The backup plan

Manager Dave Tremblely wouldn't classify Chad Moeller as the clear frontrunner to back up Matt Wieters on Opening Day. The competition for that job continues into the final week of camp.

Moeller is batting .300 (6-for-20) with one double, two homers and three RBIs in 20 at-bats. Craig Tatum is batting .176 (3-for-17) with two doubles and two RBIs in 17 at-bats.

Both of Tatum's RBIs came in last night's game, when he also threw out a runner attempting to steal.

"I would say that's an ongoing evaluation," Trembley said. "Each guy brings particular pluses, and what it's going to come down to is what are you looking for? You've got to weigh what Chad and Tatum do best and decide what you feel is the most important asset that you have.

"Moeller's had experience. He's been in the American League East. He knows the hitters. He's a mentor. Tatum is a guy who has a very good arm. He can throw people out. He can shut the running game down. Whatever you got from either one of them offensively would be a bonus.

"You'll see Tatum get a start, you'll see Moeller get a start. You'll see that competition going down to the end, I believe."

My prediction remains the same: Moeller makes this team because of his familiarity with the young starters and his experience within the division. And it's not like he's been an automatic out this spring.


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