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02-04-2011 11:07 AM #1
Marc Normandin: O's as good as some WS champs
In a column today Marc Normandin of Baseball Prospectus compares the 2011 Orioles to the '06 Cardinals, and thinks they come out looking at least as good.
Subscriber-only, so a few exerpts:
How good will the American League East be in 2011? Those cellar-dwelling Orioles may be as good as a World Series winner. That is not a joke—the Orioles, who are likely to finish in last place in the East regardless of the quality of their team due to the four clubs in front of them, still project to put a quality roster on the field, one that puts them on par with a past World Champion: the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals.That 2006 Cardinals club couldn't hit, despite the presence of Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds. While the O's don't have a single bopper like Pujols, as we suggested last month, they also don't have the holes of the Cards. PECOTA projects Baltimore for an above-average team TAv of .267, thanks to a balanced lineup.What the rotation lacks in experience, it makes up for in ceiling—the group has the potential to be somewhere between serviceable and high-quality. Such is the way with young pitchers, but serviceable pitching is something the 2006 Cardinals didn't have, meaning that this area too lies in the orange corner.As difficult as it may be to believe, this season's Orioles have a better lineup, an equivalent bullpen, and a rotation that is capable of being at least as good as (but more than likely better than) that of the 2006 Cardinals. The impressive—or depressing, depending on your viewpoint—thing is that while the Cardinals were able to pop open the champagne bottles in October, the Orioles will celebrate if they approach a .500 record or manage to exit the AL East basement. Unlike yesterday’s Cards, Baltimore doesn't have it easy in their division—the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox should all be among the leagues' finest once again in 2011, and the Jays are close to joining that group if they aren't there already. Being as good as a World Series champion may not bring much joy to the hearts of Baltimore fans who long to see the playoffs again, but at least the team is heading in the right direction for the first time in a long time, even if divisional geography makes theirs an uphill battle.
02-04-2011 11:17 AM #2
I've brought this up before...but the 2006 Cardinals had four, yes FOUR, players in their starting lineup with a sub .700 OPS:
Yadier Molina: .595 OPS
Aaron Miles: .672 OPS
David Eckstein: .694 OPS
So Taguchi: .686 OPS
I would certainly hope that with our offensive upgrades, we don't have holes in our lineup like this anymore.
02-04-2011 11:57 AM #3
As a side note. The last team to finish .500 and finish in last place was the Nationals in 2005. They finished 81-81 and the division winners were the Braves who went 90-72.
If we assume that Boston is going to win 100 games or more it would be highly unlikely that we could play .500 ball and finish in 5th place. Not to say it really matters...
02-04-2011 12:18 PM #4
I don't quite get his fascination with the Blue Jays for 2011. It's no sure thing at all, in my opinion, that they finish ahead of the Orioles this season. Not only that, but he even gives them a chance to be 'elite.' I just don't see it - not this year.
Aside from that, it's nice to see some credit floated the Orioles way by putting things into perspective. It's better than the outright pity some hand out.
Last edited by CompuCoach; 02-04-2011 at 12:21 PM.
02-04-2011 12:49 PM #5
02-04-2011 12:59 PM #6
exactly....and the Rays as well...they still have a awesome SP rotation but their BP is very questionable and other then Evan Longoria their Line-Up is filled with alot of holes and ? as well.....
I think the O's finish no worse then 3rd in the East.....but I guess you could say I wear Orange colored glasses too...LOL
02-04-2011 01:01 PM #7
It boggles the mind that people still believe in the Jays as being "among the best" their team this year is worse than last year's. Last year's offensive production is bound to be one of the biggest flukes in the last decade. I mean does this guy really think that the Jays will challenge that number o fteam HRs again?
02-04-2011 01:56 PM #8Aberdeen
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
For me, Toronto is a 65-68 win team. They have too many moving parts, too many questions, no leadership and a new manager. If you go through every position, every spot on the rotation, every bullpen slot...there's a big question mark. Some of those question marks will be fails.
--Bautista to third.
--Hill's recovery from concussion.
--Lind to 1B.
--SS Escobar make-up.
--Arencibia the new catcher.
--Rajai Davis OBP
--Juan Rivera new to Tor.
--Snider as a full time player.
And that's not even getting to the rotation's 4th and 5th slots. Or the bullpen. Face it, this year will be a meltdown year for the Jays. A rebuild year. This year the Jays will be the new Baltimore Orioles.
02-04-2011 02:04 PM #9
Typical hypocritical Orioles Hangout thread. I wonder how people would view the original article if it was comparing the Orioles to say, the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.
02-04-2011 02:17 PM #10
02-04-2011 02:40 PM #11
The AL East 4th place team last year was 85-77, in 2008 4th place was 86-76. That leaves some margin for error. Of course it's unlikely that a 5th place team finishes .500. That said, if the O's finish 81-81 in 2011, there's still a more than insignificant chance that'll get them 5th place.
02-04-2011 02:41 PM #12
I've seen articles like this before (comparing past Oriole teams to other divisions) and all it reminds me of is the fact that we need to change up how we do divisions.
Yeah it's great that the underdog won it all that year, and people eat it up, but why do teams like the Orioles always have to suffer while teams in other divisions have it much easier. I'm not saying Orioles management hasn't screwed up in the last 10+ years, but I bet you anything we wouldn't have had the same playoff drought if we would be in other divisions. We would be thinking playoffs with the team assembled for this year if we were in almost any other division, instead of thinking of how hard and long the mountain climb is.
02-04-2011 02:46 PM #13
02-04-2011 03:07 PM #14
This Orioles team can legitimately project to finish last or finish 2nd in the AL East and anywhere in between. Problem is, so can the Rays, MFYs, and Blue Jays. I don't expect a large margin between 2nd and 5th.
Most likely I think it looks like this:
And it is far from a lock the 2nd place AL East team wins the wildcard.
02-04-2011 03:21 PM #15