• Mar

    HHP: Frobby's Ten Takeaways From Spring Training

    by Frobby

    Most of my takeaways from spring training are positive.  We all know spring training only means so much, but here it goes:
    1.  Crush looks ready to have another very good season.
    2.  Schoop is going to help this team a lot, either right away or soon enough.
    3.  Clevenger is the best hitting backup catcher the Orioles have had in many years.  We'll see how he is with the glove.
    4.  Lough is everything he was cracked up to be in the field.   We'll see about the bat, but he held his own this spring.
    5.  I think Flaherty can take at least a small step forward offensively.
    6.  The zing is back in Nick's bat.   Six doubles, a triple and a homer in 13 games this spring (45 at bats).  I know spring hitting isn't regular season hitting, but in the second half of last year Nick couldn't get an extra base hit even if he hit it flush on the barrel.   Whatever the problem was, it's over.
    7.  DH will be much improved with Cruz and whoever else backs him up.
    8.  The starting pitchers in the Opening Day rotation don't look real sharp yet.  Each one has had a couple of good outings and a couple of dogs, and nobody really seems dialed in.    The starting pitching should be improved this year but I'm a bit nervous that we may get off to a slow start on that front.
    9.  Gausman is going to help this team this year when he gets his opportunity.
    10.  While I am not sure how Tommy Hunter will fare as closer, I think the bullpen looks excellent overall.   I expect a better bullpen performance in 2014 even if the 9th  inning seems shaky at times.   Britton in particular is looking like dynamite, and Meek has impressed.  We have a lot of good options in AAA, too.
    Bring it on, I'm feeling very good about this team so long as the starting pitchers round into form.

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