Lee is tentatively scheduled to make his first start with the Baltimore Orioles later today. Lee took live batting practice yesterday and the Orioles will wait and see how his wrist feels today before making a decision on him starting. Obviously it all depends on how he feels, but the hope is to get him two or three at bats.
This would be great news for Orioles fans to mark Lee’s name off that injury list. Roberts and Uehara have also been coming along and there is still optimism that they will be ready for opening day. It will continue to be a wait and see approach when it comes to whether or not these guys are going to play come opening day.
It goes without saying, the Orioles need these guys to be healthy, especially Roberts. There is no one even close to Roberts level who can come in and replace him atop the order. It is hard to find a true lead off hitter like Roberts who has such a large effect on the rest of the lineup.
In other Orioles news, there has been some skepticism over the performance of the Orioles young pitchers this spring training, more specefically, Brad Bergesen. I will probably go into more detail on the expectations of the Orioles young pitchers for this upcoming season in a later post, but I wanted to address Bergesen’s situation right now.
Bergesen was never a top prospect with great “stuff”. He pitched well in the minors and took advantage of the opportunity he was given at the major league level. Bergesen will never be an “ace” or top of the rotation starter, but I still believe he can be a workhorse type back of the rotation starter.
I personally love the way Bergesen pitches. He works fasts, pounds the strike zone, and shows no fear. He makes the most of his two seamer and every time he pitches well against AL East juggernauts like the Yankees and Red Sox he defies the critics. Bergesen has already shown he can be a very streaky pitcher and he needs to find more consistency, but he has shown he can pitch effectively at the major league level.
If he continues to struggle this spring training he is in serious danger of starting the season at Triple-A. I really hope he can turn it around and pitch a little better this spring and make the rotation. The Orioles aren’t deep in starting pitching and they need their young starters to pitch more effectively. This will defenitely be something to keep an eye on the last couple weeks of spring training.
One last note…Jays Journal writer Jared Macdonald passed along a story he wrote recently which you can find here. I think you will find it to be an interesting look into a spring training incident between Matt Wieters and Andrew McCutchen. It creates an intersting debate on how hard players should be performing in spring training games. I personally l am loving the way Wieters plays behind the plate more and more. There are still questions about his hitting, but I think he is really starting to command respect behind the plate and will continue do so for years to come.