Baltimore Orioles 2011 Preview

2010 Record: 66-96

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers:Matt Wieters, Chris Tatum
  • Infielders: Derrek Lee, Brian Roberts, Mark Reynolds, JJ Hardy, Cesar Izturis
  • Outfielders: Nick Markakis, Luke Scott, Adam Jones, Vlad Guerrero, Nolan Reimold, Felix Pie
  • Starters: Brian Matusz, Jeremy Guthrie, Justin Duchscherer, Brad Bergesen, Jake Arrieta
  • Bullpen: Koji Uehara, Kevin Gregg, Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson, Jeremy Accardo, Jason Berken, Mark Hendrickson

Notable Signings:

  1. Vladimir Guerrero: 1 year, $8MM
  2. Derrek Lee: 1 year, $7.5MM
  3. Kevin Gregg: 2 years, $10MM
  4. Justin Duchscherer: 1 year, $700K
  5. JJ Hardy: traded for 2 pitchers
  6. Mark Reynolds: traded for 2 pitchers

Notable Losses:

  1. Kevin Millwood
  2. Ty Wigginton
  3. Matt Albers

Top Prospects

  1. Zach Britton – LHP
  2. Manny Machado – SS
  3. Josh Bell – 3B

Key Position Battles

  • Closer: Koji Uehara vs. Kevin Gregg vs. Mike Gonzalez – Uehara was solid in his short timeas the closer in Baltimore last year but he has recently received a cortisone shot in his elbow. Kevin Gregg was successful as Toronto’s closer in 2010 and should have a leg up in this race throughout camp. Mike Gonzalez struggled early on in 2010 for the Orioles and then battled injuries for most of the remainder of the year. Considering Gregg appears to have the best track record and least injury problems at this point he should be able to snag this spot. Closer Pick: Kevin Gregg
  • 5th Starter: Jake Arrieta vs. Chris Tillman vs. Zach Britton – Zach Britton has been dominant in the minor leagues thus far but will likely need more seasoning before being thrust into the bigs. The final spot will come down to Arrieta and Tillman most likely, who were also dominant minor leaguers. They both saw limited action last season and Arrieta was more impressive at the major league level than Tillman. It will likely come down to Spring Training performance but Arrieta holds the edge. It also must be noted that they could both make the rotation if Justin Duchscherer can not stay healthy, which is a good possibility. 5th Starter Pick: Jake Arrieta

The Baltimore Orioles could easily be one of the most improved teams in Major League Baseball this season. They won a mere 66 games last season but were 34-23, 11 games above .500, once Buck Showalter took over as manager. These kids obviously love playing for him. The only problem is they play in a very powerful AL East but they should be able to make a serious push towards a .500 record for the season. The additions of Vladimir Guerrero, Derrek Lee, JJ Hardy, Mark Reynolds, and Kevin Gregg will enhance their offense and give the bullpen depth that it has lacked for years. The 4 bats added this offseason will be a great compliment to Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters. Wieters will now be able to hit farther down in the lineup where he belongs and Guerrero, Reynolds and Lee give the O’s a powerful middle of the order presence despite recent down years; they could easily combine for 80 home runs. Last year, I was on the Adam Jones bandwagon expecting him to have a break out year and this year I am right back on that bandwagon. but he struggled early The one question mark with this club is the pitching. Brian Matusz pitched great in the second half and will look to carry that into 2011. The kids battling it out for the back end of the rotation will be a question mark but have all the potential in the world and if Justin Duchscherer can stay healthy they will cause teams fits this year.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 81-81

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About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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