Joe Strauss' skinny on the Orioles

February 21, 1999|By Joe Strauss

Pitchers

Darin Blood: Acquired last July for Joe Carter, he underwent off-season elbow surgery. Possible midseason contributor.

Ricky Bones: Pitching coach Bruce Kison pushed for journeyman's signing. Ticketed for long relief unless Scott Kamieniecki buckles.

Rocky Coppinger: Uninspired winter ball experience. Orioles wonder: Is his time approaching or has it already passed?

Radhames Dykhoff: Sidney Ponson's first cousin. Should add to 170 minor-league appearances at Triple-A Rochester.

Scott Erickson: Has averaged 232 innings past three seasons, including league-high 251 1/3 last year. Entering five-year, $32 million contract.

*Mike Fetters: Split-finger specialist saved 32 in '96, projected for less visible role with fourth team in three seasons.

Chris Fussell: Top right-handed prospect has impressive stuff but lacks command.

Juan Guzman: Can be baffling to opposing hitters and his own manager. Consistency as No. 3 starter would be huge. So would improved run support.

Doug Johns: Team dangled his long-relief role to Jimmy Key, who retired instead. Enters camp on the bubble.

Scott Kamieniecki: Projected No. 4 starter supposedly recovered from season-ending disk surgery.

Gabe Molina: Set Double-A Bowie record with 24 saves.

Julio Moreno: Hasn't pitched since suffering weightlifting injury last spring.

Mike Mussina: After harrowing '98, could this be his 20-win season?

Jesse Orosco: Needs 47 appearances to eclipse Dennis Eckersley's career mark.

Sidney Ponson: Finished rookie season with a 7-3 rush. Was off-limits during offseason trade talks. Reports slimmer and more confident.

Arthur Rhodes: No one was bothered more last season by shifting roles. Invaluable piece of a retooled bullpen.

Heathcliff Slocumb: Needs to rediscover consistency. Suited for setup role; past suggests allergic reaction to closing.

Mike Timlin: Signed for four years, he has never closed for an entire season. Ground-ball pitcher suited for Camden Yards.

Catchers

Chip Alley: Nonroster player last spring made Single-A Carolina League All-Star team.

Chris Hoiles: Back problems, an off-season trade and his much-criticized arm make him an emergency option. Must find at-bats as right-handed DH.

Charles Johnson: Winter's biggest upgrade. They've removed the merry-go-round from the Camden base paths.

Lenny Webster: Must reconcile diminished role after career offensive season. Will he remain Erickson's valet?

Infielders

Mike Bordick: Could find himself batting second in newfangled lineup.

Carlos Casimiro: Second baseman carries soft glove and surprising power.

Will Clark: Promises intensity but must also bring a healthier elbow and protection for Albert Belle.

Delino DeShields: Inherits Roberto Alomar's position and offensive role but, hopefully, not the attitude.

Jerry Hairston: Orioles believe his time is soon ... but not now. Still adjusting to second base.

Ryan Minor: No longer considered a lock to succeed Cal Ripken. Massive strikeouts and power struggles at Double-A cause for concern.

Willis Otanez: Out of options, he's a trade candidate after enjoying monster season at Triple-A.

Calvin Pickering: Wasted experience in Puerto Rico this winter. Needs to overcome throwing problems and immaturity. Gets his chance at Rochester.

Jeff Reboulet: Valuable glove but 0-for-16 after Aug. 7.

Cal Ripken: Last year he immortalized 2,632. This year it's 3,000 (hits) and 400 (home runs). What about 2000 (season)?

Outfielders

Rich Amaral: Man for all positions offers speed and defense. Has stolen 69 of last 86 attempts.

Brady Anderson: Oriole for life must show himself anew to disenchanted organization.

Harold Baines: Left-handed DH sure to reach 350 homers and 1,500 RBIs. Working on fourth straight .300 season.

Albert Belle: Home run machine, batteries not included. Right field becomes Albertville.

Danny Clyburn: More likely to be traded than to return to Rochester.

Ivanon Coffie: Made 25 errors in 102 games at third base and shortstop in '98; had 16 homers compared with three for rest of career.

Eugene Kingsale: One home run in 1,050 professional at-bats.

Lyle Mouton: Career .288 hitter appears caught in numbers squeeze.

B. J. Surhoff: The ultimate grinder, he comes off career season but experienced fatigue from playing every game. Signed for three years; he'll be rested more often.

* -- Nonroster player

Pub Date: 02/25/99

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.