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Why Victor Martinez Matters for Baltimore Orioles DH Nelson Cruz This Offseason

October 23rd, 2014 at 9:21 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles will have a lot of decisions to make this offseason, especially surrounding their three big name free agent players in Andrew Miller, Nick Markakis and 2014 MLB Home Run champ Nelson Cruz. This offseason, as Cruz looks to land his next contract, one of the biggest factors for Cruz could be fellow free agent Victor Martinez.

Cruz had a terrific 2014 after signing a one year, $8 million deal with the Orioles last February as he led all of baseball with 40 home runs, and finished third in the American League with 108 RBI. He was unquestionably the most feared bat in the Orioles lineup and he answered the questions on whether or not he could bounce back after the Biogenesis scandal last season.

Oddly enough, one of the most important factors for Cruz this offseason will be out of his hands in Victor Martinez.

Martinez, along with Cruz and Billy Butler, will be a free agent this offseason as well in what is turning out to be a DH race as all three are likely looked as DH's who can play the field in a pinch. Among the three, Cruz is the best defender as he represents himself well in the outfield, but as we could see with the O's, when the option is there to DH him, it was taken.

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A Chat with Baltimore Orioles First Baseman and 2014 Rising Star Steve Pearce

October 23rd, 2014 at 6:56 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles had several players come through and contribute for them over the course of the 2014 season, but one of the standout guys of the season was a familiar, but surprising face in first baseman/utility player Steve Pearce.

In the organization for parts of the last three seasons, Pearce was a familiar face to Orioles fans, but the 2014 season gave him the opportunity to shine and he did not let the moment pass.

Pearce gave a new definition to having a career year in 2014 as he hit .293 with 21 home runs, 26 doubles and 49 RBI. On Wednesday, we talked about how he and fellow surprise contributor Zach Britton helped lead the Orioles this season, and we went into detail at just how big of a career year 2014 truly was for Pearce.

If you follow us on Twitter, then you may have seen a brief conversation between us and Pearce as we asked him if he would be willing to respond to a few questions for our readers. Pearce did not disappoint, as he was gracious with his time and allowed us to chat with him, and here is what we had to say.

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A Fun Look Ahead: Projecting Baltimore Orioles 2015 Opening Day Roster

October 22nd, 2014 at 10:38 AM
By Josh Michael

With free agency not set to begin until after the World Series and not much expected to be happening around the Warehouse until then, we thought it would be fun to try and give you our prediction for the Baltimore Orioles 2015 Opening Day Roster.

First, let us just state the obvious, this is simply a "for fun" article- it is practically impossible to predict the Opening Day Roster nearly six months in advance. However, we will use some logic and our analysis to try and give it our best shot so far away from April 6.

We are going to go with the assumption of a five-man starting rotation and a seven man bullpen, thus putting 12 pitchers on the roster and 13 position players. That seems to be the norm for Manager Buck Showalter.

So here we go:

Pitchers (12)

  • Chris Tillman
  • Wei-Yin Chen
  • Bud Norris
  • Ubaldo Jimenez
  • Miguel Gonzalez
  • Kevin Gausman
  • Zach Britton
  • Darren O'Day
  • Tommy Hunter
  • Brian Matusz
  • Ryan Webb
  • Steve Johnson

Position Players (13)

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Unlikely Duo Zach Britton and Steve Pearce Helped Lead Baltimore Orioles in 2014

October 22nd, 2014 at 7:50 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles may not be playing in the World Series this week, but they still had one heck of a 2014 season. The O's won their first AL East title and reached the ALCS for the first time since 1997, an effort in which Zach Britton and Steve Pearce were instrumental

Entering spring training back in February, both Pearce and Britton were in similar positions and they did not know if they would even leave Sarasota as members of the Orioles organization.

Britton was out of minor league options and the Orioles' starting rotation was pretty crowded, so it became apparent very early that Britton's best shot to make the team would be as a reliever and a long reliever at that. With no options remaining, if Britton had a terrible spring, he would have likely been placed on waivers and claimed by another organization.

Fortunately for Baltimore, Britton had a really good spring. He posted a 0.84 ERA in nine appearances over 10 2/3 innings and helped the O's justify putting him in the bullpen as another weapon for the team. During spring training, it became evident that Britton's sinker had improved in both movement and velocity thanks to him finally being completely healthy. Little did we know at the time, but Britton's sinker would turn into one of the best individual pitches in the entire league in 2014.

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Offseason Outlook: Pending Baltimore Orioles Free Agents, Some Big Names

October 21st, 2014 at 9:49 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles are like every other team in baseball in that they will have some tough decisions to make with their pending free agents this offseason, and the Orioles list includes some very big names.

There are the obvious and most talked about names surrounding the Orioles and free agency, but some of the others are also intriguing parts that helped this team win its first AL East Division title since 1997.

Here is the list of the pending free agents for the Orioles that are currently on the 40-man roster:

  • OF Nelson Cruz
  • LHP Andrew Miller
  • LHP Joe Saunders
  • OF Delmon Young
  • IF Kelly Johnson
  • IF Alexi Casilla
  • OF Nick Markakis*
  • C Nick Hundley*
  • LHP Wei-Yin Chen*
  • RHP Darren O'Day*

Those players marked with an asterisk have options for the 2015 season, and before you panic, the Orioles will surely pick up the options for both Chen ($4.75 million) and O'Day ($4.25 million) so you do not have to worry about those two reaching free agency, thus, cross them off the list.

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