ITW Mailbag: 04/08/07

ITW answers questions from readers. In this installment, we discuss Ryan Adams' health, Radhames Liz's rocky season opener and prospects worth keeping an eye on.

What is going on with Ryan Adams? I thought he would be starting the season in Delmarva? -Rich

The original plan was for Adams to begin the year as the second baseman in low-A Delmarva. Word is that he is dealing with some hamstring issues and will stay in extended spring training until he is healthy and then join the Shorebirds. While hamstring issues are not necessarily a major issue in and of themselves, Adams has a history of leg problems that date back to his high school days. In fact, that is one of the reasons he lasted until the second round of the 2006 draft. It'd be silly to assume the worst at this point, but it is something to keep an eye on.

3 ip, 2 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. Is Radhames Liz OK? -Rich

For those of you wondering, Rich is referencing Liz's first start of the season, which did not go so well. The walks highlight the concerns about his command, but it was just one start. Liz started out on fire last season, but he was only able to get consistent work about halfway through camp, since he was originally with the big league club. Sample size is definitely the key factor here- I'd give him a dozen more starts before it is worth worrying about.

I loved your Breakout Prospects articles. If you had to pick one player to emerge as a top prospect this season, who would it be? -Greg P.

Because you were so complimentary, Greg, I'll give you a pitcher and a hitter that I really like. On the pitching side, Bob McCrory has all the tools to emerge as a late-innings reliever. He just needs to stay healthy. I know I've said this a few times, but I don't think people, including the Orioles, realize how much Val Majewski still has in the tank. His labrum injury cost him his 2005 season and severely hampered him in 2006. He is an extremely hard worker and has what it takes to put the injury behind him and resume what was a promising career. Other players that come to mind include Zach Britton, Anthony Martinez, and Paul Chmiel.

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