Baltimore Orioles' 5 Biggest Weaknesses Going Into 2016 Spring Training

By Bryan Zarpentine

Heading into 2016, the Baltimore Orioles’ roster looks awfully similar to what the team used last season. The Orioles were in contention for much of last year, so that may not be such a bad thing, but it means Baltimore may be plagued by many of the same shortcomings that prevented them from reaching the postseason a year ago. Here are five weaknesses the Orioles will try to overcome in 2016.

Baltimore Orioles\' 5 Biggest Weaknesses Going Into 2016 Spring Training
← Tip: Use keyboard arrows to navigate →

5. Lack of Speed

Lack of Speed Credit: Getty Images
Speed isn't an essential quality in the American League, but the Orioles were dead last in the majors in stolen bases last season, displaying almost no team speed. If Baltimore is going to improve from last year and compete in the AL East, they have to do some of the little things, and that means stealing a few more bases than they did last season.

5. Lack of Speed

Speed isn't an essential quality in the American League, but the Orioles were dead last in the majors in stolen bases last season, displaying almost no team speed. If Baltimore is going to improve from last year and compete in the AL East, they have to do some of the little things, and that means stealing a few more bases than they did last season.

4. Too Many Strikeouts

Too Many Strikeouts Credit: Getty Images
Strikeouts aren't necessarily a huge deal, but the Orioles were top five in baseball in that category last year, and that's not a good thing. Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Adam Jones all accumulated more than 100 strikeouts in 2015, with Davis eclipsing 200. The Orioles have plenty of power, but some adjustment to the all-or-nothing approach may be necessary.

4. Too Many Strikeouts

Strikeouts aren't necessarily a huge deal, but the Orioles were top five in baseball in that category last year, and that's not a good thing. Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Adam Jones all accumulated more than 100 strikeouts in 2015, with Davis eclipsing 200. The Orioles have plenty of power, but some adjustment to the all-or-nothing approach may be necessary.

3. Rotation Depth

Rotation Depth Credit: Tommy Gilligan - USATODAY Sports
The addition of Yovani Gallardo was big for the Orioles, as Baltimore believes he and Chris Tillman can provide a nice 1-2 punch atop the rotation. But from 1-through-5, the Baltimore rotation doesn't necessarily match up well with some of the other teams in the AL East. The Orioles may end up being middle of the pack in the pitching department, but they're still going to be reliant on their offense to win games day after day.

3. Rotation Depth

The addition of Yovani Gallardo was big for the Orioles, as Baltimore believes he and Chris Tillman can provide a nice 1-2 punch atop the rotation. But from 1-through-5, the Baltimore rotation doesn't necessarily match up well with some of the other teams in the AL East. The Orioles may end up being middle of the pack in the pitching department, but they're still going to be reliant on their offense to win games day after day.

2. Shortstop

Shortstop Credit: Getty Images
The Orioles have watched J.J. Hardy's performance decline significantly over the past two seasons, as he had a career-low .564 OPS in 2015. Baltimore doesn't have many alternatives to Hardy, so if he can't have a bounce-back season in 2016, the Orioles may be stuck with him and have to deal with a significant hole in their lineup.

2. Shortstop

The Orioles have watched J.J. Hardy's performance decline significantly over the past two seasons, as he had a career-low .564 OPS in 2015. Baltimore doesn't have many alternatives to Hardy, so if he can't have a bounce-back season in 2016, the Orioles may be stuck with him and have to deal with a significant hole in their lineup.

1. Corner Outfield

Corner Outfield Credit: Derick Hingle - USATODAY Sports
Not being able to sign Dexter Fowler really hurts the Baltimore outfield. The Orioles now have two corner outfield spots to fill with part-time player Nolan Reimold, infielder Ryan Flaherty, inexperienced Cuban import Dariel Alvarez and Korean import Hyun-soo Kim. That makes for a lot of uncertainty as to what the Orioles are going to get out of their outfield this season.

1. Corner Outfield

Not being able to sign Dexter Fowler really hurts the Baltimore outfield. The Orioles now have two corner outfield spots to fill with part-time player Nolan Reimold, infielder Ryan Flaherty, inexperienced Cuban import Dariel Alvarez and Korean import Hyun-soo Kim. That makes for a lot of uncertainty as to what the Orioles are going to get out of their outfield this season.

You May Also Like