DATE OPPONENT TIME Mon, 6/30 Rangers 7:05p Tue, 7/1 Rangers 7:05p Wed, 7/2 Rangers 7:05p Thu, 7/3 Rangers 7:05p Fri, 7/4 at Red Sox 1:35p Sat, 7/5 at Red Sox 7:15p Sun, 7/6 at Red Sox 1:35p Mon, 7/7 at Nationals 7:05p Tue, 7/8 at Nationals 7:05p Wed, 7/9 Nationals 7:05p Thu, 7/10 Nationals 7:05p Fri, 7/11 Yankees 7:05p Sat, 7/12 Yankees 4:05p Sun, 7/13 Yankees 8:05p Fri, 7/18 at Athletics 10:05p Sat, 7/19 at Athletics 9:05p Sun, 7/20 at Athletics 4:05p Mon, 7/21 at Angels 10:05p Tue, 7/22 at Angels 10:05p Wed, 7/23 at Angels 10:05p Thu, 7/24 at Mariners 10:10p Fri, 7/25 at Mariners 10:10p Sat, 7/26 at Mariners 4:10p Sun, 7/27 at Mariners 4:10p Tue, 7/29 Angels 7:05p Wed, 7/30 Angels 7:05p Thu, 7/31 Angels 7:05p DATE OPPONENT TIME Fri, 8/1 Mariners 7:05p Sat, 8/2 Mariners 7:05p Sun, 8/3 Mariners 1:35p Tue, 8/5 at Blue Jays 7:07p Wed, 8/6 at Blue Jays 7:07p Thu, 8/7 at Blue Jays 7:07p Fri, 8/8 Cardinals 7:05p Sat, 8/9 Cardinals 4:05p Sun, 8/10 Cardinals 1:35p Mon, 8/11 Yankees 7:05p Tue, 8/12 Yankees 7:05p Wed, 8/13 Yankees 7:05p Fri, 8/15 at Indians 7:05p Sat, 8/16 at Indians 7:05p Sun, 8/17 at Indians 1:05p Mon, 8/18 at White Sox 8:10p Tue, 8/19 at White Sox 8:10p Wed, 8/20 at White Sox 8:10p Fri, 8/22 at Cubs 2:20p Sat, 8/23 at Cubs 2:20p Sun, 8/24 at Cubs 2:20p Mon, 8/25 Rays 7:05p Tue, 8/26 Rays 7:05p Wed, 8/27 Rays 7:05p Thu, 8/28 Rays 7:05p Fri, 8/29 Twins 7:05p Sat, 8/30 Twins 7:05p DATE OPPONENT TIME Sun, 8/31 Twins 1:35p Mon, 9/1 Twins 1:35p Tue, 9/2 Reds 7:05p Wed, 9/3 Reds 7:05p Thu, 9/4 Reds 7:05p Fri, 9/5 at Rays 7:10p Sat, 9/6 at Rays 1:10p Sun, 9/7 at Rays 1:40p Mon, 9/8 at Red Sox 7:10p Tue, 9/9 at Red Sox 7:10p Wed, 9/10 at Red Sox 1:35p Fri, 9/12 Yankees 7:05p Sat, 9/13 Yankees 1:05p Sun, 9/14 Yankees 1:35p Mon, 9/15 Blue Jays 7:05p Tue, 9/16 Blue Jays 7:05p Wed, 9/17 Blue Jays 7:05p Fri, 9/19 Red Sox 7:05p Sat, 9/20 Red Sox 7:05p Sun, 9/21 Red Sox 1:35p Mon, 9/22 at Yankees 7:05p Tue, 9/23 at Yankees 7:05p Wed, 9/24 at Yankees 1:05p Thu, 9/25 at Yankees 7:05p Fri, 9/26 at Blue Jays 7:07p Sat, 9/27 at Blue Jays 1:07p Sun, 9/28 at Blue Jays 1:07p HITTING Manny Machado was one of the most improved players in Major League Baseball with 14 home runs, 71 RBIs and 51 doubles. He had 189 hits in 667 at-bats and proved he could thrive in the lineup while playing every day. Adam Jones was terrific all season with 33 home runs and 108 RBIs. Anyone who kept waiting to see Jones slow down was disappointed. It didn’t happen. He was as consistent as any player all season. Catcher Matt Wieters belted at least 22 home runs for the third consecutive season, and Nelson Cruz hit 27 home runs and added 76 RBIs in 109 games for the Texas Rangers. He could be one of the biggest offseason additions made by any team. And all this is not even factoring last season’s power king in the middle of the lineup, Chris Davis (53 home runs with 138 RBIs and 370 total bases). The Orioles’ lineup is dangerous all the way through, and they could easily challenge in this talented division. FIELDING Fielding was an issue at times during the 2013 season. If the Orioles want to make it back to the playoffs, they’ll need to be much more consistent in ’14. You can’t always rely on the big bats to win a game. Sometimes, it has to be the defense that steps up. Machado was much improved by the end of last season. Wieters is developing behind the plate more and more each year. Second baseman Steve Lombardozzi and shortstop J.J. Hardy will be a major key. If they can do the job up the middle, everything else should fall into place. STARTING PITCHING Ubaldo Jimenez was signed to a four-year, $50 million contract in mid-February, and the 30-year-old is expected to be a star pitcher and anchor the top of the Orioles’ rotation. Jimenez was quite dominant from 2008-10, and the Orioles have to be hoping he can regain that form. Wei- Yin Chen and Chris Tillman are both unproven but have been impressive thus far. Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez figure to be in the mix as well, though nothing is certain. There are spots to be won and competition will surely be healthy here. RELIEF PITCHING Tommy Hunter won the right to fill the team’s closer role. Hunter had four saves last season, the only four of his career, so it will be interesting how Hunter adapts. Darren O’Day and Ryan Webb both have strong arms and look primed to achieve big things this season. Brian Matusz, Troy Patton and Kevin Gausman all seem to ready to take the next step and fill big roles in the bullpen. There are question marks here, but one thing is certain: there is plenty of talent. MANAGING Showalter won 178 games with the Orioles over the last two seasons. In other words, he’s a highly skilled manager who knows how to build a team and win consistently. Showalter won’t shy away from making a tough decision in the heat of battle, and that’s important during a long season. Players respect him and it has shown since he arrived in Baltimore. Whether it’s the last man on the bench or a superstar, Showalter treats every player the same, and he wins. It’s hard to argue with winning.
2014 Baltimore Gameday HQ Round 2
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