The Baltimore Orioles posted a respectable record in 2013 but still missed out on the playoffs. If the team wants the same feeling they had in 2012 next year, there is one area in particular that must be improved in the offseason.
“We’re going to be active in the market, but I’m going to say this every time out: our core players are going to come from the farm system,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said, according to the Baltimore Sun. “We have a number of returning position players, but if we are going to continue to be competitive and improve our club, we need to upgrade the quality of our pitching staff.”
There is no question the pitching staff, in particular the starting rotation, held the Orioles back,. Baltimore’s starters ranked 12th in the American League in earned run average (4.57) and 10th in opponent batting average (.266). One of the bigger problems was definitely the fact that the Orioles starting pitchers could not keep the ball in the park as they surrendered 145 home runs, the most of any team in the big leagues.
How does Baltimore go about improving the group in the offseason? The best bet is through free agency in order to have an immediate impact.
For one, the Orioles must re-sign right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman. His numbers dropped off a bit when he came to Baltimore, but overall, he is still a player the team must retain. A 12-12 record with a 3.86 ERA in 30 starts is solid for a No. 3 or No. 4 starter.
The free agent market is nothing special this year, which means the Orioles will have to look hard to find the right gem that suits them the best.