Orioles fans may have seen yesterday how much the addition of Vlad Guerrero to the Birds lineup means to Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. The 3 homered in the first inning for the Orioles against the Rays yesterday in Sarasota. Vlad will be the kind of hitter in the Birds line-up that forces teams to pitch to Jones and Markakis. If Guerrero hits like he did in 2010 for the Rangers, with nearly 30 homers and over 100 RBI's, the entire Orioles lineup will benefit. Throw in veteran 1st Baseman Derek Lee and the Orioles should have a much more explosive lineup this year. I also think this will take some of the pressure off of catcher Matt Wieters. Wieters struggled last year trying to be a big bat for the Orioles. He is still learning to be a major league catcher. Dropping him to 7th or maybe even 8th in the line-up will make him a better player in the long haul. If he blossoms this season the Orioles could really be dangerous.
The Orioles will live and die with their young pitching but a more potent offense will take some of the pressure off the staff . However if they can perform like they did in the final 2 months of last season the Birds could be a contender in the American League.