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As of Today, Are the 2014 Orioles Better than 2013?


TonySoprano

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Or are we spinning wheels? Yes, I know we still hope to add a starter but we can safely assume it won't be a TOR or close to it.

But the exchange of Johnson for Balfour doesn't really make the Orioles better; the team's ninth-inning record was likely to be a little better anyway in 2014.

Now, to become a legitimate playoff contender, the Orioles need to make another move. They lost Nate McLouth to free agency, so right now their left field/DH combo would come from Nolan Reimold, Steve Pearce, Danny Valencia and Henry Urrutia, which isn't too inspiring. Second base is still a question with Ryan Flaherty, Jemile Weeks (acquired for Johnson) and prospect Jonathan Schoop. Chris Davis probably won't hit 53 home runs again. After Davis, the next-highest OBP among the regulars was Nick Markakis' .329. One returning starter pitched more than 180 innings.

Signing Balfour plugs a hole, but how do the Orioles go from an 85-win team to a 93-win playoff team again? Unless they have some improvements from guys like Matt Wieters and Markakis, I have trouble seeing the Orioles winning 90 without adding an impact hitter and another starter.

source - ESPN
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Unless they have some improvements from guys like Matt Wieters and Markakis, I have trouble seeing the Orioles winning 90 without adding an impact hitter and another starter.

Gotta agree with them here.

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Nope, don't think so.

Position players are -Roberts, -McLouth, -Valencia and +Weeks, +Lough. I think McLouth = Lough, more or less; Weeks adds little but Roberts is a small loss. Flaherty playing more probably makes up for missing Roberts.

Reimold and Pearce may play more if injured less. That would certainly make up for the loss of Valencia. Urrutia and Schoop may contribute this year; they couldn't be expected to last year. Overall hard to see a big difference in the position players.

Bullpen is -Ayala, -Strop, -Johnson and +Webb, +Balfour. I see that as a wash. Johnson and Balfour are very similar. Ayala and Strop were solid middle relief; so is Webb.

Rotation is -Arrieta, -Feldman so far. Gausman may contribute more this year. Having a full season of Bud Norris could help.

I agree with the basic assessment: the Orioles were an average to bit-above-average team last year, and their standard expectation is about the same place this year. With good luck (like in 2012), they might get a wild card spot. With bad luck, the might be under .500 by several games.

Still, offseason's not over.

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No, they're about the same, and that's what's wrong with the offseason. If the O's improve, it'll be because the players who had good 2013's don't regress much, if at all, while the players who had bad 2013's improve.

It could happen. The O's could have a run of good fortune like they had in 2012 and find themselves in the hunt for another playoff spot. But, if they find themselves once again dealing with injuries and underwhelming performances from guys like Markakis and Wieters...well, the playoffs aren't in the picture.

The O's have not added much talent. They've added a handful of warm bodies, but they have not added much talent.

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Right now only 1 part of the team is better then 2013.

2014 Bullpen>>>2013 Bullpen

I can't see how anyone can say this team does not have less question marks at this point as they did last year.

Last off season we had a question about who would play 2nd. Would Davis be as bad in teh field as he looked at first in 2011 and was his hot month a sign of the slump in June the real Davis as a hitter. We had no idea what Manny was going to be and many thought he should get some time in triple A or bat ninth in the lineup. Their was questions about if Nate was just a one year wonder we picked up of the scrap heap after 3 awful years. Was Markakis going to recover from his wrist surgery and then later his spring injury to his neck. We had many more questions going into 2013 as we do going into 2014 with the emergance of Davis and Machado.

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Depends on how last years players perform. Right now, If you have every player performing exactly how they did last year, they are better. Lough > McLouth, Balfour > JJ, Webb > Rodriguez, Burnett >> Feldman (seems like they'll sign him or at least someone better than Feldman... Even if not I'd expect Gausman to be better than Feldman)...

But Davis probably won't have as good of a year... Jones should be about the same, Markakis and Wieters should be MUCH better offsetting Davis' possible regression, Flaherty could build off his 2nd half and put up a 2-3 WAR season, Machado could improve with the bat, Lough could build off his solid rookie year or stumble, it's hard to know. Tillman could have an even better year, as could all our returning SP's, Gausman could be a great pitcher for us if he lives up to the hype, and we really couldn't get much worse production from our DH's.

Overall, I think the additions we made have made us better on paper, and the team has the potential to be MUCH better with growth/bounce backs from certain players.

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About the same. Still time to improve on the SP. If Burnett can replace Feldman, that's an overall gain for 2014. Like others have said, real improvement will have to come from within. It's certainly possible as Nick and Wieters should be better. Manny and Gausman are candidates to break out.

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About the same. Still time to improve on the SP. If Burnett can replace Feldman, that's an overall gain for 2014. Like others have said, real improvement will have to come from within. It's certainly possible as Nick and Wieters should be better. Manny and Gausman are candidates to break out.

As is Flaherty and the new guys DD have brought in.

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