for Nolan Reimold...we'll discuss that later...

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