His health is more of a question than his talent. Uehara didn't pitch after June 23 due to right elbow tendinitis. He made 12 starts and lasted seven innings just once. In those games, opponents batted .202 the first time around and .292 in their second plate appearances. While in Japan, he had success in the bullpen, saving 32 games for the Yomiuri Giants in 2007, so the Orioles feel he'll thrive as a setup man. But until he does it, they won't know how the 34-year-old will respond to pitching several times a week.
Will injuries to Reimold and Brad Bergesen affect their status for the 2010 season?
The Orioles say no. Reimold (left Achilles tendon) is coming off September surgery but believes he'll be ready for Opening Day. So does Bergesen, who took a liner off the shin on July 30. He's thrown off a mound only once since, when he tossed more than 40 pitches for a Dec. 9 Orioles' promotional commercial and strained his right shoulder. He is expected to start the spring at least 10 days behind the other pitchers. That still puts him ready for Opening Day, but the Orioles will be extra cautious with the 24-year-old.
Are there enough at-bats to go around for Felix Pie, Ty Wigginton, etc.?
Probably not. This is one of Trembley's biggest challenges, keeping everyone fresh and content. Pie, a fourth outfielder due to the emergence of Reimold, showed he could hit once he was thrust into everyday action late in the season. Wigginton assumed he'd be a full-timer in 2010, but the club signed Tejada and Atkins, and so he's a role player again. Wigginton doesn't complain publicly, but he wants to play. Injuries could change the landscape again, but until then, Trembley will have to adeptly juggle his lineups.
Which young players could open eyes in camp?
The best bets are third baseman Josh Bell, first baseman Brandon Snyder and pitchers Jake Arrieta and Kam Mickolio. Mickolio, 26, is the only one who has played for the Orioles already, and he's a serious candidate to make the bullpen with a good spring. Bell, Snyder and Arrieta all have big upsides and are temporarily blocked at the major-league level, but all could be up before season's end.