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Written by Nicholas Kramer (Contact & Archive) on March 09, 2008
OF Adam Jones Trade with Mariners
LHP George Sherrill Trade with Mariners
RHP Steve Trachsel Free Agent
RHP Chris Ray Resigned
RHP Greg Aquino Waivers from Brewers
RHP Jeremy Guthrie Resigned
LHP Adam Loewen Resigned
LHP Troy Patton Trade with Astros
OF Luke Scott Trade with Astros
RHP Matt Albers Trade with Astros
RHP Dennis Sarfate Trade with Astros
Flew the Coup
C Ryan Hubele Retired
LHP Eric Bedard Trade with Mariners
SS Miguel Tejada Trade with Astros
RHP Jarret Wright Released
RHP Victor Zambrano Released
C Paul Bako Free Agent to Reds
RHP Kris Benson Free Agent to Phillies
CF Corey Patterson Free Agent
The Skinny: In 2007, the Baltimore Orioles tied for the fourth-worst winning percentage. For that record to improve, the Orioles have to find a way to get their offense to match their defense. Outfielders Adam Jones and Luke Scott must be a major part of that. Improvement and development in the starting rotation is also a must for any sort of push to win in 2008.
Strengths: Unfortunately the Baltimore Orioles have very little in the way of strengths. Ultimately its Baltimore’s fielding that is what keeps them from being at the bottom of the AL East. With the addition of Adam Jones and Luke Scott that defense, at least in the outfield, should keep strong.
As for the infield defense, things might be about the same. Even with SS Miguel Tejada being traded to Houston, and the possible trade of 2B Brian Roberts to the Cubs, the infield defense looks to stay steady.
Weakness: Good pitching is very hard to not only acquire but develop as well. Baltimore has had very little luck in both developing and acquiring good pitching. This year Baltimore’s best pitcher could be their closer, George Sherrill. Sherrill played for the Mariners last year as a set up man. He put up a 2.36 ERA and had 56 Ks in 73 IP.
Right now Orioles starting pitching rotation looks pretty bleak. They have starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie as their #1 for 2008. Guthrie is a decent starter who put up 7-5 record and a 3.70 ERA in 07. He is not the worst pitcher in the AL but would not be a #1 starter for many other teams. To put the starting rotation in to terms O’s fans can understand, the Orioles have 2 Ben McDonalds and 3 Sidney Ponsons.
2B Brian Roberts
3B Melvin Mora
RF Nick Markakis
DH Aubrey Huff
CF Adam Jones
LF Luke Scott
C Ramon Hernandez
1B Kevin Milar
SS Luis Hernandez
Troy Patton/Garret Olson
CL George Sherrill
SU Dennis Sarfate
SU Jamie Walker
Prediction: The Orioles will just be trying to develop their young players more. Adam Jones, Luke Scott, Luis Hernandez and the bottom end of the O’s pitching rotation are the future for this team. The O’s are going to blow up this team by trading away Huff, Mora, and Roberts by the end of the season. Winning is not an option for Baltimore and as AL East gets stronger, Baltimore can expect to be on the bottom of the division for maybe the next two seasons.
Keys to Success: Having fun. For this team to feel good about losing, management must let the reigns of the team be loose. The entire team must have fun in their play and not get down and develop a losing attitude that lasts for seasons when they could be contending. Morale is the biggest key to success for the development on 2008, but also the future.