The Baltimore Orioles had a busy offseason acquiring the likes of Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, Vladimir Guerrero, among others.
The key to the Orioles lineup in 2011, however, will be the return of Brian Roberts, who missed 103 games last year with back and neck injuries. The team received a scare with news that Roberts was taken in for an MRI on his neck in the opening days of spring training, but nothing came of it. Roberts made his spring debut on Tuesday, and is expected to be in the lineup Opening Day.
Just two years removed from a ridiculous 110/16/79/30/.283 season, Roberts remains capable of 10-plus HRs, 25-plus steals and a .280 batting average...
As part of our journey to watch and score 162 games this season, Tuesday night featured the Orioles/Rays opener in Tampa.
Game No. 3 - Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Adam Jones went 3-for-5 with a single, double, and HR.
Matt Wieters went 2-for-4 with a HR to lead off the sixth. In his first at-bat of the game, the soon-to-be 24-year-old crushed a ball that forced B.J. Upton to the wall in straight away center. I’ve been saying this since last April, Wieters will be a top-25 fantasy player by the end of this season...
If you’re unfamiliar with Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold, listen up.
In 2009, Baseball America ranked Reimold as Baltimore’s fifth best prospect, saying the Bowling Green State alum possesses “the raw power to compare with just about anyone in the minors, rating a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale.” They also acknowledged his potential to “be an average overall hitter if he continues to make adjustments.”
After a slow start to 2009, Wieters managed to salvage his rookie campaign by hitting .301/.351/.415 with six HRs and 33 RBI in 246 at-bats after the break.
The soon-to-be 24-year-old is one of the game's best young hitters. In fact, Baseball America wrote last year that "Wieters is an above-average hitter with above-average power, combining patience...with great pitch recognition." As if that's not enough, he's also a switch hitter...