The Orioles may have lost last night to the Pirates, 5-3, in Spring Training action; however, Chris Tillman is indeed healthy and free of back issues. The hurler threw two perfect innings and struck out three — a very good sign. The team has continued doing it the plate, as Adam Jones homered (a solo shot), plus both Robert Andino and Luke Scott drove in runs. Garrett Atkins was 2-for-2 with a double and triple.
Pitcher Mike Gonzalez was shaky as he allowed a run on two hits in an inning of work. Alfredo Simon — who’s on the comeback trail — took the loss as he gave up two runs in the top of ninth on the mound.
Everyone is still raving on the work of third baseman Josh Bell, but he’s more than likely still going to start the season in the minors. Miguel Tejada, who people were worried about playing the hot corner has looked fine so far and made a real nice play last night to assist Tillman.
Luke Scott has always been sort of a quandary to me. The designated hitter/first baseman/left fielder for the past few season in Baltimore has been a player who must be the streakiest I’ve ever seen put on a uniform. Despite that, I do think he’s a player who tries his best and for that he’s a fan favorite.
As evidenced by last year, Luke can carry a team on his own for extended periods of time with his bat, or can into a prologned slump (much like what fans saw at the end of the season). There were reumors of him being mentioned in various deals, but none of them came into fruition.
Of course, Scott’s value isn’t with his glove, but his bat. As it is, I’m not sure if he’s a part of the future when it comes to Orioles; however, he’s still very much a servicable bat on the roster. Now, the issue is whether he can hit on a consistent basis. In the first half of the season, he looked like an All-Star, bopping 18 homers and hitting north of .300 at the break; therefore, if he can just maintain that ability six months of the season, he could help the Orioles immensely.
The team has tried having Luke play left field and first, but with the emergence of Pie and Reimold, plus the acquisition of Atkins — he’s the designated hitter. I’d rather have someone more consistent at that position, but Luke’s ability at the plate — when he’s on — makes him the most viable player to be there.
I don’t know if Scott is an everyday player, or someone who would be more useful playing several times a week based on the numbers I have seen over the years.
Right now, I think the Luke Scott we have seen in Baltimore is what he is. I don’t know if he should be dealt, but if he struggles, one of the younger guys should be given a shot to take over gain playing time.