THB, Banditos, Wayward and more confirmed for Cosmic Cocktail!

BASEBALL 2000 : ORIOLES PROFILES

THE BALTIMORE SUN

14 Mike Bordick SS

Age: 34. Height: 5-11. Weight: 175.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Pending free agent.

Projected role: Shortstop, No. 2 or 9 hitter.

Career year: 1999. Had career highs of 77 RBIs and 93 runs and led AL shortstops in fielding percentage and total chances.

What's up in 2000: The Orioles may wake up next February and notice Bordick gone. Bordick plays a National League game in a city traditionally fed American League bash.

By the numbers: Off-season conditioning allowed him to compile career-high 14 steals and seven triples in 631 at-bats last season.

X-factor: Bordick is glue of a veteran infield. He may be team's most indispensable player.

23 Will Clark 1B

Age: 36. Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.

Bats: Left. Throws: Left.

Contract status: Pending free agent.

Projected role: First baseman.

Career year: 1989. Narrowly lost NL MVP Award to Giants teammate Kevin Mitchell after hitting career-best .333 with 29 homers and 111 RBIs.

What's up in 2000: Clark insists he is pain-free. Just as his '98 season with the Texas Rangers salvaged his value, Clark needs to make another statement this year before re-entering free agency.

By the numbers: Ten home runs and 29 RBIs last season represented career lows as he appeared in only 77 games.

X-factor: Will new, improved left elbow allow Clark his first pain-free season in almost 15 years?

18 Jeff Conine 1B-OF

Age: 33. Height: 6-1. Weight: 220.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2001, option for 2002.

Projected role: Part-time first baseman, designated hitter, left fielder and third baseman.

Career year: 1995. Drove in career-high 105 runs in 133 games.

What's up in 2000: Re-signed for two years, Conine will play a reserve role this season before moving into a more prominent position next season.

By the numbers: Batted .360 as a pinch hitter, leading the league; .331 with runners in scoring position.

X-factor: Conine may have to scrape for at-bats this season given a healthy Will Clark and a productive Harold Baines.

11 Delino DeShields 2B

Age: 31. Height: 6-1. Weight: 175.

Bats: Left. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2001.

Projected role: Second baseman, backup center fielder.

Career year: 1997. Raised his average from .224 to .295 while leading the majors with 14 triples.

What's up in 2000: After an injury-plagued '99, no player has more to prove this season and no one made a bigger statement during spring training. Again healthy, DeShields exhibited a quick bat and the range to handle center field.

By the numbers: Played in career-low 96 games last season between three stays on the disabled list. Batted .301 in his last 74 games.

X-factor: If DeShields again proves himself productive, will it be for the Orioles or another team?

1 Jesus Garcia 1F

Age: 26. Height: 5-10. Weight: 171.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2000 (under team control).

Projected role: Utility infielder.

Career year: 1999. Made the Opening Day club after arriving at spring training a nonroster player.

What's up in 2000: He may not be projected as an everyday position player, but Garcia represents an important asset to a veteran infield.

By the numbers: A career .253 minor-league hitter, Garcia hit .204 at Rochester in August after returning from a wrist injury but managed .238 after Sept. 7 recall.

X-factor: The rookie must become adept at little ball to give himself more opportunities and the bench more flexibility.

15 Jerry Hairston 2B

Age: 23. Height: 5-10. Weight: 175.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2000 (under team control).

Projected role: Second baseman.

Career year: 1999. Received 175 major-league at-bats, hitting .269 with nine stolen bases.

What's up in 2000: Undoubtedly the Orioles' second baseman of the future, he has to deal with being overlooked as their shortstop of the present.

By the numbers: Did not commit an error in 269 chances with Orioles. Homered in 19th major-league at-bat. Had three or more hits in six of 48 starts.

X-factor: Should DeShields remain, Hairston must satisfy himself with reserve status or a return to Rochester.

8 Cal Ripken 3B

Age: 39. Height: 6-4. Weight: 220.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Pending free agent, no-trade protection.

Projected role: Third baseman.

What's up in 2000: Ripken emerged from a troubled camp last spring to construct a satisfying, albeit injury-riddled season. Only nine hits away from 3,000.

Career year: 1983. Won first of two MVP awards and only world championship while setting career marks for runs, hits and doubles.

By the numbers: Despite two stays on the disabled list, Ripken hit a career-best .340 in a career-low 86 games.

X-factor: Questions about his back follow Ripken into the season but manager Mike Hargrove says he will put him in the lineup daily.

6 Rich Amaral OF

Age: 38. Height: 6-0. Weight: 175.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Pending free agent

Projected role: Fourth outfielder, emergency second baseman.

Career year: 1993. As AL's oldest rookie (31), Amaral hit .290 with 53 runs and career-high 108 hits for Seattle.

What's up in 2000: Even at 38, the spry Amaral remains one of the Orioles' most potent base-stealing threats as well as important insurance in center field.

By the numbers: Has batted at least .275 for five consecutive seasons. Hit .179 through last May 21, .323 afterward. Made 27 starts.

X-factor: With Brady Anderson and B.J. Surhoff coming off spring injuries, Amaral could become more visible.

9 Brady Anderson CF

Age: 36. Height: 6-1. Weight: 202.

Bats: Left. Throws: Left.

Contract status: Signed through 2002; enjoys no-trade protection.

Projected role: Center fielder, leadoff hitter.

Career year: 1996. Set career highs in hits (172), runs (117), RBIs (110) and home runs (50).

What's up in 2000: Enjoyed one of the best offensive seasons of his career in '99 but struggled with a nerve-damaged left leg during spring training.

By the numbers: Produced a career-high .404 on-base average in '99. Accepted career-high 96 walks and stole 36 bases.

X-factor: Has dealt with knee soreness the past several years. Plus, at 36, his range in center field comes under increased scrutiny.

3 Harold Baines DH

Age: 41. Height: 6-2. Weight: 195.

Bats: Left. Throws: Left.

Contract status: Pending free agent.

Projected role: Designated hitter.

Career year: 1999. In his 20th season, he hit a combined .312.

What's up in 2000: Baines returns for a third tour with the Orioles while still in search of his first world championship. At 41, he confounds those who annually suggest his retirement.

By the numbers: Game's oldest position player holds records for games played (1,549), home runs (224) and RBIs (933) by a designated hitter. The St. Michaels native is 27 home runs shy of 400 and 217 hits short of 3,000.

X-factor: Baines has defied age and creaky knees by hitting .300 the past five seasons.

88 Albert Belle RF

Age: 33. Height: 6-2. Weight: 225.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2003; no-trade protection through 2001.

Role: Right fielder, cleanup hitter.

Career year: 1994. In strike-shortened season, Belle battted .357, averaged nearly an RBI per game and was on pace for 55 home runs.

What's up in 2000: The Orioles' $65 million man now represents the Orioles' lone 30-home run threat and was a contributing reason for the monster seasons enjoyed by B.J. Surhoff and Baines in '99.

By the numbers: Eighth major-league player to amass 100 RBIs in eight consecutive seasons.

X-factor: Willingness to tweak spring routine may result in better April and May.

26 Wayne Kirby OF

Age: 35 Height: 5-10. Weight: 212.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2000.

Role: Fifth outfielder.

Career year: 1993, hit .269 with 60 RBIs in 458 at-bats for Indians. Led major-league outfielders with 19 assists.

What's up in 2000: Nonroster player got a long look because of Brady Anderson's ankle injury. Kirby would most likely serve as a late-inning defensive replacement.

By the numbers: Spent 1999 at Triple-A Las Vegas and hit .300 with 10 home runs. Reached majors in 1991 after 8 1/2 seasons in minors. Hit .320 vs. left-handers in '99.

X-factor: Injuries to Anderson and Eugene Kingsale gave Kirby an opening. He runs well but is not a dynamic base-stealer.

17 B. J. Surhoff LF

Age: 35. Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.

Bats: Left. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2001, option for 2002.

Role: Left fielder.

Career year: 1999. Surhoff became only the third player in team history to collect 200 hits and reached the first All-Star Game.

What's up in 2000: Surhoff has established career highs in home runs four of the last five years.

By the numbers: Surhoff owns the major leagues' longest active consecutive game streak (324) inheriting the distinction from Albert Belle, who had inherited it from Cal Ripken.

X-factor: Surhoff has finally received his due as a player. However, his production had slipped down the stretch.

30 Mike Hargrove Mgr.

Age: 50. Height: 6-0. Weight: 215.

Contract status: Signed through 2002

Career year: 1995, led Cleveland Indians to their first World Series in 41 years.

What's up in 2000: The Orioles' fifth manager in seven seasons agreed to a three-year, $3 million contract last Nov. 3. His Cleveland Indians teams won five consecutive AL Central titles before he was ousted last October. In nine years as a manager, he may have enjoyed his finest moment in 1997 when the Indians shocked the Orioles in a six-game American League Championship Series. His last three years with the Indians were marked by a strained relationship with his front office. His Cleveland teams were a combined 721-591.

61 Willie Morales C

Age: 27. Height: 5-11. Weight: 185.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2000

Role: Backup catcher

Career year: 1996 with Double-A Huntsville. Batted .292 with 18 homers and 73 RBIs. Threw out 42.6 percent (40 of 94) of attempted base-stealers.

What's up in 2000: He inherits the role occupied at various times last year by Lenny Webster, Mike Figga and Tommy Davis.

By the numbers: Went 8-for-16 this spring. Orioles VP Syd Thrift evaluates Morales' defense as 65 on a scale of 100.

X-factor: Barring another acquisition, manager Mike Hargrove must be able to trust Morales to avoid a repeat of last summer's burnout of Charles Johnson.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
36°