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Baltimore Orioles MLB News - Orioles Baseball Blog » 2008 » March

The over/under for the Baltimore Orioles in 65.5 wins in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 10:31 am

The Baltimore Orioles are in rebuilding mode and that’s not a good thing in the American League East where every team is better than the O’s heading into the 2008 season. Every veteran on the roster that someone else wants will likely be traded during this season. With that in mind I think it would be a miracle for the Orioles to win more than 65 games this season. Be smart, and take the under.

The Baltimore Orioles have a very inexperienced starting rotation set for the 2008 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 6:49 am

With the exception of Steve Trachsel the Orioles will be going with young pitchers in the starting rotation. The “#1″ starter will be 29-year old righty Jeremy Guthrie who was saved off the Indians junk heap in 2007. He pitched in 32 games (26 starts) for the Orioles last season and he was 7-5 with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Guthrie has good stuff so he’s the Orioles starting pitcher with the best chance of having a win/loss record over .500 this season.

27-year old righty Daniel Cabrera has the most talent of anyone on the entire Orioles’ pitching staff but he has never really learned how too pitch. The Orioles should consider moving Cabrera to the bullpen where he wouldn’t have to concentrate over 5-6 innings and he could just let the ball fly for an inning. But, the Orioles don’t have that luxury this season. Cabrera started 34 games for the Orioles last season and he was 9-18 with a 5.55 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. He whiffed 166 batters and walked 108 in 204.1 innings last season. Look for more of the same in 2008.

Ancient 37-year old righty Steve Trachsel is back for a return engagement in the Orioles’ rotation. He started 29 games for the Orioles & Cubs last season and he was 7-11 with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. The Orioles hope that Trachsel can pitch well enough to net them a couple of prospects at either the end of July or August like he did last season when the Orioles got Scott Moore and Rock Cherry from the Cubs for him.

24-year old lefty Adam Loewen will be the #4 starter and he has a very solid upside. He started only 6 games last season before suffering a broken elbow. He was 2-0 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP last year for the Orioles. He needs to throw more strikes however as he walked 26 batters in only 30.1 innings last season.

27-year old lefty Brian Burres will be the #5 starter when the season starts. He pitched in 37 games (17 starts) for the Orioles last season and he was 6-8 with a 5.95 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP. Don’t expect him to keep a starting job all season long.

24-year old lefty Garrett Olson is one of the better prospects that the Orioles have and he will be a chance in the rotation at some point this season. He looked overmatched in his first taste of the majors last season. He started 7 games for the Orioles last season and he was 1-3 with a 7.79 ERA and a 2.16 WHIP. Olson was outstanding in AAA last season however as he started 22 games and he was 9-7 with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

23-year old Hayden Penn might also get a chance to realize his potential this season. He only started 10 games last season in Rookie+A+AAA ball last season and he was 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

25-year old righty Matt Albers was part of the Miguel Tejada haul from the Astros last season and he could start at some point this season but he will open the year in the bullpen. He pitched in 31 games (18 starts) for the Astros last season and he was 4-11 with a 5.86 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.

25-year old righty Radhames Liz is another prospect with a good arm. He pitched in 9 games (4 starts) for the Orioles last season and he was 0-2 with a 6.93 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP. He did pitch pretty well in AA-ball last season as he started 25 games and was 11-4 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. He also whiffed 161 batters in 137 innings which shows what kind of stuff he has.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: D

What will RF Nick Markakis do for an encore in 2008 for the Baltimore Orioles?

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 9:21 am

24-year old lefty swinging Nick Markakis had a breakout season in 2007. It will be interesting to see how he does this season as he won’t have as much help as he had last season with Miguel Tejada gone. Markakis played in 161 games for the Orioles last season and he was 191 for 637 (.300 avg, .847 OPS) with 97 runs scored, 23 homers, 112 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Markakis only made 2 errors in 161 games in RF last season and he had 13 assists while showing average range. The sky is the limit for Markakis.

31-year old lefty swinging Jay Gibbons is still around but he likely won’t get much playing time. He will miss the first 15 games of the season due to a league suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. He played in 84 games for the Orioles last season and he was 62 for 270 (.230 avg, .620 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 6 homers and 28 RBIs. Gibbons’ best days are behind him because he can’t cheat any more.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A

The Baltimore Orioles will look different at CF in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 9:15 am

The key to the trade of Erik Bedard over the winter was 22-year old righty swinging CF Adam Jones. Jones played in 41 games last season for the Mariners and he was 16 for 65 (.246 avg, .700 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 2 homers, 4 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He also played in 101 games in AAA where he was 132 for 420 (.314 avg, .968 OPS) with 75 runs scored, 25 homers, 84 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Jones is also an above average defender in CF so he should be quite a player for the Orioles starting in 2008.

31-year old lefty swinging Tike Redman was a sparkplug for the Orioles last season. He played in 40 games for the Orioles last season and he was 42 for 132 (.318 avg, .803 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 2 homers, 16 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Redman played in 28 games in CF for the Orioles and he only made 1 error there while showing outstanding range. He should win a spot on the bench after his play for the Orioles last season.

28-year old switch hitting Chris Roberson was also acquired in the off-season to provide depth. He played in 28 games for the Phillies last season and he was 8 for 28 (.286 avg, .596 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 RBI and 2 stolen bases. Roberson played in 113 games in AAA last season and he was 123 for 463 (.266 avg, .663 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 4 homers, 48 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. He will have a hard time making the team.

Jay Payton also could get some time in CF. He played in 17 games there last season for the Orioles and he made 2 errors while showing outstanding range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C

Left field could be a time share for the Baltimore Orioles

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 9:05 am

30-year old lefty swinging Luke Scott will likely get all of the time in LF against righty starting pitchers and if he can handle lefties he will likely start all of the time. If Scott has any problems with lefties he will likely platoon with Jay Payton. Scott played in 132 games last season for the Astros last season and he was 94 for 369 (.255 avg, .855 OPS) with 49 runs scored, 18 homers and 64 RBIs. Scott played mostly in right field last season for the Astros where he showed above average range.

35-year old righty swinging Jay Payton will likely also get some playing time in LF. He has the range of a center fielder but he did make 5 errors in 123 games in LF last season for the Orioles. Payton played in 131 games for the Orioles last season and he was 111 for 434 (.256 avg, .668 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 7 homers and 58 RBIs.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C

The Baltimore Orioles will use a veteran at DH

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 1:12 pm

The Orioles will likely use Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar to share both the DH and 1B jobs and that’s not a good thing. Traditionally both of those positions require big time power and neither of these guys have that. They combined to hit .268 with 131 runs scored, 32 homers and 135 RBIs. That is a good season for David Ortiz…..by himself!

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

Melvin Mora to man the hot corner (for now) for the Baltimore Orioles

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 1:09 pm

The Orioles would love to trade 36-year old righty swinging Melvin Mora so they can start over at 3B, but as long as he is here Mora will start. Mora played in 126 games last season for the Orioles and he was 128 for 467 (.274 avg, .759 OPS) with 67 runs scored, 14 homers and 58 RBIs. His power of the past seems to have been a mirage as he is starting to slow down with the bat. He made 18 errors in 120 games at 3B but he showed outstanding range. Look for Mora to have another so-so season in Baltimore.

The Orioles have a pair of 24-year old lefty swinging 3B that they would like to get a look at this season. Scott Moore came over in the trade for Steve Trachsel last season. He played in 19 games for the Cubs & Orioles and he was 12 for 52 (.231 avg, .563 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 homer and 11 RBIs. Moore didn’t make any errors in 12 games at the hot corner in the majors but he showed pretty poor range. Moore also played in 103 games in AAA ball last season and he was 85 for 321 (.265 avg, .899 OPS) with 61 runs scored, 19 homers and 69 RBIs.

Mike Costanzo is the other lefty swinging 3B that could get a shot if the Orioles move Mora. Costanzo played in 137 games in AA ball last season and he was 137 for 508 (.270 avg, .858 OPS) with 92 runs scored, 27 homers and 86 RBIs. He did whiff 157 times last season which has to be a concern.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

The Baltimore Orioles are going young at SS in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 12:58 pm

When the Orioles decided to trade Miguel Tejada in the off-season they did it with a eye on the future. 24-year old switch hitting Luis Hernandez will get the first crack at the job. He has the great fielding/no hit reputation. He played in 30 games for the Orioles last season and he was 20 for 69 (.290 avg, .662 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer, 7 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He showed outstanding range for the Orioles but he did make 3 errors in 23 games at SS. One has to wonder how much Hernandez will hit though as he had a rough time in AAA ball last season. In AAA, Hernandez played in 101 games last season and he was 97 for 397 (.244 avg) with 46 runs scored, 0 homers, 40 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. He is having a bad spring swinging the bat so far but the Orioles are sticking with him for now.

27 year old lefty swinging Brandon Fahey could get some playing time at shortstop if he hits a little bit. He played in 40 games for the Orioles last season and he was 9 for 54 (.167 avg, .418 OPS) with 10 runs scored and 1 RBI. Fahey didn’t make any errors in 18 games at SS for the Orioles but he didn’t show much range. Fahey played in 91 games in AAA ball last season and he was 81 for 343 (.236 avg, .625 OPS) with 37 runs scored, 2 homers, 28 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: F

Brian Roberts is the starting 2B for now on the Baltimore Orioles

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 14 March 2008 at 2:58 pm

30-year old switch hitting Brian Roberts is still the starting 2B and leadoff hurter right now for the Orioles but that could change soon as the Cubs have been heavily scouting him. Roberts played in 156 games for the Orioles last season and he was 180 for 621 (.290 avg, .809 OPS) with 103 runs scored, 12 homers, 57 RBIs and 50 stolen bases which led the American League. Roberts only made 7 errors last season and he has slightly above average range. The Orioles will be hurting if Roberts leaves them.

28 year old lefty swinging Freddie Bynum might get his big chance to show what he can do if Roberts is traded. He played in 70 games last season for the Orioles and he was 25 for 96 (.260 avg, .738 OPS) with 21 runs scored, 2 homers, 11 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Bynum didn’t make an error in 4 games at 2B last season.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: With Roberts: A Without Roberts: D

The Baltimore Orioles lose prized lefty starter Troy Patton for the season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Injuries by chinmusic on Thursday 13 March 2008 at 7:59 am

22-year old lefty starter Troy Patton was one of the keys to the Miguel Tejada trade but the Orioles will have to wait until 2009 to see what they have in him. He will miss the 2008 season as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn labrum. He pitched in 3 games (2 starts) with the Astros last season and he was 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Patton was solid in AA+AAA ball last season as he started 24 games. In those games Patton was 10-8 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. The Orioles still hope that Patton will be in their rotation for a long, long time in the future.

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