Baltimore Sun

Quick notes -- Twins 8, Orioles 7

I'm back. To everyone who e-mailed me with concerns on my whereabouts for the past week, I'd like to express my appreciation for your continuous support of O's on Deck. I apologize for the lack of entries in the past week, but it was beyond my control.

As several readers correctly noted, I was on vacation and making my way through Florida for Grapefruit League action. I took my laptop on the trip with me, and the plan was to post the typical updates on each game.


Unfortunately, technology didn't agree with my idea and the computer stopped working shortly after my arrival in Florida. I guess the weather was too nice -- 85 degrees and sunny each day -- and the laptop also wanted to take a short respite from the daily grind.

Anyway, I think the problem is solved and I'm back to blogging with daily updates. Opening Day is only two weeks away, and I can't wait for the start of the regular season.


Final score: Twins 8, Orioles 7

Thumbs up

Jolbert Cabrera -- The 36-year-old utility player was 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBIs in today's loss to the Twins. Cabrera also walked twice and scored one run. In 14 Grapefruit League games, he is hitting .448 (13-for-29) with three RBIs and four runs scored. Cabrera is not a potent offensive threat, but he is getting the job done with solid contact after a rough start to the spring. Still, he's likely facing an uphill battle to make the Opening Day roster.

Lou Montanez -- After going 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored against the Twins, Montanez is batting .326 (14-for-43) with seven RBIs and eight runs scored in 18 games this spring. The 27-year-old outfielder has four doubles, which is tied for the most on the Orioles in the Grapefruit League. The numbers crunch might leave Montanez without a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he's doing a good job of proving that he is ready for the major leagues. If he starts strong with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, look for Montanez to be playing at Camden Yards again in 2009.

Scott Moore -- The Orioles removed Moore from the 40-man roster during the offseason, and it seems to have motivated him during spring training. The 25-year-old infielder was 1-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored against the Twins. He hit the home run against Twins starting pitcher Francisco Liriano with two outs in the third inning. For the spring, Moore is hitting .317 (13-for-41) with three home runs and six RBIs.

Justin Turner -- The 24-year-old infielder was 1-for-1 with a walk and an RBI in today's game after replacing Murphy at second base. In 19 Grapefruit League games, Turner is batting .353 (12-for-34) with three doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs. He is tied with Ty Wigginton for the most RBIs on the Orioles this spring. I know there is some support from Orioles fans for Turner to earn a utility spot on the Opening Day roster. While that might not happen, he's certainly auditioning well for his new organization.

Thumbs down

Adam Eaton -- It wasn't a good outing for Eaton, who allowed three home runs and four runs in the sixth inning against the Twins. The 31-year-old right-hander, who is fighting for a spot in the starting rotation, gave up four runs and eight hits in four innings. He had four strikeouts and walked one hitter in the game. With the competition for the Opening Day rotation seemingly changing daily, Eaton likely dropped down a notch with today's performance.


Robby Hammock -- The 31-year-old catcher was 1-for-4 with a strikeout and two runners left on base today. It wasn't an incredibly poor performance for Hammock, who also played left field in the game against the Twins, but I was looking for a chance to highlight his otherwise strong achievements this spring. Hammock is batting .304 (7-for-23) with three doubles and four RBIs in 13 games during the Grapefruit League. Hammock's versatility, in my opinion, gives him an advantage over the other backup catchers. Prior to this season, I didn't know much about him. After seeing Hammock play multiple positions in spring training, I believe he might be the best option to start the season as the backup catcher for the Orioles. That is, of course, if Matt Wieters doesn't somehow head north to Baltimore as a member of the team.

Donnie Murphy -- The 26-year-old utility player continues to struggle in his quest to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster. Murphy was 0-for-2 with a strikeout and two runners left on base today. While I was in Florida, Murphy did make a couple nice plays in the field, but it's probably not enough to make up for his lack of offensive production this spring. He is hitting .121 in 21 games during the Grapefruit League.

Oscar Salazar -- It's been a tough spring for the 30-year-old infielder. Salazar played first base against the Twins, and he was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. In 15 Grapefruit League games, Salazar is batting .226 (7-for-31) with no home runs and three RBIs. The veteran infielder is unlikely to crack the Opening Day roster with those offensive numbers, so it's important that he plays well over the final two weeks of spring training.