2018 BALTIMORE ORIOLES SEASON CAPSULE

MANAGER: Buck Showalter

2017 RECORD: 75-87

HOME RECORD: 46-35

ROAD RECORD: 29-52

 

2018 PREDICTION: 4th AL EAST

 

TEAM INFO

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

OPENED: 1992

CAPACITY: 48,867

DIMENSIONS:

LEFT: 333

CENTER: 410

RIGHT: 318

 

SEASON OPENER: March 29 vs. Minnesota

FIVE-YEAR WINNING TREND:

2013: 85

2014: 96

2015: 81

2016: 89

2017: 75

 

2018 PLAYERS TO WATCH (2017 NUMBERS)

1B Chris Davis, 26HR

2B Jonathan Schoop, 32HR, 105RBI

3B Manny Machado, 33HR, 95RBI

OF Adam Jones, 26HR

OF Trey Mancini, 24HR, .293BA

OF/DH Mark Trumbo, 23HR

P Dylan Bundy, 13-9

P Kevin Gausman, 11-12

 

2018 TOP PROSPECTS

OF Austin Hays

3B Ryan Mountcastle

C Chance Sisco

RHP Hunter Harvey

LHP DL Hall

 

BALTIMORE BY THE NUMBERS:

2-winning months posted by Baltimore in 2017.

4 – wins by Baltimore over the final 23 games of the season.

.394 – Tim Beckham’s batting average in August after being traded by Tampa Bay.

.180 – Tim Beckham’s batting average in September.

44 – days that outfielder Anthony Santander must stay in the majors to lose Rule 5 status.

9 – stolen bases for Manny Machado, which is nine more than the previous season.

18 – career wins for relief pitcher Mychal Givens in 21 decisions over the last three seasons.

.338 – Jonathan Schoop’s on – base percentage, compared to .298 in 2016

37.2 – Chris Davis’s strikeout percentage rate… The highest in major league baseball last season and the highest of his career. His strikeout rate has reached 30% in seven of his 10 major league seasons.

86.2 – 78.2 – Joey Rickard’s contact rate percentage has dropped after swinging and more pitches outside the strike zone.

64.4 – Kevin Gausman through his fastball 64.4% of the time, the second – highest mark in the American League. His fastball rate has dropped in each of the last three seasons.

68.8 – Richard Bleier’s ground ball rate was the second – highest mark among qualified relievers.

20 – for the second time in Baltimore history, the Orioles had seven players with 20 or more homeruns.

 

THE BOX SCORE

Schoop became the fastest Baltimore Oriole to reach 100 RBI, since Chris Davis in 2013. His 105 RBI were a career-high and the most ever by a Orioles second baseman.

Mancini had a 17 – game hitting streak in September, the longest by a rookie in Baltimore history. It was the longest by any rookie in the majors last season and tied for the fifth longest by any player.

In 29 August games, the Orioles led major league baseball with a .306 batting average, .534 slugging percentage and 57 home runs. The home run mark set a major league record for the month, breaking their own record (55) set in 2016.

Baltimore reach 10,000 regular – season home runs in club history on August 5 with a Tim Beckham solo home run. Baltimore is among just four teams with 10,000 homeruns since 1954. They join the Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox in that category.

 

O’s entering camp at franchise crossroads

BALTIMORE — The Orioles enter the 2018 season at a crossroads.

On one hand, the club is in win-now mode, with the expiring contracts of executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter, infielder Manny Machado, outfielder Adam Jones and relievers Zach Britton and Brad Brach. But most of this winter’s headlines have revolved around the O’s listening to offers on Machado, and there haven’t been any moves to add to a rotation that has just two projected starters in Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Teams that are aiming to win this season are retooling their rosters and committing large amounts of money to free agents. Teams that aren’t are seeking out players who will be free agents soon. And this is where things get tricky.

At last year’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, the O’s did not sell, which was surprising to most. Instead, they bought — adding pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and infielder Tim Beckham (who will shift over from shortstop to third base to accommodate Machado’s position change). At least publicly, the theory was that Baltimore just needed some better pitching performances and could make a run at the postseason. (Rumors later surfaced that it nearly traded Britton to the World Series-champion Astros.)

Instead, the Orioles didn’t do well in September, finishing last in the American League East and perhaps costing themselves an opportunity in July to bring back some top prospects. After all, their Minor League system has slowly improved. For the first time in a while, the O’s had three prospects on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects List. They have young players, like Austin Hays and Chance Sisco that they feel good about and a lineup that’s nearly intact from a year ago.

But if the Orioles are going to compete this season — and all signs point to that being their goal — they have to add some impact rotation pieces. Given what the Yankees have done and the Red Sox’s threatening roster, the O’s — along with the Blue Jays and Rays — find themselves in a precarious position. If they traded off all of their pending free agents, the next competitive Baltimore team would probably come together long after Duquette and Showalter were at their respective posts.

So the Orioles almost have to try to give it one more go with this group with the shrinking window and hope for the best. Should Bundy and Gausman take a step forward, they could survive. But the three other rotation question marks loom large, as does the Achilles injury that will have Britton out likely for the first half of the season.

Should the Orioles falter out of the gate, would Duquette go forward with a midseason fire sale? Or would the O’s play out the stretch in what is expected to Machado’s final season in a Baltimore uniform? Regardless of how the team fares, this will be a fascinating season that could very well change the direction of the organization for the next few years.

 

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING

Baltimore made the playoffs in three of the last five seasons, then took a huge fall into last place in 2017. 2018 may not be much better because of the improvements in New York, Boston and Toronto. The Orioles will score runs, and their bullpen should remain a strength, but there is only so much they can do with a subpar starting rotation. Baltimore finished with a franchise record 5.70 ERA. Though Baltimore believes they can remain competitive, on paper it seems virtually impossible for them to overtake New York and Boston. The Orioles will have to outscore their opponents night in and night out if they plan and returning to the playoffs.

 

2018 ROSTER:

Pitchers

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

75                          Pedro Araujo      R/R        6’3″        215lbs   7/2/93

51                          Alec Asher           R/R        6’4″        240lbs   10/4/91

48                          Richard Bleier    L/L         6’3″        215lbs   4/16/87

35                          Brad Brach          R/R        6’6″        215lbs   4/12/86

53                          Zach Britton        L/L         6’3″        195lbs   12/22/87

37                          Dylan Bundy       S/R         6’1″        200lbs   11/15/92

50                          Miguel Castro    R/R        6’7″        205lbs   12/24/94

73                          Nestor Cortes    R/L         5’11”      205lbs   12/10/94

43                          Stefan Crichton  R/R        6’3″        200lbs   2/29/92

34                          Kevin Gausman  L/R         6’3″        190lbs   1/6/91

60                          Mychal Givens   R/R        6’0″        210lbs   5/13/90

57                          Donnie Hart        L/L         5’11”      180lbs   9/6/90

39                          Hunter Harvey   R/R        6’3″        175lbs   12/9/94

41                          David Hess          R/R        6’2″        180lbs   7/10/93

71                          Michael Kelly      R/R        6’4″        185lbs   9/6/92

62                          Chris Lee             L/L         6’3″        180lbs   8/17/92

65                          Jesus Liranzo      R/R        6’2″        175lbs   3/7/95

74                          Jose Mesa           R/R        6’4″        230lbs   8/13/93

56                          Darren O’Day     R/R        6’4″        220lbs   10/22/82

32                          Yefry Ramirez     R/R        6’2″        215lbs   11/28/93

66                          Tanner Scott      R/L         6’2″        220lbs   7/22/94

28                          Mike Wright, Jr. R/R        6’6″        215lbs   1/3/90

54                          Jimmy Yacabonis              R/R        6’3″        205lbs   3/21/92

49                          Gabriel Ynoa      R/R        6’2″        205lbs   5/26/93

Catchers

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

36                          Caleb Joseph      R/R        6’3″        180lbs   6/18/86

15                          Chance Sisco      L/R         6’2″        195lbs   2/24/95

—                          Andrew Susac    R/R        6’1″        215lbs   3/22/90

29                          Austin Wynns     R/R        6’2″        205lbs   12/10/90

Infield

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

1                            Tim Beckham     R/R        6’1″        205lbs   1/27/90

19                          Chris Davis          L/R         6’3″        230lbs   3/17/86

13                          Manny Machado              R/R        6’3″        185lbs   7/6/92

6                            Jonathan Schoop              R/R        6’1″        225lbs   10/16/91

12                          Engelb Vielma    S/R         5’11”      155lbs   6/22/94

Outfield

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

38                          Jaycob Brugman               L/L         6’0″        195lbs   1/18/92

18                          Austin Hays        R/R        6’1″        195lbs   7/5/95

10                          Adam Jones        R/R        6’2″        215lbs   8/1/85

16                          Trey Mancini      R/R        6’4″        215lbs   3/18/92

23                          Joey Rickard       R/L         6’1″        185lbs   5/21/91

25                          Anthony Santander          S/R         6’2″        190lbs   10/19/94

Designated Hitters

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

45                          Mark Trumbo     R/R        6’4″        225lbs   1/16/86