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ENEMY LINES
Stephen Cannella
April 16, 2001
Two advance scouts, one from each league, reflect on what they saw and heard during the season's first week
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April 16, 2001

Enemy Lines

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Two advance scouts, one from each league, reflect on what they saw and heard during the season's first week

Baltimore pitching coach Mark Wiley is doing wonders with his staff. The Orioles are pitching much better than most people thought they would, throwing more strikes and keeping their composure. They stuck it to Boston that first series, and it's not like they were facing a weak sister; the Red Sox lineup is pretty good....

The Cubs are saying Sammy Sosa has been a changed man since getting his contract extension, that he's playing hard and is excited about his deal. He'll have a monster year....

It's early, but the Yankees have to be worried about the back end of their bullpen and their fifth starter, Christian Parker. I know it was his first major league start [eight hits and seven earned runs in a 13-4 loss to the Blue Jays last Friday], but come on, they're the New York Yankees. Parker is a long guy at best, and they should have someone more reliable in that fifth spot....

The Rangers should be a little concerned about righthander Rick Helling, who had a huge loss of velocity and a terrible outing last Friday [seven runs on nine hits in three-plus innings against the Mariners], His top fastball was 85 mph. Usually he gets it up to 90.1 don't know if he's tired or going through a dead-arm period, but they should keep an eye on him....

The Phillies' pitching is really, really bad, but they have a great young lineup. Rightfielder Bobby Abreu is the most underrated player in baseball, and shortstop Jimmy Rollins looks like he'll be an All-Star some day. He's above-average across the board offensively, and his bat is extremely quick from both sides of the plate.

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