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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Orioles Aren’t Good… But They Are Interesting

“Throwing another average pitcher into the mix deepens a rotation that still needs significant help. Add Rodriguez and Kremer to a hopefully recovering John Means, Drew Rom, and with a little luck in DL Hall’s development, Baltimore suddenly has a usable rotation, one close enough to supporting a wild card contender that it suddenly becomes a good time to look seriously at free-agent pitchers to fill it out.

Of the top 15 O’s prospects in our preseason rankings, only a single player, Kyle Bradish, has seen his career WAR projection go down in ZiPS. That’s progress.

A lot of things can happen between now and contention. You don’t have to travel far from Baltimore to see cautionary tales in the 2010s Phillies and Pirates. The former did a lot well during the rebuild, but a lot of the team’s prospects just didn’t work out, leaving it with a performance gap to fill in free agency that it has never quite closed. The latter rebuilt well, but when it came time for ownership to make good on their promises and invest in the team at the top of the success cycle, the wallet stayed shut. As for the O’s, the franchise is currently embroiled in a vicious custody battle between Peter Angelos’ sons John and Louis, and the long-running dispute between the Orioles and Nats over MASN profits is still not resolved. There are a lot of things that can prevent Baltimore from making the division a five-team race again. But for now, the Orioles are worth watching, and hope is not merely an ironic joke.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:45 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6084565)
Truly the Flamin' Hot Mountain Dew of baseball.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:32 PM (#6084567)
It won't happen this year, but has there ever been a true five team divisional race in the wild card era that went into (say) mid-to-late August?
   3. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 29, 2022 at 05:19 PM (#6084578)
On Aug 10, 2006, the first place Dodgers were 4.5 games ahead of the last place Giants. The Giants quickly fell off the pace.
   4. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 29, 2022 at 05:30 PM (#6084582)
That season, had there been 3 WC like today, The Padres and D backs would have #s 2 and 3, and the Rockies and Giants would be in the mix with a couple of other teams just a few games back.
   5. Itchy Row Posted: June 29, 2022 at 05:35 PM (#6084585)
The first would-be wild card season ended in August with the last-place Angels 5.5 games out, but in a four-team division. The first-place Rangers were ten games under .500.
   6. villageidiom Posted: June 29, 2022 at 06:16 PM (#6084597)
Before last night the Orioles had a .500 record against all non-Yankees opponents. I'd say that's a good team already. It's certainly not a great team, but they're good.

They have already played the Yankees 13 times in 2022. Playing the 2022 Yankees a lot would make any team look worse than they are.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 29, 2022 at 06:46 PM (#6084607)
The Yankees are the only AL East team above .500 against the Division.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 29, 2022 at 09:05 PM (#6084643)
And the other 3 non-Yankees AL East teams are all over .500 against the other 5 divisions. The Orioles are 3 below .500 against them.

---------------

It won't happen this year, but has there ever been a true five team divisional race in the wild card era that went into (say) mid-to-late August?

On Aug 10, 2006, the first place Dodgers were 4.5 games ahead of the last place Giants. The Giants quickly fell off the pace.


As did the Rockies and the Diamondbacks, who each finished 12 GB the Padres and the Dodgers. But that may be the best answer to the question.

Two of my favorite "gap" years, though I'm sure there are others:

1916 AL: 7th place Senators, 76-77, 14.5 GB; 8th place A's, 36-117, 54.5 GB.

1954 AL: 3rd place White Sox, 94-60, 17 GB; 4th place Red Sox, 69-85, 42 GB. The 1st place Indians went 22-22 against their top 2 rivals, and 89-21 against the 4th through 8th place teams.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: June 30, 2022 at 12:29 AM (#6084697)
Of the top 15 O’s prospects in our preseason rankings, only a single player, Kyle Bradish, has seen his career WAR projection go down in ZiPS.

Nothing from nothing leaves nothing ...
   10. Walt Davis Posted: June 30, 2022 at 12:51 AM (#6084701)
I once simulated a season in Diamond Mind (2002? 2003?) where the NLW finished with 83, 82, 81, 80 and 79 wins. Going into the last weekend (ignoring who was playing whom), any one of them could conceivably have won the division.

In 2006 NLC (6 teams), the Cards finished first with 83 wins, followed by 82, 80 and 75. The Dodgers and Pads tied at 88 in the NLW with the other 3 teams on 76. On Aug 30, the Dodgers were on 71 and last-place CO on 61. Two years later, the Cards won 86 and finished 4th in the division.

Not that it counts but in 1994, the Rangers were in 1st with a 52-62 record (not a typo) and the 4th/last-place Angels were 5.5 back.

The 1979 ALW (7 teams) had 88, 85, 83 and 82 wins.

In 1987, the WS champ Twins won 85 and the Angels/Rangers tied for 6th at 75 wins. On Aug 30, 1st and 6th were just 7 games apart. (CWS were well back but caught fire.)

   11. salvomania Posted: June 30, 2022 at 09:03 AM (#6084725)
In 1973, the NL East's fifth-place team (Cubs) finished 5 games behind the first-place team (Mets), with the Cardinals, Pirates, and Expos jammed in between.
   12. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 30, 2022 at 09:29 AM (#6084729)
In 1973, the NL East's fifth-place team (Cubs) finished 5 games behind the first-place team (Mets), with the Cardinals, Pirates, and Expos jammed in between.

The Mets won the division that year by 1.5 games over the Cardinals, but they had to play a makeup doubleheader in Wrigley on the day after the season was supposed to end in order to clinch. They won the first game and that was that, and the second game was cancelled, but if they'd been swept by the Cubs they would've had to play the Cardinals for the playoff spot. And the Cubs themselves weren't mathematically eliminated until they lost the Sunday nightcap. (They'd won the first game to get to 3 GB with 3 games left to play.)

My GF and I drove up from Champaign-Urbana for the Mets-Cubs Sunday doubleheader just to see Willie Mays play his last game, but he never got off the bench. And we came back for the makeup game(s) on Monday in hope that he'd at least get to pinch hit, but still no luck. Turned out he never played in a game after September 9th.
   13. shoelesjoe Posted: June 30, 2022 at 06:35 PM (#6084887)
The Orioles will be even more interesting when the graduate their Norfolk infield to the big leagues. Gunnar Henderson, Jordan Westburg, and Terrin Vavra are all better than the Orioles’ current 2nd, 3rd, SS plus they’ve got stud OF Stowers just waiting for Mancini or Santander to be dealt at the trade deadline. In the next year this interesting team is going to get better and younger, and of course Elias gets to stock the system with five of the first eighty picks (including #1) in July’s draft.

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