What Can 2015 Teach the Orioles About 2016?

sunset view of oriole park at camden yards
Photo: @asianmegan

Consistent inconsistency – the story of the 2015 Baltimore Orioles season. It was all rolling along as it should but then late August hit. The team dropped 12 of 13 to end the month and the O’s chances of repeating as division champions took a major blow.

Not only did the team end August with a massive lull, they also went 5-5 to start September with eight of those games coming against division opponents. It doesn’t make any sense to go from such a high to this unbearable low in the span of one year.

Perhaps because we’re all Baltimore fans through and true, the orange sheet was pulled over our eyes. Not a lot of people gave this group a chance, even though they won the AL East just a year ago. Even MLB oddsmakers didn’t show much faith in the Orioles through the year, with TopBet.eu giving them only +15000 odds to win the AL Pennant.

It’s not something that can be taught but the team needs to be consistent and for that to happen, it needs to have far more depth. The Toronto Blue Jays are a great example this season. They went from the bubble to the playoffs (hate to say it but they’ll make it in) with an action packed trade deadline. They added infield help, outfield help and even added to their bullpen and starting rotation.

It pains me to admit it but we may have to wait a year or two for that depth. The team has a strong build at the moment but seven guys are headed for Unrestricted Free Agency after this season, including Chris Davis, while five guys are headed for arbitration including Manny Machado.

This team needs to get deeper but in the meantime, it looks like restoring the starters will be the first priority on the agenda. With a rich free agent pool on the way in 2016, it looks very possible that this team could let a few guys walk and replace them with ease. However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned in Baltimore it’s not to let the bombers leave. Locking up Davis and Machado long-term has to happen because their home run tallies will be very hard to replace.

Lock up the core and build around it. It’s the only way back to the postseason and avoiding yet another rebuilding year.

submitted by Charyl Wisner

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