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Rotation taking shape

Here is our top four set:

  1. Rodrigo Lopez, RH
  2. Daniel Cabrera, RH
  3. Erik Bedard, LH
  4. Sidney Ponson, RH

Yup, Ponson has dropped to fourth in the rotation, with Mazzilli and others insisting it's not punishment but just because he hasn't gotten enough innings in this spring. I don't think Cabrera is a two-starter, but Ponson is definitely a fourth starter.

The battle for the fifth spot is down to three: lefties Bruce Chen and Matt Riley, and somewhat surprisingly, righty Rick Bauer.

             IP     ERA    WHIP   K
Chen 8.2 0.00 0.89 5
Riley 6.0 13.50 1.50 7
Bauer 16.0 4.50 1.50 7

Ray Miller says he has a favorite, but won't disclose. I'm definitely caught off-guard by Bauer being in the race. The organization loves Riley, but Bauer has never seemed to have that sort of support before. He's gotten good marks from coaches for showing up in shape. He hasn't pitched terribly effectively. Riley is still a wreck, and I'm not really optimistic about him ever becoming a good big league starter.

I'm rooting for Chen.

The O's official site also has an article on Hayden Penn up where Ray Miller sounds hopeful that Penn could be up by the end of the season. Unless he puts up phenom numbers, I'd rather take it slow on Hayden and see what he's got next spring. We know he can pitch, but he's 20 years old. There's no rush.