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
Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli out of the lineup again Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:11 pm ET) Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is out of the starting lineup again Tuesday against the Blue Jays, the team announced per ESPN.com.

Napoli missed Monday's game while battling an illness. Daniel Nava will draw his second straight start at first and bat sixth. He is hitting .167 in 36 at-bats this season.


Report: Angels not involved in trade talks for Saltalamacchia
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:04 pm ET) Angels catchers are batting just .115 with a .214 on-base percentage and .345 OPS through 70 plate appearances. However, the struggles of Chris Iannetta and Drew Butera aren't enough for the Angels to pursue catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, according to FOX Sports.

The Angels are not involved in talks to acquire Saltalamacchia, according to the report. Saltalamacchia was designated for assignment by the Marlins on Monday.


Mets' Michael Conforto could earn Double-A promotion soon
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:56 pm ET) Mets outfielder prospect Michael Conforto could earn a Double-A promotion as soon as early May, as high Class A pitchers have begun to pitch around him due to his hot start, Newsday reports.

The new timetable would put his promotion about a month ahead of schedule.

Conforto has followed up his excellent debut season by hitting .324/.414/.608 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 74 at-bats with high Class A St. Lucie.


Phillies activate, option Dominic Brown to Triple-A
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:38 pm ET) The Phillies activated outfielder Domonic Brown from the disabled list Tuesday and optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the team announced.

Brown opened the season on the disabled list due to an Achilles injury. He struggled during his rehab assignment, hitting .189/.290/.283 with one home run in 53 at-bats between high Class A Clearwater and Lehigh Valley, leading to the team sending him down to the minors at the end of his rehab assignment to continue to work on finding his offense.

Brown hit .235/.285/.349 with 10 home runs, 63 RBI and seven stolen bases in 473 at-bats in 2014.


Cardinals' Matt Adams still looking for first hit against lefty
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:09 pm ET) Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams struck out twice against Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels Monday, making him 0 for 8 with five strikeouts against lefties this season, MLB.com reports.

"We're giving Matt a chance to keep working and finding something positive to come from some left-handed at-bats. But right now they're hard to come by," manager Mike Matheny said. "Once again, we're not throwing some shabby lefties at him either. He's seeing some tough ones. I know that's frustrating for him."

Adams' other start against a lefty came against Cubs pitcher Jon Lester. If he continues to struggle against lefties, the first baseman could start losing playing time to Mark Reynolds when a southpaw is on the mound.

"You have to give him a chance to go out there and do it, and then we make adjustments as we go," Matheny said. "Depending on what those at-bats look like … and right now Matt's in a tough spot and is going to have to keep working and figure out how to get it done when he has the opportunities."

Adams has hit .232/.283/.357 with two home runs and eight RBI in 56 at-bats.


Padres deal with bullpen woes in Monday's loss to Astros
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:49 pm ET) Padres relievers Brandon Maurer, Joaquin Benoit and rookie Cory Mazzoni, who was making his major-league debut, combined to surrender six earned runs in two innings of work in San Diego's 9-4 loss to Houston Monday.

While Kevin Quackenbush was able to get out of the eighth inning without being charged with an earned run after Benoit let the first four batters of the inning reach base, the team now owns a 2.08 ERA, which ranks 20th in the majors.

"We need to get on a little bit of a bullpen roll," manager Bud Black said after the game, per MLB.com

Benoit (3-1) took the loss, allowing three earned runs on two hits and two walks while failing to record an out.

"They're making some mistakes, leaving the ball up in the zone, out over the middle of the plate," catcher Derek Norris said. "We've just got to execute some pitches better in some situations."

Black believes the bullpen will pitch better moving forward.

"They'll come around. They're not pitching like they're going to pitch," he said. "When you see their numbers at the end of the year, they'll be there. When you see their numbers now as a group, there are two or three guys not hitting on all cylinders."


Reds release Marcus Walden
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:33 pm ET) The Reds have released minor-league pitcher Marcus Walden , Baseball America reports.

Walden, 26, lasted three innings in his only start with Double-A Pensacola, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks while striking out two. He has spent most of his career in the Blue Jays organization.


Astros top prospect Carlos Correa off to torrid start at Double-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:26 pm ET) Astros top prospect Carlos Correa is putting up some big numbers at Double-A Corpus Christi to begin the 2015 season.

The former No. 1 overall pick (2012) is batting .382 with a .440 on-base percentage, .735 slugging percentage and 1.175 OPS in 16 games. He also has one triple, four home runs, 10 doubles and 21 RBI.

“I feel great up here,” he said, per the Houston Chronicle. “My body feels great. I’m just really happy to be out there playing every single day. After you’ve been injured you appreciate it even more.

“Everything is going great. We’re playing great baseball as a team. I feel good at the plate, and the team is doing a great job.”


Padres' Jedd Gyorko on sporadic playing time: 'It's always tough'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:12 pm ET) Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko was out of the starting lineup for the fifth time in six games Monday, and he has been working with hitting coaches Mark Kotsay and Alonzo Powell to jump-start his lagging bat, U-T San Diego reports.

"It's always tough," Gyorko said about the sporadic playing time. "But at the same time, we're trying to win games, obviously. So when the opportunity presents itself, you've just got to go out there and perform. I think that's the main thing for now."

Gyorko has hit just .149/.231/.191 in 47 at-bats.

"We need to get Jedd going," manager Bud Black said before Gyorko's start Sunday.


Orioles-White Sox game postponed again Tuesday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:50 am ET) The Orioles-White Sox game was postponed for a second straight day Tuesday due to protests near Camden Yards. No makeup date has been announced for the game yet.

White Sox starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija and Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez were scheduled to start Tuesday's game. No word yet on how this will affect both teams' rotations moving forward.


 
 
 
Rankings