Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Roundup: Buress, The 5th Starter, Pitching and Payton...

With only less than six days until Spring Training, the battle for the fifth starter is heating up.

Right now, it looks like Brian Buress may have now become the favorite to earn the position. The bats came alive today; however, more important, Buress went 5 1/3 innings, allowing no runs & six hits.

I see him given the spot just because of the experience level, but he looked good at spots in 2007 and then wilted.

Considering the expectations going into the season, no one expects Buress or anyone to set the world on fire, but you never know.

We, at least know of one guy who will not be on the trip to Baltimore -- Jon Leicester. He was optioned to Triple-A and has 72 hours to accept the assignment or become a free agent since he's now out of minor league options; meanwhile, Brian Roberts sat out today because of back tightness.


The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec has a piece on the Orioles rotation, and for the most part it is a rehash of something we know -- the starting rotation isn't all that strong and towards the end of it, it's weak.

However, I think Cabrera will be close to .500 and will not nearly be as bad as he was last season; Guthrie will be solid, but closer to league average, Loewen will be need to stay healthy if the Orioles are going to be worth anything; alas, Trachsel, I don't have much hope for, but we know what's all about and the fifth spot is still pretty much undetermined.

Well, Jay Payton is a little disheartened that's he not playing everyday and would have liked to earn a chance at a starting job according to a piece by Jeff Zrebeic in the Sun.

Like I have said in previous posts, I find him at least on the field to have always been a real intense individual, and I'm note sure the situation in Baltimore is in line with what Payton needs. I expect him at some point to be traded, but from what I have seen, he's always been a competitor and I'm not surprised he's voicing this to the media -- especially considering his history with the Boston Red Sox.

Melvin Mora is the elder statesmen on the team, and he'll be expected to lend a helping hand, not only on the field, but in the clubhouse...

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