Which O's pitcher are you most interested in monitoring this spring?
It would be ridiculous not to talk Orioles today, when pitchers and catchers report in Sarasota, Fla.
Let’s limit the discussion to pitchers.
Who do you want to watch closely over the next six weeks?
I’ll throw out some names.
There’s Kevin Millwood, the new staff veteran who is pitching for another big contract. I think it will be intriguing to see not only how he throws, but also how he interacts with the young guys.
There’s Brian Matusz, last year’s phenom, who is one of the American League’s leading candidates for 2010 Rookie of the Year.
There’s Brad Bergesen, victim of TVspotgate 2009. Bergesen was the biggest surprise in the first half of last season before being sidelined by a severely bruised shin in July. He had a setback in December when he strained his shoulder filming an Orioles commercial. He’ll start the spring about 10 days behind the other pitchers.
There’s 21-year-old starter Chris Tillman, who is technically competing for the fifth starter’s job. But so long as he doesn’t fall completely apart or get hurt, it’s his spot. And I don’t see Tillman getting rattled in spring training.
There’s Jake Arrieta, the third member of the three-person pitching cavalry and the one who hasn’t made it to the bigs yet.
There’s Mike Gonzalez, the club’s new closer, who had trouble nailing down saves last year with the Atlanta Braves but should be fine at the back end of the bullpen.
There’s Koji Uehara, who is being moved to a relief role and needs to prove he can handle it. The ability is there; health and stamina remain questions.
Millwood’s the guy I am probably most interested in watching, but I’m also curious about Kam Mickolio, whom the Orioles would love to have claim one of the available relief spots. Mickolio can pitch, but the Montana native is still extremely raw.
There are plenty of interesting story lines involving the pitchers this spring. Which one has you the most intrigued?
Daily Think Special: Which O’s pitcher are you most interested in monitoring this spring?