29 May 2018

There Are Still Some Positives For The Very Bad Orioles

The Orioles are a very bad baseball team, and there are more negatives than positives. But that doesn't mean there aren't any positives.

Let's find some to talk about:
  • Manny Machado's 163 wRC+ is far and away the best on the Orioles. His numbers have taken a bit of a dip as of late, but his 2.5 fWAR is still nearly 2 wins better than his next closest teammates (Kevin Gausman and Mychal Givens with 0.7 fWAR).
  • There are reasons to doubt Chance Sisco's catching abilities, but he's been decent so far and has posted an acceptable 91 wRC+ for a catcher (though with a .367 BABIP). The 37.5 K% is concerning, but hey, his 0.6 fWAR is second-best among O's position players.
  • Danny Valencia (116 wRC+), Pedro Alvarez (110), Mark Trumbo (109), and Adam Jones (102) have been useful offensively. Let's not focus on their defense.
  • Trey Mancini's 88 wRC+ doesn't look great now, but he was doing pretty well until his recent slump started. He's still one of the O's best hitters, although it does look like his knee is still bothering him.
  • They've each had their ups and downs, but Dylan Bundy and Gausman have been the O's two best starting pitchers. Maybe, just maybe, they'll both put things together one day. At least they're healthy!
  • In 13+ innings, Tanner Scott has struck out 30% of opposing batters (and he's limiting the walks). He's pitched better than his 4.73 ERA, with a FIP of 2.89.
  • For a while, Richard Bleier was automatic and dominant, keeping an ERA below or around 1. Regression seems to have hit, and his ERA is now up to 2.33. Still, that's more than acceptable, and his FIP still sits at 2.71. 
  • After some early struggles, Brad Brach, Givens, and Miguel Castro seem to be back on track while the O's are without Darren O'Day and Zach Britton.
  • Speaking of Britton, he'll begin his rehab assignment on Wednesday with Triple-A Norfolk. Getting a healthy and effective Britton back will help, and he could still be a trade chip.
  • In three starts, David Hess has thrown 17.1 innings while posting a 4.15 ERA. The peripherals aren't great and the home runs are somewhat concerning, but he's been good enough -- and better than Chris Tillman, Alex Cobb, and Andrew Cashner in a small sample.

If you're looking ahead to the future, you could get excited about this group of players who may make appearances later this season or in 2019: Hunter Harvey, DJ Stewart, Keegan Akin, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, and Ryan Mountcastle. There are others worth discussing in the lower levels of the O's system, but it's a group that could use more help.

The Orioles desperately need an infusion of young talent, and hopefully they begin to rebuild by using Machado and their other trade chips to replenish the farm system. There is no question that that's a necessity.


Pip said...

By all accounts, Ryan Moubtcastles defense is bad.
Do we have any idea where he is going to play?
I haven’t followed Mullins very much, but I know that he’s very very fast and a splendid defender. Is his improved offense legitimate?

Matt Kremnitzer said...

If he can't play 3rd, probably 1st, corner outfield, or DH.

I have no idea if Mullins's bat is legit, but I hope so. Even still, the O's could use a solid defensive outfielder with speed.