Oriole Magic Returns Next Week: We Break It Down

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm by

by Seabass

While  the commotion surrounding the Ravens and their post-Super bowl off-season have taken all the headlines around here, the Baltimore Orioles have quietly been putting together a very nice spring.  The Birds are 18-8 in the Grapefruit League and have looked very good.  Wilson Betemit will be out 6-8 weeks following an injury, but other than that Birds seems geared up and ready to roll.  That Ol’ Oriole Magic was back in Camden Yards last season, and damn it would be fun to have that feeling return.

We all know what happened last year.  After years of absolute misery the Orioles flipped the script and turned themselves into a playoff team.  It was as memorable as it was improbable, and last season promises to stay one of my favorite Oriole seasons.  But success breeds expectation, and now the question becomes whether or not the Birds can build upon last years 93 win campaign.  The organization didn’t exactly inject enthusiasm into Camden Yards by signing exactly zero high impact free agents during the off-season, but at least the Orioles seem to have a plan in place.  A plan that involves developing and paying their own young talent.  The Birds are  content with fitting pieces around their Markakis, Jones, Wieters and Muchado core, as far as position talent goes, and Baltimore knows it is loaded with young pitching.  By standing pat this off-season, the Orioles have committed fully to all of this young talent, and it looks like they are determined to succeed, or fail, with this group.    So while it would have been nice to see the Orioles add a bat for this year, I’ll respect their decision to stand pat and see how it turns out.

So here’s a breakdown of the probable Opening Day Lineup.  (Pitching Breakdown To Follow Later this Week.)


Hopefully we don’t see anymore of these dazed concussion type looks outta Roberts in 2013

1.  Brian Roberts 2B:   B-Rob is a beast when healthy, but man it’s been a while since he can claim that.  He’s also 35 so I feel like it’s just a matter of time before this talented old goat hits the DL.  He has been on fire at the plate, but I’ve also read reports that his throwing arm has turned to Jello.  If he’s healthy, and that’s a big if, this lineup is significantly better than last year.  We’ll stay positive though and predict a nice come-back. (.280 13 HRs 50 RBIs)

2. Nick Markakis RF:  Nikki Mak was kicking ass last year and I wonder if the Orioles would have beaten the Yankees with him in the lineup.  We’ll never know, but I love him here in the 2 hole over J.J. Hardy.  Markakis is a gifted hitter with enough speed to pressure outfielders.  He’s another injury concern though, so I hope he’s 100% come April.

3. Adam Jones CF:  Jonesy has come into his own as a player and a leader for this ball club.  He’s a gold glover who hits for average and  power.  He is probably the most gifted player on the team but he needs a little more plate discipline.  If he can get more patient with the stick he goes from All-Star to absolute stud.

4. Matt Wieters C:  The Wheat is on fire in Sarasota.  If Wieters keeps progressing with the lumber, the Birds will finally have the bona-fide clean-up hitter they’ve been missing for 15 years.  Wieters may already be the best defensive catcher in baseball, so if he hits 35 homers, the Orioles better be ready to back up the Brinks truck.   Bingo.123

5. Nolan Reimold LF/DH:  I feel like the Orioles didn’t sign an outfielder because they still feel like Nolan can be a star for this team.  This guy has significant power, and if he can freakin’ stay healthy, the Birds might be right.  I like him in the 5 spot because I think he’s a better hitter than the new Mr. Strikeout, Chris Davis.  Bathe in Ben Gay and Epsom Salts if you have to Nolan, but for crap’s sake stay on the field this year.

6. Manny Muchado 3B:  The Muchach did it all last year.  He showed power, he was a defensive gem, and he showed clutch too.  I love this kid.  If he keeps moving forward, he’s a future All-Star.  He reminds me of a young A-Rod on the field, but he seems way cooler off  it.  Loveable talent goes a long way in this town, just ask Ray Rice.  We predict a big year for the Muchach.

7. Chris Davis 1B:  Love his power and his average, but he strikes out a lot.  That’s ok if he keeps hitting 30 some homers.  Looks good at first this spring, which is good since he’ll be there every day now.  Another player with plenty of upside, we hope Davis’ growth continues.

8. J.J. Hardy SS:  Great defensive player who gives you his best every night.  Hardy has power too, and if he could just get that average up to that .270-.280 range all would be good with the world.  Even if he doesn’t hit for average, he still remains a very valuable asset to this club.

Nate Mclutch

Nate Mclutch

9. Nate Mclouth LF:  If you don’t like Nate Mclouth, you’re an asshole.  This guy came out of nowhere land to become a solid contributor to the 2012 Birds.  He plays sick D, he hits for power, and he has speed.  I’m real happy with him as our 4th outfielder, and would feel comfortable with him as an every day player.   This guys’ personal comeback to baseball last year fit right along with the Orioles comeback as an organization.  I hope Mclouth and the Birds  continue moving forward.

I really like this lineup.  If the Orioles can stay healthy this lineup has tons of upside.  The power and talent is there, we just gotta keep it on the field.



One Comment

  1. I like the bench and depth we’ve assembled. We have guys to come of the bench for a late game pinch hit or steal a base. We set up well to platoon based on the hot bat or opposing starter. A starter in the infield or outfield going down for 3 weeks won’t kill us like in the past. It’s said the same bullpen cast can’t repeat a stellar performance. I’ll take my chances there with Buck as chess master. Our starting pitching however instills no confidence. I don’t care what Buster Olney says, if this collection of misfits can’t go 6 most nights, we are toast. Maybe chips on their ragtag shoulders and fan support and a few breaks along the way add up to exceeding my expectations. I would love to be wrong.

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