AL East Roundup: 2015 BSI Preview

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Mar 29, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA;Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher

Ubaldo Jimenez

(31) throws a pitch in the first inning of the spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles

Predicted Ranking: 3rd Place

Spring Training Record: 12 wins, 19 losses, 2 ties


  • Starting catcher Matt Wieters should be back, possibly, in mid-April, after recovering from Tommy John surgery last June. Look for him to play extended Spring Training games this week, to make sure that he’s truly ready.
  • Shortstop J.J. Hardy may possibly be back in early April from a left shoulder strain. An MRI excluded him from playing on Opening Day.
  • Left-fielder David Lough and third basemen Jimmy Paredes will be missed on the bench, both expected to miss the first few weeks of the season. Lough has hamstring tightness, while Paredes had strained his lower back.

Starting Pitchers:

  • Rotation – Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Bud Norris, Ubaldo Jimenez, Kevin Gausman
  • A telling sign in the free-fall of Jimenez’s career is where he appears in the Orioles’ rotation. He will want to improve the 6-9 record and 4.81 ERA that he earned last season, if he wishes to continue pitching for a major league team.


  • Declared Closer – Zach Britton
  • Middle Relievers – Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, Wesley Wright, Ryan Webb, T.J. McFarland, Brad Bach
  • Was there any doubt about Britton? Since earning 37 saves in 41 opportunities, and striking out 230 batters, in his career, Britton is the logical choice to strike fear in the hearts of opposing bats in the ninth inning. That is, if the Orioles can be in winning positions in 2015.

Position Players:

  • C – Matt Wieters (Caleb Joseph), 1st Base – Chris Davis (Steve Pearce), 2nd Base – Jonathan Schoop, 3rd Base – Manny Machado, ShortStop – J.J. Hardy (Ryan Flaherty), Left Field – Alejandro De Aza, Center Field – Adam Jones, Right Field – Travis Snider, DH – Steve Pearce (Delmon Young)
  • Considering all that the Orioles could do to replace fan-favorite Nick Markakis and heavy-hitting Nelson Cruz was to bring in an outfielder that both the Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates gave up on (Snider), Baltimore could be in some trouble.
  • Chris Davis has one game left on his suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, which will see Pearce playing first base, moving Delmon Young into the role of designated hitter.
  • Wieters’ injury forces Joseph into handing the suspect starting rotation to start the season. Hardy’s injury promotes Flaherty into the games to start the first half of April, a career .221 hitter.

Player To Watch in 2015:

  • Chris Davis needs to regain the form he showed in his breakout season of 2013. Through a disappointing 2014 and the drug scandal, he has a lot to prove to the Orioles and their fans. With the amount of changes made to the lineup, especially with the injuries continuing to plague Wieters, the runs will be few and far between.