The Orioles were smart in re-signing 31-year old switch hitting Brian Roberts to a new deal after bringing up his name in trade talks over the winter. Roberts played in 155 games for the Orioles last season and he was 181 for 611 (.296 avg, .828 OPS) with 107 runs scored, 9 homers, 57 RBIs and 40 stolen bases. It doesn’t stop with just his offense as Roberts only made 8 errors in 154 games at 2B while showing above average range. Look for Roberts to have another outstanding season in 2009 for the Orioles.
37-year old righty swinging Chris Gomez was brought back to the Orioles as a free agent. Gomez played in 90 games for the Pirates last season in which he was 50 for 183 (.273 avg, .655 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 1 homer and 20 RBIs. If something happens to Roberts and Gomez is pressed into extended duty at 2B the Orioles’ defense would suffer. Gomez made 2 errors in 18 games at 2B last season while showing poor range.
25-year old righty swinging Donnie Murphy will battle Gomez this spring a spot on the bench. Murphy played in 46 games for the A’s last season and he was 19 for 103 (.184 avg, .575 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 3 homers and 13 RBIs. Murphy’s biggest problem with a bat in his hands is making contact as he whiffed a stunning 38 times last season. In 10 games at 2B for the A’s last season Murphy didn’t make any errors while showing slightly below average range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A