Do the Orioles have any chance of turning their franchise around in 2020?

Finishing the 2019 season with a dismal 54-108 record, the Baltimore Orioles were a team that was neither envied nor feared. Despite having some top players in Trey Mancini and Hanser Alberto, batting .291 and .305 in 2019, the O’s managed to have a season plagued with blown leads and a lack-luster bullpen.

Despite putting up 729 runs in 2019, not the worst in the league but in the bottom third, the O’s fell short 108 times, adding only 7 more wins to their record compared to their 47 wins recorded in 2018. Baltimore had a team batting average of .246, again in the bottom third in rankings, and while they had multiple games putting up a number of runs they weren’t able to finish those games on top. The O’s were shutout by their opponent 8 times throughout the season.

The biggest issue with Baltimore’s roster is their bullpen. Collectively, the O’s had the worst team ERA in baseball with 5.59. John Means, the Orioles’ ace, had a team-best ERA of 3.60 in 2019 while Asher Wojciechowski held a 4.92 ERA. The rest of the arms in the bullpen aren’t much to look at and I can’t imagine they’re going to make waves. They need to make some trades for arms, develop their minor league players for the show, and work hard on stacking their pen. John Means is young and has great potential but that won’t mean much if he’s in a program that won’t help him develop as a pitcher. If Baltimore can’t get something going out of their bullpen, it’s unlikely their bats will be able to do enough. Baltimore allowed 897 runs against in 2019, putting them in last place in that category.

The Orioles had 101 errors last season. That can’t happen. Placing them, once again, in the bottom third of the league for fielding, errors contributed significantly to their 108 losses as their offense couldn’t keep up with the runs they were allowing. This team seems to lack everything at the moment. They need dependable fielding, solid pitching, and consistent offense. They also had a whopping 27 games where their opponent scored 10+ runs in the game. It’s one thing when a roster needs to add one or two things to the lineup but when you have a team that has been lacking in every category, you get a 54-108 record.

Baltimore has a long way to go before it can get close to having a 100-win season, a feat they haven’t reached since 1980, but it doesn’t seem too far-fetched for them to get back to finishing the season at .500+ in the near future like they did in 2015 and 2016.


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