Tag:Matt Wieters
Posted on: March 13, 2009 12:59 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2009 3:57 pm

Cardinals-Orioles, March 13

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.



Posted on: February 24, 2009 12:58 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2009 1:41 pm

Italy WBC scrimmage vs. Orioles, Tuesday, Feb. 24

FORT LAUDERDALE -- The last real quiet day of spring training... Italy's WBC team scrimmaged the Orioles on Tuesday:

-- Matt Wieters was behind the plate, leading an Orioles lineup that featured all minor leaguers. Wieters worked out a walk against former major league left-hander Dan Serafini. In the top of the third, Wieters dropped a offering and allowed some nobody to steal. A walk good, the given-away base, not so much.

-- Donnie Murphy singled home Justin Christian for the game's first run -- two former big leaguers who will open the season back in Triple-A. Murphy has a chance to beat out Chris Gomez as a back-up infielder, while Christian has steals potential. Neither player will be more than low-end reserves for AL-only leagues.

-- Scott Moore, who has always had good pop in the minors, doubled home Murphy will a launch to right center, hitting the fence around 385 feet. Moore is another viable major leaguer without a real chance to earn a job this spring.

-- Wieters came up in the bottom of the third as a left-handed hitter, walking again in his only two at-bats. Patience. Funny... because that is what his Fantasy owners will need when he is ushered to Triple-A to start the season. That will come after you paid a premium for him on Draft Day.

-- On the Orioles pitching prospect side, Brian Matusz (Mat-tuhz) started and worked one inning. He allowed a hit but picked off a base-runnner. Bradley Bergesen was much more impressive, popping the glove for the next three innings. Bergesen is a bit of an overlooked prospect in their system. He will be in the high minors with a chance to help the Orioles and AL-only leagues before season's end.

With the slew of pitching prospects the Orioles have, guys like Matusz and Bergesen will be challenged early and often. It might help buy time for some of their elite arms ... and at the same time, help the mid-level prospects like Bergesen get an earlier look than they might otherwise. When the 40-man roster gets cluttered, teams like to know what they have with their pitching prospects first and foremost.

I like Bergesen as a sleeper to surprise. Write that name down.

-- Chris Tillman came next. And no one should be surprised by him. He was one of the key pieces in the Erik Bedard deal, along with 2009 sleeper Adam Jones. Tillman is a tall, thin Chris Carpenter/Adam Wainwright type with mid-90s stuff. Very impressive. He struck out his first batter and induced two weak grounders.

-- Jake Arrieta is warming up in the bullpen. He came in a looked great. While Tillman was impressive with his length and leverage, Arrieta impressed with his strength and power. His legs look real strong -- a good sign for a future front-line starter. Few teams in baseball having this many potentially great pitching prospects. For once, the Orioles look loaded in something.

-- The Italy squad had just a few recognizable pros: Serafini, Philip Barzilla (love his pasta), Mike Costanzo (an Oriole) and Robert Fick (he's Italian?). The most notable names in the dugout were future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza and his godfather Tommy Lasorda, two coaches on the staff.


Posted on: February 19, 2009 5:24 pm

Orioles workouts, Wednesday, Feb. 18

-- The Orioles won't play an intrasquad game this year, but they will play WBC team Italy at noon Tuesday, Feb. 24 in a "friendly." That should beat watching an intrasquad game anyway.

-- Manager Dave Trembley said Koji Uehara threw a lengthy bullpen session, something the Japanese imports are accustomed to. They are used to throwing a lot more on their offdays than American pitchers. It caused Dice-K Matsuzaka to wear down in Year 1, so if you are taking a flier on the 33-year-old Uehara, you might consider dealing him midseason.

-- Trembley has been impressed with Uehara thus far in camp. He was also impressed with back-end rotation candidate Brad Hennessey, who he said had command and movement.

-- George Sherrill (hamstring cramps) and Mark Hendrickson (chronic hip issues from his basketball days) are being brought along more slowly than the other pitching veterans in camp. It shouldn't keep them from competing for the closer's and No. 5 starter's jobs.

-- Matt Wieters was real, real impressive in the batter's box, hitting screaming gap shots in his first five swings. He also took his sixth swing for an opposite field homer. That is a big man with a great swing, especially from the left side. Look out.

-- Wieters wasn't as impressive from the right side, although he did homer from that side, too, during coach-pitch BP.

-- Gregg Zaun was not impressive in BP ... it is real night and day when those two alternate in the cage.


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