Baltimore Orioles: Revamped and Ready To Return To Glory
The Baltimore Orioles have been a poor excuse for an MLB team for a few years now. They have had talented players come in and out of this organization, but have never been able to put the pieces together to created a successful team. Before this offseason the O's had some talented players, like Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Brain Matusz, but not enough pieces to contend in the star driven AL East.
This offseason however the Baltimore organization has decided to put the wheels in motion and add a few talented players for Buck Showalter to work with. Buck lead the Orioles to a 34-23 record in the short stint he had at the end of the season. With his new talent he will hopefully end the 13-year consecutive losing seasons streak.
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Mark Reynold is not a hit machine, he never was. He hit a woeful .198 last year. You can rest your mind Orioles fans, because that will not happen again. He will most likely bat around .240 this year, only if he learns to shorten his swing with two strikes.
This man is vital to the Orioles in 2011. He will be consider by most teams their home run threat. Every time this man swings he aims for the fans in the outfield. On the defensive side he not a daily Web Gem nominee, however he can hold his own at the hot corner. Remember that this young man is also only 27, therefore he has room to grow. With the speed in front of him in this lineup I wouldn't be surprised to see great stats lines at the end of the year.
My prediction for this new Baltimore third basemen is:
.240, 35 HR, 105 RBI, 15 steals
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JJ Hardy has had health issues the last two years, but in his two seasons of 140-plus games, Hardy hit 50 HR with 154 RBI with 167 runs scored. This are amazing numbers for any player in the league. As for his health, all reports are he is finally 100 percent healthy.
Just like Reynolds, Hardy is young and is only 28-years old, therefore there is room for improvement. His defense isn't anything to brag about, but he can flash a gem of a play from time to time.
With this new lineup he could be in for a lot more RBIs then most people believe and I expect a great year out of him with the bat, again if he stays healthy.
My prediction for this Baltimore shortstop is:
.265, 25 HR, 77 RBI, 83 R
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This is the one move that I can see fans worrying about once the season starts. Derek Lee is a great talent and he is only one year removed from batting .306 with 35 HR, 111 RBI and 91 runs scored. However last year he had a down year. If you look closely you know he had no protection in Chicago because Aramis Ramirez was injured. Then he was traded and never really hit his stride with his new team.
Lee will bring veteran leadership to this young team, as well as a stellar glove. I don't really see his bat coming too alive this year, but he will hit well enough to help his team out. Also the move to the AL will give him the option to be in the DH role.
My prediction for this Baltimore first basemen is:
.250, 20 HR, 85 RBI, 110 Runs
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The under the radar move to acquire Kevin Gregg was pure genius. This adds depths to the bullpen, and more importantly to the most important spots, the set up and closer. Also, lets not forget he is loaded with talent. He notched 37 saves last season for the Blue Jays.
His numbers wont nearly be as high because Koji Uehara is the opening day closer for Baltimore. This doesn't mean he wont get the occasional save, and he will be the first option if Koji goes down with injury.
My prediction for this Baltimore relief pitcher is:
2.00 era, 15 saves
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There not much to say about him, mainly because he has barely been on the field for the last two years. He has only thrown 28 innings during that time period. to see any real stats of him during a full season you would have to go back to the 2008 season. In 2008 he posted a 2.54 ERA and .995 WHIP in 141.2 innings. If he can recapture any stats along those lines he would be one of the better pitchers on this young Baltimore staff.
My prediction for this new Baltimore starting pitcher is:
2.68 ERA, 115 K, 120 innings
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Another veteran bat, Guerrero's presence improves the entire lineup and gives the O's a dangerous middle of the order. Playing on a one-year deal should also help keep him motivated. The Orioles are hoping he still has the magic of last year in that bat where he hit, .300, 29 HR, and 115 RBI. Also I'm sure the Orioles fans and organization will love the marketing that comes along with Vlad's nickname of "Vlad the Impaler."
My prediction for this Baltimore designated hitter is:
.265, 22 HR, 85 RBI