It’s getting to be crunch time for the Orioles down in Sarasota. We’ve got news and opinions on Kevin Millwood, Koji Uehara, Jeremy Guthrie, the utility catching position and the Chris Tillman/David Hernandez shake up.
Unfortunately, Jeremy Guthrie struggled again last night in his start against the New York Yankees. His control was shaky, he plunked Mark Teixeira in the elbow, he walked four and allowed four earned runs. The long ball hurt Guthrie last season and it doesn’t appear to be getting much better going into 2010.
Brad Bergesen also had a difficult start today against the Detroit Tigers. He gave up four in the first inning, two of which were put on by walks. “I caught myself a couple of times working too fast,” Bergy told Roch Kubatko.
The only thing more shocking than the Ricky Martin news last night was the news that Baltimore planned to go with Kevin Millwood for their Opening Day starter on the road against Tampa Bay. A move that was much expected, but it’s official now. I expected this move and wasn’t at all alarmed with the delay in the official announcement. Dave Trembley doesn’t post line ups any earlier than he has to, so why share his Opening Day starter earlier than he has to?
Some bad news for Koji Uehara and the Orioles, though also not too shocking. The club announced last night that Koji will begin the season on the disabled list. (Sigh) When will we see the real Koji?
Baltimore also opted to give their utility catching job to Craig Tatum over Chad Moeller. A move that had Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun a little concerned. “I think we’ll end up looking back on the decision as a mistake, but Dave Trembley and Andy MacPhail obviously think that Wieters is mature enough to take care of himself and Kevin Millwood can provide leadership for the young pitchers,” Schmuck said on his blog. “I think what Moeller brings to the table is worth more over the long run than the runner or two that Tatum will throw out this year playing once a week.” I wish I had an opinion on this, but honestly I’ll have to just watch it play out. I’m not too concerned about a guy who will play once or twice a week though.
And finally, as Expatriate reported, the Orioles have sent Chris Tillman to AAA Norfolk to begin the season, which means that David Hernandez has won the final spot in the rotation. Hernandez is 1-1 with a 3.0 ERA this spring and out pitched Tillman for the job. There’s some concern because Tillman is viewed as a highly touted prospect, but I like that the Orioles decided to go with the guy that won the job and not the bigger name. This means that Hernandez will work harder to keep that spot and you can guarantee that Tillman will be lighting up AAA to try to get back up to the bigs.
It reminds me of Brad Bergesen in Spring Training last year. Alfredo Simon got the job over him, but when we went down, Bergy came up and pitched well.
Busy day for the O’s in Spring Training. What do you of the moves and the team has finally come together?