• Mar

    Sarasota Wrap-up

    Well that was a quick three days. Warm sun and lots of baseball is a sure fire way for time to fly I guess.  Either way, today was my last day at Sarasota as I catch my Southwest flight back to Baltimore tonight.


    Before I get to baseball, I have to say I enjoyed my stay in Sarasota. It’s been six years since I’ve been down here and the place has really grown into a nice little Gulf-side town. One bit of advice though, if you go to the dog track, just because the dog takes a dump before the race does not mean he will run fast. Apparently I was betting on the dogs with various stomach ailments when all along I was going with the theory that they would run faster because they were lighter. But I digress.


    Today the Orioles Norfolk and Bowie squads played the Red Sox farm teams and although I wasn’t keeping score, it appeared the O’s came out on top in both games. Hayden Penn started for Norfolk and looked good when I saw him. Velocities are down this time of year so he was sitting in the 89-91 MPH range, but he used a nice change-up for a couple of K’s as well as decent breaking ball. I’m still not thrilled with his breaking stuff since he tends to roll his curveball up there a little too much for my liking, but he spotted his fastball well and his changeup was a strike out pitch today.


    I was jumping back and forth between the games while also talking to some coaches and managers so I didn’t catch everything. In the Triple-A game a saw Blake Davis smack a nice opposite field double and Mike Costanzo continues to impress me with his range at both third base and first base. The reports on Costanzo was that he was a little stiff in the field but he’s in great shape this year and I’ve found his range and quickness are a plus. In fact, I wonder if the Orioles should give him a look at second base as well since his bat would play very good there.


    Ben Davis has looked good at the plate in the last week or so and he ripped a solid single to right center today. I didn’t see him behind the plate as he was DHing today, but he looks like he could be a decent backup if something happened to one of the Orioles catchers this year. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he looks like a big leaguer.


    Roberta Novoa tossed two good innings while showing an outstanding slider at times.


    Over at the Double-A game, Ryan Keefer threw the ball pretty well as he continue to come back from his injury. The velocity isn’t all the way back yet, but he showed a good slider.


    Tyler Henson, who continues to get rants and raves from everyone here at the camp, plated Matt Weiters in the second inning. Henson will start the year at Delmarva as the third baseman but he may get some time at shortstop and second base occasionally. Weiters tweaked his hamstring the other day so he got yesterday off and DHed today, but it was more of a precaution then any concern. He scored from second base and slid home on the Henson single so he looks fine.


    The Orioles acquired infielder Mike Garciaparra from the Phillies for future considerations.  He will play at either Bowie or Frederick depending who needs a shortstop. He led off each inning in the Bowie game in order to get at bats and to let the staff evaluate him.


    After the games today I had a good hour long conversation with Director of Minor League Operations David Stockstill so I’ll have more on individual players soon. Keep an eye on the projected depth chart as I got some newer information while down here as well.


    Don’t forget, if you have any questions, bring them to the minor league fan forum at Fan Fest on Saturday. I’ll be fielding questions at 3PM.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.