Pedro Borbon- TEX- Caution- There is a threat of resurrection of an old joke, “What do Pedro Borbon and Michael Jackson have in common?” “Both wear a single glove for no apparent reason.” Borbon’s fielding woes continued yesterday as he made an error on the first batter in the Rangers’ Opening Day contest. He was pulled for pinch hitter David Murphy in the 8th inning and Murphy delivered a game-winning double. If Borbon continues to struggle defensively, Murphy could displace him in the lineup.
Fausto Carmona- CLE- Cold- A look at some of Carmona’s peripherals from yesterday’s game would lead you to expect he did well in his 3 IP. He struck out 5, walked only 1 and had 7 ground balls compared to 4 fly balls. However, there was a reason Carmona only pitched 3 innings yesterday and that was because the White Sox hitters were acting like it was batting practice. Carmona was charged with 10 runs on 11 hits in his appearance. Despite the GB/FB ratio, Carmona was not getting his pitches down as he needs to do to succeed. Chicago players were swinging at a lot of first pitches and they were finding holes, as well as two of them that left the yard. Carmona has to get his pitches down in the zone in order to get outs. His strikeout rate of yesterday isn’t sustainable. He has been very inconsistent in the past and last year’s respectable numbers were helped by a .283 BABIP. It’s only his first start, but it fits his career pattern and makes Carmona a high risk pitcher.
Adam Lind- TOR- Hot- Lind got off to a new start in his new position of 1B, building on his hot spring by going 2-for-3 with a homer and 3 RBI. Lind’s .237 average in 2010 was depressed by a .277 BABIP. Given more moderate luck Lind should be a strong contributor from his corner infield position.
David Price- TB- Caution- After throwing 1 game of 110+ pitches in 2009, Price hit that mark 14 times last season. He didn’t turn 25 until August, so was still in his formative stage. That kind of workload for the franchise that wrung lots of pitches out of Scott Kazmir’s arm is worrisome. Yesterday, Price only allowed 5 hits in 7 IP while striking out 7 and walking 1, but he was charged with 4 runs, all earned. The good news is that he only threw 103 pitches. Price carries some risk because of his usage pattern last season but if the Rays are more careful with him, that risk will lessen.
Zach Britton- BAL- Rookie- Chris Tillman will make today’s start in place of the injured Brian Matusz. The Orioles are going to call up Zach Britton to take Tillman’s originally scheduled start tomorrow. Britton is Baltimore’s top pitching prospect and was probably going to make his way to the big leagues this year at some point and is just a little ahead of schedule. His sinker is his primary pitch, but has a fastball that is consistently in the low 90s. Last year he posted a 2.70 ERA in the minors and only walks 51 batters in 153 IP while striking out 144. Britton projects as a solid starter.
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