It’s been real quiet with the Orioles right now.
At the moment, they are still looking for a new general manager and are going from there.
Despite two excellent weeks at the end of the season where they sent to Red Sox out of the playoffs and into oblivion in the offseason, this fact is indisputable: the Orioles sucked this season.
The Orioles avoided 100 losses; however, they won only 69 games, one more than in 2010.
Although a few guys on the team had solid years – Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, and you can throw Mark Reynolds in there for his power – the Orioles overall at the plate were competent at times; alas, their pitching was just awful in general.
The young ‘calvary’ could not save things and in fact, it seems like the pitching staff has regressed.
Will the new general manager have a lot of sway in the decision making process? How much of a role will Buck Showalter play in molding the Orioles from here on out? Will ownership commit to spending and increasing their scouting department?
Whoever comes in, they need to work to shoring up the pitching staff. Well, that means getting another quality starter or two, plus fixing the bullpen. I figure some of the decisions made will depend on whether Jim Johnson starts, pitches in a setup role, or closes.
I would also think the Orioles will need to decide what they do at first base (and third). Whether that means keeping Mark Reynolds there, using Chris Davis, or backing up the brinks truck for Prince Fielder – something needs to be done.
Also, who will be at second base in 2012? Will Brian Roberts be healthy? Does Luke Scott come back? Who will be the designated hitter next year?
Can Nick Markakis up his game at the plate, or is what we see – is what we have?
Does Nolan Reimold play every day? Will he stick in left field permanently?
What does the team do with Brian Matusz? Or Chris Tillman? How about Brad Bergesen?
Do the Orioles make some more trades?
How do they compete with the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays?
Do the Orioles make a splash on the free agent market? Or is a lot of the organization’s improvement going to fall on the scouting department?
As it is, I expect another lackluster year as a fan rooting for the Orioles in 2012? This much is clear to me: this franchise has a lot of work to do from the top to the bottom and it’s going to take a while.
We all have no choice to but exercise a lot of patience.
There are not too many contracts that are crushing the Orioles right now, but the organization is still stuck in a never-ending rebuilding process. As we’ve all seen with other teams, sometimes it can be turned around in a few years; however, sometimes it takes longer and without a light at the end of the tunnel (ala, the Pittsburgh Pirates).
Andy MacPhail started the process, but the re-construction of the Orioles is on-going. Let’s hope the next guy gets the time and patience to do so.