Which Orioles made the grade during the first half?

The All-Star break doesn't fall at the mathematical halfway point in the baseball season, but it's close enough for some midpoint analysis. Not particularly deep analysis, mind you, but the kind of quick, shoot-from-the-hip judgments that allow you to boil down a player's performance over three months into a single letter grade.

You can click through the photos above to see the players and their grades, or read on. Keep in mind that the grade assigned does not suggest a comparison to any other player. It's just an evaluation of that player's performance in the context of his talent and role on the team.



Brad Brach, RP: Solid middle guy who was 7-1 last year and has put up similar hit/inning and strikeout/walk ratios this year. On pace to surpass appearance and innings totals from 2014. Grade: B


Zach Britton, CL: First-time All-Star has been simply phenomenal in second season as Orioles closer. Has converted 23 of 24 save opportunities and has allowed just seven runs in 36 appearances. Grade: A+

Wei-Yin Chen, SP: Despite some apparent displeasure with the club's decision to option him briefly, the end probably justified the means. Remains one of club's most consistent starters and has terrific 2.78 ERA to prove it, but soft run support has limited him to four victories. Grade: B+

Oliver Drake, RP: Made five appearances during two stays at the major league level and made a good impression (3.52 ERA), despite walking six batters. Currently on the minor league disabled list with a torso strain. Grade: B-

Jason Garcia, RP: Rule 5 draft pick made eight major league appearances and was not particularly impressive. He had more walks than strikeouts and allowed nine earned runs in 132/3 innings. Currently on 60-day DL. Grade: D

Kevin Gausman, SP-RP: Top pitching prospect has had some great outings, but has not thrived in an uncertain role. He's 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA but is likely to be a regular starter in second half. Grade: C

Miguel Gonzalez, SP: One of club's most consistent starters over the past three seasons, but has hit a rough patch, allowing four or more earned runs in five of his past nine starts. Grade: C

Tommy Hunter, RP: Coming off two straight seasons in which he pitched in 60 or more games and had a sub-3.00 ERA, but has not been nearly as efficient this season — particularly in the past couple of weeks. Has given up six earned runs in past 6 2/3 innings. Grade: C-

Ubaldo Jimenez, SP: What an amazing turnaround after last year's disappointing first season with the Orioles. Hasn't put up a gaudy win total, but has displayed greatly improved command and has a sterling 2.81 ERA in his first 17 starts. Grade: A-

Brian Matusz, RP: Lost a chunk of June after being caught with a foreign substance on his arm, but has not given up an earned run in 10 appearances since. Can't argue with a 2.28 ERA in 27 appearances. Grade: B+

T.J. McFarland, RP: The Swiss army knife of the Orioles pitching staff, which is something of a mixed blessing that has led to some mixed numbers. His 2.70 ERA belies the 27 base runners he has allowed in just 131/3 innings. Grade: C

Bud Norris, SP: Hard to believe that a guy with such great stuff could go from 15 wins last year to the terrible struggle he has endured in 2015. Sad to say, the 2-9 record and 6.86 ERA are not deceptive. Grade: D-

Darren O'Day, RP: First-time All-Star who probably should have had that distinction a lot sooner. Continues to be one of the best setup men in the business and seems to always be available. Orioles wouldn't be a constant contender without him. Grade: A


Chaz Roe, RP: Bullpen newcomer has been a pleasant surprise. Had a 0.90 ERA two weeks ago but gave up two runs each in three of his past five appearances. Still, a 2.67 ERA is nothing to sneeze at. Grade: B

Chris Tillman, SP: Very disappointing half-season after compiling a 38-16 record from 2012 to 2014 and establishing himself as a No. 1 starter. Just has not been able to locate consistently, but has allowed only four earned runs in past 172/3 innings, so there's hope for a big second half. Grade: D

Tyler Wilson, RP: Highly regarded prospect came up and strutted his stuff in five major league appearances (and one start), compiling a 1-1 record and 2.12 ERA. Grade: B+

Mike Wright, SP: Called up in a pinch and delivered three strong outings, winning two of them. Then lost his next three and his ERA ballooned to 5.16. Still a solid prospect. Grade: C+

Wesley Wright, RP: Offseason acquisition was around just long enough to pitch 12/3 innings before getting hurt and spending most of the first half of the season on the DL. Really no basis for evaluation. Grade: Incomplete


Steve Clevenger: The guy can hit, and he proved that again with five hits in 11 at-bats during his most recent stop on the major league roster, but there's just no room for him right now. Grade: A-

Caleb Joseph: Continues to be the consummate backup catcher, playing good defense and delivering a big swing every once in a while. Closed out the first half with a home run and a multihit game Saturday night against the Nationals. Grade: B

Ryan Lavarnway: Opened season as the backup to Caleb Joseph, but just could not produce anything at the plate. Managed just two singles and a double in 28 at-bats, so it wasn't a tough roster move. Grade: F

Matt Wieters: It took him a while to get healthy and get back from Tommy John surgery — and he's still getting comfortable behind the plate — but is starting to crank out some big hits. Grade: B


Everth Cabrera, IF: Brought in to provide infield insurance and delivered some early in the season when Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy were injured, but four RBIs in 96 at-bats was not enough to survive the roster crunch. Grade: D


Chris Davis, 1B-RF: The big guy still strikes out too much and doesn't hit for a high average, but he has rebounded from last year's disastrous season to share the club home run lead with Manny Machado (19) and lead the team with 52 RBIs. Grade: B


Ryan Flaherty, IF: Super utility guy was pressed into full-time service because of injuries to the middle infield this season and delivered his usual strong defensive performance. Has taken a step up at the plate. Grade: B

J.J. Hardy, SS: Value to the club became most apparent when he was sidelined for the first month of the season. Team defense sagged, then rebounded dramatically after his return to short. Struggled at the plate for a while, but has hit well in clutch situations of late. Grade: B

Manny Machado, 3B: Finally healthy after two knee injuries and having a career year. Tied for the club lead in home runs and played in his second All-Star Game. The flashy defense goes without saying. Grade: A

Rey Navarro, IF: Produced almost as much in 29 at-bats as Cabrera did in 96, but there still was no room at the inn when the O's started to get healthy. Grade: C

Chris Parmelee, 1B-OF: Made a huge first impression when he hit three solo home runs in his first two games after call-up. Has one homer and three RBIs in 23 games since. Showing some more life at the plate lately, however. Grade: C-

Steve Pearce, 1B-OF: Struggling to deliver a suitable encore to last year's solid all-around performance. Way behind last year's career-best pace, but still a valuable and versatile player. Grade: C

Jonathan Schoop, 2B: Just returned from a long stay on the DL with a knee injury and delivered two home runs in his first five games back, including the dramatic walk-off Friday night against the Nats. Tough to evaluate 15 games, but five home runs and 10 RBIs tell you something. Grade: B+


Alejandro De Aza, LF: Made big contribution after arriving late last season, but did not follow up on that this season. Had just three homers and seven RBIs in 103 at-bats. His bat has awakened in Boston, but that doesn't change anything. Grade: D

Adam Jones, CF: Offensive performance has not been quite up to what he has done over the past few seasons, but he's providing his usual leadership and this might be his best defensive season. Oh, and he started in the All-Star Game again. Grade: B+

David Lough, LF-CF: Has delivered a handful of big swings and fills the role of late-inning defensive replacement ably, but a .268 OBP won't do and his speed doesn't play on the bases for some reason. Grade: D+

Jimmy Paredes, DH: Obviously, the breakout player of the season for the Orioles. Ranks among club leaders in hitting and on-base percentage and has 10 homers and 39 RBIs without full-time at-bats. If only he could catch the ball, too. Grade: A-

Nolan Reimold, LF: Finally healthy and showing he can still squeeze a pitcher, but needs to deliver more pop at the plate to get more playing time. His .327 OBP is third-best on current roster. Grade: C+

Travis Snider, RF: Clearly, the Orioles were hoping for a little more run production, though he's pretty much on pace for last year's numbers. Tough to settle for three homers and 20 RBIs from your regular right fielder. Grade: C-

Delmon Young, OF-DH: Last year's premier pinch hitter became this year's expendable outfielder. Orioles hoped he would take advantage of more playing time. He didn't. Grade: C-

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