With the addition of Vlad Guerrero to the Orioles roster, Baltimore is set going into Spring Training. Assuming that the Orioles enter Opening Day healthy, here is how I see Buck Showalter’s lineup card on April 1st in Tampa Bay.
- Brian Roberts – 2B
- Nick Markakis – RF
- Derrek Lee – 1B
- Vlad Guerrero – DH
- Luke Scott – LF
- Mark Reynolds – 3B
- Adam Jones – CF
- Matt Wieters – C
- J.J. Hardy – SS
Though the Orioles only have two left handed bats in the above lineup, Nick Markakis and Luke Scott, the have switch hitters leading off and batting eighth. This lineup provides a great set up for Guerrero with Roberts, Markakis and Lee all as batters who are willing to take a walk in order to get on base.
Having the ability to keep Adam Jones and Matt Wieters in the bottom third of the lineup is crucial as well. I project better numbers for both young guys hitting in the 7 and 8 holes with all of that protection in the top 2/3rds.
More than anything, this Orioles lineup has such great depth. If Guerrero needs a day off Luke Scott can DH and Nolan Reimold or Felix Pie can fill the position in left field. Additionally, Scott can see time at first base for Derrek Lee on occasion.
What’s your projected Orioles Opening Day lineup?