Battle of first-place teams, as the O’s host the 6-0 Texas Rangers. The Birds are dealing with the injury bug; first Matusz then Scott then Guthrie then Hardy (day to day with back/rib issue) then Roberts (who was in the hospital with a stomach issue). They’ve weathered it fine so far, but hopefully they don’t have to deal with it all year.
No game preview for game two of the double header, but getting Jake Fox in for Wieters against a lefty (Matt Harrison) is good move
This is a good line-up, and one that’ll be tough for a lefty to manage.
Colby Lewis (2011):
Lewis came back from Japan last year a new man, posting a sometimes under-noticed 4.4 fWAR.
Lewis doesn’t throw quite as hard as he did in his prospect days (though he averaged over 90 mph with the heater last year), but he has four quality pitches. The slide-piece especially can get some whiffs as his main strike-out pitch.
Nice to see Roberts is OK to play. And it sounds like Hardy will be in for game two.
Zach Britton (2011):
I expect Britton to get that groundball rate up closer to his minor league numbers (~65%), but both the K’s and (hopefully) the walks should come down.
The pitch classifications might be a little off here. His sinker should have some more drop on it, I would think. The off-speed pitches were very impressive though, for a guy I thought was going to have to rely on his two-seamer quite a bit.
Stats: UZR, WAR, ERA, FIP, xFIP, K/9 & BB/9, GB%, PitchFX