Tuesday, April 6, 2010
After 184 long days: Opening Day
The Baltimore Orioles will finally get their season underway tonight at 7:05 PM in St. Petersburg, FL, against the Tampa Bay Rays. There are many things to look forward to tonight, and there are certainly major differences from last year's opening day squad against the New York Yankees.
Veteran Kevin Millwood will be taking the mound tonight in his Orioles debut. He was brought in to stabilize the young pitching staff, eat innings, and win some games. I expect Millwood to have a solid outing, but most importantly, I expect him to go seven innings in many of his starts.
Catcher Matt Wieters was not yet with the club last year for opening day, and I'm excited to see what a full year in the show will do for him. Wieters is ready to handle the pitching staff without a mentor, and his high batting IQ should help him keep hitting for average this season, while developing more power to go along with it.
Felix Pie will get the first few starts in left field over Nolan Reimold. Pie was with the team last year, but he was seen as a project. I don't think the club thought he would develop as quickly as he has. Pie was very impressive during spring training, and he has earned his way into tonights lineup. It helps that Reimold is still recovering from an achilles injury suffered last summer.
New corner infielders Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins will be interesting to watch, too. Tejada is a proven, consistent bat with a steady glove. Atkins is still trying to find himself after three declining seasons in Colorado. Both of these players can have a major impact on how the Orioles do this season, and we finally get to see tonight just how much they will bring to this lineup.
Who else is excited to get this thing rolling???
Stay tuned for an article about the Nationals and the Donovan McNabb trade.