Baltimore Orioles Player Roster In 2013: State Of The Union Updated Mar.15
Posted by kholland13
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Friday March 15, 2013
By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @TheKHolland13
2012 was a breakout year for the Baltimore Orioles and the start of something new. They finished the season with a 93-69 record, a record good enough to land themselves a spot in the Wild Card playoff game. This marked the first time since 1997 they were playing October baseball.
The Orioles took down the Rangers in that very game to advance to the ALDS against AL East foe, the New York Yankees. They gave the Yankees a run for their money sending the series to 5 games, only to lose a heart-breaker 3-1 finale of the matchup. All of this happening with the Orioles having the 18th largest payroll in the MLB.
Orioles Wild Card Celebration:
First, let’s take a look at the starting 5.
Jason Hammel is likely going to be the Orioles’ Opening Day starter. Hammel joined Baltimore before the 2012 season coming over from Colorado. Injuries cut some of Hammel’s season short so he was only able to make 20 starts, finishing 8-6. He ended 2012 with a 3.43 innings through 118.0 innings. He is certainly not the ace of the staff yet but with some work will be soon enough.
The number 2 starter will be their most consistent pitcher in 2012, Wei-Yin Chen. The Japanese rookie finished 12-11 during his rookie campaign. His 4.02 ERA led the team, as did his 12 Wins and his 154 K’s. He can’t be considered the ace of the staff yet as he is only one year deep and has Hammel to compete with. He is projected to follow-up with another brilliant season in 2013 with a cut ERA and a cut in the Loss column.
Rounding off the starting staff will be Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, and Jair Jurrjens. Tillman, likely in the number 3 slot had a solid 2012 summer. He hurled 86.0 innings in 15 Starts and posted a 2.93 ERA. He hasn’t developed enough to start any higher than the 3 slot but is heading in the right direction.
The 28-year-old Gonzalez has only played one season in the bigs. He went 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA last summer and. He can improve on that but he won’t be much more than a number 3 starter at the most, likely being the 4th guy in the Orioles’ rotation this summer.
At the bottom of the rotation will be Jair Jurrjens. This will be his first season as a part of the Orioles organization after pitching for Atlanta since 2008. Jurrjens played a lot of last season in the minors after a poor start. After getting called up he could only rake together 3 Wins finishing 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA. He’s not anything spectacular but is good to have at the bottom of the rotation.
Dylan Bundy, Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, Steve Johnson, Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter may also challenge for the 5th spot in the rotation – or see some time during the year. The Bullpen will see a couple of Pitchers swing between both spots.
In the Orioles bullpen the pitchers that stand out are Darren O’Day as one of two setup men and Jim Johnson as their Closer. The 30-year-old O’Day shut it down for the most part as the setup man. He pitched his way to a 7-1 record with a 2.28 ERA. The ERA could stand to come down a little bit but overall he is a pitcher you can trust to hold it for their closer. The Orioles can trust that if the offense gets the job done that they can keep the lead heading into the 9th.
Troy Patton was dynamic for the organization in 2012, posting a 1 – 0 record with a 2.43 ERA in 55.2 IP – and also fanned 49 Batters. He is listed as the #4 Reliever of the core. He will be used in the 6th and 7th Innings.
Luis Ayala managed to throw in 66 Games and 75 IP for the club in 2012 – yielding a 5 – 5 record with an impressive 2.64 ERA. The whole Relief Core all seemed to have numbers similar to this and these guys will need to be just as effective in 2013 for the O’s to make it back to the Post Season.
Pedro Strop and Johnson are about the best 1 – 2 punch for Relievers in the AL. No matter what happens with the Starting Pitchers, the top 5 Bullpen guys should remain the same – providing the club a lot of opportunities to close down games.
The backstop Matt Wieters is only 4 years deep and has already appeared in 2 All-Star Games and has received one Gold Glove Award. Last year the star catcher tied his career low .249 BA but that doesn’t take away from the fact he won a Gold Glove and made his second All-Star Appearance. Orioles fans know what kind of catcher this guy is and are excited to see him get even better as his young career progresses. He clubbed 23 HRs and drove 83 RBI in 2012.
Machado broke out on to the scene last year when he was called up in the middle of the season. Outside of the Oriole faithful not many people paid attention to him due to Mike Trout and Bryce Harper being the top rookies in the MLB. Sure, Machado didn’t have the best bat only hitting .262 in 191 AB, but his awareness and power amazed everybody.
The rookie slammed 7 HRs in only 51 games played last year and looked like a veteran at 3B. Machado is sure to improve the bat this year and is hands down the Orioles Third Basemen of the future in Baltimore.
Across the diamond is the 26-year-old Chris Davis. Davis with 33 HRs, 85 RBI and a .501 Slugging % had his best year of the Majors last year. At 26 , he has played 5 seasons in the big leagues but has only appeared in 100+ games in 2 of them. Last year he batted .270, his career best with the qualifying amount of Plate Appearances. He will find himself in the middle of the order this upcoming summer, possibly 5 or 6. He does have experience in the Outfield too so if anything unforeseen happens he can take the place of somebody out there.
Surrounding Second base will be the double play duo of Brian Roberts, 2B, and J.J. Hardy, SS. Roberts has missed the majority of the last 3 seasons due to a plethora of injuries but is poised to return healthy in 2013. As for his double play partner, Hardy is coming off of a Gold Glove Award season. He has always been trusted as one of the better shortstops in the game but his bat is the issue.
As he reaches age 30 it doesnt seem as if the bat will be improving either. The Orioles love him at short and are going to have to stick him at the bottom of the lineup if they want to get the most out of him. Wilson Betemit and Ryan Flaherty provide depth as back up Infielders.
In LF we have the 31-year-old Nate McLouth. McLouth is by no means one of the best Outfielders in the league but hey, he gets the job done. In his 89 games last year for the Pirates and Orioles, he only committed one error. His fielding is solid, but his hitting is nothing impressive. His career high is a .276 BA back in 2008. Last year he hit a low .241. The Orioles would obviously love for him to improve on that but it just doesn’t seem like it’ll happen.
The other corner outfielder over in left is a little more reliable at the bat. Markakis hit .298 last year and only committed one more error in the outfield than McLouth. Markakis will likely either lead off or hit in the number 2 slot, perfect for a guy like him. If the man from Glen Cove, NY can hit for his Career 3 Slash Line of .295/.365/.819 than the club would be ecstatic about him bouncing back after innjury.
Captaining the outfield is Center Fielder Adam Jones. Jones has always been consistent as an overall player. Last year he hit .287 while making an All-Star Game appearance and winning a Gold Glove Award. He’ll likely be the number 3 hitter for the Orioles and will be trusted from that spot. Currently he is playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic so he should be all set for the competitive play once the season comes around.
All in all the Orioles have a solid team. It’s doubtful they will improve upon last year as the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Rays all improved their teams this year. Their biggest concern is the hitting. Their fielding is set but they just need some guys who have a ton of potential to come around. They will also need to rely heavily on their Bullpen once they reach the end of the rotation. The Orioles should have another solid team and may take a Wild Card spot, but being the AL East champion may just be out of their reach.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our Baseball Writer Kyle Holland for preparing today’s featured article. Kyle is a life long baseball fan outside of Boston. He is a sophomore in high school has played baseball since he was 5. Although growing up in one of the best baseball towns in the major leagues, he has been a Giants fan since 2009. He credits his aunt with the Giants being his favorite team as she lives in San Francisco. Some of his favorite players include Buster Posey, Stephen Drew, Trevor Bauer, Stephen Strasburg, and Minor Leaguer Danny Hultzen. You can find Kyle on Twitter Follow @TheKHolland13
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Posted on March 15, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2012 ALDS, 2012 playoffs, @thekholland13, @TheKholland13 on twitter, adam jones, AL East, al mvp, baltimore orioles, boston red sox, brian roberts, chris davis, chris tillman, cy young award, darren o'day, dylan bundy, gold glove, j.j. hardy, jair jurrjens, jason hammel, jim johnson, Kyle Holland, luis ayala, manny machado, matt wieters, miguel gonzalez, nate mclouth, new york yankees, nick markakis, pedro strop, ryan flaherty, tampa bay rays, texas rangers, toronto blue jays, troy patton, wbc, wei-yin chen, wilson betemit. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Baltimore Orioles Player Roster In 2013: State Of The Union Updated Mar.15.
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