It's now July, and the Orioles are just one game out of first place despite an unimpressive .524 winning percentage. As with any contending team, rumors have been swirling around the Orioles. Experts say Baltimore could use upgrades at catcher (.695 OPS, but that number is aided by Wieters' .839 mark), second base (.613 OPS, 25th in baseball), and the pitching staff(3.95 ERA, 20th in baseball).
Catcher- Baltimore is very stubborn about keeping Caleb Joseph
around, even though he has shown that he is god awful at hitting. I would send him down and teach him how to hit. Steve Clevenger
is knocking on the door and deserves to be up in Baltimore. Nick Hundley is a veteran presence that the FO most likely wants to keep around. Defensively sound Brian Ward
is also in Norfolk, doing fairly well. I doubt the Orioles make a move here. Wieters will be back next year, so that limits the candidates to rentals only. Considering the Orioles have the depth, I think improvements at the catcher position will be made through own personal strides, not external additions.
Second Base- I don't think the Orioles want to come to the conclusion that they were wrong about Jonathan Schoop
yet. He has a dreadful .606 OPS, including a .266 OBP. Flaherty has continued to prove that he does not belong in the majors either, as he is sporting a .588 OPS. Send them both down for heaven's sake. Jemile Weeks has a .412 OBP in the minors, and is on the 40-man roster. This is the one place where I wouldn't mind an addition. Available second basemen probably include Martin Prado, Aaron Hill, Didi Gregorius, Luis Valbuena, Mike Aviles, Dustin Ackley, Nick Franklin, Daniel Murphy, Eric Young, Everth Cabrera, Chase Utley, Josh Harrison, Ben Zobrist, and Gordon Beckham. Before making a move, however, I would see how Jemile Weeks does in full-time action.
Pitching- As Lance Rinker suggested, Zach McAllister is a very appealing piece to acquire. But other than that, I think the same can be said about the starting rotation as the catcher position. The depth is there, it's just the quality has yet to come. Ubaldo Jimenez just pitched eight scoreless innings last night. Chris Tillman
has only allowed five earned runs in his last 28 innings. We've seen these pitchers do well, I think we just have to wait and see how they do. Improvements here will come from personal strides, not external additions.