Mar 7, 2014; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (31) throws a pitch during the spring training exhibition game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles: Dan Duquette Has A Good Friday


 

After being brutalized for most of the offseason by many, many followers of the Baltimore Orioles, Dan Duquette has to be liking the change of seasons now in spring training. And Friday had to be a day with a good bit of feeling of vindication.

The following home team box score would surely make any general manager feel good – even if it is early in spring training, where the Orioles are now 5-2 …

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Phillies 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 4 6 2
Orioles 0 2 4 4 2 1 1 1 x 15 16 1

 

Particularly contributing to the effort was a 4-for-4 day for Nick Markakis that included two doubles and a triple. Without doubt, Nick is one of the primary cogs that makes the O’s wheel turn. Hearing of the fitness-oriented offseason for Markakis, along with knowing his internally-intense personality and certain core-level irritation about the results of last season, has had me thinking that Nick might come into this 2014 season with a vengeance. Appears so!

Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop hit homers, while J.J. Hardy also collected three hits, and it was a great offensive day for the Orioles. But it gets better!

The starting pitchers on this day featured the first Orioles flight for Ubaldo Jimenez, by fate against the Phillies’ A.J. Burnett – who in some fashion sorta left Duquette and the Orioles at the altar this offseason. Here’s the line that had to even crease the stoic face of Duquette with a wee smile …

Pitchers

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Burnett

3.0

7

6

6

1

1

1

12.60

Jimenez

2.0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0.00

 

 

 

 

Ubaldo Jimenez looked great, throwing 17 of 25 pitches for strikes. That’ll work! But wait, there’s more …

Not that anyone wishes harm upon anyone else, and not that this will likely eventuate into a long-term issue, but the reports out of the Diamondbacks camp indicate that Bronson Arroyo is going to miss 7 to 10 days with a back injury. Another pitcher that the Orioles would have probably, at one point, preferred to sign over Jimenez, Arroyo is known for his consistent health and long-term, innings-eating durability. An MRI revealed a slightly-bulging disk, and that does not sound good to me.

Not to pile on, as the sample size is terribly small, but Grant Balfour has a 9.00 ERA right now. And likewise, Jim Johnson is at 6.00 in three games – three innings, four hits and a home run.

Yes, yes, yes… it is as early as it can be, and full vindication cannot come until October, but, all I’m saying is that compared to January and the first half of February, DDDD has to be feeling a good bit better.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Dan Duquette Featured Nick Markakis Popular Ubaldo Jimenez