…you knew it was coming. After John’s fantastic break down of his Twinkies line-up, I’ll go through ours and let me tell you something, I’m getting kind of excited! As an O’s fan, I can’t honestly tell you the last time I was actually excited heading into a season. Here we go!
Catcher: I guess the discussion should be about who’s going to start Opening Day, but who cares when you’ve got, arguably, the #1 prospect across all of baseball chomping at the bit down in Norfolk to get his shot on April 16th? Don’t get me wrong, the Greg Zaun signing was a great move by the Orioles; they bring back a homegrown talent and an excellent tutor for the next ‘can’t miss prospect’ Matt Wieters. How many times have you heard about a ‘can’t miss’ prospect that well…missed? Ryan Leaf anyone? I saw Wieters play at Bowie last year and, unfortunately, he didn’t do anything spectacular, but how can you argue with the numbers he has put up AT EVERY LEVEL?? The kid is something special and is the symbolic backstop for the Andy MacPhail era in Baltimore. I guess Quiroz or Moeller or someone will back-up Zaun until Wieters comes up but that doesn’t really matter at all.
1B: Well, Kevin Millar officially isn’t going back to Baltimore and he’s not happy about it. I have mixed feelings about this guy. I love the way he plays the game, goes out there everyday and gives it his all knowing that he doesn’t have the ability to honestly keep up with his peers. On the other hand, when he threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game as a current member of the Orioles, that really pissed me off. With the recent transactions, it looks like Aubrey Huff will get a shot to earn the duties of everyday player at 1B and I hope he holds his own. After the season he had last year he deserves a shot. After him though, it’s kind of weak; Luke Scott can fill in and when you look at organizational depth it’s not too good: a converted catcher in Brandon Snyder and then maybe recently-cleared waivers Oscar Salazar?
2B: Brian Roberts. Period. Because frankly there is no one else, literally.
SS: Last year I think we ran out 5 or 6 different shortstops to stop the bleeding and none of them did. A lot of people really hated on the Brandon Fahey solution and to those people I say, “Brandon Fahey played Major League Baseball and you didn’t.” You have to give respect to the kid who weighs less than me and looks like a strong wind might blow him over. Anyways, we’ve got Cesar Izturis for the next two years whom is a FANTASTIC defensive shortstop and will actually be an improvement offensively at that position too. I’m looking forward to seeing some glove flashed around the dirt at shortstop in Baltimore again. Maybe Blake Davis is the youthful, long-term solution, but I prefer that MacPhail keep looking.
3B: Melvin Mora has like 23 babies and is 55 years old and keeps getting it done. Mike Costanzo and Scott Moore are great youthful options as well. Gotta love Melmo though personally. Mora is the only player that actually panned out from the barn burning days of Syd Thrift WHO WAS/IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST BRAIN IN BASEBALL.
OF: ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? I get to watch an Outfield of Felix Pie, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis with a spelling here or there by Ryan Freel? What? I get to watch that for like the next 10 years? I’ll take it. Throw in Lou Montanez, Nolan Reimold, and Jeff Fiorentino as back-up plans and I don’t believe you are even talking about the lowly-Orioles.
DH: I hate the DH, I think it has ruined baseball and the way that the game is supposed to be played. However, if I have to watch a DH, I’d like to watch Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuke Scott; one of the classiest guys in the game. Did you hear that one way he’s preparing for the season is by chopping wood? He’s a man’s man.
SP: I know John will do a separate post on Pitchers, and I will too, but this is the best part and I can’t believe that the O’s system got so stocked with young arms so quickly. Here’s a roll call: Jeremy Guthrie, Radhames Liz, Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Dennis Sarfate, Kam Mickolio, Troy Patton, Pedro Beato, Brandon Erbe, and David Hernandez.
Can you all say 4-team race in the AL East…in 3 years?