Spring Training is here!!!

February 13, 2011 | John West

Pitchers and Catchers are showing up in Sarasota, FL over the next several days and the weather has turned here in Baltimore to a cold spring. It is a very exciting time for Orioles fans and I have some thoughts about this upcoming year.

I love the Vlad signing. In fact, I cannot figure out why some people are not excited. I guess I can understand the Sabermetrics people who think that Vlad’s offense is only slightly better than Felix Pie’s offense. Then you add Luke’s defense is slightly worse than Felix Pie’s defense. I hear all of that and you are wrong. Adding a bat like Vlad in the middle of this lineup is a fantastic upgrade that will reap benefits to almost everyone in the lineup. It was critical to have someone like Vlad in this year’s lineup and I give Andy credit for getting it done. Make no mistake, having Vlad bat either 3 or 4 in this year’s lineup will be a massive upgrade.

When the 2010 Orioles scored more than 4 more runs, they had a very good winning percentage. The problem is they didn’t score 4 or more runs often enough. This offseason has been about increasing the number of times the 2011 Orioles score more than 4 runs. I think that will be many more times and the wins will follow.

I like the commitment to win this year. It is critical to the development of our your stars, like Matt and Brian and Adam and Nick, to have the team show a commitment to winning and this offseason is the very first time our young wannabe stars have seen this commitment. It is the teams hope that all of this will come together and not turn into 2010 all over again.

Last year, the Orioles started 2-16 and phoned it in until Buck took over. Brian Roberts being out was the worst hit to the Orioles. If Brian can play the year all healthy, I am very excited about how many runs he could score.
I like what our bullpen looks like. It seems like a lot of money was spent to upgrade the bullpen and I hope it works out. If it does and we can win lots of games when we have a lead through the sixth inning, again this could be a fun summer.

I will wait to see what happens during spring training before I make any bold predictions about the 2011 win total, but I see no disrespect at all with the team trying to get to .500 this year