There has been plenty of talk about the Orioles’ offense in recent days. The club is looking to add a hitter, preferably one that can fit and hit in the middle of its order.
Here is how the Orioles’ offense fared last season in the American League and, more specifically, in the AL East:
Runs: 712, ninth in AL, fourth in East
Average: .247 10th in AL, third in East
Homers: 214, second in AL, second in East
OBP: .311, 11th in AL, fourth in East
Slugging: .417, sixth in AL, second in East
OPS: .728, seventh in AL, third in East
The Birds’ offense got better as last season went on. In the first half, the Orioles hit .240 with an OPS of .704 and they scored 4.13 runs per game. After the All-Star break, the O’s hit .255 with an OPS of .755 and they scored 4.69 runs per game. Had they scored at that pace all year, the Orioles would have finished fourth in the AL in runs scored. The AL average was 4.45 runs per game last year.
In September, the Orioles’ offense produced more than at any point during the 2012 season with an average of .257, an OPS of .771 and 5.1 runs per game.
But the most recent memory in the minds of fans is the postseason, where over six games, the Orioles hit just .195 as a team and scored 15 runs.
While the Orioles did hit better in the second half, that doesn’t mean they don’t need some improvements. Even the club is willing to concede that. But what level of hitter can they get and at what price?
Here is a possible O’s starting lineup if they had to play today:
LF Nate McLouth
RF Nick Markakis
1B Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Nolan Reimold
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Manny Machado
2B Alexi Casilla
That is not a bad lineup and would score some runs, but adding a quality bat to the middle would sure help and produce a nice upgrade. If we knew that Reimold and Markakis would be healthy all year, the Orioles might have enough offense right now, but Reimold is certainly not a given at this point.
What do you think of the Orioles’ offense right now? Where does it need upgrading and which players should they pursue?