Pre Spring Training MLB Power Rankings #22 Baltimore Orioles

O's Slugger Manny Machado is coming off a big season. (Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

O’s Slugger Manny Machado is coming off a big season. (Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

The MLB Pre Spring Training countdown continues in Birdland with #22 the Baltimore Orioles.

Projected Record:77-85 5th in the AL East

Potential Lineup: LF Soo Kim #25, 3B Machado #13, 1B Davis #19, CF Jones #10, C Wieters #32,RF Trumbo #TBD, 2B Schoop #6, DH Paredes #38 SS Hardy #2, 

Potential Rotation: 1.Jimenez #31, 2.Tillman #30, 3.Gonzalez #50, 4.Gausman #39, 5.Wright #59

Potential Bullpen: CL Britton #53, 8th O’Day #56, 7th Brach #35 Mid Relief: Givens #60, Matusz #17, Bundy #49, Worley #TBD

Potential Bench: C Joseph #36,OF Reimold #14, IF Flaherty #3, OF Rickard #TBD

  After winning 96 games and the AL East in 2014 the Orioles fell back to earth in 2015 finishing .500 at 81-81 and third in the AL East. The O’s had a tough time in the summer month as the team fell out of the AL East and wildcard races this offseason however hasn’t turned out as bad as the O’s may have expected though there still are a lot of question marks surrounding the club entering 2016. The offense was a strength for Baltimore a year ago as the team finished 9th in the big leagues in runs scored. The team was able to bring back slugger Chris Davis to keep their middle of the lineup trio of Manny Machado, Davis, and  Adam Jones in tack. Though the team did lose outfielders Gerardo Parra and Steve Pearce and will hope korean Hyun Soo Kim can help fill one of those outfield gaps. He had a career batting average of .318 in Korea. The Orioles starting pitching was certainly the team’s weak link a season ago as the rotation finished 25th in starting ERA. The O’s rather than adding pitching lost pitching this offseason as Wei Yin Chen left for Miami leaving Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Tillman needing to have big seasons for the O’s to have a competitive rotation. Tillman once an all star struggled in 2015 finishing with an ERA of 4.99. If Tillman can go back to his all star self, and Ubaldo Jimenez also once an all star coming off a season where his ERA was above 4, can improve the Orioles can have a formidable top of the rotation if not the O’s starting pitching will be very weak again if not weaker without Chenin 2016. Moving onto the bullpen Baltimore’s 8th and 9th inning men are two of the best relievers in baseball in Darren O’Day, and Zach Britton both all stars in 2015. Other than that however Baltimore does not have many great mid relief arms. Projected 7th inning man Brad Brach will be very important to the Orioles in 2016 as the O’s may need to rely heavily on their bullpen due to a weak starting rotation. Brach finished with an ERA of 2.72 and struck out 89 batters a season ago. If he can set the Orioles up for O’Day and Britton with the lead the O’s can finish games in 2016. The big question with Baltimore is starting pitching and they really don’t seem to have much which is going to hurt them in a loaded AL East where their rotation is among the weakest in all of the majors. The starting pitching may just keep Baltimore out of the postseason in 2016.  

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