As we approach another weekend, we’re also seeing the second week of Spring Training action coming to an end. Can we really predict what lies ahead for the 2011 Orioles, based on a couple weeks worth of exhibition baseball?
That depends …..
I’m certainly not willing to get overexcited about the prospective successes of Jake Fox (although, I like him), Nolan Reimold and Ryan Drese on the heels of competition against lineups concocted of mixed Major League talent and “camp bodies”.
But, I think some discernable conclusions can be made on what we’ve observed, since the birds landed in Sarasota, a month ago …..
- Brian Roberts is by all means the figurative piece to this Orioles lineup. It’s much more vulnerable without him. The O’s had a winning record when Roberts played; 30-29 (with him) and 36-67 (without him), in 2010. While most of Roberts’ games occurred after Buck Showalter took over, just remember the manager doesn’t play the game.
So, how important is a true leadoff hitter? Just look at the Red Sox, without Jacoby Ellsbury, in last year’s lineup. Does the optimism surrounding this Orioles team really weigh heavily on the health of Brian Roberts’ back? In a word …. YES.
- Vladimir Guerrero has made a career on being a “bad ball hitter.” If you have any questions regarding this phrase, just watch last night’s homer against the Pirates – low and away …. and he launched a bomb to leftfield. He’s gonna have a nice summer …..
- I never, EVER profess to know more than the very men who’ve made their life working in the game of baseball. But, I questioned bringing back Koji Uehara, specifically due to his fragile injury concerns. So, while I’m disappointed that he’s sidelined, I’m not surprised.
- According to USA Today, 7 of the Top-10 amateur prospects are pitchers. The Orioles have the 4th overall selection, in the June draft. With a minor league system desperately in need of positional depth, I’ve got a very uneasy feeling …..
- If you could nominate one person to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in the home opener, on April 4th, who would it be? I think it’s an easy choice – just pick a random KID and make their day. No more dignitaries or so-called celebs. Give the ball to a kid …..
HAPPY FRIDAY !!!!!