Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring Training Updates: Week 1

The first week of spring training games is over so it's time to check in on what's happening with the Orioles, warts and all.

Before the season I listed 5 things to watch:

1. Pie versus Reimold - Felix Pie is hitting .200/.200/.400 with two doubles over 10 plate appearances. Nolan Reimold is hitting .333/.538/1.000 with 2 homers, 4 walks and only 3 strikeouts over 13 plate appearances. It's early but Reimold is hitting well enough to give Buck Showalter a tough decision at the begginning of April.

2. Chris Tillman versus Jake Arrieta - They both have a 4.50 ERA after their first spring appearances. Arrieta walked 2 and struck out none. Tillman had one of each. Too close to call. And with Justin Duscherer out right now, they could both make the squad anyway.

3. Brian Roberts Rebound - This did not look good early on as he was sidelined with neck spasms. But he has come back to hit well and look fully healthy in two games this week.

4. The Battle for the Backup Backstop - Craig Tatum is hitting an anemic .222/.222/.222. Jake Fox has posted a line of .455/.455/1.000 with a couple of homers. Fox with the edge so far.

5. Who's the Backup Middle Infielder? - Brendan Harris is the only candidate to hit at all so far (.444/.500/.778) but it was Cesar Izturis' job to lose coming in to camp and it likely still is.

Further developments: Koji Uehara is being shut down for a week with elbow issues. This could open the door for a guy like Ryan Drese who has pitched very well this first week.

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