Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012 Fantasy outlooks: Baltimore Orioles

  •  

Another year, another projected last-place finish for the Orioles.

It's as predictable as a Mark Reynolds strikeout. This year will make it five straight, barring the miraculous, and with yet another change in regime this offseason, the organization doesn't have much to show for its period of futility.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

The future wasn't always so bleak. As recently as last spring, the Orioles appeared to have the pieces in place for the next step forward. But their foundation was supposed to be their young starting rotation, and of Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton, the only one whose season didn't end in disaster was Britton.

Granted, young pitchers usually need time to adjust to the majors, but Matusz, Arrieta and Tillman were supposed to have gotten that time already. Their lack of progress at this stage of their development makes them anything but certainties for the Orioles going forward.

Thus, new GM Dan Duquette's primary mission this offseason was to collect as many fallback options as possible, and on that front, he left no stone unturned, signing left-handers Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada of the Japanese League. Between them, journeyman Jason Hammel and the options already in place, the Orioles should be able to find a suitable starting five even if it's not the one that they originally had in mind.

The starting lineup is a little more stable, though its nucleus -- a group that includes Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters -- lacks star potential. Brian Roberts is a lost cause given his concussion woes, and the Orioles are grasping at straws with retreads like Chris Davis, Wilson Betemit and Nolan Reimold.

In the bullpen, Jim Johnson, Kevin Gregg and Matt Lindstrom will compete for ninth-inning duties, but on a team destined to finish last, it won't make much of a difference to Fantasy owners. And unfortunately, if Matusz, Arrieta and Tillman remain stuck in neutral, it'll be par for the course in Baltimore until the next wave of talent arrives.

Breakout ... Matt Wieters, C

Coming off a 22-homer 2011, Wieters is already a Fantasy mainstay. But he still hasn't lived up to the potential that made him the No. 1 overall prospect entering 2009. Fortunately, if the way he finished last season is any indication, his next step is on the horizon. The 25-year-old hit .281 with 12 homers and a .927 OPS over his final 167 at-bats -- numbers that, over a full season, would have made him arguably the top catcher in Fantasy. And if his improved walk rate during that stretch is any indication, Wieters is beginning to figure it out against major-league pitching. It's taken a while -- as is often the case for catchers, given their responsibilities on defense -- but it's happening at a young enough age that Fantasy owners can assume the best is yet to come. Given the risks for high-end catchers like Joe Mauer and Buster Posey this year, perhaps you're better off waiting an extra couple rounds and selecting Wieters.

Bust ... Adam Jones, OF

Funny how a subtle boost in homers, from 19 to 25, can change Fantasy owners' perception of a player. Jones' "power breakthrough" had more to do with at-bats than anything else -- his slugging percentage was only nine points higher than his previous career high -- and yet the same people who previously rated him among the mediocre middle are drafting him alongside established five-category threats Shane Victorino and Shin-Soo Choo this year. Jones is no five-category threat. Granted, another step forward power-wise, which is at least possible for the 26-year-old, would help compensate for his shortcomings, but who's to say one will actually happen? Again, his percentages suggest he hasn't made any real progress over the last three seasons and as a player who strikes out 100 more times than he walks, he's always at risk for a collapse in batting average. As a third or fourth outfielder he's fine, but as a No. 2, Jones is better left for someone else.

Sleeper ... Brian Matusz, SP

Believe it or not, Matusz went 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA and a strikeout per inning over his final eight starts in 2010, which makes his dismal 2011 even harder to reconcile. But hey, Roy Halladay had a 10.64 ERA in 2000, and he turned out fine. So before you go overboard and suggest Matusz is a lost cause, think back to how the 2011 season began for him. He went down before it even started with an intercostal strain and when he returned, his velocity was the lowest it's ever been. He spent the rest of the season trying to regain his stuff, basically going through spring training while every other player was in midseason form, and by the time his velocity returned, it was September. This year, instead of falling behind, Matusz has committed himself to getting ahead by working out with Brady Anderson in the offseason. The 24-year-old may not win a rotation spot out of spring training, but given his talent, he'll be back soon enough.

2012 Baltimore Orioles Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Brian Roberts 2B 1 Zach Britton LH
2 J.J. Hardy SS 2 Jason Hammel RH
3 Nick Markakis RF 3 Wei-Yin Chen LH
4 Adam Jones CF 4 Jake Arrieta RH
5 Matt Wieters C 5 Tsuyoshi Wada LH
6 Mark Reynolds 3B Alt Tommy Hunter RH
7 Wilson Betemit DH
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Chris Davis 1B CL Jim Johnson RH
9 Nolan Reimold LF SU Matt Lindstrom RH
Top bench options RP Kevin Gregg RH
R Endy Chavez OF RP Troy Patton LH
R Robert Andino IF RP Pedro Strop RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2011 high Destination
1 Manny Machado 19 SS Class A Class A
A knee injury prevented Machado's first full professional season from being all it could be, but as far as shortstop prospects go, he's still as good as it gets offensively.
2 Dylan Bundy 19 SP DNP -- signed late Class A
As the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Bundy has the upside to compete with Machado for the top spot on this list. The future ace could be several years away, though.
3 Wei-Yin Chen 26 SP DNP -- in Japan Majors
Equipped with low-90s stuff, Chen had great numbers in Japan and could still improve at age 26. He's no Yu Darvish, though, which makes him a gamble better left for AL-only leagues.
4 Jonathan Schoop 20 2B Class A Double-A
Schoop doesn't have quite as much upside as Machado, but he's a solid hitter with decent pop who could give the Orioles an All-Star double-play combination down the road.
5 Tsuyoshi Wada 31 SP DNP -- in Japan Majors
Wada had better numbers than Chen in Japan, but his stuff tops out in the high 80s, which could prove disastrous in the AL East. At age 31, he's a now-or-never pick in AL-only leagues.
Best of the rest: Ryan Adams, 2B; Jerome Hoes, OF; Ryan Flaherty, 2B; Xavier Avery, OF; Daniel Klein, RP; Matt Antonelli, 2B; Matt Angle, OF; Oliver Drake, SP; Trent Mummey, OF; Joe Mahoney, 1B; and Wynn Pelzer, SP.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rays' Evan Longoria connects for three-run HR off Scott Kazmir
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:52 am ET) Rays third baseman Evan Longoria connected for a three-run homer off Scott Kazmir in the fifth inning of Friday's game against the Athletics, helping propel Tampa Bay to a 5-2 win. 

"He was throwing the ball really well, and it was a little bit different than what we had seen in the video," Longoria said, per MLB.com. "He was up as high as 96 [mph], which you knew he had that, and you know he was capable of doing those things, but it was something that we hadn't really seen.

"There were two strikes, and I was just trying to put the ball in play. I had a similar situation earlier in the game, where he threw two fastballs and they were both down in the zone, and I grounded out to third. The plan was just to try and drive the ball into the outfield and score one run, and I ended up getting three out of it."

Longoria, who went 2 for 3 with one walk and one stolen base, has a .270/.345/.473/.818 slash line through 20 May games. He also has three doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI this month.


Rays recall Enny Romero after demoting Tim Beckham to Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:44 am ET) Following Friday's game against the A's, the Rays optioned infielder Tim Beckham to Triple-A Durham and recalled pitcher Enny Romero to take his roster spot. The Rays needed another bullpen arm after using all seven of their relievers the last two games, per MLB.com.

Beckham homered and tripled in Friday's win against the A's, but he was one of four middle infielders on the roster after Nick Franklin came off the disabled list Sunday. Beckham, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2008 MLB draft, hit .224 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 33 games.

The lefty Romero went 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts for Durham prior to his promotion. He dealt with a back injury late in spring training, which delayed his start to the season.


A's catcher Stephen Vogt connects for 10th home run
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:34 am ET) The Athletics didn't have many bright spots during a 5-2 loss Friday against the Rays. However, one of the few highlights from Oakland on Friday came from catcher Stephen Vogt, who gave the A's a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning with his 10th home run.

Vogt, who leads the team with 31 RBI, has six home runs and 16 RBI in May, which are both career highs for a single month.

"Stephen has had a terrific year to this point. No question. You look at his production numbers [.309 batting average, 10 home runs, 31 RBI] and they're right up there with the league leaders," A's manager Bob Melvin said, per MLB.com.


Angels 1B Albert Pujols not too concerned about hand/wrist bruise
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:25 am ET) Angels first baseman Albert Pujols didn't seem overly bothered Friday by a left hand/wrist injury he suffered Wednesday against the Blue Jays after getting hit by a pitch. Pujols, who sat out Thursday, doubled and homered in a 12-5 win Friday at Boston.

"It still bothered me a little bit, but it'll go away in a couple days," Pujols said, per MLB.com. "It's one of those things, day by day. It's just a bruise, and it's getting better. I have to give a lot of credit to the trainers. They've done a great job with it."


Delgado gets win in extra-innings over Cubs
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(10:19 am ET) Diamondbacks reliever Randall Delgado earned the win in his team's 5-4 victory over the Cubs on Friday.

Delgado bounced back from a blown save against the Marlins on May 21 to record the win. He tossed a scoreless inning against the Cubs, bringing his ERA to 4.05 for the season.


Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson back in lineup Saturday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:18 am ET) Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson returned to the starting lineup Saturday against the Mariners after he was sidelined by calf soreness Friday. Donaldson did make a pinch-hit appearance Friday.

Donaldson heads into Saturday's game with a .299/.342/.507/.850 slash line over his last 18 games. 

Left-hander James Paxton is on the mound for Seattle. Donaldson is batting .389 with one double, three home runs and six RBI in nine games against left-handed starters in 2015.


Nick Ahmed played hero role in extra-inning win versus Cubs
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(10:10 am ET) Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed was the unlikely hero on Friday night. But unlikely or not, Ahmed's single in the 13th inning gave the Diamondbacks a 5-4 win over the Cubs.

Ahmed, who entered the game batting .194, went 3 for 6 with a home run and two RBI.

''I made some improvements, made some adjustments,'' Ahmed said. ''I'm starting to put the bat on the ball, starting to see it a lot better. The coaches here have been awesome - (hitting coach) Turner Ward and (assistant hitting coach) Mark Grace, and even my teammates here, they just stick with me, stay behind me, keep instilling confidence in me even though I'm struggling. That helped a lot.''

Ahmed is hitting .212/.281/.260 with a home run and eight RBI in 104 at-bats this season.


Royals' Chris Young making strong case to remain in rotation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:10 am ET) Royals veteran pitcher Chris Young turned in another outstanding performance Friday against the Cardinals, improving to 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in four starts this season.

Young still could head back to the bullpen once Jason Vargas returns from an elbow injury, but manager Ned Yost said it's too early to make any decisions or assumptions

"I'm not even going there," Yost said, per MLB.com. "Nice try, though. When we get to the point where we have to make a decision, we'll do it like we always do. We'll sit down with the coaches, with [general manager] Dayton [Moore] and do what's right."

Young seems fine with whatever role the Royals ask of him.

"It doesn't matter to me," he said. "One thing the bullpen taught me is to make one good pitch at a time, take care of one batter at a time. The numbers all even out through time. I'm not worried or concerned about that. I just like the element of competition of being out there."


Diamondbacks' Pollock hits safely four times in win
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(10:03 am ET) Diamondbacks centerfielder A.J. Pollock could not be stopped in his team's 5-4 win against the Cubs on Friday.

Pollock went 4 of 6 with a double and a triple. Pollock's double came in the 10th inning with the Diamondbacks trailing the Cubs. Teammate Paul Goldschmidt followed up the double with a game-tying two-run homer.

Pollock is hitting .625/.647/1.063 with a home run and three RBI in his last four games.


Tigers' Ausmus using RP Alex Wilson in a variety of situations
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:57 am ET) Since his recall from the minors in late April, Tigers reliever Alex Wilson has quietly put together a nice string of outings. He is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 10 appearances.

"I can't really give you his role because I use him all over the place," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday, per MLive.com. "He can pitch -- he was going to go back out for the next inning [Thursday against the Astros] if we don't score, so he would have been out for a third -- long like that, he can get a couple of righties out if we need it in the seventh or eighth. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the tight game, so he's got a lot of versatility."

Wilson's two-inning outing Thursday was the sixth time this season he has pitched longer than an inning and the fourth time he's gone at least two frames.

"Ya know, I'm just doing what I can," Wilson said. "I'm a grinder -- that's what I've always done. I feel like there is a little bit of a role, I am kind of the long guy, but the kind of guy you can throw in and try and get a couple of ground ball or couple quick outs if need be. I'm OK with being the swingman of the bullpen, I could you could call it. But I'm happy with it."


 
 
 
Rankings