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2008 Orioles Spring Training Thread

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  • 2008 Orioles Spring Training Thread

    Let the exhibition season begin! Baltimore is starting its spring training today with Adam Loewen taking the mound vs. the Florida Marlins.

    Top of the 4th... the Marlins are pounding the Orioles 9-2.

    Way to go team! But of course that doesn't matter. Does anybody have a report from the game?

  • #2
    Roch Kubatko does a great job of covering all the games on his blog. Spring training is about the only time I read it, though. The gist of today's game is that Loewen wasn't sharp, Walker was even worse, and Adam Jones is a legit five-tool guy.


    • #3
      4-1 win over the Nats today. Garrett Olson was much sharper than in his first appearance, fanning three in two innings. Daniel Cabrera tossed two shutout innings. Radhames Liz, Hayden Penn, and Ryan Keefer also tossed scoreless frames. Bob McCrory allowed the sole run in the ninth. On the offensive side, Scott Moore went 2-3 with a homer and a double, knocking in three. I still am in disbelief that MacPhail got him and Cherry for Trachsel, then got Trachsel back at the end of the year. On the minus side, Matt Wieters went 0-3 with three K's. Chris Roberson also got two hits, and Luke Scott reached base each time he was at the plate, with a hit and two walks.


      • #4
        Wieters appears to still need some time getting his bat in shape... but fortunately he's got that time. He will apparently be an early exit in Spring Training to prepare him for his minor league season at the earliest convenience.

        Good to see the pitching have a good day. Though it is the Nats we're talking about.


        • #5
          So far, so good!


          • #6
            Yep. The Orioles take two from the Nats, one in a comeback 11-10. Scott Moore is hitting the cover off the ball. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones have long homers under their belts as well. Matt Albers and Daniel Cabrera have looked good on the mound.

            The Orioles are currently tied with the Dodgers 4-4 in the 10th inning.


            • #7
              Apparently Erik Bedard's predecessor as my favorite Oriole, Jason Johnson, did okay today. He tossed a couple scoreless innings for the Dodgers. Matt Albers pitched well again, and Michael Costanzo homered.

              Does anybody else think that Costanzo deserves a spot on the major league club? Probably not over Moore, who's having a great spring as well, but maybe instead of Quiroz as the backup catcher (though he's got very little experience there)?


              • #8
                Eh, probably not. I think we need established catchers to work with all the young pitchers we have. If Costanzo were good enough at the catcher position, he'd be catching a lot more.

                I'm worried we may not have room for either of them when Gibbons gets back. That's a darn shame. Seriously, wouldn't you rather have Moore and Costanzo on the team than Huff and Gibbons?


                • #9
                  Oh, definitely. Especially Gibbons. I'm still holding out hope that Huff can remember how to hit, but there's no hope for that with Gibbons.

                  Costanzo caught today for a couple innings. I'd like to see him make the team, if only because it makes me feel better about the Tejada trade now that Patton's been shut down. Purely on value, I'd start Moore at third, but I understand why they can't do that.

                  How about starting Moore at SS? Or Oscar Salazar? Both would be better options than Hernandez.

                  EDIT: Speaking of Moore, I just found that he has the same birthday as Nick Markakis. That's cool.


                  • #10

                    ORIOLES 10, CARDINALS 2
                    at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
                    Tuesday, March 4

                    Cardinals at the plate: Center fielder Colby Rasmus singled in a run in the second inning and hit a solo home run in the fifth. Designated hitter Juan Gonzalez and right fielder Brian Barton both had two hits.

                    Orioles at the plate: Third baseman Melvin Mora doubled in the first inning, drilled a two-run home run in the second and delivered a run-scoring single later in the game. Designated hitter Jay Gibbons singled twice and drove in two runs. Center fielder Adam Jones went 3-for-3 and scored twice, and leadoff man Brian Roberts stole his fifth base of the spring.

                    Cardinals on the mound: Anthony Reyes got hit hard, allowing six hits and four earned runs in two innings of work. Reyes allowed four straight hits at one point in the first inning and a two-run home run in the second. Clayton Mortensen followed directly in his footsteps, allowing five hits and three earned runs in two innings of work.

                    Orioles on the mound: Baltimore starter Adam Loewen stranded two runners on base in each of the first two innings. The southpaw allowed four hits and got two strikeouts, two groundouts and two fly balls. Relievers Jim Hoey and Jamie Walker both pitched scoreless innings in relief and Hayden Penn allowed a run in his only inning.

                    Grapefruit League records: Cardinals 2-4; Orioles 4-1-1.

                    Up next: The Orioles and Marlins will play their third game of the spring on Wednesday, and Baltimore will send Steve Trachsel to the mound against an undetermined starter for Florida.
                    I wish these counted towards the regular season. But it's still nice to see.



                    • #11
                      The Orioles have lost a pair of one-run games, to the Marlins 2-1 and to the Twins 8-7. Notes:

                      - Troy Patton has been sidelined for the 2008 season with a torn labrum. No big surprise here. Here's hoping he can recover from the injury; most pitchers don't.

                      - Adam Jones left the Twins game with "back stiffness". Maybe he's hitting the ball too well? Jones went 1-2 Yesterday to maintain his .500 batting average for the spring. I can see when this guy is on, he's going to be a force. The only question is regarding his consistency.

                      - Luke Scott homered yesterday and his bat is coming around quickly. Here's hoping we've found a keeper.

                      - Mike Costanzo had four ABs vs. the Twins with Scott Moore sitting out, and went 4-4 with a HR. How can the team send either one of these guys down? Ah well... we all know things change when the regular season starts.

                      - Underrated competitor this spring: Oscar Salazar. The minor league player of the year had a bad day (1-5) dropping his average to a meager .357 this spring. He really has no hope making the team; I wonder if he can be packaged in a trade?

                      - Matt Wieters is not ready to hit MLB pitching. The Orioles should send this guy down as quickly as possible.

                      - Daniel Cabrera had a bad day. Up and down... but we're used to it.

                      - Dennis Sarfate has yet to give up a run this spring. Between him, Albers and Scott, we may be saying "Troy who?" several years from now. Here's to hope which springs eternal, right?


                      • #12

                        - First bit of news is that the team made their first round of cuts, including: Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman, Kam Mickolio, Ryan Keefer and Esteban Yan. These guys are getting accustomed to the minors early. No big surprises here.

                        Originally posted by
                        The Orioles were most concerned with Wieters, who signed too late last summer to play in any organized full-season league. Baltimore expects the switch-hitting backstop to start at Class A Frederick and to move up to Double-A Bowie at some point during the year, and many analysts have tabbed him to make his big league debut as soon as 2009.
                        - Freddy Bynum will have arthroscopic knee surgery this week that will sideline him until at least mid-April. Judging by his comments, I'd say he's ok with rehabbing '08 in the minors and making sure his future potential is still intact. This is great news for Brandon Fahey.

                        "I wasn't thinking about the 25-man roster or anything," Bynum said. "I was just thinking about my career, trying to be healthy and get out there and do the things that I know that I can do -- which my knee won't let me do right now. Me being a speed guy, I want to get it taken care of so I can handle getting my rehab done and be back and I won't miss much time."
                        - Gamewise, Baltimore pounded Boston Friday 12-2, headlined by Jeremy Guthrie's 3.0 IP, three-baserunner performance and Aubrey Huff's two run HR. Adam Jones returned Saturday in a split-squad loss to the Mets, 4-1. The other half beat the Marlins 7-3 sunday... Adam Loewen struggled in the third inning but that was it for Florida; meanwhile, the Orioles collected 16 hits off Marlin pitching.

                        The team comes together again for a 1pm match vs. the Dodgers today. The Orioles so far this spring are 6-4-1.


                        • #13
                          Update: 3-21-08

                          The Orioles are falling down a bit as players are trimmed from spring-training rosters. Yesterday, Johan Santana and the Mets blanked them 7-0. Though the game was close (2-0 Mets) going into the 8th inning; Jon Leicester pitched well for 3.2 innings and Greg Aquino / Rocky Cherry pitched 3.1 combined scoreless innings. Rheal Cormier promptly gave up 5 runs -- he's likely out the door anyway.

                          After Adam Loewen was roughed up by St. Louis, this leaves the team at 8-11-2 this spring.


                          Kevin Millar will bat cleanup this season. While this isn't terrific news, bear in mind he did his best hitting in the 4-hole last season. This nearly sets the lineup as is:

                          B Roberts
                          R Mora
                          L Markakis
                          R Millar
                          L Scott/Huff
                          R Hernandez/Jones
                          L Huff/Scott
                          R Jones/Hernandez
                          ? whoever wins shortstop

                          LHP Moore
                          RHP Payton


                          Aubrey Huff and Scott Moore were the only players who hit twice off of Santana. Huff has apparently shed some weight and is in better shape this season. I'm hopeful he does well enough to be traded this summer. We all know that's what he wants anyway.

                          Meanwhile, it looks like Moore is being groomed to take over Huff's position on the roster. Gibbons will force him back to the minors this season, but with some OF work, Moore will cover every position Huff has in the past (1B, 3B, corner OF, DH). Fine by me.

                          In a similar vein, I wonder if Nolan Reimold is the eventual replacement for Millar...


                          • #14
                            Hopeful staff ace Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound vs. the Cardinals today. With Randor Bierd taking long-relief practice, and two long relievers being retained among the 12, the pitching staff is shaking itself out:

                            SP Guthrie
                            SP Traschel
                            SP Cabrera
                            SP Loewen
                            SP Albers / Burress

                            CL Sherrill
                            RHS Sarfate
                            RHS Bradford
                            LHS Walker
                            RP Aquino / Bierd
                            LR Bierd / Cherry or someone else
                            LR Burress / Albers

                            My buess is what you see first. Rocky Cherry would be the odd man out and the bullpen in Norfolk would feature him and Kam Mickolio.

                            Not too bad; I know I keep saying it every year but the bullpen HAS to be better this time. The rotation? Not so much.


                            • #15
                              thank godd were not trading brian roberts hes a figure in the rebuilding of our franchise


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