Roch Kubatko's Roster Analysis

The Orioles

April 02, 2004|By ROCH KUBATKO

Pitchers

Kurt Ainsworth, RHP

Born: Sept. 9, 1978

Height: 6-3 Weight: 192

Skinny: Has the stuff to be a No. 1 starter someday; right now, he's No. 3.

Rick Bauer, RHP

Born: Jan. 10, 1977

Height: 6-6 Weight: 218

Skinny: Was an outside candidate to start but is too valuable as a multipurpose reliever.

Erik Bedard, LHP

Born: March 6, 1979

Height: 6-1 Weight: 191

Skinny: Despite having no Triple-A experience and coming off reconstructive elbow surgery, he dazzled this spring and earned the fifth spot in the rotation. He'll stay sharp by starting the season at Triple-A.

Omar Daal, LHP

Born: Feb. 23, 1972

Height: 6-3 Weight: 193

Skinny: After spending more than two months on the disabled list last year, he's likely out for most of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery this week.

Mike DeJean, RHP

Born: Sept. 28, 1970

Height: 6-2. Weight: 220

Skinny: Should work mostly in a setup role but has 52 career saves in seven years; nice insurance in case Jorge Julio struggles.

Eric DuBose, LHP

Born: May 15, 1976

Height: 6-3. Weight: 233

Skinny: The Athletics' top draft pick from 1997 is proving that teams gave up on him too soon. He earned the No. 2 slot in the rotation.

Buddy Groom, LHP

Born: July 10, 1965

Height: 6-2. Weight: 201

Skinny: Must prove that age hasn't caught up to him after his ERA rose from 1.60 to 5.36 last year and his streak of 70 or more appearances ended at seven years.

Jorge Julio, RHP

Born: March 3, 1979

Height: 6-1. Weight: 223

Skinny: Blew eight of 44 save opportunities last year; still was throwing hard this spring after being shut down during the winter league season with a weakened shoulder.

Rodrigo Lopez, RHP

Born: Dec. 14, 1975

Height: 6-1 Weight: 187

Skinny: Last year's Opening Day starter was slotted to be the team's No. 2 starter early in this year's camp but didn't always pitch like one; he'll begin the season in the bullpen.

John Parrish, LHP

Born: Nov. 26, 1977

Height: 5-11 Weight: 175

Skinny: Likes his bullpen role after years of indecision by the Orioles over whether to make him a starter or reliever; must limit bouts of wildness.

Sidney Ponson, RHP

Born: Nov. 2, 1976

Height: 6-1 Weight: 249

Skinny: Opening Night starter won a combined 17 games last year for the Orioles and Giants; never has been a staff ace until now.

Matt Riley, LHP

Born: Aug. 2, 1979

Height: 6-1 Weight: 207

Skinny: Retrieved his career from the trash heap to earn the No. 4 slot in the rotation; manager Lee Mazzilli loves his stuff.

B.J. Ryan, LHP

Born: Dec. 28, 1975

Height: 6-6 Weight: 247

Skinny: Became the most trusted left-handed setup man while tying a club record with 76 relief appearances; mechanics tend to get out of whack.

Catchers

Javy Lopez

Born: Nov. 5, 1970

Height: 6-3 Weight: 215

Bats/Throws: R/R

Skinny: The Orioles are paying him $22.5 million over three years to stop the revolving door behind home plate; his 43 homers last year were a single-season record for a catcher.

Keith Osik

Born: Oct. 22, 1968

Height: 6-0 Weight: 200

Bats/Throws: R/R

Skinny: Won't do much with the bat, but he calls a good game and can be trusted behind the plate. Like Javy Lopez, he's new to the American League.

Other position players

Jose Bautista, Util.

Born: Oct. 19, 1980

Height: 6-0 Weight: 193

Bats/Throws: R/R

Skinny: Rule 5 third baseman must stay all season or be offered back to the Pirates; also can play the outfield.

Larry Bigbie, LF

Born: Nov. 4, 1977

Height: 6-4 Weight: 215

Bats/Throws: L/L

Skinny: Former No. 1 draft pick seems poised for a big year in left field; batted .345 during the last 46 games.

Marty Cordova, OF-DH

Born: July 10, 1969

Height: 6-0 Weight: 213

Bats/Throws: R/R

Skinny: Begins the season on the DL after undergoing elbow ligament-replacement surgery in August; is in the final year of his contract.

Jack Cust, OF-DH

Born: Jan. 7, 1979

Height: 6-1 Weight: 225

Bats/Throws: L/R

Skinny: Won't win any games with his glove, but he gets on base and has power; out of minor league options.

Jay Gibbons, RF

Born: March 2, 1977

Height: 6-0 Weight: 193

Bats/Throws: L/L

Skinny: Most Valuable Oriole has been the subject of trade rumors, with the Dodgers the most interested; drove in 100 runs last season and could really thrive in this lineup.

Jerry Hairston, 2B

Born: May 29, 1976

Height: 5-10 Weight: 185

Bats/Throws: R/R

Skinny: Leadoff hitter starts the year on the DL with a fractured knuckle after missing half the 2003 season with a broken foot; a trade is a possibility.

Luis Lopez, Util.

Born: Sept. 4, 1970

Height: 5-11 Weight: 175

Bats/Throws: S/R

Skinny: Became a necessity after Mark McLemore's injury; wants to finish his career with the Orioles after a brief stay in 2002.

Luis Matos, CF

Born: Oct. 30, 1978

Height: 6-0 Weight: 208

Bats/Throws: R/R

Skinny: Will play with a superficial stress fracture in his right shin; a defensive whiz who became more of a complete player last year, when his batting average never dipped below .300.

Mark McLemore, Util.

Born: Oct. 4, 1964

Height: 5-11 Weight: 207

Bats/Throws: S/R

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