JASON HAMMEL

The big right-hander is considered the ace of the staff and will likely be the Orioles' Opening Day starter. But how well will he come back from last season's knee surgery? It was a break-out season for Hammel in 2012 -- he went 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 118 innings before he was sidelined.<br>
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The Orioles rewarded him with a one-year $6.75 million deal to avoid arbitration -- he'll be a free agent after this season. But Hammel needs to prove he can be a consistent winner after going 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA for Colorado in 2011 and winning 10 games for the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORSPT000010" title="Colorado Rockies" href="/topic/sports/baseball/colorado-rockies-ORSPT000010.topic">Rockies</a> in each of the two seasons before that.

( Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam / October 12, 2012 )

The big right-hander is considered the ace of the staff and will likely be the Orioles' Opening Day starter. But how well will he come back from last season's knee surgery? It was a break-out season for Hammel in 2012 -- he went 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 118 innings before he was sidelined.

The Orioles rewarded him with a one-year $6.75 million deal to avoid arbitration -- he'll be a free agent after this season. But Hammel needs to prove he can be a consistent winner after going 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA for Colorado in 2011 and winning 10 games for the Rockies in each of the two seasons before that.

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