Friday, November 30, 2012

Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles (93-69) Second Place American League East Wild Card Berth

No one could have seen this coming.  The Baltimore Orioles shocked the baseball world in 2012 putting together one of the most memorable seasons in recent memory for the O's as manager Buck Showalter motivated his guys to play better than anyone could have imagined.  The interesting story about the Orioles is that for much of the season they were being outscored opponents and finished the regular season only outscoring opponents by a total of seven runs.  The Orioles finished the season with an astounding 29-9 record in one run games.  The blood pressure of must have been at an all-time high during the season, but looking back, it must have been totally worth it.

Pitchers- As we have gone through the season reviews, it was a common theme that a team that did not have stability in the starting rotation, was not successful, but the Baltimore Orioles started 12 different pitchers in 2012 and were able to put together a great season.  The only pitcher to start more than 20 games was rookie Wei-Yin Chen, who started 32 games.  Chen led the O's in wins with 12 and put together a season ERA of 4.02.  Chris Tillman was great during the second half of the season for the Orioles starting 14 games after the All-Star Break.  In those 14 games Tillman won 8 and only lost 3 and compiled a 3.24 ERA.  During this same time, fellow starter Miguel Gonzalez put together 8 wins and a 3.53 ERA.  The biggest shock came at the back end of the bullpen with closer Jim Johnson.  Johnson converted 51 saves in 54 chances to lead the majors.  Pedro Strop, Luis Ayala, Darren O'Day, Troy Patton, and Matt Lindstrom were all amazing out of the bullpen as they all put together seasons with over 30 appearances and ERAs under 3.00.


Infield- The offensive numbers (batting average wise) truly were not that good around the infield for the Orioles.  J.J. Hardy at shortstop was on the gold glove and hit 22 home runs.  Catcher Matt Wieters also won the gold glove, and hit 23 home runs and drove in 83 runs.  Designated Hitter/First basemen Chris Davis led the Orioles with 33 home runs and 85 runs batted in.  First basemen Mark Reynolds hit 23 home runs and drove in 69 runs.  In limited action, Manny Machado was a spark for the Orioles batting .262 with 50 hits in 51 games.  Machado is the future in Baltimore and the future is bright for this young man.  Look for big things in 2013 as Machado should see his first full season in the big leagues.

Outfield- Adam Jones was a beast in 2012 hitting .287 with 32 home runs, 82 RBIs and scoring 103 runs.   Jones not only produced at the plate, but won the gold glove in center field for the American League.  Enough can't be said about the productivity of Adam Jones in 2012.  Nick Markakis hit for a high average in 2012 at .298.  Markakis did not produce in the power categories like a lot of Baltimore fans hoped, but on a team with a lot of bombers on it.  Left field was somewhat of a turnstile in 2012 and there was not a whole lot of production coming out of left field.  Among Endy Chavez, Nate McLouth Nolan Reimoldm, Lew Ford and Bill Hall none of them really produced.


Twitter Account of the Day- Gold Glove Winner Adam Jones, follow him @SimplyAJ10.

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