Baltimore Orioles: The need for a win-now attitude
For the Baltimore Orioles, 2018 should be a must-win year. But, the recent signings do not look like that is the goal for the team.
With the number of Baltimore Orioles players and front office staff entering free agency at the end of the season, the team should be focused on one last attempt to go for it.
Sadly, the two new pitchers and the lack of fortification in right field and behind the dish brings serious doubt. Does the front office expect to win at all?
The dominators in the AL East
Consider what the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees have done this off-season. These two teams have the three best hitters in the MLB. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and J.D. Martinez finished one, two, and three in the 2017 home run list. Martinez, Stanton, and Judge were one, two, and four in slugging percentage. Martinez had a slugging percentage of .690. Stanton, Judge, and Martinez finished at or near the top of many batting stats that involved scoring runs and getting on base in 2017. This is not the case for the Orioles.
And, the Orioles have to face these three hitters in almost 40 of their 162 games.
Yes, the Orioles have Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Trey Mancini, and Adam Jones. But, they also have Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo who were not themselves in 2017. But, consider this: the Orioles play in what is considered the most hitter-friendly park in the MLB. The first Orioles who shows up on the home run list is Manny Machado, who is tied in 22nd place with six other players including Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson, and Gary Sanchez.
Where the O’s rank
When it comes to slugging percentage, the top-ranked Oriole is Jonathan Schoop. But, when compared to the rest of the MLB, he ranks 40th. Three Yankees are ahead of him and so is Martinez.
More from Orioles News
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
Now that Spring Training has begun, it still does not seem like the front office is too concerned about getting wins against the tough AL East rivals. The Chris Tillman signing might have brought an old friend home, but his pitching in 2017 was horrendous. Nothing he or the team did could fix his issues. Andrew Cashner is entering the 2018 season as the best pitcher from 2017. Kevin Gausman had a slow start and wasn’t bad at the end of the season. And, Dylan Bundy is just plain young. These four will have difficulty facing the Yankees and Red Sox batters.
Considering the pitching matchups
And, the Yankees and Red Sox have pitchers who can deal. When looking at ERA, Cashner finished 15th of qualified starters. But, Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, and Luis Severino were ahead of him. Sonny Gray was ahead of Bundy. And, Rick Porcello was ahead of Gausman. All starting pitchers were better than Tillman.
Next: Reacting to the Alex Presley signing
With a team that is losing its best players at the end of 2018, there seems to be no urgency to arm the team for a winning season. It is frustrating to sit back and watch nothing much happen.