Thursday, March 25, 2010

A glance at the position players

20 games into the exhibition season, there are 16 position players remaining fighting for 13 spots. Those 16 have combined to hit for an average of only .236, with 41 runs, 16 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 47 RBIs in 428 at bats. Hey that sounds like Melvin Mora’s line from last year. Anyways, catchers Michel Hernandez, Caleb Joseph, and Luis Bernardo have already been cut, along with infielders Miguel Abreu and Blake Davis, and outfielder Matt Angle. Catcher Adam Donachie, infielders Michael Aubrey, Brandon Snyder, Scott Moore, Rhyne Hughes, Pedro Florimon, and Josh Bell, and outfielders Josh Tucker and Jeff Salazar are still in camp, but have no real shot at sticking with the club at least for now. Hughes has been impressive with a .333 average and 3 home runs. Let’s look at the remaining 16.

C Matt Wieters (.179 AVG, .286 SLG) – with only 5 hits and 1 home run in 28 at bats, he’s not off to as great a start as last year. It would be good to gain some momentum coming into Opening Day. Chances of making the team: Certain

C Chad Moeller (.375, .813) – he has done surprisingly well with the bat, adding 2 home runs to his high average, but has managed 2 errors in 7 games. Still, he has the veteran experience the O’s are looking for. Likely

C Craig Tatum (.143, .214) – the younger option to back up Wieters has done little in his 14 at bats to get noticed, but hasn’t committed any errors. Unlikely

1B Garrett Atkins (.212, .364) – I know it’s spring, but I hope he picks things up and proves he’s not a deadweight. His 1 RBI off a solo home run in 33 at bats is discouraging. Certain

2B Brian Roberts (-) – Injuries have kept him out all spring but he is hopeful to begin playing next week. Certain (pending ability to play)

3B Miguel Tejada (.121, .182) – both infield additions came with suspicions of being well past their prime. In 33 at bats, he has done nothing to ease those fears with his 1 RBI and 3 errors as he makes the transition to third. Certain

SS Cesar Izturis (.097, .129) – he is a light hitter, but 3 for 31 with 0 runs is not what you want to see. Certain

IF Ty Wigginton (.235, .471) – compared to the rest of the infielders, 8 for 34 seems great, especially with the 2 HRs, 4 runs, and 4 RBIs. Certain

IF Robby Andino (.229, .429) – if you put Andino in Roberts place, which will likely happen if Roberts isn’t ready, the starting infielders have combined to hit .169 with a .281 slugging percentage and only 3 home runs in 160 at bats. He has stolen 2 bases and seems pretty safe. Very likely

IF Justin Turner (.348, .391) – in his 23 at bats, he has hit for a high average and committed no errors, maybe enough to earn a spot, especially if Roberts is injured. Unlikely

OF Nick Markakis (.316, .553) – with 2 home runs and a team-leading 12 hits in 38 at bats, Markakis seems poised to get off to a good start, something that has eluded him in past seasons. Certain

OF Adam Jones (.257, .571) – the center fielder has been average in his 35 at bats. Certain

OF Nolan Reimold (.074, .074) – after failing to get a hit in his first 21 at bats, Reimold needs to cement his starting spot in these last few games, although it’s pretty safe. Certain

OF Luke Scott (.313, .594) – the DH has hit well, with 10 hits and 10 RBIs in 32 at bats, helped by 2 home runs. Certain

OF Felix Pie (.462, 1.077) – slowed but recovered from injury, he has 2 home runs and 6 hits in 13 at bats. Almost certain

OF Lou Montanez (.306, .389) – there doesn’t seem to be room for him, but the O’s have given him 36 at bats this spring, which he has taken advantage of with 11 hits and 3 doubles. Very unlikely

On a side note, pitcher Jake Arrieta was reassigned to the minor league camp as I predicted.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I recognize a few of those names - Michael Aubrey, Brandon Snyder, Scott Moore, and Josh Bell - but I'm not sure from what. They're all relatively obscure players... meaning that they we probably considerations for my team during the AL-Only Fanbase years. Finding good players to fill out your roster in an AL-only league is pretty similar to the Orioles finding a good SS...

The overall stats line is as expected - I'm sure Kevin Millar could replicate it if only we kept him on the team. Plus, the leadership would have been invaluable.

Wieters started off slow last year, too (or at least in the MLB he did), so I'm not very worried. As long as the SI jinx doesn't get him, he should recover nicely and play at a 20hr, .280 BA, and 70 rbi level. What spot in the order do they expect him to play?
Good catchers are just so hard to fine, hence Moeller having a great shot to play. I wonder what would happen if Wieters didn't pull his act together and lost playing time. Moeller is certainly not a long term solution, though...
Garret Atkins playing poorly in the Spring, however, IS a sign of things to come. I really don't expect much life from his bat. He's a Colorado product that lost whatever little mojo he had as soon as he left the Rockies - or the Roockies as I like to call them most years.
I hope Brob makes it back to playing form in the near future, though I suspect not. I think injuries won't keep him from playing, but they'll likely keep him from playing 100%. That means less steals, less hits, and less value when the trade deadline nears...hopefully I'm wrong on this one, which is definitely feasible.
Tejada is playing poorly, but a nice shipment of steroids will surely help him out.
Izturis may be the worst fielder on the time, and that's saying something. Even when you're optimistic, it's really not very pretty. Ugly, ugly stats for the Spring.
Wigginton is, unfortunately, himself. The day when his Spring stats look decent is the day I start to consider Kevin Millar for Os hall of fame. Actually, that's not a bad idea...
I like Turner and Andino, though Andino doesn't look like much of an addition. Middle inflielders will be a big need for the Os this season, it seems.
Markakis and the rest of the Os outfielders will hopefully carry the teams this year. They'll obviously occupy the middle of the batting order, and there should be some production as result.
Though Reimold's struggles worry me, it's far from a catastrophe if Lou M. or Luke Scott starts in his place (LUKE LUKE LUKE). In fact, Felix Pie is almost starting to decieve me with some decent stats. I won't believe Pie is better than a bust until he steals 10 bases in 5 games.