Opening Day Lineup Surprises For The Orioles
Adam Jones will bat in the cleanup spot today during the Orioles' season opener, while Nolan Reimold will be in the leadoff slot. If anyone told you four years ago that that would be the case, I'm guessing you would been a little shocked the two weren't reversed.
But, that's how the two careers have evolved, and the Orioles, starting Reimold in left field, seem to think his on-base percentage will be enough to make him a suitable leadoff hitter. Could he have a season like Brady Anderson did in 1996? One can dream, right? Reimold is an experiment, but one the club has been pushing for all spring and hoping he would grow into the role.
Jones is almost a complete player and is set to reach the potential so many projected four years ago.
Wilson Betemit will be the team's designated hitter in the sixth slot, pushing Mark Reynolds down to seventh. Betemit is known for his on-base percentage. The top half of the O's lineup is not power-heavy. Jones at fourth and Wieters in fifth are guys with the potential of getting about 25 home runs and 80 RBIs a piece. Is that enough out of your cleanup hitter and your fifth hitter? The true power potential (where there could also be the most potential for strikeouts) is in the seventh and eighth slots, with Reynolds and first baseman Chris Davis.
In an odd way, Reimold and No. 2 hitter J.J. Hardy could be the more effective versions of Reynolds and Davis. They're more disciplined at the plate and can really drive the ball.
The Orioles shelled the Twins' opening day starter, Carl Pavano, during a late March spring training game. So, there's hope for offensive fireworks. He gave up six runs and eight hits during an 11-1 loss to the Birds.
Posted April 6, 2012