FORT LAUDERDALE -- Albert Pujols is in the lineup today. He has a future in this game. Adam Eaton is making his Orioles debut. They need him to eat innings to save their precious young arms. He fits the bill, but won't have much Fantasy value.
-- Skip Schumaker is playing second base and leading off. Khalil Greene is playing shortstop. David Freese is on loan from minor league camp as the DH. He had already been sent out and ruled out of the mix to start at third. Colby Rasmus is hitting ninth and playing center. Catcher prospect Bryan D. Anderson is in the lineup, too.
-- Schumaker singled to center. Joe Thurston singled to right. Pujols RBI double. Frozen rope to left. Pujols never ceases to amaze.
-- Orioles have all but Nick Markakis, Melvin Mora and Cesar Izturis in their lineup. Matt Wieters is catching and Gregg Zaun is DHing. Wieters is hitting .409 but still hasn't done enough to win a job yet. I am still hopeful he can. Wieters threw a ball into center on a John Jay steal attempt. There was no advance, but Wieters missed by a wide margin.
-- Adam Jones, who told us early this spring he has designs on 30-40 steals (Why not? he says), stole second in the first inning. It wasn't close. He is 6-for-6 in steal attempts and now leads all of baseball in spring training. Beat writer says, "Spring training, pal." I responded: "Hey, you have to show it now to do it then. You practice how you play." I am upgrading Jones' projected steals from 12 to 20. I won't be surprised to see myself to upgrade it to 25 sooner than later.
-- SS Greene came up against left-hander Jamie Walker in the fourth with a runner on. Emack says to beat writer: "I am going to predict a homer to left here." Crack! Emack: "I am a Xod-XXmned genius, Gump." Beat writer: "Good call."
Greene has serious power potential for a shortstop and I wouldn't mind him being my Fantasy shortstop in any league this season. Wait on the position and take Greene. La Russa has a way of getting the best out of his guys. Ryan Ludwick, anyone? Greene is his next project. So far, so brilliant.
-- Chris Perez pitched the ninth, but he certainly didn't impress in his bid to close. He served up a walk, RBI double and RBI single, nearly blowing a three-run lead. He clearly has work to do. Those O's bats of Adam Donachie, Justin Turner and Lou Montanez were not really much of a challenge.
-- I am picking up John Mayberry in the NL-only analysts league tonight. He has proving to be a diamond in the rough. That is a great ballpark for him to get his feet wet as a reserve. The son of the former Royal, Mayberry can earn at-bats and with someone like Werth starting there -- and never having been a full-season regular before -- Mayberry could get more at-bats than you might think. Hopefully no one in my league reads this message. If they do and pick him up, I will laugh uncontrollably at them for not being independent thinkers. I never read their stories. :-) Seriously, I would take it as a compliment if they scoop him up on me.