Katie bar the door: It’s Roy Halladay vs. Josh Johnson tonight

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I know that at 9:00 in the morning most of you are still looking back at last night’s action instead of ahead to tonight’s, but sorry, I can’t wait.  I’m rather excited about Roy Halladay and the Phillies facing Josh Johnson and the Marlins.

It was a little less than a year ago when these two faced off in what turned out to be Halladay’s perfect game. Lost in that was the fact that Johnson had a nice game himself, giving up only an unearned run in seven innings of work.  Also lost in that was the fact that the two faced each other two weeks later, with Johnson beating Halladay and the Phillies 2-0.  Further lost in that is the fact that it was Johnson, not Halladay, who led the league in ERA last year (2.30 to 2.44). Johnson was also right behind Halladay in WAR for pitchers (7.2 to 7.0).

Which isn’t to say that they’re entirely comparable. Halladay is the better pitcher at this moment in time, and I presume that approximately 100 out of 100 people would chose him over Johnson if Earth needed to win one game against the Martians in order to save humanity.

But the gap is smaller than you think, and with Johnson being six years younger than Halladay, there will come a time when he takes assumes the role of the NL East’s top dog.  Just as, with the Marlins’ youth and talent, there may very well come a time when they take that title from the Phillies as a team as well.

First pitch is at 7:10 PM Eastern.

Report: Orioles re-sign Pedro Alvarez to minors deal

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The Orioles have re-signed infielder Pedro Alvarez to a minor league deal, per a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal guarantees Alvarez $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster and another $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The team has yet to confirm the deal.

This will be Alvarez’s third year with the Orioles. After posting decent numbers in 2016, the 31-year-old was relegated to the minors for the majority of the 2017 season and saw only 14 games at the big league level. He finished the year with an underwhelming .239/.294/.442 batting line and 26 home runs through 595 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.

Alvarez is expected to split his time between first base and DH this spring, and MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli notes that he’s unlikely to experiment with another outfield role. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the majors, the veteran infielder will function purely as insurance for first baseman Chris Davis and designated hitter Mark Trumbo and will likely begin the season in the minors.