The long winter that saw the Baltimore area get a record-breaking single snowstorm is finally over. The first real Orioles lineup of the year has been posted for the world. It's about time.
If you've been following along with spring training lineups, you probably won't be surprised by this one. The starting nine lines up like so:
1. Manny Machado - 3B
2. Adam Jones - CF
3. Chris Davis - 1B
4. Mark Trumbo - RF
5. Matt Wieters - C
6. Pedro Alvarez - DH
7. J.J. Hardy - SS
8. Jonathan Schoop - 2B
9. Joey Rickard - LF
SP - Chris Tillman - RHP
Although Rickard had been leading off in a lot of spring games, it would have really been a surprise to me if he was leading off in game one of the season. If Rickard is able to play well, he'll likely move up to the top of the order due to his speed. Until then, it fits with Buck Showalter's track record that Rickard is at the ninth spot in the order. Buck likes to ease young guys in.
If it was left up to me, I'd flip Jones and Davis, though Davis batting second is pretty weird. Still, Davis gets on base a lot and Jones doesn't. Jones is not a table setter kind of player. I'd probably flip Hardy and Schoop as well, because we all saw how Hardy batted last year.
Just look at that bunch, though. My gosh, this could be glorious. There will be many home runs. Look at all of that power. I wear around thick pessimist armor to keep me from getting hurt by getting my hopes up, but when I look at this lineup and realize this will look a whole lot like the every day lineup I find myself thinking dangerous thoughts like, "What if they can do this dang thing?"
What if they can, friends? Don't ruin this, starting rotation.