Baltimore Orioles Offseason Report 2015-16

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The Baltimore Orioles defied all expectations during the 2015 season. Expected to be a big playoff contender after coming up just short of a World Series berth in 2014, the Orioles defied all fans hopes and proved all the doubters correct: batting can be streaky, but pitching always stays solid.

Whether the pitching is bad or good, you don’t see many teams’ seasons being changed just because of batting. It is necessary for all teams to have at least one ace pitcher (i.e. a pitcher who you can trust to pitch 6+ innings every time he appears). Take a look at all of the MLB playoff teams from last season. All of the teams “aces” can be trusted to go at least 6.4 innings per game- the Orioles’ starter, Chris Tillman, only averages 5.6 innings per game. Out of all of those pitchers, the average win percentage was 71.3%, meaning that the team could rely on these pitchers to get a win for their team. Tillman, on the other hand, only had a 50% win percentage this season. Lastly, and most importantly, is the ERA (earned runs average) of each pitcher. Tillman was allowing 4.99 runs to score every 5.6 innings that he pitched, meaning that he was letting in roughly one run per inning he pitched. The playoff teams’ pitchers average 2.68 runs scored per outing, meaning that those pitchers were allowing roughly 2 to 3 runs every 6.4 innings they pitched. To put this into perspective, let’s take a normal, nine inning baseball game. If Chris Tillman pitched all 9 innings of the game against the average playoff pitcher, Tillman would lose the game 3.45 to 6.88, based on the average innings pitched and ERA of each of the pitchers.

What does this all mean? This all means that the Orioles need to focus on finding an ace pitcher for their rotation this offseason. Many big names such as Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, David Price, John Lackey and Zack Greinke are on the market this year, meaning that now is the perfect time for the Orioles to solidify their starting rotation. The power of the Orioles’ bats will allow leads for the pitchers, but the Orioles cannot win if the pitchers constantly give up the leads like they did last season. While resigning Chris Davis may seem like a priority to the Orioles this offseason, they need to realize that the team does not lack power, but it lacks solid starting pitchers.

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Baltimore Orioles Offseason Report 2015-16