By every account, 2023 was an incredible year for the Baltimore Orioles. They surpassed 100 wins, won the AL East for the first time in nearly a decade, and made the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Not everything went as well as the whole season did. Some things the Orioles did failed or didn't go to plan, whether that was by their own doing or due to the player. Here are 5 things that didn't work out as planned for the Orioles in 2023.
Cole Irvin's first season in Baltimore
One move the Orioles made during the offseason last year was acquiring starting pitcher Cole Irvin in a trade with the Oakland Athletics, landing Irvin and Kyle Virbitsky in exchange for infielder Darell Hernaiz. The idea was that Irvin would be a dependable arm in the back of the rotation that the Orioles could give the ball to and avoid rushing their pitching prospects to the majors.
The problem was that Irvin wasn't particularly good in his first season with the Orioles. He spent time in the rotation, bullpen, and with Triple A Norfolk as he had a 4.42 ERA, 4.43 FIP, and 1.280 WHIP over 24 games in the majors, throwing 77 1/3 innings.
Virbitsky, the other piece of the return, had a 4.09 ERA and 1.171 WHIP while spending the whole year with High A Aberdeen. While he would have been excess goods in the Orioles system, Hernaiz had a great year in the A's system, combining for a .321/.386/.456 slash line with 71 RBI's and 13 stolen bases in 131 games between Double A Midland and Triple A Las Vegas, and could make his major league debut in 2024.
While the Orioles agreed to a $2 million deal with Irvin to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility, He's under team control through the end of 2026. If he wants to last in Baltimore that long, he'll have to improve on a down year in 2023.