A few Thursday morning thoughts from the
-- The outcome of Orioles pitcher
It's the first time the Orioles have gone to arbitration since 2006 with pitcher Rodrigo Lopez.
Given that Bergesen went 2-7 with a 5.70 ERA in 34 appearances (12 starts) and has an unclear role going into
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette attended the arbitration heading Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla., and returned to Baltimore last evening.
-- The Orioles wanted to add another bat before the beginning of spring training. Whether that bat is that of veteran first baseman Nick Johnson is uncertain.
But the addition of Johnson to the non-roster invitation list, which could be announced as soon as today, is an interesting one. Johnson has struggled to stay on the field throughout his career -- he's had various hand and back injuries and suffered a broken femur -- but when he's been healthy he's been a commodity in any lineup because of his plate discipline and on-base percentage.
In Johnson's last somewhat full major league season -- which was split between Washington and Florida in 2009 -- Johnson put up a .291/.426/.405 line in 457 at-bats. That season, he was sixth in the NL in walks with 99. During his best full season in 2006, Johnson put up a .290/.428/520 batting line and was third in the NL in walks with 110. Johnson also adds an above-average glove at first base (.992 career fielding percentage).
Johnson's health is a big question. He had only 199 at-bats last season, which he mostly spent with the Indians' Triple-A club.
-- The Orioles also announced that outfield prospects L.J. Hoes and Xavier Avery have received invitations to big league spring training. Both players excelled at the Double-A level last season, and the Orioles believe it will be valuable to both of them to get the full spring training experience and be around veteran major league outfielders like Jones,
The fact that top prospects Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop haven't been invited doesn't mean much. Both will get at-bats in spring training games because of the minor league camp's proximity to big league camp.