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Tag:Adam Jones
Posted on: March 11, 2009 1:24 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2009 10:40 am
 

Orioles-Twins on Wednesday, March 11

FORT LAUDERDALE -- I miss the Twins near no-hitter Sunday with Francisco Liriano and finally make it back to a ballgame. It's David Pauley vs. Glen Perkins, Nick Blackburn and Joe Nathan.

-- Denard Span can really, really run. He isn't Carlos Gomez fast, but who is?

-- Joe Crede and his chronic bad back sat on a bus for the two-plus hour drive from Fort Myers. That is a great sign for his health. Blackburn and Cuddyer also made the trip coming off injuries.

-- Adam Jones made a sweet lunging grab in the first to turn a double play. He really might win a Gold Glove this season. Maybe he will even live up to his 30-40 steals prediction. You can't put anything past someone with that talent -- although I still have a hunch his numbers are going to be a few years away.

-- Pauley looks like a Triple-A starter. He won't win a rotation spot. He get abused in the first inning. Alexi Casilla and Cuddyer gapped him.

-- Carlos Gomez, batting ninth with Span leading off, is a strong, strong man. We know about the speed, but Gomez is going to be a big-time hitter in the near future. He lined a double to the warning track in left-center, the ball hardly getting off the ground and splitting the air all the way to the fence. He only got a double. If you understand his speed, you know it takes a shot in the gap for him to only pull up for a double. He hit it too hard almost.

Gomez walked in his next at-bats -- great news. He was caught stealing 1-3-6 on a pick-off attempt -- not great news. He did almost outrun the throw from first to second, though.

-- Crede ripped a single down the left field line. He really doesn't run well at all. It might be a function of his back -- of just the fact that he is Dave Magadan out of the box.

-- Nathan blew Wieters away quickly with one out and a man on third. You gotta put the ball in play there. Granted, that is an elite closer, but it is a sign Wieters might not be ready to go out of spring training. I am becoming convinced he could use time in Triple-A myself... and I generally complain when teams block their elite prospects.

Emack. 

 

Posted on: February 24, 2009 4:02 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2009 4:09 pm
 

Adam Jones leftovers

-- On his being told to not watch a batting practice homer last year, Jones said John Shelby was just having fun with him. They have a good relationship going.

"He said he wants to drill me," Jones said. "He hasn't gotten me yet."

-- We don't care about defense in Fantasy, but I figured you might want to know how much Jones appreciates a good glove:

"I told Torii (Hunter, eight-time AL gold glove winner), 'Hey man, I want one of your gold gloves.' He said, 'Just one?'" Jones recalled.

-- "We could have an outfield of three center fielders," he said. "Our whole outfield could win a gold glove."

-- Who are the the outfielders in the mix to join him and Nick Markakis in the starting lineup?

Well, Felix Pie (who reported Tuesday after visa issues), Ryan P. Freel (who has a locker next to him) and Luke Scott, although "It looks like Luke is going to get a lot of time at DH."

It looks like Pie and Freel could be a time-share -- unless Pie runs away with the everyday job. That could make Freel a real nice sleeper in deeper AL-only Rotisserie leagues. Freel is a nice base thief.

Emack.

Posted on: February 19, 2009 5:46 pm
 

Orioles workouts, Thursday, Feb. 19

-- It was the first full day of workouts.

-- Brian Roberts neared a four-year deal, which could be announced Friday.

-- The following hitters got ovations for their power display in coach-pitch BP: Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff, Adam Jones, Melvin Mora and Luke Scott.

-- Scott was particularly impressive, while Jones was generating the loudest "thwack" with the bat. 

Jones is a big, strong man with some real nice potential. In fact, watching his BP session from the visiting dugout, I immediately when into my projections spreadsheet to upgrade him to 16 homers and 12 steals. That raised him from a $1 guy to a $2 guy in mixed leagues and from $2 to $5 in AL-only.

What made me upgrade his steals? Well, an Orioles beat writer sitting next to me said Jones could hit 25 homers "sooner rather than later," maybe even this year. I talked him out of crazy, but he said 20-20 is possible. The O's will run more and Jones figures to be one of the everyday guys that is asked to.

Jones wasn't allowed to showcase himself Thursday, though. The BP pitcher told him to not stand and watch a moonshot that generated oohs and ahhs from the crowd. Jones responded, "I didn't; I came right over here," saying he walked right out of the box and stood outside the cage. I didn't see him posterize, but it is very curious Jones was the only one the coach got on for being homer happy. Markakis, Huff, Mora and Scott were allowed to enjoy their homers with fans, doffing their caps. Jones didn't partake in that, but the chears for him were as loud as the stingers he was crushing.

-- The potential opening day lineup for the Orioles

  1. 2B Brian Roberts
  2. CF Adam Jones
  3. RF Nick Markakis
  4. 1B Aubrey Huff
  5. 3B Melvin Mora
  6. DH Luke Scott
  7. C Gregg Zaun ... or, just maybe, Matt Wieters
  8. LF Felix Pie (not here yet due to visa issues) ... or maybe Ryan P. Freel or Ty Wigginton
  9. SS Cesar Izturis

Bench:

  • Wigginton, still expected to get 400 at-bats
  • Freel, should get 350 at-bats
  • Chris Gomez, might not make it if Freel can play SS
  • Chad Moeller ... won't make it if Wieters does

Rotation:

  1. Jeremy Guthrie
  2. Koji Uehara
  3. Rich Hill
  4. TBD
  5. TBD

Bullpen:

  • George Sherrill
  • Chris Ray
  • Jim R. Johnson
  • Jamie Walker
  • Dennis Sarfate
  • TBD
  • TBD

It will be interesting to see how Wiggy and Freel fit in this spring. Also, the battle for the back end of the rotation can get real interesting if one of the elite prospects steps forward.

Posted on: March 28, 2008 1:38 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2008 3:12 pm
 

Farewell to the Fort? O's play Mets in finale

FORT LAUDERDALE -- This could be the last game for the Orioles here and not just for the year -- ever. With the Dodgers leaving Florida for the desert, Dodgertown figures to become O-town.

-- Daniel Cabrera vs. Orlando Hernandez. El Duque was supposed to have scrapped his high-leg kick, but in the windup it doesn't look any different. He does a quick slide-step from the stretch, though. And it looks he gets nothing on the ball in terms of velocity.

-- The Mets have most of their regulars here today, including Carlos Delgado who hasn't aged gracefully, Fantasy-wise. He has one of the biggest hitter weaknesses in baseball now -- the inside fastball. Bust him on the hands, which required surgery a couple of winters ago, and you can get him out. I wanted to see him turn on an inside pitch vs. the hard-throwing Cabrera. Late once and then went down swinging on a hard one inside. Ew. It was far too easy to get him out. That has to be scary for his Fantasy owners. Everyone knows Delgado's bat speed is down and he cannot get around on the inside heat. Watch that early this season to see if it comes around.

-- Brady Clark almost took off third-base coach Juan Samuel's head on a foul liner into the O's bench area. Then Cabrera buzzed Clark up and in on the next pitch. No correlation of events, but Mets fans have to still have a distaste in their mouths for the Mets deal to get Samuel back in the late '80s. The Mets gave up Lenny Dykstra and got a washed up ex-Phillie.

-- It will be interesting if El Duque decides to protect Triple-A outfielder Clark by buzzing an O's player. Getting hit by an 80 mph El Duque fastball is quite different than a 95 mph Cabrera offering.

-- OUCH! Reyes got one right in the back of the shoulder from Cabrera. This is going to get interesting.

-- Cabrera has no idea where it's going. That has to be discomforting in the batter's box.

-- Reyes got up and went to first. The Mets organization had its breath held for 45 seconds there. Reyes is the most valuable Met. Without him down the stretch last year -- September was his worst month in his career -- the Mets fizzled. Without Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran matter much less.

-- El Duque most certainly will have to plunk an Oriole now. They might wait until Nick Markakis comes up. You can buzz Clark, but popping Reyes in the back of the throwing arm was just uncalled for. If it wasn't the always wild Cabrera, you would figure that was clearly on purpose.

-- No HBP in a second scoreless inning of work by El Duque. He was aided by a nice-looking double play by Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes. The Mets are built real, real strong up the middle defensively. Reyes, Castillo, Schneider and Beltran could all win Gold Gloves. David Wright already won one last year at third, despite 20-plus errors. Mets pitchers are intriguing enough, but that is some defense and a pitchers park to back them. Schneider is also an elite game-caller, too, and pitching coach Rick Peterson and his .230 line/blind bullpen sessions approach is one of the best of the business.

-- Wright, who singled in the third but was erased by a Beltran DP grounder, came to the bench and sat down next to hitting coach Howard Johnson. The Mets' two best third basemen in franchise history shared their thoughts on hitting. Oh, to be a fly on their cap during that conversation.

-- Ryan Church, who was had an awful spring, lost control of the bat (two different bats, actually) on consecutive pitches from Cabrera. Those were painful souvenirs for the fans behind the O's first-base dugout. The bats wound up almost exactly the same spot. Church has pop but his bad spring has to be a concern for the Mets who gave up the immensely talent Lastings Milledge to get him and Schneider. Church will have a lot of pressure to at least perform on Milledge's level the next three years.

-- Adam Jones ripped a good-looking double to left off El Duque in the third. A streaky talent who could be a Fantasy star by the second half.

-- Wow, Reyes is amazing. He caught an overhead bloop, spun and fired to Castillo for a 6-4 DP on Jones. El Duque had second and third and no outs but that defense up the middle could have bailed him out again. Roberts slashed an opposite-field double to left to score a run.

-- Haha. I almost called that one. Markakis' first at-bat since the Reyes beaning, El Duque spun him around on an inside pitch. Could have been trying to nail him. Second pitch, same thing. He wound up leveling the count at 2-2. Markakis hit a potential three-run homer just foul. Had El Duque been able to throw more than low-80s, Markakis would have hit that one fair. El Duque is crafty. He got Markakis to pop out to center to end the inning.

-- Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose. He stole second with his trademark head first slide. He is hard on his body, but a bigger, stronger physique could help him stay healthy and strong through the whole year. Oh, and there goes Reyes again. Stole third without a throw. Amazin' Met.

-- Luke Scott has played left field like a DH this spring. Friday he dropped two easy fly balls. The second he didn't get an error on because he threw to third for a 7-5 force out. Scott drops flies and hasn't showed much of an arm. Good thing he has a nice OPS bat and 20-homer potential because he is playing like a Triple-A guy.

-- Cabrera had bases loaded and no outs and got another chance to work on his "damage control." He allowed just the one run on Scott's dropped fly. Reyes might not have tried to score on that short popup and Cabrera had a shot at getting out of it altogether.

-- El Duque's work is done after five effective innings. He scattered four hits and was aided by the two double plays. He looks ready to open the season as the Mets' No. 5 starter, albeit an unspectacular one you should not trust. He will be a five-inning pitcher to start the season. Manager Willie Randolph said the Mets will open the first week with a No. 5 starter, but I will wait until his speaks after the game before updating our Probable Pitchers report. El Duque working in Week 1 against the Braves means Pedro Martinez won't be a two-start pitcher now.

-- Mike Pelfrey, with the No. 5 starter's spot lost, came on in the sixth and walked Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora. Randolph had to come out of the dugout to talk to him. Bad news. Consider Pelfrey nothing more than a Triple-A starter at this point, albeit a promising one who could wind up getting starts for a top contender by year's end -- or whenever El Duque or Pedro Martinez need a DL stint.

Emack.

Posted on: March 10, 2008 2:43 pm
 

Oh, Dodger, Trachsel and O's stink

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Dodgers-O's today. Chan Ho Park vs. Steve Trachsel. Ugh. The dog days of spring.

-- Adam Jones -- in the at least he looks like he is trying category -- just missed a diving catch of a Chin-lung Hu liner. Hu is a shortstop prospect to watch this season, especially since Rafael Furcal is a free-agent-to-be and the Dodgers almost certainly won't make the same mistake with him again.

-- Furcal tripled in Hu (2-for-2 with a SB while I was at the game). Delwyn Young singled in Furcal. Matt Kemp singled in Young. Yeah, Trachsel is trash. Heck, he made Chan Ho Park look good today.

-- Saw the Dodgers play the Red Sox in Vero Beach on Sunday. I went as a fan; therefore, no blogging. But I sat out on the left field berm, watching Daisuke Matsuzaka deal. With two men on in the first and Kemp up, I said to the crowd "Here's someone who can reach us." Two pitches later, I was wrong. He hit it well over our heads for a three-run homer. That was launched, albeit a bit wind-aided. Kemp is going to be a superstar. He first needs a full-time job. Andre Ethier and him are currently slated to share at-bats in right with Andruw Jones in center and Juan Pierre likely full-time in left. You have to say "likely" because Pierre could be traded or bench in favor of the younger guys now. Kemp is a must-get in all leagues. A few years ago Sandy Alomar Jr. compared him to a young Manny Ramirez. Alomar would know, he played with the Indians when Ramirez was getting started.

-- 19-year-old Clayton Kershaw was impressive Sunday, retiring the side in order. The seventh overall pick in the 2006 draft out of high school got Mike Lowell to pop out, broke J.D. Drew's bat on a groundout and struck out Sean Casey.

-- Back to Monday, Delwyn Young -- no relation to the Twins' Delmon -- is a short, stocky hitter (5-foot-8, 209 pounds). He has been playing outfield and also back in the infield this spring. He began as a second baseman in the Dodgers' system. Now, he has a great chance to open the season as the Dodgers' super utility guy. He can really hit. Check out his Triple-A numbers, 54 doubles is eye-popping in any league. He also had 17 homers, 97 RBI and 107 runs scored. He is a great pick in deeper NL-only Rotisserie leagues.

-- Another stolen base for Brian Roberts. Wait, make that two ... on the next pitch and after a pickoff attempt. That boy is a running fool. Third steal of third of the spring. Seven steals total. If you read past blogs, David Gonos said Roberts won't ever steal 50 again. I saw him in spring and said, I don't know ... he is built to run. Roberts has been running all over the place. I bet Gonos a lunch Roberts will steal over 40 bases. That's a good number for him, which I obviously think is reachable -- putting $10 of my hard-earned money on it.

-- Two-run triple by Nick Markakis -- speaking of players who can run. Markakis looks like a 20-base thief.

-- Adam Jones -- first-and-third, one out -- popout. Ouch. Gotta get the 'Cake home.

-- The O's are terrible. I came to see the Mets play them here Saturday. The Mets brought as no-name of a lineup as you will ever see in a big league uniform. Worse than the 1999 Marlins. They had multiple teenagers in the lineup ... and they beat the Orioles, who had most of their regulars in. Ouch. They stink. The Rays will finish ahead of them.

-- The teenage Mets were impressive. Reuben Tejada, 18, is from Panama and looks already big league ready defensively. He also has a 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the minors. In four years, he could be an interesting leadoff hitter. Greg Veloz is a large 19-year-old second baseman, who looks like he might need to move over to third base. He has pop in his bat and should be a fast-rising prospect in Class A this season. The third teenager in the starting lineup was Fernando Martinez, who hasn't showed great pop but he does have a quick bat and was 2-for-3 in the game. Martinez is a bit on the shorter side, reminding me a little too much of Jay Paton and Lastings Milledge at this point. Martinez's bat speed is impressive, though.

Emack.

Posted on: March 4, 2008 4:14 pm
 

Rasmus, Barton and Jones, oh my!

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Cardinals are in town facing the Orioles on Tuesday. Adam Loewen vs. Anthony Reyes, a prospect-hound's dream matchup -- with regard to these two system-poor franchises at least. Here are my thoughts as we go:

-- Colby Rasmus is in center and leading off ... Rule-5 pick Brian Barton is in right and unheralded Joe Mather in left. Rick Ankiel and Chris Duncan didn't make the trip. Rasmus looked bad, fanning on a pitch out of the zone. (Rasmus showed a strong arm on a throw to the plate, by the way). Mather is a big dude with power, but way too aggressive. After a wild cut, I noticed he has struck out five times in his first eight spring at-bats. Ouch. Then of course, he nearly takes Loewen's head off on a liner through the box.

-- Rasmus launched a long fly in the game. He has a real sweet swing... at least he did on that one. He posterized it, too. A 30-30 prospect with swagger.

-- O's sophomore Adam Jones beat out an infield hit, smacked a single to left and slapped a single to right. He is 5-for-10 with a homer this spring. He didn't attempt a steal, but the O's got him to second on a hit-and-run groundout once and to third on a hit-and-run single another time. Jones is 0-for-1 in his steal attempts thus far. We're guessing 15 steals will be a high number for him at this point, but he is a threat on the bases. The O's beat writers for the <em>Baltimore Sun</em> and MLB.com were saying Jones has so much athleticism, it doesn't look like he is trying. "It's just spring training," one said. He has the center field job uncontested at this point and should be an overlooked sophomore on Draft Day. FYI, the beat writer's opinion of him is he is a well-versed young ballplayer and should be ready to really pop by the second half of this year. Take note of that.

-- Barton, who has to make the team or be offered back to the Indians for $25,000, has a lot of tools. He is quick, has a great arm and has shown versatility. Most important, he hits from the right side in a Cardinals outfield that could figure three left-handed bats of Duncan, Rasmus and Ankiel. Barton ripped a liner to left center for a single.

-- Would like to see him run here... off a left-handed pitcher and a strong throwing catcher in Ramon Hernandez. Nope, Cesar Izturis lined out to center -- while Adam Jones ran it down, he also threw past Kevin Millar at first, trying to double Barton off but instead allowing him to go to third.

-- He later bunted for a base hit but was caught stealing on a pickoff by Jamie Walker and reached on an infield hit. He can fly. He came into the game 0-for-8 this spring and had a nice day. Those tools and his right-handedness bode well for Barton making the team. He can be a sleeper reserve outfielder in NL-only leagues.

-- Loewen is an imposing figure on the mound. He looks like a future ace to the eyes. Sturdy. But he battled control issues in his first start and wasn't sharp in this one either.

-- Juan Gonzalez, the DH today, hit Loewen's first offering 400 feet foul to left. First pitch fastball is what he hit for a three-run homer off Santana on Friday. A sharp single to left in the first and a double to left in the fifth. Juan Gone is now 5-for-12 with a homer, double and four RBI this spring. I wouldn't draft him outside of deep NL-only leagues at this point, but his start makes for an interesting story. He obviously can still hit the fastball -- which is what most pitchers are throwing this time of spring. Wait until the offspeed stuff and breaking balls come out later in March, before you buy into what Gonzo is doing.

-- Reyes is up on the hill with his trademark goofy striped socks and flat-billed cap. It is almost like he tries to look like someone who wears a pocket protector. The pop of Yadier Molina's mitt suggests something else, though. He has a thick lower half and looks are a power arm.

-- Brian Roberts is leading off for the O's, who have reportedly amped up talks with the Cubs in recent days. Roberts tried to drag bunt, unsuccessfully. He stole his baseball-leading fifth base. He got a running start off a Triple-A arm. He should have been picked off. Yadier Molina, a great-armed backstop, had no chance.

-- Melvin Mora laced a double to a gap. Another first-pitch fastball hitter. He won't ever be a 20-plus homer Fantasy 3B again, but you could do worse in deeper leagues at the position, we suppose -- especially since he will be hitting in front of Nick Markakis. The 'Cake took today off, but is off to a great start this spring.

-- Jay Gibbons, who is suspended for the first 15 days of spring training, smacked a liner to right off Reyes to score Mora. Gibbons will be really cheap in deeper AL-only leagues. He is as healthy as he has been in years and will get the HGH stuff behind him now. Might be a real deep sleeper. He was always a champ in batting practice and was one of the more impressive O's earlier this spring.

-- Aubrey Huff has yet to play, dealing with a sports hernia and taking live BP, but he might be able to play later this week.

-- Reyes is getting tagged. O's bats --Gibbons, Kevin Millar and Luke Scott, are all over him. Perhaps another case of working with the fastball against good fastball hitters. His command is clearly not in regular-season form. He really has yet to ever to have it in "regular-season form," though. We will like him a lot more after this year, but there has to be a point where the light flicks on. Just don't see it yet. He has a lot to work with, but also a lot to work on. Both Reyes and Loewen went two shaky innings. Loewen is the slightly more impressive late-round flier at this point.

-- Brendan Ryan wears the same goofy socks as Reyes. He also wears an elbow ace bandage on his right (throwing) elbow. It must be noted Albert Pujols doesn't wear a brace on his balky elbow. Pujols didn't make this trip, but I noticed no elbow bandage in Port St. Lucie last Friday.

-- I said to myself Mora is going to square one up on Reyes. I should have said it outloud, because no one will believe me now. Mora popped a two-run homer off him. Reyes is a mess, but he still should open the year in the Cardinals rotation.

-- Three Orioles relievers are coming off major surgery and are out for most, if not all, of the season -- Danys Baez, Chris Ray and Fernando Cabrera. Baez is training at his Miami home, while Ray left Fort Lauderdale on Sunday to train with the O's minor leagues in Sarasota. Cabrera, who underwent surgery for a right elbow debridement, will join Ray in Sarasota soon.

-- The Cardinals reassigned 10 players to minor league camp Monday: RHP Mitchell Boggs, RHP Dewon Brazelton, LHP Jaime Garcia, RHP Adam Ottavino, RHP P.J. Walters, RHP Tyler Herron, RHP Stuart Pomeranz, C David Carpenter, C Nick Derba and C Brandon Yarbrough. They now have 57 players in camp, which doesn't include Juan Encarnacion (eye), who is out for the season and perhaps for his career after being hit by a pitch last year.

-- James Hoey was the first impressive pitcher of the day. He could be a sleeper to close before this year is out. Heck, with the shaky spring beginnings of Walker (five ER in 2 2/3) and George Sherrill (one ER in one inning), it could be sooner rather than later.

-- With the release of troubled Scott Spiezio, Josh Phelps as a very good shot at making the team as Pujols' backup. Phelps also adds a potential power bat to the corner outfield on days Ankiel and/or Duncan need to sit against a tough lefty. Phelps is a big guy with pop in his bat, so he could have some measure of value and versatility in the deepest of NL-only leagues.

-- A Hayden Penn sighting! Penn has had injuries derail him so far in his young career, but he is a talented right-hander who could surprise us finally this season. Heck, with Troy Patton potentially out for the season, Penn could be a sleeper to make the rotation. He will have to stop pitching fourth-deep in spring training, of course. Loewen, Hoey and Walker each worked before him. Obviously, the O's are taking it slow with him, allowing him to work against the non-regulars later in the game. Hoey and Walker needed to face some big leaguers. Penn gave up the Rasmus homer and sharp Juan Gone double.

-- Outfielder Brian Barton and third baseman Brian Barden in the same game for the Cardinals, which can be confusing for some. Names sound similar if not darn-near identical.

Emack.

Posted on: February 28, 2008 4:07 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2008 4:16 pm
 

O my how bad BAL and FLA are (some of 'em anyway)

My thoughts while watching the Marlins and Orioles spring game in Fort Lauderdale:

-- Adam Loewen, coming off a broken elbow that ended his season a year ago, looks a lot thicker and stronger. He used to be a skinny, lanky left-handed pitching prospect to me. Now he looks like a sturdy big league pitcher. The bad news? He couldn't find the plate. They call it Daniel Cabrera syndrome in Baltimore.

-- Hanley Ramirez, who the Marlins might consider hitting third this season, led off with a walk off Loewen and then stole second and then third on catcher Ramon Hernandez, who three-hopped one to the third-base coach and allowed Ramirez to score. Hanley is in midseason form. Cameron Maybin was ninth in the lineup as the DH in the O's home spring park. Jeremy Hermida hit third. Maybin looked silly on two pitches out of the zone, striking out. The Marlins said if the season started today, Ramirez would leadoff. Maybin, if he makes the team, will be opened in the seventh or eighth spot, behind the catcher.

-- After the first steal, Loewen fanned Dan Uggla. He needs to make better contact to be a real Fantasy star. Those Ks will keep his average low.

-- Brian Roberts led off Sergio Mitre with a walk and a stolen base off Mike Rabelo ... er, check that, two stolen bases. David Gonos and Scott White are both of the opinion Roberts won't steal 50 bases again. He might not. But Roberts has a base-stealer's body. He's built to run and the O's look like a team that will run him ragged ... for as long as he is around. The O's have shopped him and reports had him going to the Cubs numerous times.

-- Jorge Cantu, behind Jose Castillo in the hunt for the third-base job and only in front of Dallas McPherson (back) because McPherson has yet to play, butchered a high chop by Melvin Mora. Roberts was going to score from third anyway, but Cantu has to put Mora out at first on that. Cantu's defense was never his strong suit and it will likely keep him from winning the job. We doubt he can ever have the season he had at the plate a few years ago for the Rays.

-- McPherson tweaked his side in the cage the other day, so he didn't make the trip to Fort Lauderdale. There is immense potential there for a former Angels prospect who once was slugging away with the likes of Ryan Howard for the minor league homer lead. Can't wait to see if McPherson can do anything this spring, but we'll have to wait a few more days.

-- The trainer had to come and get Mitre before he recorded an out. Not a good sign for a Marlins rotation that might have had to count on him as an ace. Avoid Marlins starting pitchers if you can. Scott Olsen and Andrew Miller is all you should concern yourself with at this point. Mitre was removed with right elbow discomfort, according to the Marlins. He's in the Scott Kazmir-zone: likely MRI and a couple weeks of rest.

-- Kevin Millar moved Mora over to third on a fly to right. Watching Millar in the cage earlier this spring, he was focusing on going to right a lot, almost exclusively in the times I saw him. Not something you want your Fantasy 1B to be working on. That's a slugger's spot. But Millar was working good baseball... hitting to the right side with no outs to get a runner on third with one out. O's newbie Luke Scott blew it, though, popping up to short left. Scott has to get that run home there.

-- Jay Gibbons, still one of the most impressive O's in batting practice, is a strong, compact man. He is starting the season on a 15-day suspension for his connections to HGH use.

-- Adam Jones drew one-out walk off Daniel Barone, who replaced Mitre. Good news. Bad news, he was picked off first. It looked like a hit-and-run with a 3-1 count on Luis Hernandez. Jones has had some troubles getting his feet wet with the O's (sign prior intrasquad blog).

-- Nick Markakis smoked a liner to right center and lagged it out for a double.

-- Jorge Cantu cued a soft liner down the line to left and legged out a double, too.

-- Maybin laced a double to right center. And then another down the line to right. Legging them out. He can really fly.

-- And Uggla bombed a shot to left center for an RBI double -- into a stiff wind. No all doubles are created equal. Uggla and Markakis' were most impressive. Watching the game adds a little to those numbers in the box score.

-- Cody Ross, who has a nice bat but is trailing Maybin in the center field battle, hit a long, long three-run homer to left -- again with a wind in his face. He watched it fly, too, knowing it was gone right off the bat. Hey, right off the bat. I guess that is where that phrase comes from -- learn something new every spring.

-- Jamie Walker, who was abused by Maybin, Uggla and Ross, plunked Jeremy Hermida. Walker doesn't look like closer-capable to us. Chalk one up for George Sherrill in the closer's battle.

-- The O's are staring at a year of a lot of long games again. That's some awful pitching.

-- Rabelo showed zilch at the plate. He is worthless in Fantasy. Don't own him. Matt Treanor should start for the Marlins and he is marginally useful in the deepest of NL-only leagues.

-- Hey! Andrew Miller sighting! He was supposed to pitch right behind Mitre, but Mitre's injury led to him waiting behind some relievers. Miller, a rail-thin lefty, has Jered Weaver hair -- new-age mullett-like. ... Miller popped the glove the loudest of all the pitchers so far.

-- Miller walked Adam Jones. Jones is showing a good eye. That's a very good sign. ... if he could only stop making outs on the bases. Miller looked strong against Roberts, getting ahead and inducing a double-play grounder. Miller might not be able to count on the Marlins for defense... especially up the middle, where Ramirez and Uggla are veritable butchers. A solid inning for Miller, who walked Jones and allowed a weak chop to right by Luis Rodriguez.

-- Miller was even more impressive in his second inning, sawing off Kevin Millar, breaking his pink Mother's Day bat. Momma will be so mad. He also made Luke Scott look silly on a strikeout. Scott hitting against lefties? Miller was no match for him.

-- The announcer pronounced it Tagg Bozied (Bose-eyed). Interesting. A name I always mispronounced.

-- Hermida walked. He is a nice No. 3 hitter, a lot of bases runners in Mike Jacobs' and Josh Willingham's future.

This game might go on forever. After three hours and a 12-2 score in just over five innings, I need to head back to the office (down the street) to get some actual work done.

Emack.

Posted on: February 26, 2008 1:47 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2008 4:17 pm
 

O's intrasquad game

The most significant development during the O's intrasquad game was the play of Adam Jones. Not in the good way.

Jones butchered a Ben Davis fly to center. Jones is a tall, athletic outfielder who converted from shortstop in the Mariners system and clearly is not a natural in center. Jones plays shallow -- he is fast enough to -- but he turned the wrong way, manager Dave Trembley said.

Jones tried to Willie Mays-catch Davis' shot to dead center and half-turned back toward the infield, falling down and having the ball come off the end of his glove. It would have been a great catch, but watching it, he was coasting back instead of sprinting. It almost looked as if he expected to make a highlight reel play.

What is worse: Once he fell and missed the ball, he got up nonchalantly -- as if to say like Pee Wee Herman, "I meant to do that" -- brushing himself off calmly, checking for displaced body parts and then ambling over to get the ball. Big, slow catcher Ben Davis was in standing for a triple. Center field is supposed to be a place where athletic outfielders make "triples go to die," but Jones played that one into a three-bagger.

Trembley wasn't "worried," saying he would have been "if the trainer had to come out." Jones was fine, only suffering a bruised ego. Trembley didn't look cheery about the sophomore's performance, even referencing the difference of being in spring training in Arizona vs. Florida.

The problem I had with the play was Jones' too cool for school attitude (visually) about it. Doesn't he realize he is a 22-year-old still fighting for his big league paycheck? He acted like a 10-year veteran who didn't have time for meaningless intrasquad games.

I would have liked to see more desperate hustle.

To add to Jones' woes, he was doubled off first on a line-drive to the infield in the bottom half of the inning and earlier ran into an out, getting hit by a ball off the bat.

Jones was one of my favorite overlooked sophomores. I am a little less intrigued, despite his physical presence and talent. I just don't like the mental mistakes and lack of urgency -- even in spring training. Burgeoning stars only get lazier as years goes on. Lazy players are less likely to become superstars and at least less likely to stay superstars.

Emack.
 
 
 
 
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