Baltimore Orioles: the secret formula for a successful second half

Anthony Santander #25 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates with teammate Trey Mancini #16. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
Anthony Santander #25 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates with teammate Trey Mancini #16. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /

"Cedric Mullins #31 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates a walk off single in the tenth inning after a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 22, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)"

The 45-44 Baltimore Orioles are in the midst of an ten game winning streak, the likes of which the team hasn’t seen since 1999. While Mike Elias’s rebuild was expected to take an additional step in 2022 with the expected arrivals of prospects like Adley Rutschman, DL Hall, and Grayson Rodriguez, they surely couldn’t have expected to be one game above .500 and within striking distance of the AL Wild Card the week before the All-Star break. Brandon Hyde’s team has a comradery that is palpable; it’s a group that clearly enjoys playing together and shows up to the ballpark every day with belief they can win. The fanbase has been reinvigorated for the first time since 2016, and they may be asking “how can the Orioles keep this up?”. Here’s 5 suggestions:


The Orioles rebuild has quickly been thrust ahead of schedule and given their current position in the Wild Card standings, there may be pressure and/or temptation to make a “splash”, but that may be imprudent. As wildly fun as this last month has been, they are arguably the team least prepared for a playoff run and the transactions required to rectify those issues would result in a depletion of the farm system the front office worked so hard to rebuild. Granted, not all of these prospects will bloom into major leaguers and not all of the prospects that do will do it as Orioles, but the smart play is to hold onto your assets and assess potential marquee transactions next year when the team is better suited to contend. That being said, if an opportunity arises to add bench depth or another bullpen arm for a marginal price, the Orioles should absolutely explore their options.


On the other hand, selling would be a disastrous decision. Not only do the Orioles risk damaging the goodwill they’ve been trying to rebuild, but they risk disrupting a clubhouse that is very clearly close-knit. It’s hard to envision the team reacting well to dealing Trey Mancini, not to mention the fan revolt that would assuredly follow. This Orioles team has earned the right to see out the season and doing so won’t do anything to damage the long-term future of the franchise, although I will admit that the idea of being able to use the DH as a way to keep players fresh if Mancini is dealt is an enticing one.

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The Orioles have had a steady influx of young talent promoted to the big club so far (Adley Rutschman and Kyle Bradish among others), and they’re going to need more to build upon the success they’ve enjoyed in the first half of the season. Kyle Stowers, who made a brief cameo in Toronto, is crushing the ball in AAA and could give the team a power bat with good defense to boot. Terrin Vavra, acquired in the Mychal Givens trade, is another hitter who some would argue is ready for a shot in Baltimore. Top lefty pitching prospect DL Hall is in the process of mowing down hitters in Norfolk and could make his debut any time. Looming in the background is Grayson Rodriguez, the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, who is currently rehabbing his lat muscle injury in Florida. A gambler would likely put money on GrayRod being shut down in 2023, but the door hasn’t been shut on a return this year.


The star of the show for the Orioles has been the pitching staff. Considered a glaring weakness at the beginning of the season, a rotation of young upstarts (and Jordan Lyles) and a bullpen of waiver claims and ex-starting pitchers has accumulated 10.0 WAR in 2022, according to FanGraphs; that number is the ninth highest in all of baseball. Lyles, Dean Kremer, and Tyler Wells have settled in to provide consistency the Orioles rotation hasn’t seen in several years. The bullpen, led by Jorge López and the mountainous Félix Bautista, has experienced turbulence recently but has otherwise been rock solid. If the Orioles have any hope of continuing their winning ways, this must remain the case.


The July 9th game against the Los Angeles Angels was special for a multitude of reasons. The Orioles extended their winning streak to seven games. Dean Kremer threw five shutout innings. The one that stood out the most though, was the atmosphere. Camden Yards looked and sounded as lively and loud as it has been in years, especially in the ninth when Jorge López recorded the save and preserved the shutout in dominant fashion. While not nearly as loud as it was when Delmon Young hit the double, or when Jim Johnson struck out Alex Rodriguez to win game 2 of the 2012 ALDS, it was a reminder of what Camden Yards was, can be, and will be when they’re playing in October again. This Orioles team has left it all on the field every night, and they deserve to be playing in front of raucous crowds the rest of the way. If you’re at all able, I implore you to make it to the Yard!

It is certainly possible that this dusting of Orioles Magic is temporary and the team will fade down the stretch. However, rest assured that the infrastructure of the franchise is as solid as it has been as long as the Angelos family has owned the team thanks to Mike Elias and the rest of the front office. But, in the words of the great Greg Cote, “ya neva know!”; if the five-piece formula comes together, the magic may not be over just yet.

Five ways for the Orioles to build on their win streak. dark. Next