2011 MLB Preview: Baltimore Orioles

Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 2, 2011

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Baltimore Orioles warms up for batting practice just prior to the start of the Grapefruit League Spring Training Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field on February 28, 2011 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

9 Innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series. Today, we will preview the new-look Baltimore Orioles, who seem to be the most intriguing team to watch in the AL East. The Orioles have a new-look team and are trying to contend in the powerhouse that is the American League East.

The Orioles finished last season with a 66-96 record and a new manager. The Orioles started out with Dave Trembley, but he was fired about mid-season. Juan Samuel replaced him for awhile but then the Orioles brought in Buck Showalter and he went 34-23 towards the end of the year.

The Orioles are picking up steam and they made a ton of moves during the offseason picking up five key players and re-signing closer Koji Uehara.

The Orioles have experience to make a splash in the AL East, but with teams like New York and Boston as dominant as ever, don’t expect them to finish within the top two.

Key Addition: Mark Reynolds, 3B

Breakout Player: Matt Wieters, CA

Prediction: Third AL East

CA: Matt Wieters
1B: Derrek Lee
2B: Brian Roberts
3B: Mark Reynolds
SS: J.J. Hardy
OF: Nick Markakis
OF: Adam Jones
OF: Luke Scott
DH: Vladimir Guerrero

Pitching Rotation
SP: Jeremy Guthire
SP: Brian Matusz
SP: Brad Bergesen
SP: Justin Duchscherer
SP: Jake Arrieta

RP: Mark Hendrickson
RP: Jason Berken
RP: Jeremy Accardo
RP: Jim Johnson
RP: Mike Gonzalez
RP: Kevin Gregg
CP: Koji Uehara

CA: Craig Tatum
UTL: Jake Fox
OF: Felix Pie
INF: Cesar Izturis

Top Prospects
1). Manny Machado, SS
2). Zach Britton, LHP
3). L.J. Holes, 2B
4). Xavier Avery, CF
5). Dan Kelin, RHP