The Orioles continued their winning ways in Florida as they once again defeated the Marlins, 5-2.
Like a broken record, the story once again down South was the effort that young Birds showed on the field. Matt Wieters once again dazzled he went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored; meanwhile, Lou Montanez had two hits and drove in a run. Jolbert Cabrera also had two hits, and Luke Scott drove in two runs with a double in the fourth inning.
The other component of the story on Thursday involved the pitching.
Radhames Liz started the game and went two innings, giving up a run on two hits. He looked fine starting off -- albeit, he gave up in a run in the very first frame; however, he could not get out of third inning as the same old problems occurred with him time and time again -- walks and lack of command. After allowing the first two batters to get on, Ryan Keefer came into the game and completed the frame. Thereafter, Jim Johnson came in a threw an inning and made one mistake -- a home run to Dan Uggla.
Back to Liz -- he's got an arm on him that can light up a radar gun -- however, I see him starting off in Norfolk (again) in 2009 and simply learning how to pitch along with getting his command in order. Right now, much like last year, I see as more of a thrower than a pitcher; therefore, I don't see him as part of the rotation unless he shows that he can throw strikes consistently.
In the latter half of the game, the Oriole arms shined. Chris Ray continued his great comeback by throwing an inning; however, much of the praise got heaped upon Brian Matusz as he struck out two in three innings of work.
Honestly, one could say that Matusz could find himself in the majors sooner rather than later, but right now, the team is going to take their time with him and have him start maybe in Bowie and work his way up.
Wifrido Perez -- another pitcher who has impressed in camp -- threw a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the spring.
- The Orioles are focused on preventing steals from first base in 2009.
- Tony Pente of Orioles Hangout looks at some candidates for other spots in the rotation this upcoming season.
- Liz may be option for the bullpen; however, some in the organization believe he can still be successful as a starter.
- Could Penn still end up in Baltimore, who knows; however, he's shown some good results down in Florida.
- Some Oriole arms are still ailing...