Tag:Adam Loewen
Posted on: June 24, 2008 6:02 pm
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Video notes for Pitching Planner

-- Carlos Zambrano hopes to return July 4. Should we start this guy this week?

-- Mark Mulder, Ian Kennedy, Josh Johnson, Adam Loewen and Mike Hampton are on rehab assignments. When are these guys expected to be back and is there any value here?

-- Calendar turns to July and which pitchers should Fantasy owners worry about being traded? C.C. Sabathia, Erik Bedard, A.J. Burnett, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Greg Maddux.

-- The A's have a potential All-Star in Justin Duchscherer. Can he keep this up?

Must-start, two-start pitcher
Aaron Harang
(06/30) vs. PIT Zach Duke
(07/05) vs. WAS Shawn Hill
95 percent owned 61 percent starting

Sit, two-start pitcher
Randy Johnson ARI
(07/01) vs. MIL Jeff Suppan
(07/06) vs. SD Greg Maddux
85 percent owned 39 percent starting

Two-start sleepers
Nate Robertson DET
(07/01) @ MIN Scott Baker
(07/06) @ SEA Miguel Batista
25 percent owned 12 percent starting

Dave Bush MIL
(06/30) @ ARI Doug Davis
(07/05) vs. PIT Tom Gorzelanny
11 percent owned 7 percent starting

Emack.

Posted on: April 23, 2008 11:22 am
 

Video notes for Pitching Planner

My notes this week for the Week 5 Pitching Planner videocast...

-- Geez, Ben Sheets way to let us down when we finally start to trust you ... returns next week as a two-start pitcher?
-- Josh Beckett, really dude?
-- Phil Hughes struggling, Ian Kennedy struggling and Hank Steinbrenner trying to jump the gun on Joba Chamberlain
-- Erik Bedard, John Lackey, Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza, Mike Hampton, Mark Mulder and Kevin Slowey nearing returns from the DL
-- Doug Davis might return May 9, which means Matt Scherzer's great start in Triple-A will buy D-Backs time

Must-start two-start pitcher
Phil Hughes NYY
(04/29) vs. DET Kenny Rogers 
(05/04) vs. SEA Carlos Silva
83 percent owned 36 percent started

Advisable sit two-start pitcher
Todd Wellemeyer STL
(04/28) vs. CIN Bronson Arroyo
(05/04) vs. CHC Rich Hill 
76 percent owned 64 percent started

Two-start pitching sleepers

Greg Smith OAK
(04/29) @ ANA Joe Saunders
(05/04) vs. TEX Luis Mendoza
28 percent owned 17 percent started

Franklin Morales COL
(04/28) @ SF Matt Cain 
(05/04) vs. LA Derek Lowe
25 percent owned 10 percent started

Andrew Miller FLA
(04/29) vs. LA Derek Lowe
(05/04) vs. SD Greg Maddux 
27 percent owned 9 percent started

Adam Loewen BAL
(04/29) vs. TB Jason Hammel 
(05/04) @ ANA Joe Saunders 
14 percent owned 7 percent started

Emack.

Posted on: April 23, 2008 10:05 am
Edited on: April 23, 2008 10:06 am
 

A few notes on under-the-radar guys

Jamey Eisenpod gave me a homework assignment for the podcast, so I figured I would share my work with you. I once allowed Will Allen to copy off my calculus homework at Syracuse, so I am not unaccustomed to helping others.

The assignment was: Name some sleepers off the waiver wire who are owned in less than 30 percent of leagues right now:

1. Homer Bailey

Josh Fogg has been banished to the bullpen. Matt Belisle returned from the DL unspectacularly. The Reds are struggling some. Dominican Dandys Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez are cruising. And, to top everything off, Bailey is off to a great start in Triple-A. We have hyped Bailey a bit too much for an American pitcher with a smooth, cookie-cutter delivery that has yet to fool anyone in the majors, but Bailey has a great arm and could finally hit stride in the bigs and be a winner for your Fantasy team.

2. Aaron Laffey

Jake Westbrook (ribcage) is out 2-to-4 weeks and the Indians need a No. 5 starter. Laffey is pitching a little bit better than Jeremy Sowers right now and was the one who finished last season in the rotation and entered spring with the spot to lose. Red-hot Cliff Lee took it from Laffey, but the similar lefty should be the one to get the call Saturday and is a sleeper for all leagues immediately. The Indians won't stay down for long.

3. Clint Barmes

Barmes' career has been all downhill ... downstairs? ... since the deer meat incident, but he is scorching at the plate right now and stealing everyday at-bats from underwhelming rookie Jayson Nix. Consider Barmes if you have a need in the middle infield in deeper leagues. The first half of his rookie year he really looked like something special, even if he hasn't much since.

4. Franklin Morales, Andrew Miller and Adam Loewen

All three of these guys are elite pitching prospects struggling with their command right now and getting dropped in numerous leagues. They will eventually develop into sturdy Fantasy options -- perhaps as soon as midseason. If you have room for an early flier, buy low now. Also, they are two-start pitchers for deeper leagues if you want to take a chance on their talent coming through even sooner.

5. Conor Jackson

Very likely not available, but take note he is finally hitting with authority and producing runs. He has never been a monster power bat, but the D-Backs everyday first baseman said this spring he would stop trying to hit homers. He is, after all, a cleanup hitter on a top contender and a first baseman. But, a crazy thing happens when you stop trying to hit homers -- you actually start hitting homers. Jackson is becoming a must-have Fantasy option in all leagues at the deep first base position.

6. Richie Sexson

One first base going up in Jackson and one going down in Sexson. 'Son of a. But Sexson is showing more power and says it is a result of getting more lift on his swing. He had five homers entering this week but easily could have had two more of Torii Hunter didn't bring a pair of his back already. Sexson will strike out a ton, but as a free-agent-to-be veteran he could be a sleeper off the waiver wire in a low-end comeback year.

Pitching Planner notes to come later today.

Emack.

Posted on: March 24, 2008 1:02 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2008 3:23 pm
 

Meet the Mets

FORT LAUDERDALE -- John Maine former struggling O's prospect vs. Adam Loewen current O's prospect looking to establish himself. The top three in the Mets lineup is opening day quality -- Jose B. Reyes, Luis Castillo and David Wright. Like always the O's have their No. 1 lineup going at home.

-- Jose Reyes and David Wright both look beefed up this spring. They are still growing. At their age, I guess I should not be surprised.

-- Castillo smacked a double to left center and then looked as if he hobbled into second. He really doesn't look like he is running that well. If you are counting on 20 steals from him at this point... forget it. He is coming off knee surgery, got a late start in camp and clearly doesn't look 100 percent. To top off his bad-kneed jaunt to second, he was picked off second on a Wright lineout to first.

Castillo was a guy who could be a 20-plus steals threat with the running Mets -- Willie Randolph is a manager from the 80s era that favored the steal -- but his legs have gotten old the past few years. And surgery looks like it didn't help any.

-- Reyes made a highlight-reel stab of a Brian Roberts grounder up the middle, spun and fired a pea to nail a speedy runner by three steps. That was impressive. Reyes has a cannon arm. He probably can throw in the mid-90s.

-- Maine blew away Nick Markakis to end a 1-2-3 first. Maine was a 15-game winner in his first full season. This year, 20 wins wouldn't be out of the question. Toss in 200 Ks, too. He could finish the year in the top 10 of Fantasy aces. Sign him up in the middle rounds.

-- OK, so Maine was outstanding all told today. A third-year starting pitcher who can compete on the level of anyone this season. He had 20-win stuff today, albeit against the lowly O's lineup.

-- Fernando Tatis walked past me before warming up. He is now no bigger than I. Hm. Strange. He used to be a lot bigger, I thought. He of the two grand slams in one innings -- poor Chan Ho Park. I guess we shouldn't feel bad for Park. The Rangers still paid him a bazillion dollars.

-- Ryan Church is here today. He of the 40-plus double in old RFK. He has always had a nice OPS bat and his doubles can become homers in Shea. He has always hit well there. He is a fairly big guy. Not as stocky/bulky as a David Wright... but his shoulders and stature are a bit bigger.

Church moves fairly well for a big guy ... better than what Castillo moved like on his double. But Church did ground into a DP in the second.

In the top of the third, Church sat down next to hitting coach Howard Johnson. They were having an inning-long conversation. HoJo is a good tutor for him. He knows a little bit about turning doubles into homers.

Emack.

Posted on: March 19, 2008 1:45 pm
Edited on: March 19, 2008 3:41 pm
 

Wireless Cards at the Fort vs. the O's

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Cardinals at the O's today. Adam Loewen vs. Brad Thompson. Albert Pujols, shaky elbow in tow, is here. I have finally sequestered a wireless card, so I can blog LIVE from the Fort now. I will try to update you as we go.

-- Skip Schumaker is leading off and the likely opening day man in that spot. I am not a Schumaker guy. He might get on base, but he is the David Eckstein of outfielders -- ie, he won't do much for you.

-- Brian Barton hit second and walked. There is a talent I can dig. He is toolsy and a nice sleeper in NL-only leagues. There is no way the Cardinals let this Rule-5 pick go back to the Indians.

-- So much for that sore elbow. Geez, Pujols hit a monster blast to center off Loewen. He has such easy power. I might have to rethink my avoiding him in Head-to-Head leagues. He is such an incredible talent.

-- Melvin Mora laced another double to left center, clearing a diving Schumaker. Mora has had an awesome spring. I might start thinking he has more value than nothing more than an AL-only option. Hitting in front of Nick Markakis certainly helps him get pitches to hit. And as for Schumaker -- he hustled, sure, scrappy Eckstein-like player -- but Brian Barton might have run that down without having to dive.

-- Right after I type that, Schumaker beats out and infield bleeder that Mora backhanded but couldn't get him out at first. Skippy dove head-first into first base. Looks great to the fans eye and shows hustle, but Colby Rasmus would have beaten that out running away. OK, enough Skippy bashing. You can tell I am more than a bit bitter Rasmus didn't make the team.

-- Troy Glaus booted one at third, but they ruled it a hit. He most certainly is not Scott Rolen. More power, but even worse injury woes and far more inconsistency at the plate.

-- Looking at the thick of the Cardinals lineup, Pujols looks better protected than he has been in years. Chris Duncan in the two-hole is about to take off, while Glaus and a burgeoning slugger in Rick Ankiel follow. Yet another reason to perhaps roll the dice on Pujols' elbow after the top five are off the board. Pujols is the greatest hitter of our generation ... better than A-Rod and better than a younger Barry Bonds at the same stage. Getting a piece of that talent later this year could be a blessing in disguise -- if he can only fend off elbow surgery.

-- Loewen gets bounced with two out in the second. Ouch. Not a great return from a sore shoulder. He is a nice young talent, but you cannot count on him this year. Talk to me next year or in 2010 and you will have a superb Fantasy sleeper, perhaps an ace.

-- Ankiel's line-shot RBI single to right surrounded by walks to Pujols and Adam Ludwick and an HBP on Troy Glaus did Loewen in. Pujols also tried to score from second on the Ankiel liner, but Markakis starred him down between third and home and forced him to retreat. Markakis has a solid, accurate arm. Not quite Ankiel-quality, though. Ankiel threw a pea in one Mora's first-inning double.

-- OK, I am obessed with Pujols and his elbow. I watch his every move. He warmed up free and easy before the game. He shook the hand of the O's first base coach with his right arm -- very sternly, in fact. He makes quick, sharp throws around the infield after putouts. Also, he doesn't wear an ace bandage or any brace on his elbow. Teammates Adam Kennedy and Ludwick do, by the way.

If Pujols' elbow hurts, it certainly doesn't show.

How torn can that ulnar ligament actually be? Heck, has played threw it since 2003 -- mostly spectacularly. I have had a sore elbow, sans torn ligament, and not capable of making max-effort throws Pujols appears to be making here.

Granted, 10 percent of Pujols doing anything exceeds me, but there just doesn't appear to be any holding back with the elbow that we could expect with tendinitis, inflammation and bone spurs. His doctor said those symptoms are getting progressively worse and won't be correctable without surgery. Pujols said he still expects to avoid ever having surgery. So far this spring, he looks more right -- and brilliant -- than his doctor.

Pujols came into the game hitting .350 with four homers and a .775 SLUG. He also has five doubles. Nine of his 14 hits are for extra bases. He is a one-man wrecking crew. But, of course, we know that already.

-- Luke Scott is not in left for the O's for his defense. He has a nice OPS bat. But his arm is weak, weak. He made no attempt to nail Kennedy at home on a Cesar Izturis single to left center. It looked like he could have had a chance, instead, he two-hopped one to second.

-- Man on second, no outs, Schumaker bounced to short and didn't advance the runner. OK, I lied, more Skippy bashing. Barton up, a good player. Darn it. Strikeout. Pujols will make up for it off Jim Johnson. Laser shot past shortstop Brandon Fahey. That one came in at 90 MPH, went out at about 120.

-- Speaking of Scott's lollypop-maker ... Glaus doubled to left. Pujols ran all the way around from first. Sliding into home past Fahey's long relay. Pujols avoided the catcher to the inside of the plate and swiped with his right arm. Best part about the sequence of events: No torn ligament on the play. Even when he slides into home, he angles to show how healthy his right elbow is (smiley face).

-- In the something you won't read in the box score category: The O's brought in promising reliever Dennis Sarfate in the middle of the fifth with one on and one out, facing Pujols, Glaus and then Ankiel. They apparently wanted to test their burgeoning late-inning reliever against the best. Four pitch walk to Pujols, walk to Glaus and Ankiel ... well, Ankiel wasn't going to walk with the bases loaded -- he rarely shows much patience ... Ankiel singled sharply to center. Ankiel gets away with being aggressive and Sarfate sinks lower on the relief depth chart behind closer George Sherrill, lefty Jamie Walker and righty submariner Chad Bradford.

-- Duncan came in to pinch hit in the seventh. Lefty vs. Sarfate, still in the game. Homer off the left-field power pole. A lefty going line to line. Duncan is an impressive hitter. Line to line power. He could have been a .300-30-100-100 player last year if not for the hernia issue in late July that basically crippled him the final two months.

-- Damn! Egg on my face and foot in my mouth -- at least stamping on my keyboard. Two-run homer Skip Schumaker. He also doubled to deep left off Scott's glove. Scott almost brought the double back from going over the fence. To keep up our Skippy bashing... there is a stiff wind blowing out to left -- failed to mention that on the Duncan homer, by the way (smiley face).

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.

 
 
 
 
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