Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring Training

It looks like baseball is finally upon us! This week, most - if not all - teams start Spring Training with pitchers and catchers reporting to camp. Even though the games are meaningless and most of the stars only play for a few innings at most, there's nothing like the ambiance of Florida in March.

For the most part, aside from the additions of Garrett Atkins, Mike Gonzalez, Miguel Tejada, and Kevin Millwood, the Orioles look pretty much the same as they did last year when they lost 98 games.

However, let's hope another year of experience can avoid another bad season. For the money the team spent this season, plus if you add the contracts of Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis, the Orioles should finish better than they have in the past. Sadly, though, this is a team still in the rebuilding process and the success they have this season will depend on the development of the youngsters.

For the Orioles, everything kicks off on Wednesday and the first workouts are on Thursday. Who knows what we'll learn for next month-and-a-half about the team. We'll learn if Tejada can play third base, or if Atkins can rediscover his swing and if the young arms can build upon on 2009 season that featured many peaks and valleys. Can Millwood hold the fort at the top of the rotation, or can Jeremy Guthrie show the promise he did in 2007? Can Koji come out of the bullpen and deliver? What happens to Trembley if the season starts badly? Will Wieters build on his potential, step it up and become one of the keys for the franchise? Can Adam Jones play at a consistent level throughout the season?

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