Ready for the season

I was going to do something about the season roster, but I’ve got this blasted cold that I’ve had in some form or the other and I don’t feel like doing it today.

With the season coming, and quite frankly it can’t come soon enough, there are things to be decided. The pitching rotation, the batting order, the bullpen, and all that. While we are rebuilding, this team is still going to look alot like the one last season for awhile longer.

Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada are the only noticable players gone. Brian Roberts is still here for another day, but that day could be his last as an Oriole. I’m not discussing any Roberts trade talk because I’m sick of it. MacPhail has the luxury to wait for the best deal. I have have the luxury to wait until the deal is done to talk about it. The only players who I think of who played all season with the team who’s gone arePaul Bako and Corey Patterson. Kris Benson, Jaret Wright, Victor Zambrano, Paul Shuey, and neglected AAAA players JR House and Jon Knott are the only others who I think of who are, but they have little impact on the team. Shuey stunk up some games, but whatever. Melvin Mora, Jay Gibbons, Aubrey Huff, and Payton are the players we want gone (I like Kevin Millar, he can stay), but its going to take a team needing a player to take the place of an injured player or needing another bat to help in the stretch run. If Huff and co. can get hot starts going (Huff and hot start go together like oil and water), then it’ll get a team or two possibly willing to give up a low level prospect.

The lineup as it stands looks a lot of the same as I’m predicting it:

2B Brian Roberts

3B Melvin Mora

RF Nick Markakis

1B Kevin Millar

DH Aubrey Huff

LF Luke Scott

C Ramon Hernandez

CF Adam Jones

SS Luis Hernandez

Bench- C Guillermo Quiroz, Scott Moore, Jay Payton, and Ughhhh..Brandon Fahey.

Freddie Bynum will be out for most of the first month of the season with surgery, which clears the way for Fahey to flop onto the opening day roster. There could be a trade for [Mark Loretta, Clint Barmes, insert other aging, underachieveing infielder here] that would rightfully send Fahey to Norfolk. Payton, cross yer fingers, could be included in that trade to Cubs for our 2nd baseman. Jay Gibbons will be back on the roster after his day suspension. Cases like his make me wish for a year long suspension for 1st offenses.

There’s the rotation,

Jeremy Guthrie

Adam Loewen

Daniel Cabrera

Steve Trachsel

Matt Albers/ Garret Olson / Brian Burres

The first four will be in the rotation, though spots varying I’m sure. Steve Trachsel could very well be our opening day starting. That’s a heckuva minor league deal. Part of me thinks his signing was smart. Sign an old vet to throw innings to prevent some of the young pitchers from getting wore out. That’s fine and it makes some sense, but I hate watching Steve Trachsel pitch. Albers and Olson are vying for that last spot and the loser will be up with the team soon enough. I’m betting Albers gets it. Burres is decent long relief, but after his starts last season, I’d soon prefer not to see him starting. Hayden Penn will starting at some point in the season too. He was sent down this week, so he could get more innings and build his stamina back up. That’s what sucks about having your major league camp and minor camp 58483884 miles away from each other, but he’ll be back soon enough. Notice I made no mention of Lance Cormier.

The bullpen will be Burres, Sarfate, Bradford, Walker, Aquino, Bierd, and Sherrill. It could be a decent pen. Course, our bullpens have been notoriously rotten over the years, so a decent pen would be like seeing the great white buck. It’s rare.

This has been more or less a stream of babbling, but this is what I think we’ll be seeing for the first half of the season.

What I’m wanting to see is some games that count. If we’re going to start our long painful but neccessary march to 100 losses, let’s get it started. There’s a chance we might see a few good games along that agonizing stroll.

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