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If you think the Orioles need work ....


Since'54

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Many recent posters have suggested that the Orioles need to make major improvements in their line-up if they are to duplicate the success of 2012.

Today's Boston Globe features a long article by RedSox writer Nick Cafardo on the holes in the Boston team.

A synopsis:

Left Field -- Maybe depend on Ryan Kalish? (.532 OPS in 103 plate appearances 2012)

Right Field -- Cody Ross is a free agent looking for a 3-year extension that the Sox so far haven't bought into.

First Base -- Sox looking at free agents. Cafardo mentions LaRoche, and Mike Napoli

Starting pitcher -- Cafardo acts like there's only one hole in the rotation

Shortstop -- Doesn't think Jose Inglesias is ready for prime time as a hitter

Finally mentions Ellsbury in center field who is one year from free agency, had a very sub-par year, seems injury prone, is a Boras client, and may be out of love with Boston.

Yeah, Boston has lots of money to spend, but that hasn't always worked recently. I'd much rather be in our situation -- either as it exists today or how it's likely to compare on opening day 2013. I see the Birds as definitely stronger in all three outfield spots, as well as shortstop and catcher. And very possibly stronger on the mound.

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The BoSox are a mess, and I couldn't be happier about it, however, the O's need to improve to keep up with the Yankees and stay ahead of the Rays and Jays, too.

The Sox have a lot of work ahead of them. Even if you posit that they're really a 75-80 win team that had injuries and bad luck, they still need to add 10+ wins just to get back in serious competition. And this isn't a free agent year where it's easy to just outbid everyone on 2-3 impact free agents. Because it's hard to find 2-3 impact free agents on the market. Almost everyone has question marks, and/or are looking for a giant payday based on being the best player available at this moment.

But, the Sox have resources to fix a lot pretty quickly.

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The problem with a team like the Red Sox is that they can buy themselves into contention again. Add in a Micheal Bourn, Mike Napoli, and Greinke and they all the sudden look relevant again. I'm not saying that's what they should or will do but they have the pay roll flexibility to do so.

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Oddsmakers have the Red Sox as more likely to win it all next year than the Orioles.

No. The oddsmakers anticipate more money being wagered on the Red Sox than on the Orioles. That is what drives the odds, not which team is more likely to win. The two are not necessarily the same. The odds are about their projections of money wagered.

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I don't see how people can predict this team to be good at all. They have very little that reminds me of their glory days.

They have Pedroia. They have Ortiz, but I think he's one HGH test away from suspension. They have Middlebrooks who may well be the real deal. But that's about it. There's no reason to think the Red Sox can compete with our Birds any time soon. Let's get used to the idea of looking over our shoulders at lesser teams.

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I don't see how people can predict this team to be good at all. They have very little that reminds me of their glory days.

We'll see. Pedroia and Ortiz and Lester and Buchholz and Ellsbury could all rebound. Will Middlebrooks had an .800+ OPS before he got hurt. Saltalamacchia is a good hitting catcher. The O's have proven you can build a great bullpen in one offseason, and it'll help that Tazawa and Bard should be available for the whole year. And the Sox have a huge stack of cash, thanks in part to the Dodgers.

I'm not writing them off. I'm expecting a rebound, maybe even strong contention.

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