After 12 loosing seasons this is the year for the Orioles to finish above 500 and will be the beginning of a solid foundation for years to come. I am not saying they will be in the playoffs this year the division is simply too good with the Yankees and Sox. They go into this season with 4 started basically set and the 5th most likely Tillman, The lineup is set besides some platoon duty in LF and DH. No more stop gaps like Adam Eaton in the rotation and Weiters stats were much better than either of the other catchers used through the season last year. With Miggi at 3rd over Mora the O's could have a shot to have 4-6 hitters hit 300 (Robers, Jones, Miggi, Markakis, Weiters and even Reimold) Not to mention Jim Johnson goes back to the setup role with Gonzales as the closer. Pitching is the big question mark with all the young arms. Hopefully then dont overwork Matuz, Bery and Tillman. They could use Hernandez and Hendrickson as spot starters to keep the innings down. Here is just how bad the pitching was in 2009.
In 2009, Berken pitched 119 2/3 innings and gave up 92 runs.
Hill pitched 57 2/3; gave up 53 runs.
Eaton pitched 41; gave up 39 runs.
Ray pitched 43 1/3; gave up 36 runs.
McCrory, Sarfate, Lambert, Henn, Liz, Walker and Simon, collectively, pitched 76 2/3 innings and gave up 85 runs
Matuz had a 4.63 ERA. He gave up 24 runs in 44 IP
Bergensen had a 3.43 ERA. He gave up 52 runs in 123 IP
Tillman had a 5.40 ERA. He gave up 40 runs in 65 IP
Matuz, Bergy and Tillman are much better than Hill, Eaton and Liz. It's really not even close. Baltimore lost 61 games by 3 runs or less and 44 by 2 or less. Simply put as long as they do not over work the young arms in the rotation there isn't any reason to think this year they can't finish above 500. The difference in just runs per IP supports that on its own. The runs the Orioles score might be slightly improved but pitching is definitely better.