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Four weeks until pitchers and catchers report; what on-field spring story lines interest you?


Frobby

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Seems to me the major story lines are:

- Who is the odd man out of the five-man rotation, and what do they do with the 6th guy?

- Is Wieters healthy enough to be ready by Opening Day? (Note: I don't think Machado is really an issue.)

- Can either of our Rule 5 pitchers, especially Garcia, stick with the club?

- How does Buck use the last couple of position player slots? An extra outfielder or an extra infielder?

Off the field, I think a trade of a pitcher for a hitter may occur, if it hasn't happened already before spring training begins.

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- How does Alvarez look against MLB pitching in spring training games?

That will be a bit interesting, and I'd throw Walker in there, as well. The only thing I'd say is that the first two weeks of ST games are pretty meaningless because there are so many MiL pitchers pitching in games and even the major leaguers are just scraping the rust off, not throwing much breaking stuff, etc. So even if these guys are hitting .400 on March 15, I won't be too excited. If they're still hitting well on March 30, I'll take notice.

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That will be a bit interesting, and I'd throw Walker in there, as well. The only thing I'd say is that the first two weeks of ST games are pretty meaningless because there are so many MiL pitchers pitching in games and even the major leaguers are just scraping the rust off, not throwing much breaking stuff, etc. So even if these guys are hitting .400 on March 15, I won't be too excited. If they're still hitting well on March 30, I'll take notice.

Schoop hit his way on to the MLB club last spring.

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Alvarez is an interesting guy to watch for sure. By not acquiring another outfielder, his opportunity is knocking. Of course I predicted Urrutia would break through last year so I'm probably way off :(

Urrutia is a guy to watch again in 2015 ;)

Is Guasman ready to be a full time major league starting pitcher?

Schoop being pushed by Navarro.

Can Wieters be a part time DH? Joseph showed capability defensively, maybe he should get some regular playing time and let Wieters DH a bit, keep him rested. At least early in the season.

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Several story lines for me.

David Lough. I think he is our answer in right field. He's proved he can hit at the minor league and major league levels. He just hasn't done it for the O's yet.

He has a great arm. Has plus range. And he has outstanding speed on the base paths. Just give him 300 abs to start the season and watch him produce.

Garcia. I think he's going to be the real deal. Problem is will he have enough time in spring training to prove it. He will be a project where Wallace can really prove his worth. If he can get him around the strike zone with some consistency,the

O's could have one of the best bull pens in baseball.

Weiters/Machado. Their health is paramount to the O's success this year. With a solid comeback from both of them, the O's are in contention. Without it we're going to struggle. Manny's knees and Weiters arm. Anatomy 101 for the O's this spring.

Pearce. Just do what you've been doing and we have a 2,3,5 hitter.

Davis. Can he rediscover the strike zone? There were times last year when he didn't have a clue. Big year for him and it starts in Sarasota.

Does Duquette's status continue to be a distraction? Does it become an on field issue?

Does Brady emerge as the GM in waiting? Does he become more visible?

How does Buck handle the rule five picks? Will he give them the innings they need to prove themselves? Early spring training games will be where he gives them their shot. They need to come to camp ready to go.

One more. Jonathon Schoop. Gigantic spring for him. Can he show a semblance of knowledge of the strike zone. If he can develop the way most of us think he can, the O's have their core for 2015 and beyond. Just a huge spring and year for him.

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Who is poised to make up for Cruzs lost production? Someone will need to be the big bat next to Jones. I'll follow that up by asking which Chris Davis will we see? Did Wieters really turn a page offensively or was it just a hot start?

Has Schoop found out how to hit? If he still looks overmatched you've got to consider making a trade for a 2B or cross your fingers that Navarro isn't just depth.

Which starting pitcher gets injured? No one is going in the BP or AAA so someone will likely pull a Jimenez and trip in the parking lot if there are no real injuries.

Machados knees, Wieters elbow.

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Does Duquette's status continue to be a distraction? Does it become an on field issue?

Does Brady emerge as the GM in waiting? Does he become more visible?

.

DD is best to keep his mouth shut right now about it, and just let Buck talk about it.

"I talked to Dan today. I saw him. I trust and I know our club is running the way it should be in the offseason. I'm very proud to work with Dan."

----------

But Showalter shrugged off the uncertainty.

"We're fine," he said. "The way we've set it up, it kind of runs itself. We've got a lot of good people in place, including Dan, and I'm looking forward to the season."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bs-sp-pathfinders-0122-20150121-story.html

It sounds like the other stuff is just made up after reading this again.

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I want to see what Paredes can do. He struggled at 3b but would like to see if he can make the move to the outfield and play decent defense. I like his bat over Lough because he can switch hit and also has good speed on the bases. Lough clearly is a better defender but if Paredes can play outfield and also 2nd and 3rd if needed i would like to see him make the roster if no player is added.

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Seems to me the major story lines are:

- Who is the odd man out of the five-man rotation, and what do they do with the 6th guy?

- Is Wieters healthy enough to be ready by Opening Day? (Note: I don't think Machado is really an issue.)

- Can either of our Rule 5 pitchers, especially Garcia, stick with the club?

- How does Buck use the last couple of position player slots? An extra outfielder or an extra infielder?

Off the field, I think a trade of a pitcher for a hitter may occur, if it hasn't happened already before spring training begins.

I think you pretty much hit on the biggest stuff. I don't think position player wise there is much intrigue, just whoever we add before the season.

Position players

Wieters or temporary fill in

Joseph

Manny

Flaherty

Pearce

JJ

Schoop

Davis

DeAza

Jones

Lough

Young

???????

I think if Garcia makes it Webb or Matusz will have to be dealt.

Britton, O'Day, Hunter, Brach, and Wright are locks. So that leaves Webb, Matusz and Garcia to fill out last two spots. TJ will start year at AAA. One issue with that pen is no one has options left.

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