Ruthless Rewind: O's make some roster decisions

(Associated Press )
April 02, 2010|by Matt Vensel | | b free daily

Outside of the Orioles whittling down the big-league roster to 25 guys, it was a slow news week. Don't worry, I still found local sports stuff to make fun of, though.

[1] The Orioles open the 2010 season Tuesday at Tampa Bay, but their roster was pretty much finalized the middle of this week. The biggest story (even though the writing has been on the wall) was that David Hernandez was named the O's fifth starter, not Chris Tillman. Hernandez had a nice spring, posting a 3.00 ERA in five outings while striking out 20 in 15 innings. But Hernandez went 4-10 with a 5.42 ERA in 20 outings last season, so you have to wonder how long he'll stick with the big-league club, especially considering the O's tough April schedule. If he maintains the consistency he showed this spring, he'll stick, allowing Tillman to develop at Triple-A Norfolk a little longer.

[2] The O's acquired veteran SS Julio Lugo from the Cardinals on Wednesday. Lugo should be the O's utility infielder, and is a better hitter than Cesar Izturis. He also grabs his crotch a lot (no joke), which should be fun to watch.

[3] The O's released veteran catcher Chad Moeller this week, and Craig Tatum will be Matt Wieters' backup. The move is puzzling. Moeller was a mentor to the O's young pitchers, which was pretty valuable if you ask me.

[4] Joe Flacco will get his first chance to show off his new toys in front of a national TV audience on ESPN when the Ravens host the Panthers for their preseason opener Aug. 12. The Ravens then visit the 'Skins, host the Giants and finish up at the Rams. Obviously, with Anquan Boldin now on board, the Ravens will sweep the preseason, go undefeated in the regular season and win the Super Bowl.

[5] Rumors are running rampant that the Eagles could trade QB Donovan McNabb to the Raiders. I know McNabb won't be happy about that, but at least he won't have to worry about throwing up in the Super Bowl ever again.

[6] The only way this Final Four could be worse is if Duke wins. Ugh.

[7] Ravens WR Donte' Stallworth met with local reporters for the first time Thursday, and addressed his DUI-vehicular manslaughter conviction in 2009. "It's something I deal with everyday, waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night," he said. He seems genuine. I can't wait to see what Stallworth does with his second chance.

[8] Greivis Vasquez was named an AP second-team All-American and won the Bob Cousy Award, given to college basketball's top point guard, this week. The latter is quite an accomplishment considering Vasquez isn't exactly your prototypical point guard.

[9] Orioles reliever Koji Uehara will start the season on the DL instead of in the bullpen due to an injured hamstring. Though signing Koji before last season wasn't costly, the O's have to be disappointed with his injury-filled Baltimore career. I'm disappointed he won't be on the mound, too, and if you're an avid reader of my columns, you know why. I'll give you a hint: It involves Koji, high-fives and me giggling.

Matt Vensel is a content creator for b. Follow him on Twitter, @mattvensel.

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