Tag Archive | "MLB"

bundy

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2017 Orioles preview: Dylan Bundy

Posted on 28 March 2017 by Luke Jones

With Opening Day less than a week away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy
Ubaldo Jimenez
Mark Trumbo
Wade Miley
Welington Castillo
Zach Britton
Chris Davis

SP Dylan Bundy

Opening Day age: 24

Contract status: Under contract through the 2021 season

2016 stats: 10-6, 4.02 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 18 HR, 109 2/3 innings

Why to be impressed: It was remarkable to see Bundy hold up as well as he did physically in 2016 after having pitched a total of 65 1/3 professional innings the previous two seasons combined. The right-hander’s strikeout rate was also better as a starter than it was as a reliever with one per inning in the second half of the season, an encouraging sign for his ability to succeed as a major league starter.

Why to be concerned: Bundy struggled going through the order a third time as opponents hit six home runs and posted a .960 OPS in 55 plate appearances, which could have been a result of fatigue or hitters figuring out his repertoire. His average fastball velocity dropped nearly two whole miles per hour from his first start in mid-July to his final start, another sign of his workload needing to be monitored.

2017 outlook: The 2011 first-round pick brings much-needed upside to a below-average starting rotation, but you wonder if the Orioles are asking for too much in what will be his first full season as a starter. The reintroduction of the cutter will hopefully offset some of his problems going through the batting order a third time, but it was clear in 2016 that he has the talent to succeed if he can stay healthy.

2017 not-so-scientific projections: 12-9, 3.89 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 23 HR, 151 innings

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bourn

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Veteran outfielder Bourn granted release from Orioles

Posted on 27 March 2017 by Luke Jones

Michael Bourn’s second run with the Orioles has come to an end before it ever really started.

Still recovering from a broken finger suffered in late February, the veteran outfielder requested and was granted his release on Monday. Bourn injured his right ring finger catching a football during a workout just days after signing a minor-league deal with the Orioles. The 34-year-old was scheduled to make $2 million in base salary with the possibility of earning other incentives had he made the major league roster.

Bourn had an opt-out clause in his minor-league deal and likely viewed the strong spring performances from the likes of Joey Rickard, Craig Gentry, Trey Mancini, and Rule 5 pick Aneury Tavarez as evidence that wouldn’t help his chances of making the 25-man roster when fully healthy. The lefty outfielder hit .283 with two home runs and a .793 on-base plus slugging percentage in 55 plate appearances with Baltimore last season while primarily serving as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner.

The Orioles also released infielder Chris Johnson and reassigned catching prospect Chance Sisco to minor-league spring training on Monday, leaving them with 38 players in major league camp with Opening Day now less than a week away.

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davis

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2017 Orioles preview: Chris Davis

Posted on 27 March 2017 by Luke Jones

With Opening Day only a week away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy
Ubaldo Jimenez
Mark Trumbo
Wade Miley
Welington Castillo
Zach Britton

1B Chris Davis

Opening Day age: 31

Contract status: Under contract through the 2022 season

2016 stats: .221/.332/.459, 38 HR, 84 RBI, 99 R, 1 SB, 665 PA

Why to be impressed: Despite his underwhelming batting average, Davis still ranked third on the 2016 Orioles in on-base percentage behind only Hyun Soo Kim and Manny Machado and posted the third-biggest home run total of his career. The slugger also recorded the highest walk rate of his career, continuing a trend of improving in that department every year since arriving in Baltimore in 2011.

Why to be concerned: Davis striking out too much is hardly a new concern, but the first baseman shattered a career high with 79 of his 219 being of the looking variety as he swung less frequently than ever in 2016. The left-handed hitter also hit a career-low percentage of line drives and more ground balls than he has since 2012, a trend that doesn’t bode well for his production if it continues in 2017.

2017 outlook: The Orioles and Davis will hope that a lingering thumb injury largely explained the aforementioned trends regarding his performance at the plate last season. Expecting Davis to ever challenge his all-around 2013 season is unrealistic, but coming closer to what he did two years ago appears reasonable if he’s able to stay healthy in 2017.

Not-so-scientific projections for 2017: .239/.346/.485, 41 HR, 99 RBI, 103 R, 2 SB, 655 PA

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gausman

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Gausman officially named 2017 Opening Day starter

Posted on 27 March 2017 by Luke Jones

Weeks of assuming have finally turned official as the Orioles announced Monday that Kevin Gausman will start on Opening Day.

The right-hander will be making the first season-opening start of his career as veteran Chris Tillman will begin the year on the disabled list, snapping his stretch of three straight Opening Day starts. Gausman will take the ball against Toronto while Dylan Bundy will start the second game of the season, according to manager Buck Showalter.

The Blue Jays will send right-hander Marco Estrada to the hill for next Monday’s opener.

Gausman blossomed into a top-half-of-the-rotation starter in 2016 with a 3.61 ERA in 30 starts covering 179 2/3 innings. His 9-12 record was a direct result of poor run support, but he looked the part of an ace over the final two months of the season by pitching to a 2.83 ERA over his final 12 starts spanning 76 1/3 innings. The breakthrough was no more evident than at Fenway Park on Sept. 14 when he pitched eight shutout innings in a 1-0 win over Boston and on the final day of the regular season when he pitched 7 1/3 strong innings at Yankee Stadium to help the Orioles clinch the second wild card.

It remains to be seen whom Showalter will tab as his fifth starter to begin the season as the Orioles won’t need one until April 15. Gabriel Ynoa and Jayson Aquino have emerged as intriguing candidates after strong Grapefruit League outings over the weekend.

Tillman is not expected to return in the first month of the season as he just began throwing again on Sunday after receiving a cortisone injection in his right shoulder.

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britton

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2017 Orioles preview: Zach Britton

Posted on 26 March 2017 by Luke Jones

With Opening Day just over a week away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy
Ubaldo Jimenez
Mark Trumbo
Wade Miley
Welington Castillo

RP Zach Britton

Opening Day age: 29

Contract status: Under club control through the 2018 season

2016 stats: 2-1, 47 saves, 0.54 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1 HR, 67 IP

Why to be impressed: Going a perfect 47-for-47 was amazing enough, but Britton set major league records with 43 consecutive scoreless appearances and the lowest ERA ever for pitchers completing at least 50 innings. Using his sinker 91.7 percent of the time, the lefty had a ground-ball rate of 80 percent, which was 14.1 percent higher than second on the major league list among those finishing 60 innings.

Why to be concerned: Expressing concern about the best closer in baseball would be reaching when you look at Britton’s results over the last three years, but he’s bound to blow a save at some point and will need to shake off the disappointment quickly on a club with little margin for error. It’s worth noting that opponents’ .231 batting average on balls in play reflects a level of good luck that will be difficult to repeat.

2017 outlook: The 2016 AL Reliever of the Year could feature even better stuff this season and still not be able to duplicate perfection, making you appreciate what he was able to do last year. The oblique issue that slowed his start to spring training is worth keeping an eye on early in the season, but there’s just no reason to think Britton won’t remain one of the top relievers in baseball in 2017 if he stays healthy.

2017 not-so-scientific projections: 3-2, 45 saves, 1.51 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 3 HR, 64 IP

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Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 4.24.24 PM

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Former Orioles reliever Todd Frohwirth dead at 54

Posted on 26 March 2017 by WNST Staff

Former Orioles relief pitcher Todd Frohwirth died Sunday after a lengthy battle with stomach cancer.

The 54-year-old spent nine seasons in the major leagues with his best work coming in Baltimore from 1991-1993. Known for his unorthodox submarine delivery, the right-hander pitched to a 1.87 ERA in 96 1/3 innings in 1991 and followed that exceptional campaign with a tidy 2.46 mark over 106 innings in 1992.

Frohwirth had spent parts of his post-playing career coaching high school basketball and had scouted for the Orioles. The club announced it will hold a moment of silence prior to Monday’s spring game in Sarasota.

He posted a career 3.60 ERA in 417 2/3 innings with Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and the California Angels.

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castillo

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2017 Orioles preview: Welington Castillo

Posted on 25 March 2017 by Luke Jones

With Opening Day less than two weeks away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy
Ubaldo Jimenez
Mark Trumbo
Wade Miley

C Welington Castillo

Opening Day age: 29

Contract status: Under contract through the 2017 season with player option for 2018

2016 stats: .264/.322/.423, 14 HR, 68 RBI, 41 R, 2 SB, 457 PA

Why to be impressed: Former Oriole Matt Wieters has received many more accolades throughout his career, but Castillo is a year younger and has posted a .747 OPS over the last two years compared to Wieters’ .723 mark over that same stretch. Not known for his defense, Castillo threw out a career-high 38 percent of runners attempting to steal last season.

Why to be concerned: Arguably the biggest reason why Arizona didn’t tender Castillo was his ranking in the bottom five in pitch-framing metrics from 2013-2015 with only modest improvement last year. And while the Orioles downplay the significance of his absence this spring, Castillo’s participation in the World Baseball Classic eliminated the chance for him to better familiarize himself with his new pitchers.

2017 outlook: There’s little reason to think that Castillo won’t be a solid short-term starting catcher with Caleb Joseph backing him up as the Orioles wait on the progress of top prospect Chance Sisco. However, it is fair to wonder what ultimately turns clubs off from Castillo as he’s been traded twice and non-tendered over the last two calendar years.

Not-so-scientific projections for 2017: .256/.315/.421, 15 HR, 62 RBI, 44 R, 1 SB, 431 PA

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miley

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2017 Orioles preview: Wade Miley

Posted on 24 March 2017 by Luke Jones

With Opening Day less than two weeks away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy
Ubaldo Jimenez
Mark Trumbo

SP Wade Miley

Opening Day age: 30

Contract status: Under contract through the 2017 season

2016 stats (with Seattle and Baltimore): 9-13, 5.37 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 7.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 25 HR, 166 innings

Why to be impressed: It’s no secret that Miley struggled in 2016, but his 47.3 percent ground-ball rate ranked 25th among qualified major league starters, which fits well with the Orioles infield behind him. The left-hander also saw his strikeout rate spike after being traded to Baltimore as he punched out an impressive 9.2 batters per nine innings in 54 frames of work.

Why to be concerned: As if his 6.17 ERA with the Orioles wasn’t bad enough, Miley has seen his season ERA increase each year since his 2012 All-Star campaign with Arizona. He also had issues giving up the long ball as opponents clubbed 1.4 home runs per nine innings in 2016, and this doesn’t figure to be helped by pitching half of his games at Camden Yards for a full season.

2017 outlook: Opponents posted a .329 batting average on balls in play against Miley in 2016, and his fielding independent pitching mark of 3.79 upon being traded from Seattle suggests he experienced plenty of bad luck. No one should expect Miley to be anything but a back-of-the-rotation starter, but the Orioles need him to pitch competitive innings and his peripherals suggest that’s a fair possibility.

2017 not-so-scientific projections: 10-11, 4.58 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 20 HR, 171 innings

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trumbo

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2017 Orioles preview: Mark Trumbo

Posted on 23 March 2017 by Luke Jones

With Opening Day less than two weeks away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy
Ubaldo Jimenez

OF Mark Trumbo

Opening Day age: 31

Contract status: Under contract through the 2019 season

2016 stats: .256/.316/.533, 47 HR, 108 RBI, 94 R, 2 SB, 667 PA

Why to be impressed: The slugger had the best season of his career at the plate, setting new highs in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, runs scored, extra-base hits, OPS, and offensive wins above replacement. A big reason for this improvement was better plate discipline as Trumbo swung at fewer pitches outside the zone and had his lowest swinging-strike percentage since 2011.

Why to be concerned: After earning his first invitation to the All-Star Game since 2012, Trumbo struggled with a .214 batting average and .754 OPS in the second half of the season. He entered 2016 with fairly similar career numbers against right-handed pitching and left-handers, but he managed just a .173 average and .608 OPS against southpaws, which is something to keep an eye on this season. 

2017 outlook: Expecting Trumbo to repeat what he did in the first half of 2016 would be asking a ton, but his .216 batting average on balls in play after the All-Star break indicates some bad luck being at work. He may not flirt with 50 home runs again and needs to serve primarily as the designated hitter to maximize his value, but his ideal fit at Camden Yards will keep his power numbers at an impressive level.

Not-so-scientific projections for 2017: .249/.308/.494, 35 HR, 92 RBI, 87 R, 1 SB, 634 PA

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jimenez

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2017 Orioles preview: Ubaldo Jimenez

Posted on 22 March 2017 by Luke Jones

With Opening Day less than two weeks away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy

SP Ubaldo Jimenez

Opening Day age: 33

Contract status: Under contract through the 2017 season

2016 stats: 8-12, 5.44 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 16 HR, 142 1/3 innings

Why to be impressed: Rebounding from a miserable first half that saw him temporarily lose his spot in the rotation, Jimenez rebounded dramatically down the stretch with a 2.45 ERA over his last seven starts covering 47 2/3 innings to help Baltimore secure a wild card. The right-hander was also able to harness his two-seam fastball, finishing with a 49.0 percent ground-ball rate to lead all Baltimore starters.

Why to be concerned: A 7.06 ERA through late July led to Jimenez being sent to the bullpen for the second time in three seasons, which sums up how disappointing the return has been on a four-year, $50 million deal. The right-hander’s average fastball velocity was the lowest of his career and his strikeout rate was his worst since 2012, concerning signs for a pitcher who already struggles with command.

2017 outlook: Expecting a consistent season from Jimenez is begging for disappointment, but you hope he can put together a nice stretch or two of quality starts while minimizing the lows as he did in 2015. If he can command his two-seamer, Jimenez has a chance to be a league-average starter, but diminishing velocity and inconsistent command make for a lower ceiling than he enjoyed earlier in his career.

2017 not-so-scientific projections: 11-11, 4.79 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 18 HR, 162 innings

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