The Baltimore Orioles are wheels up front Sarasota this evening on their way to Boston. They open the season on Thursday at Fenway Park. So what exactly does this season have in store for the Birds and their fans, you ask?
End of the day, I have no clue. I don’t own a crystal ball! But I think it’s safe to say there’ll be no year-over-year 30+ game improvement over last season – like what we saw in 2022. That’s obviously not possible. But don’t write this season off just yet….
…because it’s going to be an exciting one! The Orioles really like the makeup of their roster this year. The likes of Anthony Santander, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, and Adley Rutschman will give Orioles’ fans a taste of the very near starting this year.
As with any other season, it begins and ends with starting pitching. And the Orioles will get a boost when John Means returns from Tommy John’s during the season. However the hope is that the likes of Kyle Gibson, Dean Kremer, and Kyle Irvin can hold the Birds over until then.
Then of course you have the bullpen, which was one of the strengths of the team last year. And there’s nothing that indicates it shouldn’t be again. You have to remember that the bullpen is much more important in today’s game than in previous era’s. Starters don’t go as deep into games as they used to. I’m not saying I necessarily agree with that, but it’s a fact.
Offensively, one question is whether or not Austin Hays has a rebound year. He wasn’t awful last season, but he was better in 2021. Time will tell. And how does a full year of Adley Rutschman behind the plate affect the season? Again, time will tell.
The thing that set the 2022 Birds apart was their resilience. They almost made a run into the postseason last year. Could not having to play as many division games play to their advantage this year? I think the obvious answer is yes. But again, it begins and ends with starting pitching.
So where will the 2023 Orioles finish the season? Fact is you never know. Injuries will play a role. And yes, so will luck. You don’t play 162 games and not have luck figure in just a little bit. But you want a prediction I’m assuming? Ha! Fair enough. It’ll go down to the wire, but the O’s will see the postseason this coming October.