O's beat the champs 5-3 today in Fort Lauderdale, with my boy Chris Stynes tripling home the tie-breaking run seventh. Geronimo Gil went yard and Tejader had three knocks. Our great big hope, Nick Markakis, drove Stynes in for the insurance run.
Dan Cabrera was shaky (4 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 H), but the pen was on-point after that. I'm just not optimistic about Cabrera this season, but we'll wait and see on him. Or I can declare that I just don't think he's going to be any good, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to be right on that one. I've heard a startling amount of O's fans that like the guy, so maybe it's just me. Or maybe everyone but me is nuts!
Jay Witasick had an inning of relief for us and I'm still struggling with the idea that Witasick could end up in the Baltimore bullpen. Not that I have anything against him, but Witasick's claim to fame is a good portion of a season with San Diego and coming over to the Yankees and bombing, so forgive me if I don't shake hands.
Our pen has three set (Ryan, Kline, Reed) and then there's Julio whenever he gets 100%. It would seem like Bauer and Parrish would make the squad as relievers/spot starters, but who knows? The rotation is going to have Lopez and Ponson, and they seem set on Cabrera. Bedard and Chen have both been effective, and I think right now that would be the rotation if the season started tomorrow. Riley has pitched himself into a ticket to Ottawa, and James Baldwin is James Baldwin. Let's hope management agrees with me on that one, because there is no upside at all for Baldwin compared to that of Chen, who I'm worried will lose a spot to Baldwin for no good reason.
So if Baldwin makes the big club I'd prefer it be as a reliever, although I'd prefer he go to Ottawa mostly. Or go to some other team entirely. I don't have a vendetta against James Baldwin, I just think he's a bad pitcher.
The IF is set with Gibby/Palmeiro, Roberts when Roberts is healthy, and the M&M Boys on the left side. In Roberts' absence I could live with Stynes and Gomez splitting time or something of that nature. Hopefully no Enrique Wilson.
OF will be Bigbie/Newhan/Sosa it appears, and Midre Cummings may be playing his way into a spot on the bench and could serve as a valuable defensive replacement in center. We've got Surhoff as the obligatory waste of time again. I appreciate Surhoff's intensity and the fact that he can still hit enough to not be a total bother, but he's 40 years old. I know what Surhoff can do for a team, but it's not necessarily any help to the one he's on. I think there are teams BJ could help. I wish he played for one of them.
We've got Lopez and Geronimo! behind the plate, which is fair enough.
But this is all still speculation. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see that Midre Cummings' .400 average this spring means nothing, because it's probably true, although dogs of the Midre Cummings breed (talented washouts) sometimes have their day, and maybe this could be his. Maybe not though.
These last few weeks of spring training are distressing when your team still has this many holes to fill. Like three fifths of the rotation, in my estimation.
He sure is.