Today, pitchers and catchers report to camp down in Fort Lauderdale, and after what’s transpired this week news-wise in baseball, it’s a welcome relief. For the most part, all 30 teams should be up and running in either Arizona or Florida this weekend. Position players should be in their respective camps by mid-week.
I guess the other semi-news worthy event that took place was the Scott Moore cleared waivers, and will be in camp with an invitation to Spring Training. Unless he makes the team — which may be a long shot with Freel, Wigginton on the squad — assume he’ll find his way to Norfolk soon enough.
Finally, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan in Season Divisional Season Preview (this one for the AL East, obviously), gives his take on the Baltimore. His review is very promising — especially towards Wieters and the future — and goes quickly into the key storylines heading into spring training…
First impression: Years of failure due to treading water – actually, in the AL East, it’s more like flailing in quicksand – are long forgotten with Andy MacPhail now in charge. If the Orioles fail, they’ll have failed trying to shake things up. Nearly one-third of the team has never worn an Orioles uniform. There are veterans (Cesar Izturis, Mark Hendrickson), imports (Koji Uehara) and busts (Rich Hill, Felix Pie). And Matt Wieters, who defies categorization and instead goes by this: 6-foot-5, switch-hitting, home run-mashing, rocket-armed catcher who’s a mix between Joe Mauer and Johnny Bench. Ahem.
Competition: Aside from Jeremy Guthrie and Uehara, the rotation is a mess while the Orioles wait for Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta to arrive. Among the contenders: Hendrickson and Hill with inside tracks, and Chris Waters, Matt Albers, Radhames Liz and Troy Patton fighting for the fifth spot. Oh, and there’s some sentiment to start Gregg Zaun over Wieters.
Hot seat: Adam Jones and Pie sit on that prospect precipice that so many others have straddled. Both are phenomenally talented. Both play excellent in the outfield. And if both succeed, the Orioles, with Nick Markakis in right, would have the best young outfield in the game.
Next: Book Wieters for the 2011 All-Star Game, if not 2010. While Tillman, Matusz and Arrieta may not join him there, they should be in Baltimore’s rotation – and all project better than anyone on the Orioles’ staff right now.
That being said, have a good day, and we’re closer to Opening Day than we know…