Pondering a few Orioles questions

If you talk to yourself on the bus or at a restaurant, people might stare.

But in a blog, I can ask myself some questions and then answer myself. You are most invited to respond with your answer or answers to one or all of the following questions about 2011 O’s baseball.

What was the Orioles most significant acquisition?

No it probably won’t be the addition of pitcher Casey Lambert in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. It could be the pickup of third sacker Mark Reynolds.

At 27, he could be the O’s next long-term third baseman. He is signed through 2012 with a club option for the following season and can’t be a free agent until 2014.

While he could become the first Oriole to ever strikeout 200 times in a season, he has also averaged 38 homers the last two years and was third in the NL in at-bats per homer in 2009 and fourth last season.

Get used to the strikeouts, he will not magically cut down on them just because he is now an Oriole. Hopefully he won’t be cutting back on the homers either.

Who will emerge as the O’s closer?

The Kevin Gregg agreement, while adding late-inning depth, is also a sign to me that the O’s realize they may not be able to count on Koji Uehara or Mike Gonzalez over a full season. Both are coming off seasons where they spent a lot of time on the DL.

Gregg, by the way, went 12-for-13 in save chances last summer vs. New York, Boston and Tampa. He saved 86 percent of his games on the year, going 37-for-43. Anything over 85 percent is pretty darn good.

It looks to me like he will have a heckuva chance to get the first shot at closing for this team, but the club will have other options as well and that is not a bad situation at all.

How some current AL East hitters have fared vs. Gregg:
Mark Teixeria: 3-for-17
Derek Jeter: 2-for-10
Alex Rodriguez: 3-for-11
David Ortiz: 1-for-8
Carl Crawford: 3-for-12
Evan Longoria: 2-for-4

What is your level of concern about Brian Roberts’ health for the 2011 season?

On a scale of one to 10 with one being almost not at all and 10 being total panic, I’ll go with a four right now. Roberts played just about every day after Buck Showalter took over until he hit himself in the helmet with a bat and missed the final few games.

He played hard and well and looked fully recovered from his back issues. Can he do that for a full year? I think he can, but clearly the team has taken out insurance policies named Cesar Izturis, Brendan Harris and Robert Andino is still around as well.

That is a good idea. If Roberts misses any long stretch, they at least have a vet ready to step in. No one wants that to happen, but you have to prepare for the possibility after Roberts’ 2010 season. The club has done that.

Those moves also could be a sign that, while the club likes Ryan Adams, they don’t deem him ready to step in as a big league regular in the event of another Roberts’ injury.

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