What are your thoughts on Kelvin De La Cruz? You seem very high on him.
De La Cruz has impressed some with his fixed mechanics and improved control since last season. He has good arm speed out of a quick, 3/4th arm slot. The fastball has sat primarily 90-92 this spring, and he has shown improved command and control of it. De La Cruz has a tendency to fall off to the side on his delivery and this causes a few issues such as inconsistent arm angles and lack of weight transfer on push-off. This has all improved in the spring, as he looks to be controlling his body more efficiently, and driving forward more with overexerting his delivery.
Another note, it is difficult to see that De La Cruz is throwing his Curve, but this is the slower variant of the off-speed. The Slider has a sharp, sweeping motion, compared to the slower sweep of the curve. They both look very similar except the change in speeds and grip.
I think De La Cruz has a real chance to make this club. The Orioles may end up having to pick between him and Zach Britton, but they also could keep both until Troy Patton returns from his 25-game suspension.
The Orioles have a second base logjam, don’t you think? Ryan Flaherty, Jemile Weeks, Alexi Casilla, Jonathan Schoop, Cord Phelps, and Ivan De Jesus. Which ones do you see making the major league team? Will any be traded? How will they get at-bats in AAA?
Dan and Buck definitely went out of the way to gather as many second base options this winter as possible. I have prognosticated that Flaherty and Casilla make the opening day roster, read more here. I could also see Weeks on the Opening Day Roster, but with his option I figure Duquette will use the flexibility while he’s got it. Schoop, even though he is raking in Spring Training, will start at Norfolk. Schoop and Weeks could split days at DH and 2B or split time between SS and 2B at AAA. They will find a way to get them at bats. For Phelps and De Jesus, one could be a utility man or both could be cut. They are both expendable from a roster standpoint. It’s tough to say that about players but when the roster crunch time comes, it’s a fact of life for these guys.
If Francisco Peguero were to not make the 25-man roster, would he make it through waivers?
I predicted that Peguero would indeed be on the Opening Day Roster because of his upside and Duquette’s penchant for keeping high upside cheap players on the roster all yearlong (Flaherty and McFarland). If he were to be designated for assignment I do not think he would make it through waivers. Maybe if they were to do it towards the end of Spring Training when most teams have their rosters set they could sneak him through. However, I would think some team with not much play for this year could stick him on their roster and see if they can catch lightning in a bottle.