I am so over Scott Olsen.
I said those exact words to a friend in a fantasy baseball draft room over the weekend -- right after that friend drafted the fiery Marlins left-hander of the 1.76 WHIP last year -- and then I found myself saying them again, to myself this time, in a wind-chilled press box Tuesday as the Orioles hosted the Marlins.
Yeah, yeah ... I know what you're thinking.
I am so over spring baseball.
I am too. Believe me, I am. The Red Sox-Athletics game in Japan on Tuesday gave us the rush of opening day already, but pretty soon we'll have to go right back into exhibition mode. And stay there. Forever.
OK, not forever. The end is in sight. But for now -- for 28 teams, anyway -- we can still only look at spring performances and wonder what to make of them.
Which brings me back to Olsen. The 24-year-old, who looked on the verge of becoming a staff ace in 2006, gave up his first six runs of the spring Monday at the Orioles, which sounds both good and bad at the same time. He also surrendered his first walk in only 12 innings -- a good sign after control issues plagued him part of last year. Now the bad news: He threw two wild pitches, allowed eight hits and recorded more than a few of his outs on hard-hit balls.
I just didn't see anything from him that gave me the impression of dominance. He put together a decent enough spring, I guess, but nothing to make you think he's going just to snap his fingers and make that 1.76 WHIP go away. You could take worse gambles in NL-only leagues, but for the money you'd have to pay to get him, I'd look elsewhere.
On another note, don't look for Aubrey Huff to play third base much this season. The Orioles gave him a look at the hot corner Tuesday, probably just to see if he could handle the position in a pinch during the season. He left me thinking a resounding "no." On his first opportunity of the game, he made a weak through to first base, forcing 1B Kevin Millar to dig the ball out of the dirt. Then in the second inning, he had an easy ground ball bounce right off his glove, avoiding an error only by virtue of the official scorer's generosity. On the very next play, he let a little blooper fall just beyond his glove in shallow left field, apparently unsure whether he or the shortstop should field it.
It was not pleasant. I swear, you almost felt bad for the guy.
Huff, who began his career as a third baseman, played only 15 games at the position last year, and I bet that number drops a bit more this year. He'll remain nothing more than a first baseman in Fantasy, which, in these days when he struggles to hit 20 homers, should pretty much limit his Fantasy appeal to AL-only leagues.
That's all for now