IMO, the Orioles have had a successful offseason and are set up to compete for 3rd place in the AL East (as sad as that sounds).
Opening day lineup should look something like this:
1. Roberts 2B- S
2. Tejada 3B- R
3. Markakis RF- L
4. Wieters C- S
5. Reimold LF- R
6. Jones CF- R
7. Scott DH- L
8. Atkins 1B- R
9. Izturis SS- S
Not too bad with Pie, Wigginton, Montanez and maybe Andino coming off the bench. You can probably switch Wieters and Reimold, and Jones and Tejada. They are really interchangable within the lineup. Last year we had 5, maybe 6 players that were a real threat to get on base and produce. This year I think we have 7 or 8.
The starting rotation looks to be:
I love this group. Millwood was a great addition and can serve as a mentor for our younger guys. If Bergeson can pick up where he left off last year before his injury, I would be extatic. Matusz and Tillman have an important year ahead of them. I'm expecting big things out of them. Guthrie will go from facing the opposing #1 to their #4 pitcher. That should improve his record alone.
The bullpen is my biggest concern with this team. I really like the Gonzales signing and hope he can be a productive closer. Koji belonged in the bullpen last year, so it will be nice to have him there this year.
We still have a lot of prospects in the minors that are getting close to ready to come up. They should keep the pressure on the players who are already up and hopefully motivate them. It's nice to have this situation.
I'm very happy with the Tejada signing and even happier that it is for one year. I think we have a good thing with Josh Bell and he should be our 3B next year and for years to come. 1B is still an issue and I'm not sold that Atkins can get back to where he was a few years ago. I thought Snyder did well when he was up last September and hope he gets some time throughout the year.
I can't see Pie and Scott both lasting on this team all year. There really isn't enough playing time for both of them and we might be able to get some needed value in exchange for one of them.
There are still some rumors going around about the O's signing Eric Bedard. I've heard and read that his injury is pretty serious for a pitcher and a lot of times players never recover. I'm OK with them bringing him back for a chance. I'm not excited about the possibility of limiting some of our younger guys, but Bedard won't be ready until at least the 2nd half of the year and by that time they will be monitoring the innings Bergeson, Tillman and Matusz pitch.
All in all, I think this is the most optimistic Spring Training we've gone into in a very long time. I can't wait to watch this team develop this year and play some competitive baseball.
Edited by avoiding injuries, 27 March 2014 - 04:07 AM.