O's ready to take next step in 2013 | Baltimore Orioles - WBAL Home
What we saw from the 2012 Orioles caught me by surprised. I knew they were going to be better and more competitive and that they should at least be pretty good offensively. They weren't great on offense last year but they had a knack for getting big hits with runners in scoring position. And hitting big timely home runs throughout the lineup where they had power up and down the lineup. Similar to how they were in the 1990s, they simply had a lot of depth on offense and when got the pitching. With improved starting pitching with starters they could count on like Jason Hammel and Ho Chi Ming. With Chris Tilman finally merging as a top line starting pitcher for the Orioles and then with perhaps the best. Bullpen in the American League with a manger in Buck Showalter who knew his team very well and exactly what he had to work with and how to get the best out of them. When the Orioles were up early and had a lead late, they were very good because thats all their pitching need to do well. Was the confidence that all they had to do was their job rather then having to shut the other team out to win.
I think the Orioles would've been better off going after another power hitting 1B/DH to replace Mark Reynolds. Reynolds strikes out way too much but his power and run production will be missed if someone doesn't step up and fill the void. And hopefully this is the year that Chris Davis steps up and not only becomes that big slugger that the Orioles are expecting. Hitting 30 plus HR's which he did last year and driving in around hundred RBI's, instead of around 85 which he had last year. If he cuts down on his strike outs and strikes out around hundred and stays healthy rather then striking out at around. 150 like last year, the batting average will go up and he'll drive in a lot more RBI's and he'll hit the same or. More HR's because he'll be swinging at better pitches but with really only Wilson Betemit being the only other option at 1B. As far as Orioles with considerable experience there, if Chris Davis doesn't step up. The Orioles will have a big void in the middle of their lineup.
With Chris Davis taking another step up, the Orioles could lock him in the cleanup spot or bat him fifth. The Orioles pitching looks solid with Jason Hammel, Ho Chi Ming, Chris Tilman and Miguel Gonzalez. But if Jake Arrietta steps up and bounces back, the Orioles will have another ace caliber starting pitcher. And one of the best core of starting pitchers as well as bullpens in the American League. Otherwise its still a very solid pitching staff just a question of who the fifth starter is. And the Orioles lineup again looks very solid except for 2B, will it be Brian Roberts or will they have to platoon there. But other then those questions, look for the Orioles to once again contend for the AL East title and AL Playoffs in 2013.