As we continue to look forward to opening day, Fantasy CPR will have plenty of fantasy baseball goodness that can help you do well in your draft and ultimately own your league. In addition to sleeper profiles, predictive studies, and overall strategy help, we’re going to look at each team individually with the help of some of the best bloggers that cover each individual team.
Today, we start our season previews by getting some insight on the Baltimore Orioles from Domenic A. Vadala who anchors the O’s coverage on Birds Watcher. There’s tons of really solid Orioles coverage on their site to delve into if you’re a Baltimore fan.
The questions are in italics and Domenic’s replies are give for all nine questions. These are the same questions we’ll be asking our baseball editors going into the season:
That matters how you define a “good job.” GM Dan Duquette wanted to add a power bat, and they tried to do just that via trade. Most teams weren’t willing to deal with the Orioles unless they gave up prospects Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado. One team had all but penciled gold glove shortstop JJ Hardy into their starting lineup because they convinced themselves that they could pry him away from the Orioles, and another team had the gall to request gold glove centerfielder Adam Jones in return via trade. Many fans are grumbling that the team didn’t make any substantial deals, however the deals that were on the table were horrible deals.
I would submit the entire pitching staff, as well as first baseman Chris Davis. The Orioles will have a tough time doing anything if their pitching doesn’t hold up, so that’s extremely important. However, Davis struggled at first base through spring training and 30+ games early in the regular season last year. If he has a repeat performance to the point where the Orioles can’t justify trotting him out at first everyday, they would lose the 30+ homers that he could potentially bring to the table on offense.
Third baseman Manny Machado. I referred to him above as a prospect, however he came up last August from the minors to play third. A full year of what Machado brought to the table last year should starkly benefit the Orioles.
The Orioles brought up an unknown guy from the Mexican League named Miguel Gonzalez last July. He pitched almost flawlessly throughout the second half and in the post season, so I’d look for more of the same from him.
The Orioles had one of the best ‘pens down the stretch last year, and that includes closer Jim Johnson who set a new team record with 52 saves in the regular season. There’s no reason to believe that won’t happen again.
Whoa, that’s a pretty loaded question! If I had to pick one I think I might throw starting pitcher Tommy Hunter into the mix. He has some command problems and he gives up a lot of home runs.
The above-mentioned Manny Machado, even though he’s not truly a rookie this year, however pitching prospect Dylan Bundy could make an in-season impact if he’s called up at some point.
Wow, another loaded question! The Orioles might have made a bit of a tactical error in going from 69 wins to the playoffs in one year. Now anything less than a post season appearance would potentially be deemed a failure by many fans. However I think that a successful season at this point would still be playing meaningful games in August and September. Certainly the goal is to reach the playoffs, but given the struggles of this franchise from 1998-2011 I think that most fans would take simply being relevant late in the season.
We’re going to provide the best Orioles’ coverage on the web from sunrise until dusk! Fans can follow me on twitter @DomenicVadala for in-game updates, scores, and analysis. Follow @DomenicVadala
Special thanks to Domenic for giving us his insight on Baltimore for this coming season. Make sure to add the Orioles coverage to your daily FantasyCPR updates, or if you’re signed up for the Birds Watcher daily updates add FantasyCPR under the “extras” options.
Come back throughout the coming weeks for more fantasy baseball previews from the baseball writers across the FanSided network.