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Orioles Rumors: Baltimore In Market For Leadoff Hitter

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Baltimore Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is searching for a table-setter, according to a report from Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

"We have to address the on-base percentage at the top of our lineup," Duquette said. "We had a really good on-base man in Nolan [Reimold] out there and he did a good job, but we aren’t going to have him."

The Orioles have lost their top two in-house leadoff options: Reimold and Brian Roberts.

Reimold underwent surgery to remove a bulging disk in his neck and is out for the season. Roberts has not made a decision on how to proceed with his injured hip, the options being to either rehab or surgery. He’ll be out at least two months, but is likely he's also done for the year.

On the plus side for Baltimore, they did just activate Nick Markakis from the DL. The right fielder has never hit leadoff, but does boast a .363 OBP over his seven-year career. No matter where he hits in the lineup, Markakis figures to provide a big boost to the O’s, who rank 26th in the MLB with a .302 team on-base percentage.

Connolly mentioned Philadelphia Phillies’ center fielder Shane Victorino as a potential option to fill the void, but he also noted that Victorino "wouldn’t be cheap to acquire and would be highly coveted if made available."

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Should the Orioles top priority be finding a leadoff man, or pitcher?

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