Monday, April 11, 2016

The 2016 Baltimore Orioles off-season and first week in review.



Predicted to finish last in the American League East by just about every national publication.

Marred by off-season controversy.

A suspect pitching rotation.

Multiple rain delays and a snow/cold/rain postponement thanks to the annual Maryland second coming of winter.

The 2016 Baltimore Orioles are the true underdog of Major League Baseball.

OFF-SEASON REVIEW:

Notable off-season additions:                          

  • Chris David -1B/RF
  • Darren O'Day -RP
  • Matt Wieters -C
  • Pedro Alvarez -1B/3B/DH
  • Hyun Soo Kim -OF
  • Joey Rickard -OF
  • Mark Trumbo -1B/RF/DH
  • Yovani Gallardo -SP
  • Vance Worley -SP
Notable off-season subtractions:
  • Wei-Yin Chen -SP
  • Miguel Gonzalez -SP
  • Steve Pearce -UTL
  • Gerardo Parra -OF
To sum all of this up, this was the most money that the O's have ever committed to one player(Davis), and the most money collectively that they ever committed in a single off-season. Baltimore Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos turns 87 in July. I think you can read between the lines there. 


OPENING WEEK REVIEW:

At 5 and 0, they're the only undefeated team left in both leagues. 

Their suspect pitching rotation has combined with their bullpen to put up an MLB leading 1.80 ERA. Yes, that's both leagues. They're also 6th in strikeouts with 5, with only 10 that separates them from the leading Toronto Blue Jays. They are also 5th in batting average against (BAA) with a .211 mark. 

Now, here is the REAL gem of all these numbers: 9. That's right, 9. Their pitching staff has allowed only 9 earned runs in the first 5 games. That averages less than 2 runs a game. That's the least amount of runs allowed by any team in both leagues.

Okay, now I'll throw some batting numbers at you.

This is supposed to be a team that's going to hit a lot of home runs, but strike out a lot and struggle to find ways to get on base. As it stands right now, they're coming in at #2 with a .298 collective batting average. They're also 5th in on base percentage with hitters getting on base .347% of the time. 

And here is the gem of the batting numbers: 33. O's batters have struck-out 33 times in 5 games. That number is good for 28th least out of 30 teams.

MY THOUGHTS:

Who is this team? Their pitching has been great thus far and their hitters have been patient. This isn't how they were supposed to play. One thing is for sure, they've come out of the gate firing with all cylinders. Are they playing above their heads? Maybe. Probably. But that's what everyone said about the 2012 Orioles, and they went on to make their first playoff appearance in 14 years. What is the common denominator between 2012 and 2016? Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter. They're masters of their trade. One makes the roster moves and the other knows how to fit him in and get the most out of him. 

The last Orioles team that started the season a 5-0 was the 1970 team. That team finished at 108-54 and won the World Series in 5 games.

Move over 1970, just don't block home plate or the World Series trophy.

They've got to come back down to earth at some point, and the season is only a week old. A lot can and will change, but they're certainly showing huge potential. This is a much better team than advertised.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

And the worst thing about the Orioles is that they have the worst announcer ever and that's Mike Bordick.He's overly and boringly over analizing ever single thing including the hot dog vendors if he can.His voice is like chalk on a board,i have to turn the sound off to enjoy the game.

Anonymous said...

The team is a borderline wild card team. No significant "new" additions. That's it.

Ronnie Frown said...

Anonymous 1:02

But why do you think they're a borderline wild card team?

I think that there are a few things that need to happen in the rotation for them to be successful.

1 - Tillman. He needs to revert back to 2014 form. He has already shown glimpses of being that same guy.

2 - Gallardo needs to continue to pitch to his career norms.

3 - Gausman doesn't need to be a #1, but it would sure help. If he settles and pitches to his capabilities, he can be a #2 or a very solid #3.

4 - Jiminez needs to put up two consistent halves. Not just one.

5 - One of Wright, Worley, or Wilson need to step up and own that 5th spot.

Yes, the rotation is suspect, but the offense is not. They will find a way to mash. They will slump, they will adjust.

The defense and bullpen of this team are the best in the game. If the rotation pitches well, this team will win the east. If the rotation is mediocre, I agree with you that they're a fringe wild card team.

Anonymous said...

201-102 here. In my opinion, it begins and end with pitching. Yes, they'll score a bunch of runs. But, so will Toronto, the Yankees, and Boston. All of which were at/near the top of runs scored last season. Toronto will have a full year of Tulo this season, and the Yankees may have finally found a successor at 2nd with Starlin Castro.

Back to pitching, both the Yankees and Boston added significant pieces in Chapman and Price. The O's did add Gallardo, but he's had declining metrics over the past few years. I think the AL East will again be a 3 horse race. But I don't think the O's have added enough to their core to take them to the next level.

Not an O's fan personally, but even this Yankees fan appreciates what Buck & Co have done to turn around this franchise.

Anonymous said...

Crap city. Crap franchise. Crap fans.