Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Questions continued

Earlier today, I took some relevant questions about the Orioles that people have been asking, and answered them to the best of my knowledge and opinion.

Here is part two with regard to the position players.

Question: Is Brian Roberts going to be ready for opening day? Will he struggle with his back all season?

Answer: I believe Roberts will be ready for opening day on April 6. He just went to see a back specialist at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to get an epidural and to make sure everything was all right with his herniated disk. People forget Roberts needed only 10 days of spring training in 2006 after his horrific elbow injury at Yankee Stadium in 2005. Roberts is a true professional in every sense of the word, and I have no doubt he'll be ready to go.

As far as if he will struggle with his back all season long. I can imagine he'll be playing through pain occasionally, but pro athletes these days get the best treatment with the best doctors and the best medicines to help them play through pain. Roberts should be fine, though I don't expect to see him steal 50 bases again this season.

Question: Will Nolan Reimold be ready to start the season?

Answer: This is a tricky question. Reimold is coming off of achilles tendon surgery in September, and all reports are that he is still being slowed by it. I wouldn't be surprised to see Reimold start the season either on the DL or as the DH. If he starts the season in either of these two scenarios, I would fully expect to see Felix Pie getting the most time in left field until Reimold is ready.

I think this can be a breakout year for Reimold. He is a very patient hitter with a solid OBP over .350 in 2009. His 15 home runs in 4 1/2 months is impressive, too. I can see 2010 being a 20 home run season for Reimold, but that's assuming he plays in over 145 games.

Question: Will the Orioles outfield combine for over 60 home runs?

Answer: Yes, Adam Jones, Reimold, Pie, and Nick Markakis will combine to hit over 60 home runs. In fact, I will say they will hit 75 home runs. Give Jones 25, Reimold 20, Pie 10, and Markakis 20. That's 75 home runs right there, and I can see Markakis having a breakout season with close to 30 home runs. 2010 will be the start of the discussion on whether the Orioles outfield is the best in the major leagues for many, many years to come.

Question: Can Miguel Tejada handle third base?

Answer: Absolutely. Tejada is one of the most athletically gifted baseball players there are. Shortstop is a demanding position, and not many 35 year old players can handle it. That's why Tejada knew that in order to extend his career he needed to go to the hot corner. So far, Tejada has not disappointed. He has reportedly been working very hard to ensure that he is the best third basemen he can be when opening day rolls around. The toughest play he may have to perfect is the bunt. It's hard to know when to come in for the bunt, how to make the throw on the run from awkward angles, and to cover the bag when necessary. Only practice and game experience will prep tejada for the demands of third base. I believe he will be successful.

Tomorrow I will look at the possibility of the Orioles breaking their 12 year losing streak, and winning 81 or more games. Can it be done?

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