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2011 MLB season in review: Baltimore Orioles


I don't know what exactly to say about the 2011 Baltimore Orioles. I think Buck Showalter gets the most out of them, but that the management has done a pretty poor job securing talent for this team. This is another one of those teams that does not get my full attention because they are so bad. They perpetual losing makes me, and I think by extension, other national sports fans kind of dismiss them. It is really hard to watch a team that is bad play baseball, and the Orioles have been bad for a while now.

They finished the 2011 season 69-93. Through the first three months of the season, they were 35-43 and looked to be on the rise. However, in July they went 7-20. Many young team wilt in the mid summer sun and that looks to be what happened here. They went 28-44 against the four other teams in their division and 7-11 in inter-league play. They did play the Tampa Bay Rays tough as they wound up 9-9 against them. 

The Orioles scored 708 runs on 1,434 hits. The team batting average was .257 and that was seventh best among teams in the American League. They hit the fourth most home runs with 191, but were the worst team in terms or triples and fifth worst in doubles. They struck out 1,120 times and drew 452 walks. None of their regular nine starters ended up with a BA over .300, and were fifth worst in terms of on base percentage. 

The pitching staff gave up the most runs of the entire AL with 860. They also gave up the most hits with 1,568. The staff ERA was the worst in the AL at 4.92. All of those numbers suggest the problems, at least the main ones, lay within the pitching staff. Of course of the pitchers who started at least 10 games for this club their average age was just 26. So maybe they are developing some talent, but the numbers suggest they are not. Two of their starting five did register double-digit wins, but they had 11 and 8 loses as well. Their closer converted 22 saves, but had a pretty high ERA. The rest of the bullpen did all right, beyond Mike Gonzales and his 4.27 ERA. The simple facts here they were last or near last in every major pitching statistical category. 

The problem here seems to be in the Orioles lack of development of their own players. Successful teams develop their own talent and then add free agents to the mix once a solid core has been built. Only six of the pitchers that pitched for the big club were drafted by the team. Twelve of their pitchers came to the team via free agency, and nine more came to Baltimore via trades or waivers. That seems to indicate that they are trying to develop shake things up a bit. 

According to, the Orioles currently only have two elite prospects in their system: SS Many Machado and LHP Zach Britton. They have two more that should develop into decent everyday guys at the Major League level, but have lots of guys who have upside but have yet to show that in the high minors. Granted some of that 2011 analysis is still pretty preliminary, but it is safe to assume the Orioles need to do a better job finding major league talent, or developing said talent.

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