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...
Over the last three years, only five closers have recorded at least 30 saves each season (Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Cordero, Mariano Rivera, Joakim Soria and Brian Wilson). This fact alone illustrates the high turnover rate at this unstable position.
With nearly half of baseball's 30 teams likely to start 2011 with a new closer, it's important for fantasy managers to brush up on the bullpens in transition.
Every week during the 2011 season, I'll update the Closer's Corner as ninth-inning roles change hands. In the meantime, I'll post updates as free agents continue to sign and spring training battles become more clear...
Many starting pitchers who are usually reliable such as Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy, John Lackey and Roy Oswalt have been wildly unpredictable and/or injured through the first ten weeks of the season.
If you are one of the unlucky ones who have been become frustrated with your staff’s inconsistency, you might want to look into these buy-low candidates: