As the season heads into its final week, it seemed like a good time to revisit my preseason predictions. As it turns out, they were fairly optimistic so they were also largely wrong. Here we go.
* Garrett Atkins won't be a regular with this team by June 15th. Somebody has to come to their senses. Nice clutch hitting in Tampa but that can't last.
Done and done. He was released before the end of June.
* Nick Markakis...breakout! Enos Slaughter for the new millennium. I recycling this from last season.
Yeah. Maybe someday but I'm done expecting anything more than average production from Nick at this point. Wrong.
* Brian Matusz....breakout! Don't be surprised if Matusz is having Tim Lincecum-type success (without the gawdy strikeout totals...but damn good ones) by the second half of the season.
Second half stats from Matusz and Lincecum over their first full season:
K/9 BB/9 K/BB WHIP HR ERA Matusz 7.0 3.2 2.19 1.30 8 4.27 Lincecum 8.6 4.0 2.15 1.30 5 3.38
Matusz has certainly improved as the season has gone along but not quite to the level I had expected. Close though. The walks are down, the strikeouts are up. Things are moving in the right direction.
* Matt Wieters...breakout! I'm going with the Keith Law prediction of "well over .300 with 20-25 homers" for his sophomore season.
Really wrong on this one. Wieters has actually taken a step back. Not a good sign.
* Adam Jones....no breakout! It would be hard to call this a breakout since he was pretty good last year but I expect that this is the year Jones starts to show people that Adrian Gonzalez is not necessary because the Orioles already have a bat as good in centerfield. Look for an average around .300 with something approaching 25 homers.
Not exactly. If you take away his hideous April, he looks like a guy who can hit at those levels. But he has basically held steady on his production from last year. Wrong.
* 80 wins. That's my guess. And with a little luck...you never know.
You wonder what would have happened if Buck Showalter was managing back in April. But the Orioles were lucky to avoid 100 losses. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
* Ben McDonald becomes a surprise hit on MASN.
He's been fine but no better than Brady Anderson.
* Kevin Millwood 2010 = Rick Sutcliffe 1992
It started out that way but certainly didn't end up there. Sutcliffe finished 1992 with 3.1 WAR for the Orioles. Millwood has 0.9 WAR. Millwood almost met the minimal expectations: league average pitching and eating innings. He pitched 180+ innings, which was good, but a 5.29 ERA is only good for an ERA+ of 80, which is not so good. Wrong.
* Felix Pie forces something this summer...a trade, a position change....something.
Pie has kind of made himself the forerunner for the LF job in 2011 since his return from injury earlier in the season. But a batting line of .274/.304/.401 isn't going to lock it down for him. Thus, I doubt the team makes any moves assuming that Pie will be the man. Not so much on this one.
That was kind of depressing. Anyone ready for 2011?