Five games into the 2007 season the O's were 1-4, but since then they have compiled a 10-3 record. They are coming off a three-game sweep of the division rival Blue Jays and have now catapult into second place in the AL East.
After watching the Orioles down at spring training in Ft.Lauderdale this year I got the sense that they were an improved team from last season, but were still missing that compliment pitcher to Erik Bedard and hitter to Miguel Tejada.
Through the first three weeks of the season manager Sam Perlozzo has his team playing exceptionally well, but the next two weeks of their schedule will lend be an indicator if they can contend with the elite teams in the American League. The O's open a three-game series at home tonight against the A's and then travel to Cleveland and Detroit.
Offensively this season Baltimore has seen strong play out of several hitters. Nick Markakis is a star in the making and is currently batting .284 with three long balls and 14 batted in. Third baseman Melvin Mora and team leader Miguel Tejada have started off the season hot, but it will be critical for them to continue their success throughout the duration of the season. A strong year out of Mora would be key to the O's contending.
Unfortunately, second baseman Brian Roberts and outfielders Jay Gibbons and Corey Patterson have not begun the season on high notes. Patterson needs to be more aggressive on the base pads and Gibbons must display his power if his team expects to improve on last season. Zero home runs in 56 at bats is unacceptable for a man with his potential.