2007 Baltimore Orioles Baseball Preview
Remember the days of Jim Palmer and company? If you’re a Baltimore Orioles’ (70- 92) fan and want some solace this season, you’ll need to keep remembering them. The Birds brought in a bunch of pitchers, which will help the pen but not the starting situation.
The team ERA was 5.35 (13th in the league). The Orioles had 21 blown saves and gave up the most homeruns in the AL (216). LHP Erik Bedard (15- 11, 3.76 ERA) was last season’s ace and workhorse. He’s really a number two guy. Daniel Cabrera (9- 10, 4.74 ERA) is a promising young arm but wild and unpredictable. The bullpen has been upgraded, while Chris Ray (4- 4, 2.73 ERA, 33 SV) returns as closer.
Brian Roberts (.286 AVG, 55 RBI, 10 HR, 36 SB) at leadoff and Corey Patterson (.276 AVG, 53 RBI, 16 HR, 45 SB) in the ninth position give Baltimore speed and solid hitting. Right fielder Nick Markakis (.291 AVG, 62 RBI, 16 HR) and Miguel Tejada are both steady producers. First baseman Aubrey Huff (.266 AVG, 66 RBI, 21 HR) has hit 20 or more homers for five consecutive seasons.
With a .983 fielding percentage and 156 double plays, the Orioles finished ninth and eighth respectively in the league. The outfield includes Patterson in center, who is outstanding, and Payton in right, who’s also fine in the field. Tejada at short is spectacular and durable, having played in 1,080 consecutive games. Ramon Hernandez (.275 AV, 91 RBI, 23 HR) proved to be exceptional at the backstop position.
The clock is ticking for second-year manager Sam Perlozzo, who must show some improvement. First and second place are out but a winning season is possible. Third place is a maybe, while fourth is more likely. One problem is that quality ballplayers have gone to other teams, despite the organization’s strong attempts to sign them.
This team won’t finish last because the Devil Rays are in the division. But it looks like they could finish a full decade of losing seasons.
For more info on the Orioles check out the MLB official page for Baltimore baseball.