The Baltimore Orioles enter 2015 with visions of a repeat in the American League East. After a terrific 2014 season that saw Buck Showalter and the Orioles run away with the division over the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.
Now that will be a difficult task with how the other teams added a few key pieces this off-season while the Orioles lost a few key pieces. Those losses include the American League Home Run champ Nelson Cruz, shutdown bullpen arm Andrew Miller and everyday right fielder Nick Markakis. All of those losses have led to the early Vegas odds that the team could finish as far down as last place.
Luckily for the Orioles they have three key players returning that they didn’t have for a bulk of the 2014 season including their stretch run to the American League Championship series. Those three include All-star catcher Matt Wieters, All-star third baseman Manny Machado and All-star first baseman Chris Davis.
Wieters was off his best offensive start of his career before needing tommy john surgery on his throwing shoulder. In 26 games last season Wieters hit .308 with five home runs, 13 runs scored and 18 runs batted in. This season will be a big one for the Orioles catcher as he is set to hit free agency after the 2015.
Along with these three key players returning to the lineup, the team also landed Travis Snider in a trade and signed free agent infielder Everth Cabrera. Snider a former first round pick has the talent to be the clubs every day right fielder. Cabrera on the other hand has had a rough couple seasons but when healthy and on he is a proven base stealer that adds a new look to this club.
This should be another great season in Baltimore for the Orioles and their fans!