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Blog Entry

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Posted on: March 13, 2008 8:15 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2008 6:52 pm
 

2007 Record - 69-93, 4th in AL East, 27.0 GB

Key Departures: Miguel Tejada/SS(HOU), Erik Bedard/LHSP(SEA), Corey Patterson/OF(CIN)

Key Acquisitions: Matt Albers/RHP(HOU), Adam Jones/OF(SEA), Dennis Sarfate/RHRP(HOU), Luke Scott/OF(HOU), George Sherrill/LHRP(SEA)

Into the off-season, GM Andy MacPhail made a statement by turning the franchise into a rebuilding state. Unfortunaltly, it will be a while before the O's climb back on the horse and become a contender. Peter Angelos did them in for the past ten years. Now, the O's lose one of the best southpaws in the game, Erik Bedard, but gain a new closer, a very talented center fielder in Adam Jones, and three young pitching prospects. Before that, macPhail dealt shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros for outfielder Luke Scott, two young pitchers expected to step in immediatly in Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate, a third base prospect expected to see some playing time and one of the best southpaw prospects in the game, Troy Patton. Even with the departures of Bedard and Tejada, I expect the O's to be better. Both Bedard and Tejada were bad clubhouse players. The O's tossed them out and started new. The 2008 Orioles have a good chemistry of young components along with some oldies to help the young guys out.

 

Offense: The Offense of the O's will be a torture to watch at the beginning, but expect it to get a fire lit underneath after a bad April. Expect to see Ramon Hernandez to bounce back to somewhat of his 2006 form, where he hit .275 with 23 home runs and 91 rbi's. Kevin Millar will start the season at first base. Millar is a good team player, but he is not at all a starter. Hopefully Mike Costanzo or Scott Moore can take over at some point. Brian Roberts comes back to the Orioles after dodging a spew of trade rumors this off-season. Roberts may very well be the best player on the trade block, and will be a hot commodity at the trade deadline. Unfortunatly, shortstop is a horrible position of the O's as well. Luis Hernandez is currently the starter, but is absolutley horrible in Spring Training. Brandon Fahey may very well be a better option and with Hernandez's play, could be the starter at shortstop on opening day. Melvin Mora is doing very well in spring training , but probably will not bring it over to the regular season. He could be a trade chip, but I don't think too many teams will be interested. Maybe either Costanzo or Moore will take over eventually. Here is where the O's are best, the outfield. Nick Markakis is just one of the few top 20, under 25 outfielders. He will get help from Luke Scott, who becomes the new starter at left field. Stuck in the middle of these two is youngster Adam Jones. Expect good seasons from all three of these players.

Pitching: Last year proved that just because you have one of the top 10 pitchers in the game dosn't mean you pitching is good. Adam Loewen and Jeremy Guthrie are in a tight battle for the ace of the staff, while Daniel Cabrera and Steve Trachsel basically sit calm in the 3-4 spots. The other battle is between Matt Albers and Lance Cormier for the 5th rotation spot. The bullpen was where the team was a blow up last season. The had two non-closer's under 4 ERA(Chad Bradford and Jaime Walker). Both Bradford and Walker along with closer george Sherrill will be on the trade block come deadline time. Other than that, the bullpen becomes a toss-up. There are two others who will probably make it, they are Dennis Sarfate and Randor Bierd, who was a Rule-5 pick this off-season. There is also Garrett Olson, Radhames Liz, Brian Burres, Greg Aquino and other battling for the last one or two spots.

Strengths: The O's have a few bright spots. There strong at catcher(Hernandez), second base(Roberts) and outfield(Markakis, Scott, Jones). It will not be a pretty year to be a Birds fan, but it will be fun watching the new guys and the young guys form the team and try there hardest. Probably there best strength is that they have around $30-$40M to spend in free agency next year on young but talented guys like Mark Teixeiria

Weakness: Man, was it easier to just name the strengths. The O's need a first baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and a lot of good youth pitching to become a contender. The good news, they have a potential prospect at just about every position. The offense is half and half, kind of like they have been in spring training. They will be great one day, then come out and fiddle around for 3 hours the next day. If they can become a team that wants to win, who says they can't.

Line-up

player photo1. Brian Roberts/2B

player photo2. Melvin Mora/3B

player photo3. Nick Markakis/RF

player photo4. Aubrey Huff/DH

player photo5. Ramon Hernandez/C

player photo6. Luke Scott/LF

player photo7. Adam Jones/CF

player photo8. Kevin Millar/1B

player photo9. Luis A. Hernandez/SS

*Editors Note: The Projected Line-up is what I believe the O's opening day line-up should look like.

Comments

Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2008 1:06 pm
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

lets do this o's



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2008 11:45 am
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Well put together Dragon.

The OF of Nick Markakis (incredibly underrated) and Adams Jones (superstar in making) is a serious bright spot for the O's at least in my opinon.

And it appears to be a tough year for the O's but they are acquiring some young talent. My opinon is that they have to move Brian Roberts to the Cubs for a couple of their top prospects to continue the rebuilding process.

Any team that has someone named Costanzo is good my book...Can't Stand Ya!

Long hot summer in the Maryland/DC area with people being subjected to the O's and the Nationals...yikes. Hang in there Dragon...McPhail will turn around your O's.




Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: March 14, 2008 7:00 am
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Have you noticed how much better Quiroz is doing than Ramon, both at and behind the dish? Maybe he's finally over the whole injury thing and is ready to break out and live up to the potential that has followed him around his entire career.I have been really impressed by Quiroz this spring. I think we still give the starter job to Ramon ad if we can trade him, use Quiroz as the starter for August and September.



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 14, 2008 6:54 am
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Alright, it's nine hours later and I'm on a different computer, let's try this one more time.

Good job Dragon. The post is put together well.

The only thing I see is that Olson isn't in your running for the fifth starter spot. I honestly think that with his performance yesterday, he is the frontrunner. Albers and Cormier just haven't been all that impressive. And I agree that while Fahey is appearing to be a better option right now (and Blake Davis is looking better than either, but he needs more time in the minors above A ball), Hernandez will probably still get the starter job at short. Have you noticed how much better Quiroz is doing than Ramon, both at and behind the dish? Maybe he's finally over the whole injury thing and is ready to break out and live up to the potential that has followed him around his entire career. There are two postitions that we have absolutely no problem with depth right now, and that's third and catcher, plus we have two super utility guys in the making in Moore and Costanzo.

...and that is a very flattering pic of Costanzo you got there.




Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2008 12:29 am
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

great post dragon..  i like that you have the player's names along with their pics..  



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2008 9:46 pm
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Something must be up with the site.




Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2008 9:41 pm
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Uhhh...not sure what happened there. Let's try that again.




Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2008 9:39 pm
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview




Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2008 8:47 pm
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Whoa that was messed up, my computer wasn't loading the page and refreshed when I was typing

Like I said good job Dragon,

Your right it will probably be a long year for the Orioles, they most likely will end up in the cellar in the AL East. At least there are some bright spots to watch, like the young prospects.




Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2008 8:45 pm
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Good Job Dragon,


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com