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Thursday Bird Droppings

Projecting The 2010 Orioles: Starters | Camden Crazies
Day 3 of Camden Crazies' Orioles community projections. Head over and let him know how you think the youngsters plus Millwood and Guts will do. -Stacey

Hobgood arrives early at O's minor league camp
He's been working hard this off season and has reduced his body fat % from 22 to 17 and spent the winter at the Athletes Performance Institute. I look forward to seeing what he can do this year. Part 2 of the interview is here. -Stacey

Top 5 lead-off men in MLB | Bringing Heat
Bringing Heat names Brian Roberts as the 2nd best leadoff hitter in baseball behind Ichiro. -Stacey

Bergesen expects to return to mound within two weeks -
Bergy's dumb injury seems to be healing nicely. Sadly Bergy says that he doesn't read blogs. Come on, Brad, we love you, check us out. -Stacey

Preposterous Notions: This – Finally! – is the Baltimore Orioles’ Year (Really, It Is!)
The Big Lead gives an inspired but not very convincing argument as to why the Orioles could win the AL East this year. Hey, it's Spring Training. Why not? -Stacey

Q&A: Cal Ripken Jr. talks baseball, cards and The Streak
USA Today asks Cal a few mildly interesting questions. -Stacey

General Info on Patton
Troy Patton had some trouble getting loose today but says it's because Houston is cold. 2010 will be a big year for Patton who struggled at AAA in 2009. -Stacey

Arrieta and Mickolio
Lots of feel good quotes from Jake Arrieta and an update on Kam Mickolio who I hope to see make the bullpen this year. -Stacey

Wrapping it up
Roch concludes the first day of ST by raving about the new facilities. Also, Koji doesn't know his name which is kind of awesome. -Stacey

Baseball Prospectus | Division Preview: AL East
It's a subscriber article, so I'll tell you they project the Red Sox to win the division with 94 wins. As for the O's, they predict 79 wins with these comments:

Why They Might Win: In any other division, the Orioles would probably be a contender. Although this probably isn't the year they put it all together, they are tantalizingly close to a return to respectability. They are projected to score 781 runs—fifth in the AL, but fourth in the East. The outfield of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Nolan Reimold might be the best in the division. Starters Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman could have breakouts in their first full major-league seasons.

Why They Might Not Win: Their starting pitching is not yet where it needs to be. Kevin Millwood isn't as good as his ERA made him seem last year, so PECOTA projects Brad Bergesen to be the Orioles' starter with the lowest ERA at 4.40. This is not a formula for success.

Player Who Could Surprise: Jones started last year strong (.303/.357/.481 before the All-Star break), but cooled in the second half. PECOTA thinks he can do it all season this year, pegging him for .294/.350/.501. Even more noteworthy is his high "Breakout" score, which suggests a good probability that his production will improve by at least 20 percent over his established level of performance.

Player Who Could Disappoint: Millwood, despite a superficially strong ERA last season, has lost the ability to strike out batters at a high rate. PECOTA sees the writing on the wall and projects him for a pedestrian 4.71 ERA and just 5.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

In Sarasota stadium deal, foes fight on |
The lawsuit that has stalled a $31 million renovation of Ed Smith Stadium started with one outraged baseball mom. -duck

Fort Lauderdale Stadium no longer spring training host - South Florida
Fort Lauderdale misses us. Well, maybe if you had fixed up that dump of a stadium, the Orioles would still be there. -duck

Uehara throws off mound for first time | News
Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara threw off the mound for the first time on Tuesday and said he is ready to assume whatever role the Orioles need. -duck

The Schmuck Stops Here: Orioles: Bergesen update
Brad Bergesen is on track to get back on a mound in two weeks. Gee, thanks for the update, Peter. -duck