Orioles season preview: 14 questions for 2014 [Pictures]
Manny Machado's recovery, Chris Davis' home run tally and more questions to ponder as Baltimore preps for Monday's Opening Day at Camden Yards.
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1. Can the team return to the postseason after falling short in 2013?( Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun / March 25, 2014 )
The Orioles remained in contention for a playoff spot until the final two weeks last season, but the end result disappointed fans after the team's march to the American League Division Series in 2012. After the Tampa Bay Rays swept the Orioles in a four-game series at Tropicana Field in late September, fans had to settle for a second-straight winning season (85-77) under manager Buck Showalter.
The fan base, however, won't be satisfied with another season that ends short of a playoff berth. After the offseason additions of Jimenez and Cruz, combined with the veteran core already on the roster, the Orioles expect to make a deep run into the postseason this year.
The Orioles' resurgence in the past two seasons ultimately gives Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette plenty of breathing room before fans call for their replacements, but another step back this year would start to awaken the critics.