Any success for the Orioles hinges on whether their one-trick offense can solve the game’s growing trend of pitching backward and adapt its free-swinging approach to a style of pitching meant to exploit it.
Despite the Orioles’ moves to address their starting pitching problems during spring training, the past few days served as a reminder that there are still many unanswered questions in terms of this team’s rotation. Those questions could dictate how the Orioles line up the rest of their pitching.
Orioles left-hander Richard Bleier became one of the game's most successful and consistent relievers with a sneaky sinker in 2017. It might seem hard to envision more in spring training, but manager Buck Showalter wants more of the same.
Orioles closer Zach Britton said he's "a little ahead of schedule" in his rehab from a torn Achilles, with the plan to start throwing in Sarasota next month and be off a mound by the end of spring training.
The Orioles arrive at the holidays in a familiar place - needing to adding starting pitching and fill most of their offseason needs - but the Manny Machado trade saga and Zach Britton's injury make it so they got to this point in tumultuous fashion.
After missing most of the 2017 season with various injuries, Orioles closer Zach Britton will be out at least the next six months with a ruptured Achilles suffered while working out Tuesday in California, according to multiple industry sources.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Thursday on the team's offseason radio show that they'll remake the rotation to contend, not rebuild, in 2018, and addressed the futures of Manny Machado, Zach Britton, and Jonathan Schoop with the ballclub.
Another important offseason deadline will approach at the end of this week as teams must tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players by Friday at 8 p.m., otherwise making them free agents. Last year, the Orioles signed catcher Welington Castillo after he was nontendered.
While fans and analysts call for the Orioles to look to trade the likes of Manny Machado and Zach Britton, they ignore the fact that they're generational talents the club should be thankful to even have now.