2022 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

Orioles Preview
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The preview of the 2022 Baltimore Orioles is intriguing. They are looking for the first winning season since 2016. Heading into the season, the Orioles have said they are committed to winning and that they will return to their winning ways under the current front office.

2021 Season

The 2021 season had the Orioles tied for the worst record in baseball. They were second-to-last in the American League in runs with 659. On top of that, they finished number five in strikeouts for hitters and finished 12th in both stolen bases and OBP.

As bad as their offense was, their pitching was even worse. The team’s 5.84 ERA ranked last in all of baseball. They allowed the most hits and the most homeruns as well. Their bullpen was used repeatedly and overworked due to the lack of starters getting past five or six innings. Overall, they used 37 different pitchers.

It was a long season that everyone involved, including the Orioles’ fans, wants to forget.

Core of Players for 2022

Looking to the make-up of the 2022 team, they do have a core of players to build around. Cedric Mullins was a nice surprise for the Orioles in the 2021. He was the only player in baseball to make the 30 homeruns and 30 stolen bases list. Mullins played in 159 games, hitting .291 with 37 doubles, five triples, 30 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored. That earned him a start in the All-Star Game.

Ryan Mountcastle is another core player they can build with. He shook off a terrible April to set the Orioles’ rookie record for home runs. Indeed, he led all rookies in home runs last year with 33. Mountcastle also put up 23 doubles and 89 RBIs in 144 games. He hit .255. The big question for him is whether he can be that good, or better, this year. To improve, he at least needs to cut down on his strikeouts and find a way to have a better batting average.

2022 Orioles Pitching Preview

Lefthander John Means will be another exciting player to watch this season. He started last year going 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA. He also tossed a no-hitter in May. However, a strained left shoulder sidelined him for a time. When he came back he was not able to regain his dominant form. Means ended the 2021 season with a 3.62 ERA and 134 strikeouts over 146 ⅔ innings. If he is healthy, he could be the shutdown ACE this team needs.

Jordan Lyles

One main struggle for the Orioles’ in 2021 was their pitching staff. They needed a quality number two starter. They signed right-hander Jordan Lyles to help shore up this weakness. The 31-year-old had a career-high 180 innings along with a career high in strikeouts with 146. Expect him to be a nice complement to slot in behind Means in their rotation.

Relievers

The 2022 Orioles bullpen has to show significant improvements over last year. To start, the team has traded away their closer, Cole Sulser, and their top setup pitcher, Tanner Scott. Whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen.

Dillon Tate could be the first pitcher given the opportunity to close out a game. If Tate struggles, look for Paul Fry and Jorge Lopez to factor into the mix for closing out games. The Orioles could even wind up using the closer-by-committee option.

What they hope to avoid is using multiple pitchers day after day. They need to avoid the dreaded “tired arm.” Relievers are an odd and oftentimes different breed. The hope is the Orioles are able to find some pitchers just unique enough to carve out a successful role in the bullpen for 2022.

There is good news, too. The top pitcher in the organization is Grayson Rodriguez. He begins the season at Triple-A Norfolk. The 22-year-old will get some seasoning there. However, expect him to be called up before the end of the season.

Influx of Prospects

Preview Baltimore Orioles 2022: You must mention that their farm system which has been ranked as the best in some publications. In fact, overall, it is in the top five for 2022. They do have an influx of top prospects—including the aforementioned Rodriguez—and the hope is that these players will be ready to play in the very competitive American League East sooner rather than later.

Catcher Adley Rutschman is the team’s overall top prospect—and is the top catching prospect in all of baseball. Although he won’t be ready for the opening day roster due to an injury, the Orioles hope to get him on the team as soon as possible after he is healthy.

Additions

The Orioles have been criticized in the past for not being active in the offseason. This year, however, they have reversed that by going out and signing or making trades. They rebuilt their depleted farm system and worked to change the culture of Orioles baseball.

Along with Jordan Lyles, they signed catcher Robinson Chirinos and second baseman Rougned Odor. These veterans not only shore up defensive needs, they provide leadership and mentoring for younger players both on and off the field.

2022 Outlook

2022 Baltimore Orioles Preview:  The outlook is that the Orioles looks like they will be a fun team to watch. As mentioned, they have some young, new, and exciting players to watch with a few to call up. Predictions have the top prospects making their way onto the big-league roster and the team finishing around .500.

While that would be an amazing accomplishment, it is, unfortunately, unlikely to occur at this point. There are four other AL East teams. Each won at least 90 games last season and the Orioles play the majority of their schedule against these playoff-caliber teams. However, the Orioles should improve over last year and at least not be the worst team in baseball.

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Players mentioned:

Cedric Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle, John Means, Jordan Lyles, Cole Sulser, Tanner Scott, Dillon Tate, Paul Fry, Jorge Lopez, Grayson Rodriguez, Adley Rutschman, Robinson Chirinos, Rougned Odor