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THE RUNDOWN: How About that Jonny Beisbol?

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We all know that after the sweep of the Oakland A’s in the middle of August, the Orioles’ season took a turn for the worse, as they lost 16 out of 20 before finding a way to win four of their last five. If they found a way to just win four games out of those 16 losses their record would be flipped and we would be on the edge of our seats for the last three weeks of the season.

This team had their flaws all season and battled consistency so maybe they needed a stretch like that to realize they have to make major moves this upcoming offseason, but it’s still tough to accept a three-week stretch in a long season cost this team a chance to possibly making it back to the playoffs.

SCHOOP BECOMING A MONSTER

Jonathan Schoop has played elite level defense since the day he arrived from the minors and the power has always been raw, but the second baseman is starting to come into his own in his second season with a .291 batting average and 14 home runs. If you factor in that the 23-year-old hasn’t even played a half season of baseball due to a knee injury that cost him 2 ½ months, it’s hard not to envision him approaching 30 home runs when he starts to hit his peak.

I KNOW I’m dreaming, but if the Orioles are somehow able to sign Chris Davis back, a lineup of Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Davis and Schoop makes a very formidable 2-5 with all guys capable of hitting 30 bombs.

Of course, Davis will more than likely be wearing another uniform next season and we will be wondering how this lineup will score any runs.

2016 STARTING ROTATION

Unfortunately, the Orioles didn’t expect Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey to get injured again as both would have been penciled into the rotation in 2016. However, Harvey will start the season in the minors and needs to prove he can make it through an entire season without another setback. Bundy has to be on the roster, but with the limited innings pitched, the one-time top prospect in all of baseball will be coming out of the bullpen for the entire season. The dream of Kevin Gausman, Bundy, and Harvey leading the O’s to the promise land will have to wait until 2017 at the earliest.

With Wei-Yin Chen more than likely taking his services to another team and Miguel Gonzalez struggling this year, the O’s will have two huge holes in their rotation. Get ready to hear “Chris Tillman will rebound,” “Ubaldo Jimenez was dominant at times,” and “the natural progression of Gausman” as reasons why this rotation won’t be that bad next season.

I’ll buy into Gausman.

I do still believe Tillman is more like the pitcher the last two seasons than this year.

BUT, I’ll never buy into Jimenez.

At the end of the day, there are two openings and the O’s can’t miss.

The positive is there will be many pitchers reaching free agency. The class is headlined by David Price, and more than likely Zack Greinke as he has an opt-out, but there are next level guys like Johnny Cueto, Jordan Zimmermann, Scott Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija there for the taking. I’ll hop on the Zimmermann and Kazmir bandwagons right now.

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