2009 MLB Preview: #28 Baltimore Orioles

Click Here to see Previews of all 30 MLB Teams

Offseason Movement: One of the busier teams this offseason, the Orioles acquired OF Felix Pie and LHP Rich Hill from the Cubs, while also adding free agents Ty Wigginton, Mark Hendrickson, Cesar Izturis, Gregg Zaun, Ryan Freel, John Parrish, David Pauley, Chris Gomez, Chad Moeller and Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara.

Top Prospect: Matt Wieters, C
Wieters isn’t only the best prospect in Baltimore – he’s the best prospect in baseball. He can flat out rake and once he gets some experience under his belt, he could be a .300 hitter who produces 12-15 home runs a year. Unfortunately, Baltimore fans that were hoping to see him play early this season will have to wait. Wieters is expected to start the first two months in the International League, but could be called up before the All-Star Break with the O’s not expected to be in contention. Some have compared Wieters to Joe Mauer and Mike Piazza.

The Big Question: Can the starting pitching come through?
Jeremy Guthrie will assume the role of ace again this season after posting 10 wins and a 3.63 ERA. After Guthrie is a relative unknown in Koji Uehara, who went 12-0 last year in Japan. Mark Hendrickson adds a veteran arm to the rotation, but he won’t dazzle anyone and Rich Hill had issues with his control last season in Chicago. Throw in David Pauley and this is one of the worst starting rotations in all of baseball.

Outlook: The Orioles have a nice collection of position players starting with Nick Markakis, who is one of the best young outfielders in the game. The club also hung onto 2B Brian Roberts despite offseason trade rumors, so at least they’ll have a quality bat at the leadoff position while Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora and Luke Scott add to a promising lineup. If newly acquired Felix Pie and former top prospect Adam Jones ever develop, the O’s would have one of the better young lineups in all of baseball. But the starting pitching is horrible and the O’s play in one of the toughest divisions in the league. The Rays came out of nowhere last year, but at least they had a true ace in Scott Kazmir and a nice developing youngster in Matt Garza. Baltimore’s lineup shows some potential, but the pitching staff will doom this club once again this year.

Projection: 5th AL East.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts

3 responses to “2009 MLB Preview: #28 Baltimore Orioles”

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>