I don't care about March Madness. There, I said it. So let's talk baseball.
The O's starting rotation continues to look a hot mess and it's not getting any better.
The Orioles made a formal request for Jeremy Guthrie to return to the team from the WBC so he can prepare for the season, but so far he hasn't returned. Kranitz had tentatively penciled him in to start today's game, but according to Roch the starting pitcher today is Mark Hendrickson. Jeremy has looked just awful in his two WBC appearances and though I'm not yet panicking about him, it's a bit disconcerting that the only sure thing we've got is looking less and less sure.
Speaking of Mark Hendrickson, his chances to make the rotation just increased now that Rich Hill won't be ready to start the season. According to Jeff Zriebec, Dave Trembley wants at least one lefty in the rotation. Hendrickson is the only lefty still in the running, so it appears to be his job to lose. Ugh is all I have to say to that.
Koji Uehara is still on pace to be ready for the start of the season as he continues to rehab his strained hamstring. Kranitz and Trembley hope to get him at least two starts to prepare him, but they don't seem worried.
Despite his impressive spring, Brad Bergesen was optioned to AAA. Like many of you, I think it'd be a shame for Eaton or some other garbage pitcher to get the spot instead of him, but I don't think this is a huge deal because we will see Bergesen up here sooner rather than later. Here is what Trembley had to say about him:
"We had to send him out so he can be out for 10 days so if somebody gets hurt we can get him back,'' Trembley said. "He's going to pitch for us, but it's probably not going to happen on April 6.
"He had a good spring,'' Trembley said. "He's a guy we all feel would be at the top of the list of guys who are called up here. We needed to get him out so he could get his innings. We think a log ot him. He just didn't make the club out of spring training.
"I told him it's inconceivable to think the 12 or 13 guys we break camp with are going to be here all season."
We now sit two weeks and 1 day from Opening Day and the three spots are still open in the rotation. Hendrickson seems to have a leg up based simply on being left handed, which is just ridiculous in my opinion. What does it matter if you're left handed if you aren't any good? Still in the running are Penn, Pauley, the recently effective Alfredo Simon, and of course, Adam Eaton.
Bottom line is the rotation is going to suck no matter how you slice it. But Andy, Kranitz and Trembley are going to have to start making decisions soon to make sure their rotation is prepared for Opening Day.