The Orioles held their first intrasquad game today, Black vs. Orange. I know, it's not a real game, but getting updates about what the guys are doing that are more than just bullpen sessions and batting practice is a way for me to get a fix while I wait for the good stuff.
Scheduled to pitch for Team Orange were Chris Tillman, Mike Hinkley (who?) , Wilfredo Perez, Ross Wolf, Chorye Spoone, Josh Perrault, and Brandon Erbe. Team Black featured Jake Arrieta, Jim Johnson, Luis Lebron, Troy Patton, Armando Gabino, Frank Mata (WHO??), and Alfredo Simon. The starting lineups can be found here.
Roch Kubatko provided regular updates of the game over on MASNsports.com. Here's a nice tidy summary with my thoughts below.
- Chris Tillman got a lot of praise for his outing. He's proclaimed himself 100% healthy and said that he threw nearly all fastballs with just a few cutters mixed in. Matt Wieters was pleased with the way he located his fastball and kept it down in the zone and thinks the cutter shows a lot of promise. Tillman faced four batters with just Nick Markakis reaching on a double. He threw 15 pitches, 11 for strikes.
- Jake Arrieta also pitched well, retiring Felix Pie, Miguel Tejada, and Matt Wieters but giving up a double to Cesar Izturis. He did all of that on 11 pitches.
- Brandon Erbe got praise from Dave Trembley for his pitches staying down and having late life. Erbe allowed one unearned run.
- Jim Johnson had a very good outing, going one inning on 13 pitches and allowing a walk to Justin Turner. He struck out Garrett Atkins on three pitches (shocker!!)
- Lefty bullpen candidate Wilfredo Perez had a 3 up, 3 down inning against three good hitters as Markakis lined out and Adam Jones and Luke Scott grounded out.
- Pitchers who didn't fare so well were Mike Hinkley, Josh Perreault, and Troy Patton. Hinkley walked Ty Wigginton and gave up singles to Blake Davis and Caleb Joseph. Josh Perreault allowed a HR to Robert Andino of all people, and Troy Patton allowed a 2 run single to Rhyne Hughes, an RBI single to Pedro Florimon, a sacrifice fly to Craig Tatum, and the O's had to end the inning with just two outs because he'd reached his pitch limit.
- Defensively, it was ugly. At one point three straight errors were made by Andino, Davis, and Wiggy. Jonathan Tucker also dropped a fly ball and Miguel Abreu screwed up a tag and let the ball get away from him. Rhyne Hughes also dropped a fly ball and catcher Luis Bernardo threw wildly to first base.
It's always nice to hear about the good pitching outings, especially since all of those guys could be important to the team. I'd like to see Wilfredo Perez do well this season. If he can work on his control I think he could be a very good guy out of the bullpen. It's hard to get worked up over Mike Hinkley. It's hard to get worked up over any of it, really, but it's exciting that there are some kinds of games going on down there. And while you can't really put much stock into the errors at this point, you have to admit it's nice not to see names like Pie or Jones on there. No offense to Miguel Abreu or Luis Bernardo but I'm hardly losing sleep over what happens to them.