I have no doubt that the WBC games are 100 times more electric than a spring training game. ST games are very relaxing and fun, but they are the opposite of intense. I’m still surprised at the viewing disparity, though I’ll wait until tomorrow night before considering the poll results comparable since I started the WBC poll a day earlier.
Fangraphs credits him with 2.1 fWAR at 3B and 1.7 at SS, so that’s 3.8 so far (it’s possible they might have him dabbling at DH once in a while, we’ll see). At SS, the O’s ranked 18th at 3.4 fWAR, with Mateo and Henderson splitting time roughly 60/40. Fangraphs comments:
“This playing time projection is the numerical equivalent of throwing your hands up in the air. Henderson looks bound for stardom, be it at third or shortstop, but Mateo is still holding on to the position for now after a solid defensive year established him as the everyday starter. His offensive numbers are downright ugly – that .284 projected wOBA is the second-lowest for anyone in this article with 100 or more PAs – but you can get away with that kind of bat at shortstop if your glove is transcendent.
“In 2022, Mateo’s was, but he’d never flashed that level of defense before, so Orioles talent evaluators will have their work cut out for them early in the year. Henderson will likely start the season at third base, but if Mateo’s defense looks shaky, the team should make the switch sooner rather than later. Those offensive numbers next to Henderson’s name are no joke — think Corey Seager, if you’re looking for a parallel as an offense-first lefty shortstop. 2023 is just the start of Baltimore’s plan for contention, but what they do at shortstop will have ramifications for both this year and the future.”
What I've been seeing overall is that a lot of fans were more engaged with the WBC than with their regular team this spring.
Just yesterday I was talking to someone who had gone to the games in Miami and were raving about the experience.
I hadn’t really started the WBC poll with this in mind, but so far it appears that many more OH members tuned into the WBC than have tuned in to O’s spring training games. Considering the composition of the audience, and the frequent complaints about the paucity of O’s spring training broadcasts, that’s not necessarily the outcome I would have expected.
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