2009 Baltimore Orioles Baseball Preview

For the Baltimore Orioles (68- 93) 2008 was no different than 2007, 2006 or 2005, except that it was a bit worse. The last time the Orioles were in the playoffs was 1997 when they won the American League East with a 98- 64 record. By the way, in those days the Detroit Tigers were still a part of the East Division. So, it's been awhile since the O's and their fans have had any hope. Will 2009 be any different?

The pitching staff is thin but it does have some bright spots. Jeremy Guthrie (10- 12 W/L, 3.63 ERA, .242 BAA), the number one starter, features a two-seamer and a four-seamer that run from 88- 96 mph. He's also got a good slider and a tough-to-hit curve. He's a smart pitcher who continues to improve. Lefty Mark Henderson (7- 8 W/L, 5.45 ERA, .283 BAA) has some good action on his fastball and shows a curve with tight rotation. Henderson, the O's number two guy, is more of a three or four starter. The other three—Radhames Liz, Garrett Olson and Brad Hennessey—are all underdeveloped and inconsistent. Closer Chris Ray, who had elbow surgery and rehab last season, showed potential in 2007 before missing 2008. Jim Johnson is a power pitcher who could put in some important innings in relief.

Second baseman Brian Roberts (.296 BA, 57 RBI, 9 HR, 40 SB) is a fine switch-hitter with base running speed and smarts. Aubrey Huff (.304 BA, 108 RBI, 32 HR), who is a liability at first, is an aggressive hitter who drives the ball well. Nick Markakis (.306 BA, 87 RBI, 20 HR) and Melvin Mora (.285 BA, 104 RBI, 23 HR) are both capable of putting up impressive numbers.

In the infield, shortstop Cesar Izturis gets a good jump on the ball and throws well. Rookie catcher Matt Weiters is supposed to be the real thing. He'll probably see a lot of action this season. He may not be with the club on opening day but this hot prospect will be on board at some point. The rest of the infield is questionable. The outfield includes Adam Jones in center and Markakis in right. Jones continues to improve and offers a strong arm. Markakis has better-than-average speed, smarts and an accurate and powerful arm.

Manager Dave Trembley, who put in his first full season at the helm last year, proved to be a solid disciplinarian, an upbeat presence and a stickler for fundamentals. He spent 20 years in the minors as a coach and manager before getting his big chance last season. He's the real thing. General manager Andy MacPhail knows how to make deals that will improve the club in the long run.

This is a team that is once again destined to be the East Division's cellar dweller. Their pitching staff is inadequate, and when it comes to hitting, they are thin. This will be another season of discontent for Orioles' fans. But brighter days look to be ahead in the years to come as MacPhail works to improve the team and develop the farm system.

Read more on the Orioles other AL East division opponents, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

For more info on the Orioles check out the MLB official page for Baltimore baseball.


2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews

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