Ever since their playoff run in 2014, in which they lost to the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series, the Baltimore Orioles started to go downhill. The Orioles finished the 2018 season with the worst record in the MLB (Major League Baseball) this season and almost had the worst season in MLB history. They finished with a record of 47 wins and 115 losses, and they were 61 games out of first place in the American League East Division.
The Orioles will have the first overall pick in the upcoming 2019 draft because they had the worst record in the MLB this season. This year they need to use those picks to help rebuild and get top prospects to get the team back on its feet and have a playoff run in the future. They traded most of their top players for younger talent and draft picks to help on their journey of rebuilding the Baltimore Orioles franchise. The Orioles need to look at getting a new outfield. The outfield is full of veterans but needs to be more diverse with youth and speed, to cover more field and be able to track down fly balls faster instead of taking the risk of a ball being hit into a gap and giving up a multi-base hit.
I talked to Ben McElroy, a junior at Mount Saint Joe, and a player on the baseball team, about what he thinks the Orioles need to change and focus on for rebuilding. “They need to invest in pitching, which is something they haven’t done in a past couple of years. They did a good job of selling everyone and bringing in new and young guys, but need to focus on not getting too attached to one person and offer them a lot of money like they did with first baseman Chris Davis.”
With the Orioles recently parting ways with Buck Showalter, and bringing in new manager Brandon Hyde, I believe this can help with having someone with a different vision and strategy of how they want to play the game and get wins. The next skipper will need to focus on player development with the emphasis on defense and speed. They need to look for a leadoff hitter that can work the count, get on base and cause disruption on the basepaths. The Orioles have a lot of power hitters that are all or nothing – either a long fly over the fence or swing and miss.
Mike Elias is the new Vice President replacing Dan Duquette. Mr. Elias is 35 years old and is in touch with today’s game, qualities that will lead to the Orioles turn around. He was a key contributor in the Astros front office with their recent turn around which lead them to the World Series championship in 2017. Brandon Hyde was just recently hired as the new manager for the Orioles. Coming from the Chicago Cubs, Hyde is a trendy pick to lead the Orioles as they begin their rebuild. Let’s hope both are still with the O’s when they return to prominence in a few seasons.