* Statistically speaking: In his first season in the minors, 1991, he struck out 33 in 36 1/3 innings. That was the only time he's averaged fewer than one strikeout per inning. Last year, he struck out 120 in 81 2/3 innings.
NTC * Age: 22. * Height: 6-4. * Weight: 180. * Bats: Right. * Throws: Right.
* His role: Could begin the year platooning with Andy Van Slyke, but may have to excel to keep that job. If Van Slyke wins the job outright, Buford could be used as an extra outfielder, pinch hitter and pinch runner.
* What '95 means to him: Buford has said he wants a chance to play everyday in the majors, and it seems he won't get it this year. But he could get his foot in the door with the Orioles by succeeding as a part-timer.
* X-factor: Obviously, Van Slyke. If the former Pirate is healthy and running well and driving in runs, Buford will have a hard time breaking into the lineup.
* Statistically speaking: Buford never has been successful on less than 77 percent of stolen-base attempts in five years in the minors. Last year, he stole 31 in 37 tries.
* Age: 24. * Height: 5-10. * Weight: 170. * Bats: Right. * Throws: Right.
* His role: A late-inning pinch hitter and a fill-in in the outfield if Brady Anderson, Andy Van Slyke or Jeffrey Hammonds needs a day off. As a switch-hitter, he'll present problems for opposing managers trying to decide whether to bring in right-handers or left-handers. Bass also carries a reputation as being very good in the clubhouse and with teammates.
* What '95 means to him: Bass is playing year-to-year now that he's late in his career. If he performs well, the Orioles or another team will bring him back for '96. If not, he could be headed into the TV business.
* X-factor: Sherman Obando will begin the year as the designated hitter when Baines sits, but if he doesn't hit, Bass could step into that role.
* Statistically speaking: Historically, Bass has been a stronger left-handed hitter, but last year, it was the other way around. He batted .420 against left-handers, with a .462 slugging percentage. He hit .268 against right-handers.
* Age: 35. * Height: 6-0. * Weight: 190. * Bats: Both. * Throws: Right.
* His role: Brown won 21 games for Texas three years ago, and yet he's the Orioles' No. 4 starter. It's a great spot for Brown, because he doesn't have to deal with the pressure that comes with being the ace.
* What '95 means to him: For Brown and his accountant, it's a huge year. Coming off a lousy '94 season, Brown opted for a one-year deal to try to rebuild his free agent value. If he rebounds, he's going to be worth millions in the off-season.
* X-factor: The Orioles defense, which should help this ground-ball pitcher immensely. Pitching for Texas last year, Brown allowed 18 unearned runs. The entire Orioles staff gave up 19.
* Statistically speaking: Brown was terrible last year when he fell behind in the count. Opposing batters raked him for a .412 average in that situation. All told, opponents hit Brown for a .314 average and a .455 slugging percentage.
* Age: 30. * Height: 6-4. * Weight: 195. * Bats: Right. * Throws: Right.