2010 MLB Season Preview: Baltimore Orioles

Taylor SmithAnalyst IMarch 31, 2010

BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 02:  Matt Wieters #15 of the Baltimore Orioles strikes out in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards on September 2, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

2009 regular season record: 64-98, Fifth place, AL East

Major Offseason Acquisitions: Mike Gonzalez (ATL), Miguel Tejada (HOU), Garrett Atkins (COL), Kevin Millwood (TEX)

Major Offseason Losses: Melvin Mora (COL), Danys Baez (PHI), Chris Ray (TEX)

Projected Lineup (2009 stats): 

1. 2B-Brian Roberts (.283 BA, .356 OBP, 16 HR, 79 RBI, 30 SB)

2. CF-Adam Jones (.277 BA, .335 OBP, 19 HR, 70 RBI)

3. RF-Nick Markakis (.293 BA, .347 OBP, 18 HR, 101 RBI)

4. 3B-Miguel Tejada (.313 BA, .340 OBP, 14 HR, 86 RBI)

5. C-Matt Wieters (.288 BA, .340 OBP, 9 HR, 43 RBI)

6. 1B-Garrett Atkins (.226 BA, .308 OBP, 9 HR, 48 RBI)

7. DH-Luke Scott (.258 BA, .340 OBP, 25 HR, 77 RBI)

8. LF-Nolan Reimold (.279 BA, .365 OBP, 15 HR, 45 RBI)

9. SS-Cesar Izturis (.256 BA, .294 OBP, 2 HR, 30 RBI)

Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):

1. RHP Kevin Millwood (13-10, 3.67 ERA, 198.2 IP)

2. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-17, 5.04 ERA, 200 IP)

3. LHP Brian Matusz (5-2, 4.63 ERA, 44.2 IP)

4. RHP Brad Bergesen (7-5, 3.43 ERA, 123.1 IP)

5. RHP Chris Tillman (2-5, 5.40 ERA, 65 IP)

Closer: LHP Mike Gonzalez (2.42 ERA, 10 saves)

2010 outlook: The Orioles' lineup is an interesting mix of young players and experienced veterans.

For every Matt Wieters and Adam Jones, there's a Miguel Tejada and Brian Roberts.

It's an interesting roster going into 2010 to say the least, considering three notable veterans (Garrett Atkins, Tejada, Millwood) were added to a young and growing team.

The Orioles are likely going to be staying near the bottom of the AL East this season, but this certainly doesn't have the look of a team that's going to be pushing 100 losses again.

The rotation is full of promising, yet inexperienced, players, highlighted by left-handed uber-prospect Brian Matusz. 

Matusz, 23, enjoyed decent success in limited big league action last season, and Baltimore is eager to see what he can do in a full year's worth of work. 

He's rated as Baseball America's fifth-best prospect overall.

Catcher Matt Wieters, another top prospect, will also be entering his first full season in the majors.

Wieters is also just 23, and has been touted as perhaps the best hitting catching prospect since Joe Mauer.

Overall, the Orioles are very young, but they also should be improved over last season. 

Will it be enough to keep them out of the cellar of baseball's best division?

2010 Prediction: 73-89, Fourth place, AL East

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