The 2019 Orioles season was full of firsts and records. Most of them were not positive.
It was the first time the Orioles lost more than 100 games in consecutive seasons, and their 223 combined losses in 2018 and 2019 was the fourth most in baseball history.
Their pitching staff gave up 305 home runs; the previous record was 258 by the 2016 Cincinnati Reds.
They used 58 players, the most in club history, and 38 pitchers, also a club record.
Four position players were included among those 38: Hanser Alberto, Chris Davis, Jesus Sucre and Stevie Wilkerson.
Wilkerson’s four appearances were more than four other pitchers: Alex Cobb (3), Matt Wotherspoon (2) and Sean Gilmartin and Luis Ortiz, who each started a game.
Besides Gilmartin and Ortiz, they had one position player, infielder Jose Rondon, who played one game. He was acquired just before the July 31 trading deadline and sent on his way after playing just the lone game.
If you try to guess the pitcher with the most appearances on the team, you’ll probably assume it was Mychal Givens.
Givens was actually third with 58 behind Paul Fry (pictured above), who led the staff with 66 despite a brief option to Triple-A Norfolk. Miguel Castro, who didn’t pitch in the season’s final five games, had 65.
For the second consecutive season, they had four pitchers who lost 10 or more games. One of them, John Means, had a winning record (12-11), but Dylan Bundy, who was 8-16 in 2018, was 7-14 this year. David Hess and Gabriel Ynoa each had 1-10 records. Hess was 3-10 in 2018.
Fry, who pitched exclusively in relief, was 1-9. He lost five games between August 5 and September 14.
While the Orioles allowed a record number of home runs, they didn’t come close to the club record, 257 in 1996, for hitting them.
They hit 213. Ten Orioles had at least 10: Trey Mancini (35), Renato Nunez (31), Jonathan Villar (24), Anthony Santander (20), Pedro Severino and Dwight Smith Jr. (13), Davis, Hanser Alberto, Rio Ruiz (12) and Wilkerson (10).
Villar stole 40 bases, and the club had 84, the most since they led the American League with 144 in 2007.
Second to Villar was Richie Martin, who stole 10 bases in 11 tries.
The Orioles didn’t have a complete game this season. No pitcher even completed eight. Bundy and Asher Wojciechowski each had a 7 1/3-inning start.
FanGraphs WAR: In Wednesday’s blog, I referred to Villar having the 40th highest WAR (wins over replacement) according to FanGraphs.
They list only three other Orioles, Mancini (48), Alberto (91) and Nunez (121) among the leaders.
Davis didn’t have enough plate appearances to make the FanGraphs leaders list, though the player with the lowest qualifying WAR was Oakland’s Khris Davis.
No Orioles pitcher is among the leaders. Bundy pitched 161 2/3 innings, a third of an inning short of qualification, and Means threw 155 innings, seven innings short.
Interestingly, the pitcher with the third-most innings on the Orioles was Ynoa, who threw 110 2/3.
Orioles add business executives: The Orioles hired T.J. Brightman as senior vice president and chief revenue officer. They also promoted Jennifer Grondahl to senior vice president of community development & communications and Greg Bader to senior vice president of administration and experience.
The Orioles say Brightman, Grondahl and Bader will join Lisa Tolson, senior vice president of human resources as the off-field management team.
“Our partnership group is delighted to announce the further development of our senior management team,” said John Angelos, Orioles executive vice president. ”This diverse group of executives is the rare combination of veteran entertainment, sports, and business leaders, including both longtime Orioles staff members and professionals recruited from private industry, each of whom wanted to be a part of what we are building at Camden Yards. This is an exciting time for the club and for Baltimore, and the future of both the hometown team and our community is in very good hands.”
Brightman has an extensive sports marketing background and Grondahl had been working for the Orioles in Sarasota, Florida over the last two years. Bader is 25-year veteran of the organization and had headed communications and marketing. Tolson has been with the team since 1985.