Catching on

We expect to find out about the starting rotation later today, but we're not sure whether manager Dave Trembley will unveil his 25-man roster.

He'll probably make us wait a little longer, but it's pretty clear that Craig Tatum has beaten out Chad Moeller for the backup catching job.

That was one of the few competitions in camp, and Moeller was the clear favorite when he arrived.

So what happened?

The Orioles apparently fell in love with Tatum's arm. They already loved Moeller's head - his ability to counsel the young pitchers and catcher Matt Wieters, his familiarity with the American League East.

Tatum is on the 40-man roster, which also works in his favor. And I'm sure the Orioles would like Moeller to accept a minor league assignment so he can work with the young talent at Triple-A Norfolk and perhaps move up later in the summer if there's an injury.

I wouldn't blame Moeller for feeling somewhat betrayed or mislead after agreeing to a minor league deal with the understanding that he'd make the 25-man roster. I doubt that he was promised the backup job, but he probably had a pretty good feeling about it or he might have kept looking for work.

Moeller has established a solid relationship with the "cavalry." Brian Matusz really seems to value his presence. But the same thing could happen with Tatum.

We'll soon find out.

Tillman mentioned how he wasn't on the same page as Tatum in his last start, and Matusz needed to confer with Tatum a few times during yesterday's interleague game after shaking him off.

Moeller is batting .300 (6-for-20) with two homers and three RBIs. Tatum is batting .176 (3-for-17) with no homers and two RBIs.

Did the Orioles make the right call.

We'll soon find out.



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