In an off-season full of roster turnover, the O’s appear to have made one last significant move, signing Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year contract. The deal hasn’t been confirmed yet, but if it goes through, Guerrero will join a starting lineup that includes plenty of other new faces.
President of Baseball Operations, Andy MacPhail, hasn’t had time for opening presents or shoveling his driveway this winter. Instead, he has added infielders Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, and J.J. Hardy to his ballclub, giving manager Buck Showalter some reliable power and defense.
Here’s a quick glance at what their 2011 starting lineup might be….
1. 2B Brian Roberts
2. RF Nick Markakis
3. 1B Derrek Lee
4. DH Vladimir Guerrero
5. C Matt Wieters
6. LF Luke Scott
7. 3B Mark Reynolds
8. CF Adam Jones
9. SS J.J. Hardy
Wow. Adding Guerrero to that lineup changes it from “yeah, we improved”, to something like, “yeah, we’re here to compete”. The O’s have a collection of proven hitters, and have a future MVP candidate in Wieters.
The only issue I see in this lineup is Luke Scott. It’s not that he can’t hit, but I don’t know if he can play defense. With Guerrero presumably hogging the DH role, will Showalter be comfortable with Scott in LF? I’m guessing that with the solid defense he’s getting out of Jones and Markakis, Buck can live with a few blunders from Scott, assuming Scott is producing at the plate. Funny thing is, Scott actually rated on the positive side of UZR when he was a full-time outfielder.
This O’s team is starting to remind me of the Reds. The two teams have powerful offenses, starting rotations loaded with young arms, and are both led by winning managers.
I’m not saying, I’m just saying….
About the Author
Written by Sven Jenkins
My name is Sven Jenkins, and I’m an independent baseball analyst from Poughkeepsie, NY. I own 60ft6in.com and do freelance work for STATS Inc. In the past, I've done research for the St. Louis Cardinals and worked one season with Baseball Info Solutions in 2007. I have also spent many nights as an official scorer in the minor leagues and played NCAA D-III baseball at SUNY New Paltz. In the off-season I travel the world, having enjoyed over 1,100 days on the road through 40 different countries. You can email me at: jenkins AT 60ft6in DOT com.