Building deep depth in the lineup and bullpen

Call it the principle of displacement.

If the Orioles put Vladimir Guerrero in the fourth spot in the batting order, doesn't that mean it will move others down in the order, displacing them? It should then help the order become stronger if someone who batted fourth can move down to fifth or sixth and so on and so on.

One possible batting order for the Orioles is Brian Roberts leading off, followed by Nick Markakis, Derrek Lee, Guerrero, Luke Scott, Mark Reynolds, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy.

Jones and Wieters are players that have been looked at before as players that can be very productive for this club and maybe even one day be mainstays in the middle of the batting order.

What does it mean for the offense if they are batting seventh and eighth?

Last season, 64 percent of Jones' at-bats came with him hitting fifth or sixth. He had just 47 at-bats, only 8 percent, batting seventh and he never hit eighth or ninth.

Wieters saw 72 percent of his at-bats come last season batting sixth or seventh. He had just 10 at-bats last year hitting eighth, or 2 percent.

One concern could be that those players feel out of place hitting in those spots. But the bigger impact could be and perhaps should be that the batting order just overall gets stronger when those hitters are displaced down in the lineup.

Could a similar result happen in the bullpen?

If Kevin Gregg emerges as closer, others could be pushed back into earlier innings than they worked last year and maybe that helps the O's win a few more games.

Could Koji Uehara be the eighth-inning guy with Jim Johnson and/or Mike Gonzalez working the seventh? That could leave Jason Berken for middle relief.

A deeper lineup and a deeper bullpen could make it easier for the O's to wade into the deep waters with the American League East big boys.

Is that what Earl Weaver once called deep depth?

Hey, thanks!: Well, we had a decent turnout for our first MASNSports.com Orioles talk night at Hightopps Backstage Grille in Timonium last night. Jen Royle, Pete Kerzel and yours truly talked with fans there and it was a really good give and take and discussion for nearly two hours.

Thanks to those that came out and proved once again we have some really smart readers and fans. The baseball talk and questions we got were awesome. It looks like we will be there again next week.

For those in the Baltimore area, stay tuned for details and come out if you can, it figures to be another great night of O's talk.

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