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Baltimore Orioles Odds, Calendar, Stats, Injuries 2022 MLB Season

There is no way around the fact that Baltimore is in the midst of a full-blown rebuild. But teams typically want to complete their rebuild within the span of a five-year window. Any longer than that and the fans will begin to grow impatient.

Baltimore Orioles Last Season Performance

The Baltimore Orioles finished the 2021 season tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the worst record in Major League Baseball with a mark of 52-110. It certainly did not help matters that the O’s played in a division with four legitimate playoff contenders.

There is no way around the fact that Baltimore is in the midst of a full-blown rebuild. But teams typically want to complete their rebuild within the span of a five-year window. Any longer than that and the fans will begin to grow impatient.

The Orioles just missed the postseason for the fifth consecutive season, and they posted their second-worst record in 2021 during that span. The only time they posted a worse record was during the miserable 2018 campaign that saw them win just 47 games.

So what is going wrong? Why can’t the Orioles seem to climb back into contention?

Most of their young core talent that is projected to turn the franchise around is still in AAA. The only real top prospect who played in the big leagues last year was OF/IB Ryan Mountcastle, who hit 33 home runs and drove in 89 runs.

Baltimore has a loaded farm system. MLB top prospect Adley Rutschman is projected to join the big league club in 2022. His presence alone should signal the beginning of a new start in Baltimore.

Baltimore featured five players within MLB’s top 100 prospects in 2021, and even though the 2022 list has not been released yet, the 2021 list still provides a good idea of baseball’s future stars. RHP Grayson Rodriguez was ranked eighth overall, which gave Baltimore two players in the top 10.

The other Orioles in the top 100 included LHP D.L. Hall (No. 72), SS/3B Gunnar Henderson (No. 74), and OF Colton Cowser (No. 76.) These studs and others outside of the top 100 have the Orioles ranked as the number one farm system in baseball.

So the real reason for the Orioles inability to get back into contention is a product of slow development. But there is a very good chance the O’s could become the best team in baseball in the coming years.

The 2021 club was led by OF Cedric Mullins and SP John Means.

Mullins gave up on trying to switch-hit prior to the 2021 campaign and became a full-time left-handed batter. The result? Mullins smacked 30 home runs and drove in 59 RBI’s while also stealing 30 bases. He also hit .291 and posted an OPS of .878.

Means recorded a 3.62 ERA over the course of 146.2 innings pitched. The Orioles ace struck out 134 batters to lead the team.

Baltimore Orioles Off-Season Changes

The Orioles saw a number of veteran players enter free agency during the 2021-2022 offseason, but none of them were incredibly impactful players. Catcher Pedro Severino is the most noteworthy player who entered free agency, but his numbers are certainly replaceable, especially with Rutschman looming on the horizon.

One interesting change in Baltimore revolves around field dimensions. The Orioles are moving back the left-field fence 30 feet and raising it from seven feet to 10 feet high in an effort to make the ballpark more favorable towards pitchers.

With MLB’s overall swing angle phenomenon and rising home run rates, the Orioles are simply trying to even the playing field, which could lead to marquee starting pitchers choosing to sign with the team in the coming years. For now, it is a move that will help their young starting pitchers adjust to the big leagues.

The most important overall changes in regards to the Orioles in 2022, will likely be when the teams begin calling up their top prospects. They are in a position where some of those players are ready for the major leagues. We don’t know if players such as Rutschman will open the season on the big league roster, but they are expected to debut in the show at some point during the year.

Baltimore Orioles Key Additions

One under-the-radar signing Baltimore made during the offseason stems from the international variety. The team drafted a 22-year-old infielder by the name of Cesar Prieto. Prieto is expected to play second base but could transition to third or short based on the team’s needs.

Most international signees tend to be in their teens. But given Prieto’s age of 22, there is a realistic chance that he ends up in Baltimore this season.

Baltimore also signed veteran infielder Rougned Odor. Odor was traded from the Rangers to the Yankees last year where he hit 15 home runs. He is not someone who projects to play a role in Baltimore’s future plans, but he has the ability to hold down multiple infield positions while the O’s develop their prospects.

It should be noted that he will be just 28 years old in 2022, so he could become a part of Baltimore’s future should he perform well. He also could turn into trade bait with a solid first half.

Baltimore Orioles Key Subtractions

Matt Harvey, Tom Eshelman, Austin Wynns, Pat Valaika, Konner Wade, Adam Plutko, Fernando Abad, and Pedro Severino all became free agents during the offseason.

The Orioles youth means that many of their key players will not hit free agency for quite a few years. But many of the underperforming veterans on the roster did hit the open market, and the Orioles will have decisions to make in regards to bringing any of them back.

As aforementioned, Severino stands out as the notable subtraction. The 28-year-old catcher broke out in 2019 with a .249/.321/.420 line and 13 home runs. Those numbers certainly do not jump off the board, but they are respectable for a catcher since the position is thin in the big leagues from an offensive perspective.

However, his main role on the team since the Orioles drafted Rutschman a few years ago has been to hold down the position until Rutschman is ready for the big leagues. Since that time seems to be now, this very well could be the end for Severino in Baltimore.

Pat Valaika profiles as a quality utility man who should land a contract with a team due to his positional versatility.

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Baltimore Orioles Head Coach Analysis

Manager Brandon Hyde was hired in 2019. Hyde knew he was joining a rebuilding team, and the criticism of his organization was going to be present. He has posted a .341 winning percentage since taking over in Baltimore, but that is more due to the talent on the roster than poor managing skills.

Hyde has to be hoping Baltimore will keep him in the mix as their prospects begin to join the big league club. He would love to be at the helm when the Orioles become contenders in a few years. But if the team fails to show improvement in 2022, there is a chance Hyde ends up on the hot seat in Baltimore.

While the front office seems to appreciate the work he has done, they still need to make a decision that best benefits the team.

Hyde’s most daunting challenge is attempting to keep this team motivated despite consistently posting losing seasons. It is difficult to fire up your team for a game in the middle of August when you are practically already eliminated.

Hopefully, the emergence of Rutschman and other prospects in 2022 will energize the team down the stretch.

Also, improvement really should not be all that difficult. If the O’s can win 55 or more games, that technically would be an improvement compared to last season. But the front office would prefer to see 65 wins or so.

Baltimore Orioles Injured Players at the beginning of the season

Austin Hays is an exciting young outfielder who possesses a blend of power and speed potential. However, he suffered a rib fracture last year, which is an ailment that can linger. While the O’s believe he should be healthy and ready to go in 2022, they may opt to start him slow in Spring Training.

Relief pitchers Tyler Wells and Tanner Scott are both probable for the start of the 2022 season. Wells is recovering from a shoulder injury, and Scott is dealing with a knee ailment. Similar to Hays, both are expected to be okay for the start of the season, but their statuses will also be worth monitoring.

Other players who are listed on Baltimore’s injury report entering 2022 are Keegan Akin and Ramon Urias, who are both probable for the beginning of 2022.

Baltimore Orioles Prediction for 2022 Season

This all comes down to when they decide to start calling up the kids to the bigs.

If international signee Cesar Prieto and Adley Rutschman both open the season on the major league roster, that alone should propel the Orioles to more wins than 2021. But if they do not get called up until mid-season the team may find themselves with a hole that is too deep to climb out of.

The Orioles will likely sign some veteran players to the roster to help fill the gaps in 2022 once the MLB lockout comes to an end. Their only proven starting pitcher on the roster right now is John means.

The O’s will hope for a successful and healthy first half from the left-hander so they can trade him for premium level prospects at the trade deadline or in the 2022 offseason.

The same could be said for star outfielder Cedric Mullins, who posted a 30/30 season last year. Mullins name came up in trade rumors during the 2021 trade deadline, but nothing came to fruition. This could prove to be a mistake if Mullins fails to replicate his 2021 success in 2022, as Baltimore would then fail to get the same kind of talent they could have received by trading him last year.

On the other hand, if Mullins posts all-star caliber numbers again, Baltimore may be able to receive even better talent in return since the outfielder would have a more proven track record.

But in terms of projection for 2022, the fact that we are highlighting trade candidates should say all that needs to be said.

The Baltimore Orioles are going to finish in the basement of the American League Eastern Division. They could play the role of spoiler down the stretch, but that is about it.

However, I do believe they can eclipse the 60 win mark. Yes, that may not seem like much, but improvement in their MLB Odds is what this team needs to see.

Baltimore Orioles Final Thoughts

The Baltimore Orioles should be in contention by 2024 at the latest. They may even develop the talent to become Wild Card contenders in 2023. Even though 2022 looks rather barren, the future is bright in Baltimore, and Orioles fans have something to look forward to. Check out their MLB Lines for the season.

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