Skip to content

2014 Outlook: Baltimore Orioles

Jan 8, 2014, 10:42 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

2013 record: 85-77, 3rd place in AL East
Manager: Buck Showalter, 5th season
Estimated 2014 payroll: $82 million
Key additions: 2B Jemile Weeks, RP Ryan Webb, OF David Lough
Key losses: 2B Brian Roberts, SP Scott Feldman, OF Nate McLouth, OF Michael Morse, CL Jim Johnson

Projected lineup
RF Nick Markakis
3B Ryan Flaherty
1B Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
SS J.J. Hardy
DH Nolan Reimold
LF David Lough
2B Jemile Weeks

Projected rotation

RHP Chris Tillman
LHP Wei-Yin Chen
RHP Bud Norris
RHP Miguel Gonzalez
RHP Kevin Gausman

Top relievers


CL Tommy Hunter
RHP Darren O’Day
LHP Brian Matusz

Biggest questions entering 2014

1. Will Chris Davis repeat his 2013 season? Davis exploded last year with 53 home runs and a 1.004 OPS, enough to earn him a third place finish in AL MVP voting. He raised his average and became much more patient at the plate. The question now becomes whether last year was a fluke, or if this is the Davis we’ll see for years to come. The Orioles should have a strong lineup once again, but an MVP-level Davis makes it among the best in the league.

2. When will Manny Machado return? Machado is recovering from left knee surgery and is progressing as expected. He is on track to return some time early in the season. Having Machado in the lineup will be huge, obviously, as he’s an All-Star player who showed in 2013 he can also hit. There’s no rush to bring him back as it’s a long season, but Machado is a difference maker and any time without him will test their depth. He’s hard to replace both at the plate and in the field.

3. Who will be the closer? The Orioles tried to sign Grant Balfour this offseason, but a problem with his physical nixed the deal. Unless they go after another free agent like Fernando Rodney, the Orioles will start the season with Tommy Hunter as their closer. Hunter throws high heat and had a breakout season in 2013. He’s also a veteran pitcher of six years with playoff experience. Is he enough to fill the role? He has only four career saves.

  1. sjm308 - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    If Buck gets this group near playoff contention it might be his best managing job ever.
    I am not an Oriole hater although their owner is not someone I would like to sit down and drink a beer with. Before we got a team I had a small season ticket package and it was great to take my boys to major league baseball so I appreciate that. I honestly thought that I would still go and see American League games when the Nationals first started but that just didn’t happen. I like the park, and they have some special players but my loyalty to the Nationals has just negated anything Baltimore can offer. I don’t read blogs on Baltimore baseball or see any comments about Baltimore except what is written here about the TV deal but I have to believe they are going nuts with the inactivity this winter.

    On a totally different take: JayB – I loved your description on how you played and there would definitely have been a place for you on any of my teams, even though my sport didn’t do well with running into a wall. I actually did have a swimmer break an ankle as he flipped too close to the wall at WVU (at the old Mountain Lair which was one of the worst swimming pools in america). Thanks for replying, and I am still holding out hope that there will be no window to our success.

    Go Nats!!

    • TimDz - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      I’d be happy to have a drink with Angelos…
      Provided I get to choose what he drinks….

      • Section 222 - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        He’d make you go dutch.

      • nats128 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        222, he’s the type that would say you have to pay becuz you invited him!

    • alexva6 - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      you are better person than me 308, I would have definitely gone after this quote from JayB as a possible explanation for any number of his comments

      “I was coached in College to get hit by pitches and I did it gladly”

  2. Theophilus T.S. - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I’m kinda mystified why we are discussing the state of the Orioles. It’s been a long time since I cared about how they do — and it’s now limited to, what, four games a year? And they haven’t done diddly in the off-season — except, indirectly, supply the Nats w/ a good fourth OF — so they aren’t even interesting. No offense, Chase, but you can find better ways to spend your days.

    • MicheleS - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      Well, it seems like they are going through the entire league and lets face it, We do play them for 4 games this year. Good to know who you are competing against.

  3. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  4. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz+1 :-)

  5. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    sjm, I’m glad you commented on JayB’s playing days, since I totally missed his post where he told us about it. (I continue to have very mixed feelings about the embedded comments system. It’s so easy to miss important comments that are posted later.) And JayB, thanks for sharing that bit of personal history. Pretty cool.

    • nats128 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Can you copy and paste the part about JayB. Thanks

  6. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Agreed on both counts.

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    1. Will Chris Davis repeat his 2013 season?
    If that’s their projected lineup, I expect his OBP to go up and he will see lot more lefties. I expect Bautista 2011 from Bautista 2010, i.e. a slight dip.

    2. When will Manny Machado return?
    Whenever he does, he is very important to that lineup.

    3. Who will be the closer?
    I don’t see anything wrong with Hunter.

    I have doubts about Orioles contending if this is the team they are going with into opening day. Then again, I had doubts last season also but they contended pretty much all season.

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    And there you have it: Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas; along with Torre, laRussa, and Cox.

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.

Follow us on Twitter