DUD MLB Preview: Baltimore Orioles

adam jones

by Tommy Gimler

The city of Baltimore apparently has an incurable strain of gonorrhea making the rounds. And while that probably has nothing to do with our look at the 2014 Baltimore Orioles, we think it’s something worth noting.

Offense

The Orioles’ 212 home runs a year ago were by far the most in all of baseball. Chris Davis’s days of being an overrated turd are apparently over, as he followed up his 2012 breakout campaign by slugging 53 balls over the wall last year. Davis was one of eight Orioles hitters who finished with a double-digit home run total in 2013, and even if he’s off the juice, the newly acquired Nelson Cruz is going to hit double digits by the end of May. Even Nolan Reimold has the ability to go yard twenty times, especially if he can keep the sand out of his vagina and stay on the diamond for more than 40 games this year.

I’ve said many times that Manny Machado can plow my sister. Even though the 21-year-old stud was fading down the stretch last year before a knee injury that was almost as nasty as Steve Buscemi’s grill ended his season, he still finished with 51 doubles, 88 runs, and a .283 average. While manager Buck Showalter thinks Machado could be ready to go by Opening Day, it’s looking more like he could miss a week or two. But that shouldn’t cut too deep into the Orioles run production from a year ago when their 745 were the fifth-most in all of baseball.

On the exact opposite end of the spectrum is newly acquired second baseman Jemile Weeks. Being the worst baseball player in your family when your brother is Rickie Weeks is a goddamn embarrassment…

Pitching

Baltimore’s starting pitching should be outstanding in 2016. The problem is that it’s kind of shitty right now. Watching Ubaldo Jimenez is going to be a lot like dating a bipolar chick. One day, you’re going to think you made the greatest decision of your life, but the next, you’ll wake up to find out that a fraternity ran a train on her last night and she is throwing forks and knives at you because it was somehow your fault. Chris Tillman is going to be the Opening Day starter after going 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in his breakout 2013 season. But after that, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris, and Miguel Gonzalez all seem like .500 pitchers at best.

In the past, Baltimore’s lack of starting pitching was masked by a tits bullpen. In 2012, the Orioles won 93 games thanks to a pen that finished with the fifth-best ERA (3.00) in baseball and propelled the O’s to a 29-9 record in one-run games. Last year, that same pen’s ERA jumped to 3.52, their record in one-run games dropped to 20-31, and their overall win total fell to 85.

Jim Johnson surprisingly still has an arm after saving 101 games for the Orioles the last two years. But he’s chucking in Oakland this year, and instead of taking advantage of a closer-heavy free agent class, Baltimore has instead decided to go with – wait for it – Tommy Hunter. Good luck with that…

Key Acquisition(s): Nelson Cruz, Ubaldo Jimenez

Key Departure(s): Jim Johnson

Sexiness of Schedule: Like we have said before, playing in the AL East is pretty fucking brutal, like a “your buddy forces you to go munging and you have no idea what that is” kind of brutal. If Kate Upton is a 10 and Precious is a 1, we’re giving Baltimore’s 2014 schedule a 2, or in other words, the stunt double for Precious…

Why They Will Win: Buck Showalter has this team buying into his system. They’ll score the most runs in the AL East, and Ubaldo Jimenez picks up where he left off in the second half of last season…

Why They Won’t Win: The O’s played in 51 one-run games last year and didn’t get any help to bolster a bullpen whose 27 blown saves were the third most in the bigs. Jimenez winds up being a turd, yet he still leads the team in wins…

2013 season: 85-77 (t-3rd, AL East)

2014 Predictions

Vegas: 78 wins (5th, AL East)

The DUD: 82-80 (4th, AL East)

Clay Davenport (Baseball Prospectus): 77-85 (5th, AL East)

FanGraphs.com: 79-83 (5th, AL East)

Ben Berkon (Bleacher Report): 5th place, AL East

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