This afternoon in Florida, the Baltimore Orioles take on the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Lauderdale.
The lineups are posted on Roch's blog, and today we'll see much of the projected regular season lineup -- Roberts, Huff, Markakis, Mora, Izturis -- along with guys who will be given a look such as Craig Brazell, Justin Christian, Chad Moeller, and Nolan Reimold.
As well, Danys Baez returns to the mound today after missing all of 2008 due to injury and wanting to be a starter, not a reliever. He spoke about the anticipation of today's start with the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec:
"I'm super excited," said Baez, who hasn't started a major league game since Aug.24, 2002, when he was with the Cleveland Indians. "It's a good time to prove how healthy I am. It's going to be a good day for me and my career."
-- and --
(speaking about being away from the team recovering from his ailments) -- "It was crazy," Baez said. "It was the first time I just did not feel part of the team. I wasn't ready to do anything for the team. I couldn't help my teammates. That's the first time I went through that, and it wasn't fun. It was just a real tough time, just very frustrating."
Baez will counter against Kyle Lohse -- who had a comeback year with the Cardinals in 2008.
I'm hoping he does well, but his appearances in 2007 for the Baltimore Orioles has done little to give me confidence in his abilities. He's not started since 2002, plus one may be worried about how he could hold up on a starter's schedule. I still think he winds up in the bullpen when Opening Day comes around.
In addition, the Orioles will also put Matt Albers and Chris Ray on the mound, as both men are also recovering from injury.