Allow me to introduce to you the starting lineup of the 2013 Orioles based upon their performance in Spring Training (with less than a week to go). It is going to be a little bit surprising as to who has made the club and who will be cut. Don’t think of it only as the results of tryouts, think of it as a salary savings!
March 25, 2013; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher T.J. McFarland (66) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
2B – Brian Roberts – (.333) – no problems here!
CF – Trayvon Robinson – .326
LF – Lew Ford – .405
1B – Steve Pearce – .368 with 6 homers
C – Matt Wieters – (.429) – awesome!
RF – Conor Jackson – .327
3B – Danny Valencia – .323
DH – Jason Pridie – .310
SS – Ryan Flaherty – .239
Backup Catcher – Luis Exposito (.381)
Utility Players – Chris Dickerson (.306), Alexi Casilla (.304), Chris Davis (.318)
Starters – Jake Arrieta, Steve Johnson, Dylan Bundy, Jair Jurrjens, Kevin Gausman
Relievers – Mark Hendrickson, T.J. McFarland, Darren O’Day, Luis Ayala, Tommy Hunter, Mike Belfiore, Brian Matusz
Not making the cut – Adam Jones (.182), Nick Markakis (DL?), Nolan Reimold (.244), Nate McClouth, (.220), J.J. Hardy (.179), Taylor Teagarden (.304), Manny Machado (.256), Wilson Betemit (.216/DL), Chris Tillman (no stats), Jason Hammel (5.00 in 9 innings), Wei-Yin Chen (8.22), Miguel Gonzalez (4 innings), Jim Johnson (7.50), Pedro Strop (5.40), Troy Patton, (6.75)
So, if you count it up, it is less than half of the players who actually WILL make the final 25-man roster. (I will say that the staring five pitchers does not look all that bad!) With the statistics so entirely upside-down from what you would expect, it makes one wonder what the full benefits of spring training really are. Is it simply a matter that the guys with the good numbers are fighting for their lives to get a job and are thereby more focused, while those with the better career records are relaxing and working on certain specific elements of their game? Hope so! And this strategy of hiding pitchers and giving them work against minor league hitters ……… more on that another day.