3 Things That Must Happen for the O’s to Repeat

orioles davis and wieters giving high five with jones and catcher
GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

The Orioles head into the All-Star break at .500 and four games out first place. It’s not the record fans were hoping for but it could have been a lot worse. The Orioles have had their issues in the first half and are going to need a few things to change in order for this team to take the AL East once again.

 

Find an Established Outfielder

Yes, we were all saying we wouldn’t miss Nick Markakis in the outfield because he was declining, and that there was no way Nelson Cruz could put up another amazing offensive performance. However, Markakis is batting .293 and Cruz is on track to repeat last season. Baltimore has struggled to find replacements, with Delmon Young being released and Travis Snider, David Lough and Nolan Reimold all seemingly incapable of seizing the opportunity to start on a regular basis.

The Orioles need to find a consistent, established outfielder that is comfortable in the field every day and can make an impact in the lineup. The team could choose to promote Dariel Alvarez, who has hit 13 home runs at Norfolk. Alvarez also has a great arm and could eventually settle in as a starter with some time under his belt in the majors.

Alvarez

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Baltimore might not want to rely on Alvarez though, as he isn’t “established.” The team might find an outfielder through the trade market. Some options include Ben Zobrist, Cameron Maybin and Gerardo Parra. None of these players would come cheap, meaning Baltimore would have to trade a key prospect or two in order to get a deal done. It all depends on how the Orioles want to handle the situation but the team will need to find an everyday outfielder. Snider, Lough and Reimold are all platoon players that won’t provide enough impact in the field and in the lineup to help team take the division.

 

Kevin Gausman Must Shine 

Kevin Gausman

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Buck Showalter has already announced that Kevin Gausman will remain in the rotation when the team comes out of the All-Star break. That means Bud Norris will stick in the bullpen and Gausman’s training wheels are coming off. Gausman needs to show that he’s capable of living up to his expectations. It’s time for the LSU product to mix up his arsenal in games, instead of just relying on his fastball, and to show he can remain in the rotation.

The rotation has had consistency issues and Gausman could help that problem by stringing together a few quality starts coming out of the break. We all know Gausman has the stuff to be front-of-the-rotation starter but it’s up to him to prove it, and the time is now. The Orioles need him to get it together and start to fulfill some more of his potential in the second half of the season.

 

J.J. Hardy Must Find His Bat

J.J. Hardy

 GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

It was tough for the Orioles to not have J.J. Hardy in the beginning of the season. However, after starting off hot upon his return, the shortstop has lost swing to finish the first half and is batting just .230. He also has just five home runs after hitting only nine all of last season, showing that the 32-year-old is indeed losing power.

A lot of Hardy’s struggles at the plate can be blamed on the injury at the beginning of the season but he needs to raise his average in order to help the lineup. Hardy used to be a main fixture in the lineup and was good for 20 home runs a season. The power isn’t all there anymore though, so he needs to start hitting for a better average/OBP in order to help the team offensively any way he can.

What else do you think needs to change in the second half?

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About Tyler Beard

Tyler Beard
I'm Tyler Beard and I'm a Mass. Comm. major on the Journalism track at Towson University. I'm from Bel Air, Maryland and I've been a huge Orioles, Ravens and Terps fan my whole life. I've always had a passion for writing ever since I was younger and I love talking...more

2 Cheers on “3 Things That Must Happen for the O’s to Repeat

  1. avatarEvan on said:

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t trade for an outfielder but in the meantime I would like to see Reimold given a chance to play regularly. He only has 17 at bats against right handed pitching so hasn’t had the chances that Snider and Parmelee have had. So while the O’s r exploring trade options why not stick Reimold in LF and see what he can do in a starting role since he’s finally healthy.

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