It’s the best time of the year. Spring has sprung, the grass is green, and opening day at Camden Yards is just 3 days away. I’ll go on record with some predictions for the 2010 version of the O’s and MLB in general. Here goes:
1. Orioles final 2010 record: 76-86
That’s a significant improvement over last year’s 64 wins. This team has improved but the young pitching is not quite ready to carry the club over .500.
2. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters will make everyone shut up about needing a “big bat”. Jones will hit over 30 homers and Wieters will be hitting cleanup by late June (He should be hitting cleanup now).
3. Despite Matt Albers strong outing in Tampa tonight he’ll be placed on waivers before the end of May. He’s out of options and will be picked up by another club.
4. Jason Berken will be the 2010 version of Albers shuffling between Baltimore and Norfolk multiple times, performing below average for both.
5. Jake Arrieta will be called up to start for the Orioles before Chris Tillman.
6. Tillman and Arrieta will both make at least 10 starts for the O’s this season.
7. David Hernandez will finish the season in the bullpen.
8. Kam Mickolio will be in the Orioles bullpen before the end of April.
9. The playing time situation in the outfield will work itself out. Pie and Riemold will each have over 450 at bats this season.
10. The Orioles will draft Texas HS fireballer Jameson Taillon with the 3rd pick in this year’s June Amatuer draft.
11. Jim Hunter will irritate me on a nightly basis.
The Mariners will finish below .500. I’m not buying the hype. Take a look at that lineup. Casey Kotchman and Milton Bradley are their 3 and 4 hitters. They just won’t score.
The Rays will win the AL East and the Yankees will win the Wild Card. No Red Sox in the playoffs this year.
Pedro Martinez will pitch for the Phillies again this year beginning sometime in late July.
Carl Crawford will sign with the MFYs in the off season. Brett Gardner is just a space holder and Crawford has already been fitted for pinstripes.
Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies will be a terrific offensive player and no one outside of Denver will notice.
Jason Heyward will not hit 162 home runs, but he will be the NL Rookie of the Year. Brian Matusz will win the award in the AL.
Carlos Zambrano will beat up at least one water cooler, and if he keeps pitching like he did yesterday Lou Piniella will beat up at least one Carlos Zambrano.