Team / / Orioles
Position / / Right-handed starter
Comment / / Orioles fans have been waiting for him to come into his own since the big right-hander shut down the Chicago White Sox in his 2004 major league debut. He has won 31 games in his three seasons, and everyone knows about his fastball in the high 90s and power curve. But he has been hampered by an inability to throw strikes. Cabrera turns 26 in May, and, with a full year under the tutelage of pitching coach Leo Mazzone, this could be his year of maturation.
LAST SEASON / / 70-92 / / FOURTH PLACEManager / / Sam Perlozzo, third season
Payroll / / $86 million
X-factor / / At 25, Daniel Cabrera has the stuff to dominate but has yet to exceed the 12 wins he managed as a rookie.
Best case / / Pitching coach Leo Mazzone's lessons click in Year Two, and the young rotation takes off. ... Aubrey Huff's versatility proves just the salve for a generally set lineup. ... Miguel Tejada, nearly traded to the Angels last summer, returns to the 150-RBI territory of his Orioles debut after averaging 99 RBIs the past two years.
Worst case / / Even after spending a combined $42 million on four veteran relievers, the bullpen still isn't very good. ... The back of the rotation doesn't allow them to keep pace with the big boys in the division. ... They get a little better but still suffer a 10th straight losing season.
LINEUP 2006 STATISTICS
2B Brian Roberts .286, 85 runs, 36 SBs
3B Melvin Mora .274, 16 HRs, 83 RBIs
RF Nick Markakis .291, 16 HRs, 62 RBIs
SS Miguel Tejada .330, 24 HRs, 100 RBIs
1B Aubrey Huff .266, 21 HRs, 65 RBIs
C Ramon Hernandez .275, 23 HRs, 91 RBIs
DH Jay Gibbons .277, 13 HRs, 46 RBIs
LF Jay Payton - i .296, 10 HRs, 59 RBIs
CF Corey Patterson .276, 16 HRs, 53 RBIs
LHP Erik Bedard 15-11, 3.76 ERA, 171 K's
RHP Daniel Cabrera 9-10, 4.74 ERA, 157 K's
RHP Jaret Wright 11-7, 4.49 ERA, 84 K's
LHP Adam Loewen 6-6, 5.37 ERA, 98 K's
RHP Steve Trachsel 15-8, 4.97 ERA, 79 K's
RHP Chris Ray 4-4, 2.73 ERA, 33 saves
RHP Danys Baez 5-5, 4.53 ERA, 9 saves
LHP Jamie Walker 0-1, 2.81 ERA, 0 saves
CAPSULES FROM THE SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL