2005 Record: .457 (74-88), 4th place in AL East
2004 Record: .481 (78-84)
Who's Out: B.J. Ryan (P), Sammy Sosa (OF), Eric Byrnes (CF), Sal Fasano (C), Jason Grimsley (P), Rafael Palmeiro (1B), Sidney Ponson (P), Jorge Julio (P), John Maine (P), Brooks Kieschnick (P), Richard Hidalgo (OF)
Who's In: Jeff Conine (LF), Ramon Hernandez (C), Kevil Millar (1B), Ryan Burres (P), Franklyn Gracesqui (P), Kris Benson (P), Andy Tracy (1B), Raul Chavez (P)
Notes: The Orioles are crossing their fingers that the old adage “spring training means nothing” is true. They had trouble offensively throughout the spring and management was unsure of who to start at first and in left field as recently as last week. Their bullpen situation is also in dire straits after losing B.J. Ryan to the Blue Jays. It is expected that Chris Ray will be called upon for closing duties, putting quite a lot of pressure on the 24-year-old, who has just one year of major league experience. The Os’ starting rotation looks decent, however, with 31-year-old Kris Benson serving as some sort of mentor to younger hurlers like Bruce Chen and Rodrigo Lopez.
If you recall April and May of 2005, you’ll remember that the Orioles were actually in first place in the AL East before they seemingly lost their grasp. Despite the gaps in the bullpen and the question marks at first base and in the outfield, it is important to remember that the Orioles do still have Mora, Tejada, and Brian Roberts—not to mention the addition of Ramon Hernandez—to provide some offensive optimism for 2006. Leo Mazzone's post as pitching coach also provides hope for the rotation, so who knows?
Next up: San Francisco Giants
Labels: 2006 team profiles