Friday, March 12, 2010

Player notes

Brad Bergesen made his first start after returning from injury, and each of the other four starters have pitched twice with the following results:

Jeremy Guthrie - 4.1 IP, 4 Ks, 2.08 ERA, 1.62 WHIP
Chris Tillman - 4.1 IP, 4 Ks, 2.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
Brian Matusz - 4 IP, 10 Ks, 6.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
Kevin Milwood - 3.1 IP, 2 Ks, 29.73 ERA, 5.41 WHIP

Guthrie and Tillman have been solid. Matusz gave up a costly home run but has dominated with 10 strikeouts in 4 innings! Milwood is the one to be concerned about, allowing 16 hits, 11 runs, and 2 home runs in less than 4 innings. Hopefully he will figure things out.

Koji Uehara has got off to a nice start in his new relief role, allowing only 1 hit and no runs in 3 innings. Will Ohman, competing as a lefty specialist, also has 3 scoreless innings and adding 5 strikeouts. Jason Berken, with 4 scoreless innings, has faired better than his main rival, David Hernandez, who despite 12 astonishing strikeouts and 0 walks in 6 and 2/3 innings, has allowed 3 home runs and has a 7.11 ERA. If Hernandez can learn to avoid the long ball, he will be a dominant reliever.

Moving to the position players, RF Nick Markakis (.429 AVG, .929 SLG, 2 HR in 14 AB), 1B Garrett Atkins (.417 AVG, 2 2B in 12 AB), OF Felix Pie (.333 AVG, .889 SLG in 9 AB), and OF Luke Scott (.364 AVG in 11 AB) have gotten off to solid starts. C Matt Wieters, on the other hand, has managed only 1 hit in his first 11 at bats.

The leading candidate to be Wieter's backup, Chad Moeller, has already committed 2 errors. Brandon Snyder, the 1B of the future, is 0 for 8, while his competitor, Rhyne Hughes has 3 HR in 12 AB and a .333 AVG. Top 3B prospect Josh Bell has 2 home runs, but those are his only 2 hits in 10 at bats and he too has made 2 errors.

Remember not to get too excited about any of these stats, but if you do want to make some early predictions, these might be it.

1. Jake Arrieta won't be taking Tillman's spot in the rotation. He's struck out 4 in 2 innings, but walked 4 and gave up 2 runs. He needs to be flawless to beat out Tillman.
2. The last relief spots will go down to the end of spring. Matt Albers, Alberto Castillo, Kam Mickolio, Wilfrido Perez, Luis Lebron, Berken, and Ohman are all off to great starts.
3. Unless Brian Roberts isn't ready for Opening Day or Ty Wigginton is traded (please!), don't expect any surprise hitters to make the team. Robby Andino is receiving all the at bats early on. Justin Turner and Michael Aubrey don't seem to be in the picture.


Matt said...

I'm not feeling to optimistic about Milwood - sounds like a sure sign that he's returned to his "Mediocre Milwood" status from most of his Texas Career.

The real hope for the team lies with Matusz, Tillman, and Guthrie, so at least their strong showings will count for something moving forward.

I'm suprised about Uehara, but a relief role always did make more sense. As a player with not a lot of dominating stuff, he should be able to get around unexpecting hitters with an inning or two every game (before they figure him out, like last year).

I love seeing the high K rates for some of our pitchers, though I'm wary to believe in them as indicators. Spring ball is so much different from the regular season, and a tough AL East wont help anyone's stats.

The OF looks solid as expected, and it's not worth worrying about Weiters.

I'm with you: Lets get Wiggington out of here - somebody has gotta want him more than we need (or, more appropriately, don't need) him

Mark said...

Its spring training, results are meaningless until the last 2 weeks. My only concern at this point is BRob, i.e. back problems tend to linger. I'd like to see Andino at second if he can't go. Meaningful spring training games began today. Lets go O's!!!

Mark said...

Ok Tim, It's three days later and I'm starting to get concerned. Move Guthrie .... and I mean to another team, not the bullpen. Let Arrieta or Erbe learn in the majors or re-sign Ponson (they can't be worse than a 9+ era). Maybe I'm just suffering from post opening round NCAA bracket depression?