The calendar flipped over to March this weekend, which means we are less than a month away from Opening Day, and the Baltimore Orioles have gotten off to a 2-1 start on their Spring Training schedule and will return to action today against the Minnesota Twins. Once a week, until the season starts, we are going to check in and see who the studs and duds are for the O's thus far.
Baltimore has been swinging the bat fairly well thus far, and have piled on the runs at times with a seven and a five run inning already under their belt. It is still very early on in the spring, but there have already been some guys to turn some heads and others that have lowered them.
Let's see who the studs and duds have been thus far.
- Delmon Young – He has hit .600 (3-5) with a double thus far, but his swing looks great and has not been shy about hitting the ball the other way.
- Steve Clevenger - Clevenger, who is competing for the backup job to Matt Wieters, has looked very good thus far this spring offensively as he is hitting .500 (3-6) with two RBI and a run scored. Defensively, he still has some work to do, but he has had a hot bat thus far.
- Jonathan Schoop – Perhaps the hottest hitter in camp right now as he is hitting .500 (2-4) with a doubles, three RBI, two runs scored and a walk, and has also added two home runs in the team's intra-squad games. He is making quite a push to try and take the starting second baseman job away from Ryan Flaherty.
- Francisco Peguero - Leading the team in at bats, Peguero is hitting .400 (4-10) with a triple, three RBI, and a run scored and his triple capped off a seven run eighth inning in the Orioles come from behind 9-7 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays this past Saturday.
- Eddie Gamboa – The only pitcher to have made multiple appearances thus far this Spring for the Birds, Gamboa has not allowed a hit, and has struck out three in his 1 1/3 innings pitched.
- Steve Johnson – Among the pitchers to have thrown two innings, Johnson is the only one without a blemish on the stat line as he did not allow a hit or walk and he also struck out two.
- Chris Tillman – Although he did allow a hit, Tillman was very impressive in his one start thus far as he struck out three and did not walk a batter during his two innings.
- Edgmer Escalona – The right hander is fighting for a spot in the Orioles bullpen, but his campaign did not get off to a great start as he allowed five runs on four hits, one of which was a home run, and one walk in his one inning of work.
- T.J. McFarland – Although many do not give him a chance, McFarland is trying to win the fifth spot in the starting rotation, but his one outing thus far did not do much to improve his chances as he allowed three runs on three hits, and two walks in just one inning of work.
- Eduardo Rodriguez – No longer an unknown asset for the Orioles, the young left hander got a taste of Red Sox this weekend and did not fare so well as he allowed four runs on four hits, one of which was a Mike Napoli homer, and one walk over two innings of work.
- Nolan Reimold – Although he has walked twice, that has been the only time he has been making an impact as his swing looks way off and he has yet to get a hit in his seven plate appearances this spring.
- Johnny Monell – Many thought he would give Clevenger a run for the backup job to Wieters, but thus far all Monell has done is try and keep the people in the stands cool with a breeze as he has struck out three times in his four at bats this spring and has yet to get a hit, or even get on base. His swing seems very off kilter, and unmechanically sound.
You may notice that most of the "big name" Orioles do not appear on this list and that is due to the fact that the starters have not really went on the road and the Orioles have been the visitors in two of their three games thus far.
It is still extremely early, but some guys are already turning heads and improving their chances of making the team, while others are already making it a tough climb ahead.
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