Baltimore Orioles: 2014

Published: Feb 28, 2014 11:44am EST
By JLangley4, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 28, 2014 @ 11:44am EST

 

The 2014 Baltimore Orioles carry a lot of promise coming into the season after signing free agents Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz, helping solidify an already promising team. Here, we will project the Orioles 25-man roster for the season, the starting rotation, bullpen, starting lineup, and round it out with a projected win total.

25-man roster:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Wei-yin Chen

3. Chris Tillman

4. Ryan Webb

5. Miguel Gonzalez

6. Bud Norris

7. Darren O'Day

8. Tommy Hunter

9. Brian Matusz

10. Brad Brach

11. TJ McFarland

12. Steve Johnson

13. Kevin Gausman

14. Nick Markakis

15. Adam Jones

16. Chris Davis

17. David Lough

18. Nelson Cruz

19. JJ Hardy

20. Matt Wieters

21. Ryan Flaherty

22. Manny Machado

23. Steve Clevenger

24. Michael Almanzar

25. Jemile Weeks

Admittedly, there are a couple of spots that are up for serious debate. Weeks could very well lose his spot to Alexi Casilla, and Kevin Gausman could start the season in Triple-A Norfolk as a starter, rather than in the bullpen in Baltimore.The roster will look similar to this, give-or-take a couple of spots.

Starting Rotation:

1. Chris Tillman RHP

2. Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

3. Wei-Yin Chen LHP

4. Miguel Gonzalez RHP

5. Bud Norris RHP

This rotation does not contain a true "ace" but does contain solid pitching. Tillman will be the biggest factor this season. If he can control his pitch-count better and pitch deeper into games, he will help the rotation out immensely, as well as a bullpen that got taxed last season.The addition of Jimenez can help shore up an area of great need from last season. Of course, having a lineup like Baltimore's can help any rotation out.

Bullpen:

1. Steve Johnson RHP

2. Brad Brach RHP

3. Darren O'Day RHP

4. Brian Matusz LHP

5. Ryan Webb RHP

6. TJ McFarland LHP

7. Kevin Gausman RHP

8. Tommy Hunter RHP

Tommy Hunter is expected to take over the closer role and has pitched fairly well over the last two season out of the bullpen. Time will tell whether or not the switch of roles will have an effect on Hunter. The bullpen is fairly straight-forward, with Johnson and Gausman being long-relievers when need be, and O'Day, Webb and Brach coming in to lock down innings. The bullpen is a bit different from last season, and Troy Patton will be serving a 25-game suspension to begin the season, so the early portion of the season will be a big test for this bullpen.

Starting Lineup:

1. Nick Markakis RF

2. Manny Machado 3B

3. Adam Jones CF

4. Chris Davis 1B

5. Nelson Cruz DH

6. JJ Hardy SS

7. Matt Wieters C

8. Ryan Flaherty 2B

9. David Lough LF

David Lough could wind up being the leadoff hitter this season, but Markakis seems like a prime candidate with his eye for the strike zone. The middle of the lineup is comparable to most in baseball with Jones, Davis and Cruz all being major homerun threats. Jones hit 33 last season and seems to be improving each season while Davis "crushed" 53 long-balls. The biggest question for the Orioles lineup is whether or not Matt Wieters can improve his batting average. Wieters hit just .235 last season with a .287 OBP. He needs to increase those number dramatically to help the lineup become even more dangerous.

The Orioles lineup seems to live and die with the homerun, a theme that likely won't change this season. The batting averages won't be as pretty as many would like, but it can be expected that this team will hit the ball out of the park and pour in runs.

Projected Record:

88-74.

The Orioles will be a good team this season and a tough one to beat, but the AL East is a monster with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays still being tough teams. The Orioles could certainly exceed 90 wins, but they could also fall short of the projected record, so a nice number in the middle makes sense.


 

Comments (1)



  • Lance Rinker   Feb 28, 2014 @ 11:48AM
    Zach Britton is going to be in the bullpen, unless he's traded. TJ McFarland is likely to get his season started in the Triple-A rotation along with Steve Johnson most likely.

    I do believe they could win between 87 and 90 games though. -

JLangley4
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