Projected O's Lineup – O's Fans/Bloggers Chime In

With Spring Training kicking off this week for the O’s down in Sarasota, and with the unseasonably warm weather up here in B’More (not to mention the NFL unrest and the Maryland Terrapins basketball team falling apart), there’s no denying that it’s time for “Birdland” to take over in full force.

The O’s have some shiny new (though some aren’t so “new” in the grand scheme of things – ::cough::VLAD::cough:: – they’re at least new to Charm City) pieces to work with, and so I thought it would be fun to put together a projected Opening Day lineup.

As I’ve freely admitted before, there are O’s bloggers out there whose opinions on this type of thing I take much more seriously than I do my own, so I also asked some of them to send me their own projected lineups.  I asked them, along with some hardcore O’s fans who I follow on Twitter, for their lineups as well.  Along with the official B’More Birds Nest projected Baltimore Orioles opening day lineup below, you’ll find projected lineups from Heath (Dempsey’s Army), Meghan (I Hate J.J. Redick), Avi (Orioles Nation), Dave (@FlavaDave10 on Twitter), T.J. (Eutaw Street Hooligans),  Zach (Baltimore Sports Report), Chris (Baltimore Sports and Life), and my buddy Chop (@PunkRockChop).

I took the average position of each hitter based on the 9 projections to make a master list.  Thus, here it is, your composite 2011 Baltimore Orioles starting line up, as predicted by a random assortment of O’s bloggers and fans:

1. Brian Roberts (Average: 1.0 – unanimous)

2. Nick Markakis (2.0 – unanimous)

3. Derrek Lee (4.1)

4. Vlad Guerrero (4.2)

5. Luke Scott (5.0)

6. Mark Reynolds (5.4)

7. Adam Jones (6.3 ; biggest discrepancy in predictions, listed as high as 3 and as low as 8.)

8. Matt Wieters (7.9)

9. J.J. Hardy (9.0 – unanimous)

And here are the individual submissions that made up the above batting order…

B’More Birds’ Nest

1. Brian Roberts (2B) – No brainer.

2. Nick Markakis (RF) – Nick is historically much more productive as a #2 hitter than as a #3.  A few years ago, we all had Nicky Mark putting a Ripken-esque chokehold on the #3 slot, but it just hasn’t worked out that way.  As Heath points out here:

          Split   G  GS   PA  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
    Batting 2nd 186 184  846  94 122 .324 .400 .530 .930
    Batting 3rd 445 443 1966 199 289 .286 .360 .444 .804

While there’s a much larger sample size for him hitting 3rd, there’s no denying that something changes for the worse when you move Nick from 2 to 3.  Keep him at 2, Buck.

3. Luke Scott (LF) – Since Nick doesn’t fit the bill, there’s really no clear #3 hitter on the O’s (edit: I’m in the minority not seeing Lee as such. I may have been convinced).  I went with LUUUUUUKE here, but I could have just as easily swapped him and Vlad in the 3-4 holes.  However, Luke grounds into double plays far less than Vlad over their respective careers (1.6% vs. 3.4%), and if we’re expecting Roberts and Markakis to be on base often (and we are), it would help to have some buffer between them and the double play machine Vlad.

4. Vlad Guerrero (DH) – Vlad was brought here to be the clean up hitter, there’s no denying that.  Regardless of the fact that Scott is just as capable, he’s not the one with the $8 million deal .  Rest assured that the new #27 will be in the 4-hole on Opening Day.

5. Adam Jones (CF) – I’m looking for big things out of Jonesy this year.  Hopefully the wildly inconsistent plate discipline will come to an end in 2011, and #10 will finally develop into the perennial All-Star type player we all know he has the talent to become.

6. Derrek Lee (1B) – Lee hit .267/.327/.428 with 19 HR and 80 RBI last year, which sounds like decent production out of the #6 slot to me.  Jones and Matt Wieters spent a lot of time at #6 by the end of last season, and with Jones moving to the #5 hole, Lee seems like the natural replacement to protect him in the lineup.

7. Mark Reynolds (3B) – Why so low for a guy that we hope will lead the team in home runs?  Well, I’d like to see Reynolds move up in the order as the season moves along, but I think #7 is perfect for a guy coming off a career worst .198 batting season and not only switching leagues, but coming into the A.L. Beast.  Let him spend some time getting used to AL East pitching and (hopefully) proving he can handle it, then inch him on up in the order.

8. Matt Wieters (C) – I’m still holding out hope for all that “Mauer with Power” business, but it seems many others aren’t so keen on Wieters ever becoming the consistent 30+ HR guy the O’s drafted him to be.  Perhaps hitting him higher, with some protection behind him, would be the way to go, but my inclination is to put Matt down here at #8.  It keeps the pressure off him and allows him to continue focusing on his main job, working with the pitching staff.  Fingers crossed that the stick we saw in the minors shows up eventually.

9. J.J. Hardy (SS) – A great guy to turn the line up over.  Hardy is a career .263/.323/.423 guy, which is leaps and bounds above last year’s #9 guy, Cesar Izturis (.230/.277/.268 in 2010).

Obviously I don’t really buy into all that left-right-left-right jazz that Dave Trembley was so fond of (my order is L-L-L-R-R-R-R-L-R against RHP).  Let’s see what the others have to say (in no particular order):

Meghan (I Hate J.J. Redick, @qweenofdiamonds)

1. Brian Roberts 2B (S) – My fingers are crossed for a healthy B-Rob all year. Our offense missed him last year.

2. Nick Markakis RF (L) – Consistently on base. Consistently knocking doubles. Consistency is great!

3. Adam Jones CF (R) – In for a big year without the expectation of being one of the team’s best hitters. Needs to take more walks & cut down on swinging at junk.

4. Vlad Guerrero DH (R) – All he does is hit. Literally. I see a lot of 3-run home runs going over the fences this year.

5. Mark Reynolds 3B (R) – Hopefully hitter-friendly OPACY will be a nice change of scenery for him.

6. Derrek Lee 1B (R) – Coming off of a down year, but is generally good for 20 HR/getting on base when healthy.

7. Luke Scott LF (L) – Having him in LF is not my choice, but it is what it is. Very streaky. Could benefit from batting lower & playing the field a little.

8. Matt Wieters C (S) – I see him moving up in the lineup at some point. Hopefully we’ll see that incredible power that he’s been hiding from us the past 2 years…

9. J.J. Hardy SS (R)- I’ll take his bat over Cesar’s. Just saying.

“Lots of speed at the top of the lineup should get us more manufactured runs. At least 6 of the 9 have 20+ HR potential. I can see 3 of those 6 hitting 30+ HR this season. That’s a lot more than we are used to.The lineup is incredibly right-handed heavy. Hopefully this increases our success against left-handed pitchers. I’d prefer to have a healthy Nolan Reimold playing LF.”

Avi (Orioles Nation, @2131andbeyond)

1. Brian Roberts – Obvious. No questions asked.

2. Nick Markakis – Nick THRIVES in the 2 spot, as history shows. His career average is a stellar 38 points higher than in the 3 hole (.324 vs. .286). Hits HRs in the 2 spot every 25.6 ABs on average, opposed to every 35.6 batting 3rd. Yes, a lot more experience at 3, but a LOT of that came last season when he had practically no OBP in the guys in front of him also. Since Nick is obviously not moving down to the 4-8 spots, and it’s between 2 and 3, this just makes the most sense going with his splits.

3. Derrek Lee – Again, going with what’s worked for him in the past. With at least 100 ABs in each spot from 2-7, his best line comes from… the 3 hole. .295/.377/.514. He’s a nice presence there after Markakis and leading up to the bigger power bats. Has walked 70+ times in each of his last 4 healthy seasons.

4. Vlad Guerrero – Obvious. No reason to sign Vladdy if he’s not batting cleanup. Not like anybody wants him to ever touch RF with his glove. Ever. Again.

5. Mark Reynolds – Many people have Luke Scott here. I put Reynolds here, knowing that he is what many call a pure power hitter. He’s obviously not hitting for average. Put him here, where Vlad, who has never struck out over the 100 mark in any year, and a career .320 hitter, will be waiting on the bags for Reynolds to bring him home.

6. Luke Scott – Luke is inconsistent. Or at least he was. His average will drop this year, no doubt in my mind. He has the power to still hit 25-30 HRs if he gets the ABs and adjusts well to playing LF often. I also flip him with Reynolds not only because I worry about his sometimes stiff swings, but it pushes a left handed bat down in the lineup a bit.

7. Adam Jones – Adam Jones showed last season that the top of the lineup is not for him. He thrives with being later in the lineup and getting his hits and blasts in when the spotlight isn’t on the batter’s box as it will be for guys like Lee and Vlad.

8. Matt Wieters – Not only does a switch hitter fit in well here, but my choice to put him at this spot is mainly because I think Hardy is the better 9 hole hitter.

9. J.J. Hardy – JJ has some speed being a shortstop, and a guy who can run the bases is nice for BRob at the top. Hardy could end up being the most productive member of this lineup if his wrist stays healthy, so he is a positive note to flip the lineup over on.

Heath (Dempsey’s Army, @dempseysarmy)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Mark Reynolds
7. Adam Jones
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

“For all the talk about the new heart of the order, how far this offense will go will be based on the health and effectiveness of Roberts and Markakis. They should be fantastic table setters. Lee is a classic #3. I would probably bat Scott 4th but putting him 5th does break up the righties. Wieters and Hardy could be the best 8th/9th duo in the league.”

Chris (Baltimore Sports and Life, @BMoreSportsLife)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Mark Reynolds
7. Matt Wieters
8. Adam Jones
9. J.J. Hardy

“What I like best about the lineup is the overall depth. Wieters and Jones have yet to fully emerge and reach their potential, but if you can project them to bat 7th and 8th; you have a deep lineup.
Hardy has batted 2nd more often than anywhere else in his career, but his career on-base% of .323 dictates he should bat lower.

I’m confident that the Orioles as a team are going to score at-least 115+ more runs than the scored as a team in 2010.”

Dave (@FlavaDave10)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Mark Reynolds
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Adam Jones
7. Derrek Lee
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

“Most people want Lee batting third, but I think he would create too many double plays. Reynolds isn’t a conventional #3 hitter, but he gets on base quite a bit, and doesn’t create many GIDPs. A top of the order that gets on base would allow our strong middle of the order to do their job and knock in the runners.”

T.J. (Eutaw Street Hooligans, @ESHjJaksClayton)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Luke Scott
5. Mark Reynolds
6. Vlad Guerrero
7. Adam Jones
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

“Kind of an injustice to Hardy, but only because I dislike the other two (Jones, Wieters) at 9.”

Zach (Baltimore Sports Report, @BaltSportsReport)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Mark Reynolds
7. Adam Jones
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

Chop (@PunkRockChop)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Mark Reynolds
7. Adam Jones
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

“Sounds legit.”

A big thanks to all who participated.


11 Responses to “Projected O's Lineup – O's Fans/Bloggers Chime In”

  1. Matt Says:

    Finally some Orioles talk… My prediction of the opening day lineup
    1 B-Rob (please be healthy this year)
    2. Markakis (good player and always can get a hit)
    3. Derek Lee
    4. Vlad (He is going to love Camden Yards)
    5.Adam Jones (please be more consistant this year)
    6.Luke Scott
    8.Weiters (could see him moving up later in the year)
    9. Hardy (can’t be any worse than Cesear)

    Opening Day Pitcher will be either Matusz or Guthie

  2. NestMinder Says:

    Yeah, looks like 1-2 and 8-9 are pretty agreed upon. 3-7 is where the fun is. Can’t wait to see what Buck does.

  3. Jjaks Clayton Says:

    I admit that it is likely Vlad will start out as the #4 hitter. I was trying to represent the “optimal” or “ideal” lineup as far as production….but that is hardly the lineup sent out onto the field in most cases. The good news is we no longer have Trembley here to muck up batting orders and relief pitching. Go O’s, see you at the yard!

  4. Chris Stoner Says:

    Thanks for asking me to participate, and compiling this; was an interesting read.


  5. Matt Says:

    It’s baseball time!!! Want to hear my AL East prediction?
    1. Red Sox. The Red Sox have a bigger pay roll than the Yankees! Who the evil empire now Massholes? Yeah signing Crawford and Gonzalez were good moves but at least they still have the corpse of Tim Wakefield in their rotation.

    2.Yankees. This offseason must have been a nightmare between the Red Sox getting Crawford and Gonzalez and Cliff Lee taking his talents to South Philly. Their most consistent starter retires and CC might opt out? But at least got Bartolo Colon and Andruw Jones. Hehehe Looks like Joba was on the Albert Haynesworth offseason workout program.

    3. Orioles that right you know what team was second in the American League in wins from August to the end of the season last year? The Orioles. Buck did a great job and I love the Lee and Vlad signing and if our young guys develop. They could be at .500.

    4. Rays I see they are on the Marlins plan. Bulid a contender then strip mine the team. But at least they got Manny and Johnny Damon. That what happens to old people. They move down to Florida.

    5. The Blue Jays. Does Vernon Wells still play for them? Does anybody care?

    The National League? Who cares. Well my GF is pretty happy about the Phillies and they should dominate the National League with that sick rotation of Lee,Halladay,Oswalt and Hamels. Seriously the 4th guy in your starting rotation would be the ace on pretty much every team. The World Series MVP is now your fourth starter. Seriously. Well that Nationals should still stink. Signing a 32 year old outfielder who only been to one all star game for 128 million dollars for 7 years is a dumb move. But then again it’s a DC team so I shouldn’t be susprised.

  6. cruzer Says:

    AL East Projections:

    1) Red Sox – Strong pickups in off season only add to an allready strong team.

    2) Orioles – Stronger line up helps Baby Birds pitching staff grow up. Buck is a HUGE upgrade.

    3) Yankees – Money can’t always buy you love. This team is getting OLD fast. Pitching???

    4) Tampa Bay – Lost huge line up production. Red Sox should send thank you note.

    5) Toronto – Young pitchers will keep this team contending but where are the hitters??

  7. NestMinder Says:

    Not gonna hold my breath, but I’d sure like to see that prediction come to pass, Cruzer.

  8. Goob Theoharris Says:

    Thanks for asking my thoughts on the lineup…. am I just chopped meat now on this website?

  9. Matt Says:

    Well Goob since you are now big time who is on your lineup and how come you didn’t ask Ray Rice about the Grease Trucks.

    /Rutgers reference.
    /Would kill for a Fat Darrell right now

  10. Goob Theoharris Says:

    Well the line-up as predicted by the huge Orioles expert on this website goes as follows:

    1. B-Rob
    2. Markakis
    3. D-Lee
    4. Vlad
    5. Luke “I’m still carrying my guns and f*uck Obama” Scott
    6. Simply AJ10
    7. Swing and miss Reynolds
    8. Wieters
    9. Hardy

  11. Matt Says:

    I know this is way off topic but am I the only one excited for Carmelo Anthony to be a member of the Knicks just so the New York Media will lose is collective shit if he is wearing an Orioles hat to a Yankees game? I so want to own his car

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: