The O’s won their last game, if you haven’t been paying attention. The players and Trembley both tried their best to blow it, though. You can check me out on Twitter if you want to know my feelings about Lugo’s ill-advised bunt attempt and Trembley’s decision to leave Jim Johnson in for a third inning. Both were clearly bad calls and backfired as expected. On to more interesting topics…
Alfredo Simon has been called up from Norfolk to provide some help in our struggling bullpen, a corresponding move has not yet been announced but I have a hunch Kam Mickolio has already packed his shit. Simon has been dominant so far in AAA and is in his first year back from the famous Tommy John surgery. He struggles as a starter due to lack of fastball command and no consistent secondary offerings but for one inning it may not matter much. He flashes a mid to upper-90’s heater and has a second pitch and as a reliever you can get by with that. It will at least be interesting to see.
Jake Arrieta has been absolutely dominant so far in Norfolk, posting a 0.36 ERA in 4 starts spanning 25 innings. He has a 0.93 WHIP, 23 strikeouts, and a very good groundball to flyball ratio. Walks have still been a minor issue as he has allowed 10 free passes. In typical Jake Arrieta fashion, he has declared himself ready for his shot. I, for one, am excited to see him. Anyone who knows me knows that I rather enjoy a player who is kind of a cocky asshole. I hope that Arrieta is one and that it will be hilarious. We may have to wait a little while, though. Arrieta would have to be added to the 40 man roster which means someone would have to be removed and the conservative MacPhail will be unlikely to do that just yet. I look for Brad Bergesen to come back up to make a start on May 1. Bergesen was solid in his first Norfolk start and it makes the most sense for him to come right back up. He thinks he has straightened out his issues and is ready to come back already. I remain skeptical of him, as always.
As most of you probably know, our “future corner infielder” tandem of Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell have been struggling so far at Norfolk. Brandon Snyder continues to suck but Bell has been heating up. Bell went 3-4 yesterday with 2 homers and has hit 3 homer in the last two games. He needs to control the strike zone better as he has only 1 walk to 20 strikeouts but he has always had solid plate discipline so I’m sure it will come. I have always been unsure about Snyder, but he is not this bad. I expect he will come out of it and hit for a solid average but with middling power and less than stellar plate discipline. Another corner infielder to keep an eye on however is Brandon Waring at Bowie. Waring has big time power and has already hit 5 homers at Bowie. He strikes out a bunch but has a decent idea of the strike zone to go with it. He will never hit for great averages but if he walks enough and hits for power it won’t matter much.
Chris Tillman’s last Norfolk start was more encouraging than the others and our second most prized prospect, Zach Britton, has been inconsistent so far at Norfolk. Both are obviously worth keeping an eye on.
Matt Hobgood has had a solid start or two which has been good to see, but I still hate the pick.
He is also fat, which may actually work in his favor if he makes it to the big leagues. You know how we feel about fat guys…