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5 ORIOLES

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OVERALL RANK 10

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP BALTIMORE

This team will live and die with the home run and their bullpen, like last year. You look up micromanage in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of Buck Showalter. But he is ahead of most every manager in the game when it comes to matchups.... Chris Tillman is dinged up a little. He's a great competitor, throws hard enough, commands his breaking stuff. Is he an ace? No, but he pitches like one.... Kevin Gausman's the guy with the stuff, but those LSU kids never really turn the corner.... Dylan Bundy is finally starting to realize his potential.... Ubaldo Jiménez used to be a hard thrower; now he throws 90. He's slowly learning how to pitch.... Their strength is the bullpen. They've got the best reliever in baseball. Zach Britton has a natural sinker that's one of the best pitches I've ever seen.... Jonathan Schoop is a great defender with great range and a great arm. He'll be a perennial All-Star.... Manny Machado's anticipation is great, which is why he can play third base so easily, but he's a natural shortstop. He's Derek Jeter with better range.... Mark Trumbo is a great mistake hitter. That little bitty ballpark is a perfect match for him. They've played him a lot in rightfield during the spring, probably to prove to him that he can't play out there.... Adam Jones is an All-Star. He's a good defender, he can throw, he can run, he can hit.... Welington Castillo is a hitter; Caleb Joseph is a catcher. Chance Sisco will be the guy next year or the year after.... They can't catch Boston, but they've got a shot at a wild card. Not a big shot, but a shot.

MANAGER BUCK SHOWALTER

8TH SEASON WITH BALTIMORE

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

CF ADAM JONES [DEFENSIVE STAR]

R-R .265 .310 .436 1.1

3B MANNY MACHADO [TEAM MVP] [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

R-R .294 .343 .533 6.7

1B CHRIS DAVIS [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

L-R .221 .332 .459 3.0

DH MARK TRUMBO

R-R .256 .316 .533 1.6

2B JONATHAN SCHOOP [DEFENSIVE STAR] [RISING]

R-R .267 .298 .454 2.1

C WELINGTON CASTILLO [NEW ACQUISITION]

R-R .264 .322 .423 2.4

RF SETH SMITH [NEW ACQUISITION] [DECLINING]

L-L .249 .342 .415 0.5

SS J.J. HARDY [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

R-R .269 .309 .407 1.9

LF HYUN SOO KIM

R-R .302 .382 .420 0.6

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

C CALEB JOSEPH [DEFENSIVE STAR]

R-R .174 .216 .197 -1.0

UT PEDRO ÁLVAREZ

L-R .249 .322 .504 0.7

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

RH KEVIN GAUSMAN [BARGAIN] [RISING]

9--12 3.61 8.7 4.2

RH DYLAN BUNDY [INJURY RISK] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

10--6 4.02 8.5 1.7

RH CHRIS TILLMAN [INJURY RISK]

16--6 3.77 7.3 4.1

LH WADE MILEY [DECLINING]

9--13 5.37 7.4 -0.1

RH UBALDO JIMÉNEZ [DECLINING]

8--12 5.44 7.9 0.1

SV ERA K/9 WAR

LH ZACH BRITTON [BARGAIN]

47 0.54 9.9 4.3

RH DARREN O'DAY

3 3.77 11.0 0.6

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

(R) ROOKIE

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

Last year the Orioles had the fewest stolen base attempts, just 32, since attempts began being tracked in 1951. (They succeeded 19 times.) And rightly so: With a high-homer, low-singles offense, risking an out to move up a base didn't make much sense. It's not as if the lack of steals significantly hurt them—they finished seventh in the AL in runs scored and won a wild-card spot. With the Orioles bringing back almost the same roster, but even slower with Seth Smith and Welington Castillo, it opens up the question: Can a team go an entire season without attempting a steal? Buck Showalter may want to give it a try.

BOTTOM LINE

Again, thanks to its manager and third baseman, this team is more than the sum of its parts.