Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
The O's have been busy wheeling and dealing this offseason and I have become hopeful for a winning 2007 campaign.
The acquisition of SP Jaret Wright and RPs Scott Williamson, Jamie Walker, Danys Baez and Chad Bradford mildly aids the starting rotation and almost completely revamps one of the worst bullpens in the AL.
There is hope that the addition of Wright will be more valuable than his career stats indicate. In his one full season under Mazzone (O's pitching coach) while with Atlanta, Wright posted a 15-8 record with a 3.32 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
The corp of acquired relievers is stellar when compared to recent O's bullpens. The fact that this group has 180 Saves among them, means that O's closer Chris Ray should not have to carry the entire late inning load. In 2006, Ray was a dominant closer when rested. He was hittable when pitching for the 3rd or 4th day in a row.
The offense has been bolstered with the addition of Jay Payton (OF, .284 BA, 10 HR, 42 RBI career averages) and Aubrey Huff (1B/3B/OF, .285 BA, 20 HR, 70 RBI career). Both Payton and Huff have been solid bats throughout their careers as well as versatile defenders. This should provide O's manager Sam Perlozzo with valuable flexibility in crafting a starting lineup on a day-to-day basis that keeps hot hitters in the lineup, removes cold hitters from the lineup and provides favorable matchups against the opposing starting pitcher.
Of course, as with any baseball team, starting pitching will primarily decide a winning or losing campaign. Erik Bedard, Kris Benson, Daniel Cabrera, Adam Loewen and Jaret Wright provide 5 talented arms. If this group can realize its' potential, it will be happy days on the Chesapeake once again.