The Baltimore Orioles had an historically bad record in 2018 – this much we know. The good news for whomever the next manager is will be that there’s nowhere to go but up. In theory. But when we look to next season, what’s a reasonable number of wins that we can or should expect from the 2019 Orioles.
First off it’s tough to predict that in November. Nobody can possibly know the answer to that before the roster is construed. However there a few tangible things that we can deduce. This season the Orioles had Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner, neither of whom had much in the way of spring outings. Cashner signed a bit earlier than Cobb, so he actually got a spring start. Cobb didn’t, and went to extended spring training until mid-April before joining the Orioles.
Both of these pitchers struggled out of the gate in 2018. As time went on they corrected themselves, but of course they eventually produced quality starts that were losses because the bats couldn’t get untracked. But as time went on they slowly corrected themselves.
So I would submit that spring games and workouts are of supreme importance to pitchers (or to anyone). Thus regardless of the the makeup of the team, who the manager is, etc, those two will have a full slate of spring games and workouts next year. I suspect that’ll make for a smoother transition into the season, and hopefully a few more wins early.
The O’s also had some major injuries last year, such as Jonathan Schoop, Mark Trumbo, and Darren O’Day going down early. And if that wasn’t enough, one of O’Day’s replacements, Richard Bleier, was also done for the season early with an injury.
Trumbo and Bleier are obviously the only ones still on the team. But you have to assume that the injury bug perhaps won’t bite the Birds again in 2019. Furthermore does the law of averages not suggest that Chris Davis SHOULD be at least marginally better next year?!
Do all of these factors add up to a lot more wins? Probably not. But I do believe that when all’s said and done the 2019 Orioles will have more wins than the 2018 version did. But we can’t say for sure.
UPDATE (7:20 AM): USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported overnight that the Orioles are expected to hire Houston Asst. GM Mike Elias as their new General Manager. No word on a timeline, but that’s the word on the street. More as it comes!