Wondering about the Orioles' 2022 record - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Wondering about the Orioles’ 2022 record

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

At Mike Elias’ final media session for the 2021 season, the Orioles’ executive vice president expressed optimism that the 2022 team would be better than the 2021 version, which lost 110 games.

“We think that this team will continuously get better from this point forward,” Elias said on September 30th. “We have a lot of young talent. Young talent tends to get better. We know we’re far away form the other competitors in our division.”

In the last three complete seasons, 2018, the year before Elias arrived, 2019 and 2021, the Orioles have lost 333 games.

Before 2018’s franchise-record 115 losses, the Orioles had lost 100 games only twice — in 1954, their first year in Baltimore, when they were 54-100, and in 1988, when they began the season with 21 straight losses and finished 54-107.

A seven-game improvement, from 47-115 in 2018 to 54-108 in 2019, the first season for Elias and manager Brandon Hyde, wasn’t anything to get excited about.

There was some sense an upswing in the pandemic-shortened 60-game 2020 season when the Orioles were 10 games under .500 at 25-35. That extrapolated to a 95-loss season, but the Orioles’ 2021 record was much worse than that, including losing streaks of 14 and 19 games.

Because of the Major League Baseball lockout, which has reached a month, the Orioles and other teams can’t add players on major league contracts. In his previous years, Elias has added players in the weeks just before spring training and even as spring training began.

Assuming the lockout doesn’t end until at least the end of this month, Elias’ work will have to be done more quickly. The Rule 5 draft, in which the Orioles have the first pick, will be held when it ends. The arbitration-eligible players — first baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini, left-handers John Means and Tanner Scott , and outfielder Anthony Santander — must agree on salaries.

Left-handed starter Jordan Lyles’ signing needs to be made official, and additional players could be signed..

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There’s still no catcher on the 40-man roster. Anthony Bemboom and Jacob Nottingham were signed to minor league contracts last month.

Catcher and top prospect Adley Rutschman doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster until he’s ready to make his Orioles’ debut.

Rougned Odor was signed just before the lockout as a candidate to play second base. More infielders and perhaps an outfielder could be signed.

Assuming Rutschman and top pitching prospect right-hander Grayson Rodriguez make their debuts this season, how much difference will it make? If there’s a 15-game improvement, that still means 95 losses. Would that be enough to show that things are finally getting better?

Even though the farm system is considerably better, an improvement of 20 games, 72-90, seems unlikely.

In 1989, the year after the Orioles were 54-107, they contended for the American League East with an 87-75 record.

Ten years ago, in 2012, the Orioles ended their string of 14 straight losing seasons, improving from 69-93 in 2011 to a 93-69, and earning a wild-card spot.

That improvement came after the Orioles were 22-16 in the final weeks of 2011 and knocked the Boston Red Sox out of the postseason in a dramatic final game.

The Orioles appeared on the upswing, but .500 was an optimistic forecast. The 24-game improvement was nearly as stunning as the 33 additional wins in 1989.

The 2012 team had veterans: J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters, and a promising rookie added in August, Manny Machado. This team has Mancini, Santander, outfielders Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins and first baseman/designated hitter Ryan Mountcastle with Rodriguez, Rutschman and perhaps starters Kyle Bradish, DL Hall and Kevin Smith to come later in the season.

Last season, the four other American League East teams won between 91 and 100 games. The Rays, Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays return formidable lineups and accomplished pitching, which the Orioles can’t realistically hope to compete with yet.

When the lockout ends, it will be a scramble to complete the roster. Perhaps then a more realistic forecast for 2022 can be made.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. cedar

    January 3, 2022 at 7:59 am

    I hate to admit this…but after such horrible seasons I would celebrate a season with less than 100 losses. But then my expectations would be the team stop signing “stopgap” players and play to win.

  2. ptjhu

    January 3, 2022 at 8:13 am

    I hate to admit this…but with LSU budding Superstar OF Dylan Crews eligible for the 2023 MLB Draft, I hope the Orioles finish poorly. I think eventually all of this talent is going to come to fruition, but in the best-case scenario it won’t be until 2024-2025, so stockpile as many blue chippers as possible.

  3. Icterus fan

    January 3, 2022 at 8:20 am

    Here’s hoping for 70 wins, but with the CBA outcome undetermined, why even think about it? Too much of a moving target.
    Agree- love to see some legit FA signings, and not “stopgap” deals, but I’m conditioned to accept mediocrity……..

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 3, 2022 at 8:47 am

    Heck yeah, I’m with ptjhu … Let’s suck again! Whaaaaaaat?

    Look at what we’ve become boyz. A bunch grovilig lemmings ‘hoping’ for less than 100 wins! Is this the new Oriole way?

    • Icterus fan

      January 3, 2022 at 11:03 am

      Boog, it’s not my intent to be a groveling Lemming (as much as I like that descriptor), it’s just that recently we’re used to subsisting upon the crumbs that fall from other team’s tables.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 3, 2022 at 11:39 am

        Icky … by that statement, it sounds as if this IS becoming the New Oriole Way.

        And btw, I place myseft at the top of the ‘groveling’ lemming pile. (my custom coded spellchecker must have let me down again)

  5. TxBirdFan

    January 3, 2022 at 8:57 am

    Happy New Year Rich! Sadly I predict another 100 loss season. The O’s just don’t have the pitching to win 63+ games. Even if Means and Lyles win 10 games each (which I don’t expect), where will the other 43 wins come from? Throw in a couple of losses due to poor management, bad fundamentals, lack of crowd support etc., and it’s just too much to overcome. Mediocrity would be a unexpected improvement.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 3, 2022 at 10:06 am

      Happy New Year, Tx.

  6. Bman

    January 3, 2022 at 9:28 am

    The AL East will be even more stacked this year if that’s possible. The Os are going to have tough sledding again to make any progress. However, I think Rutschman and Rodriguez alone will get them under 100 losses. Maybe up to 70 wins? Throw in DL Hall, Baumann, Bradish, Smith, Stowers, Vavra. Another Rule 5 #1 pick and free agents. This is the year the tide turns.

    Built on Mullins, Hays, Mountcastle, Mancini, Santander, Means.

  7. jimcarter

    January 3, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Vast improvement for a MLB team requires several players. A new rookie catcher and starting pitcher will not move the needle much. The East will be as tough or tougher than last season. I’ll go with 102 losses.

  8. Buzz1979

    January 3, 2022 at 10:40 am

    65, tops, at least avoid 100 losses!

  9. dlgruber1

    January 3, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    I’m a lifelong diehard O’s fan, but I’m also a realist. If any of us think that the O’s are gonna become a great team again based solely on all this young talent in the minors, that is folly. Until they’re ready to spend the money needed to bring in top free agents they’ll continue to flounder in the basement. While the O’s were signing Jordan Lyles the Jays, who won 91 games yet still finished 4th, signed Gausman. The thing I’m most tired of hearing about is when people say “there’s no point in spending money on FA’s yet”. Why not? What do you think an O’s left side of the infield would be like with Correa and Turner? Suppose Means had Carlos Rodon and Michael Pineda in the rotation with him? I know, they’d lose that coveted #1 draft position. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old and my patience is running thin, but right about now I’m kinda feeling like to hell with the #1 pick, get some players on the field NOW worth watching.

    • CalsPals

      January 3, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      Agree DL, haven’t commented for a while, don’t really see a reason to, until they try winning games with MLB players it’s more & more unlike my favorite team…Mikey just seems to enjoy running this $h!+show, it’s very disheartening…go O’s, please go…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        January 3, 2022 at 4:47 pm

        So bile…go O’s…

    • Birdman

      January 3, 2022 at 3:53 pm

      Given how much the Orioles payroll has plummeted since the Brothers took control (now way below other small market franchises like Tampa and Oakland), its just not realistic to think that they would consider going after any star free agents … at this point, even a couple of middle tier free agent signings would be a welcome, and surprising, step in the right direction.

  10. Bancells Moustache

    January 3, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    Anything below 75 wins and at least 2 players receiving votes for BBWAA end of season awards is a failure and should result in wholesale changes to the organization.

    Stop being losers, boys. No more bullsh**t about how hard the AL East is and smoke blown up our a** about how promising the Delmarva Shorebirds look. Stop letting these guys sell you garbage at prime rib prices.

  11. willmiranda

    January 3, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    I don’t know whether it’s a typo or a Freudian slip, but if the O’s finish at 54-108 in 2091, it’s going to be a verrrrry looooong rebuild. I’ve said it before, but I repeat that a big reason the other AL East teams have so many wins is that they get to play the O’s —a lot.

    • dlgruber1

      January 3, 2022 at 2:36 pm

      willmiranda, I get that but guess what, they’re also playing each other. It’s not as if they’re only playing the O’s. When more than 1/3 of your schedule is against division opponents who are very good you’ve gotta be damn good to win more than 90 games. The O’s aren’t even ATTEMPTING to compete with those teams now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 3, 2022 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you for catching that, Will.

  12. Orioles20

    January 3, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    Record should improve some with prospects coming. But it’s not going to improve a lot with the starting pitching what it is. Gotta improve it. And odor is going to suck so second base won’t amount to squat. Also I’m sure Hyde will cost us games with the managing of the bullpen

  13. WorldlyView

    January 3, 2022 at 5:54 pm

    As of now, the Orioles’ pitching staff is waaay below average. The chances of the promising prospects having breakout seasons in their rookie MLB year are mighty slim. Hence, I think that only the most diehard, see-no-evil optimists can hope for any significant win/loss improvement this year. For me, a “successful” season would be not losing more than 110 games. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

  14. Phil770

    January 3, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    Really a bit of a stretch to predict a record when there is an incomplete roster. Even with no lockout, building a roster with FAs would be difficult. There are 5 FA catchers, one of whom is Wynns; three of them hit below the Mendoza line. Not encouraging. Plus, there are several contenders, including the Yankees, looking for catching, starting pitcher, 3B, and SS. For the Os to break through its malaise, they will need break thru performances from at least 2 pitchers and 2 position players. It will come as a surprise to all. The other thing needed will be a great trade, maybe two for real contention. AD came via trade, JJ came via trade. For now, I think we have to look at 70 wins and being competitive every game, with strong fundamentals and solid managing and coaching as reasonable demonstration of progress.

    • WorldlyView

      January 3, 2022 at 11:29 pm

      Phil, 70 wins would Not be a “reasonable demonstration of progress.” It would be a miracle. As for filling out the roster, others will disagree, but I have little to no expectation that our team can sign anything other than marginal players not aggressively pursued by teams with better records or fatter wallets.

  15. Buzz1979

    January 3, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Mendoza line can also be called Flaherty line, as they had the same career BA!

  16. BirdsCaps

    January 3, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    It wouldn’t shock me if they were within a few games of.500. Like others have said, they need to play to win this yr. it would be nice to see them sign a few okay players to make this a reality. We aren’t going to the playoffs this yr, but it would be nice to have a “real” major league team instead of a few good youngsters and some others that would have trouble making a AA or Aaa roster for most other teams. Let’s channel that infamous 2011 team and make the Orioles fun again!

  17. mlbbirdfan

    January 3, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    I’m wondering if Elias knows what he’s doing. Thoughts?

    • WorldlyView

      January 3, 2022 at 11:33 pm

      I’m no fan of his, but for me, the biggest question is what kind of budgetary restrictions (if any) have been imposed on him from ownership. It just isn’t clear how to apportion blame for the relatively low level of talent that they have put on the field.

    • CalsPals

      January 4, 2022 at 6:00 am

      Not so much, hasn’t tried winning at the major league level since his been there…no bile, facts…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        January 4, 2022 at 12:25 pm

        All bile… The fact is – this is what a FULL REBUILD is called!!! And was what Mike Elias stated several thousand times.!!! And for the umpteenth time, this is THE FACT!!! I’m not happy with this move like others are as well but I’m looking at the bigger picture!!!
        This was done in 2008, 2009 & 2010’s before Buck Showalter arrived, after the 14 straight years of losing and signing free agents during this time!!! All Facts!!! And so history doesn’t repeat itself here like in the past, Mike Elias is trying to rebuild where we do not have to do this again!!! Fact and what he stated several times!!! Some posers are only looking beyond their own noses and for the here and now while some look at the BIGGER picture like myself!!!

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        January 4, 2022 at 9:19 pm

        And btw, Mr. Proofreader, for someone who always criticizes others, what kind of grammar is “since his been there”???

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          January 5, 2022 at 12:52 pm

          And as always no response to my question btw – what kind of grammar is “since his been there”???

    • CalsPals

      January 4, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      Tell me how he has tried to win at the MLB level oh great wise Onesy (twosey)…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        January 4, 2022 at 4:23 pm

        Pansy – SINCE YOU STARTED THE NAME CALLING!!! ITS CALLED A FULL REBUILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT PART OF A FULL REBUILD DON’T YOU COMPREHEND????

    • CalsPals

      January 4, 2022 at 5:31 pm

      I guess the part where you ignore the MLB team & make no effort to win games at that level, funny how when I call you Onesy you go bonkers, but anyone else can call you that & worse, usually deservingly & u do nothing…thx for yelling as well…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 4, 2022 at 8:05 pm

        The “Big Picture” …pet name for is wife?

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          January 4, 2022 at 9:01 pm

          Pet as in dog, would be what you would call your wife!

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        January 4, 2022 at 9:04 pm

        The only posers on this site that calls anyone names is you and your boy toy.
        And when it’s done back to you, you and your boy go crying to Rich!

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        January 4, 2022 at 9:41 pm

        I guess the part where you still don’t have a clue with what is called a “full rebuild” actually means!!!

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          January 5, 2022 at 12:56 pm

          And after (3) three years, still doesn’t know what is called a “full rebuild” actually means!!!

  18. Buzz1979

    January 4, 2022 at 12:04 am

    A player who was involved in possibly the biggest Brinks Job trade in history retired today!

  19. NormOs

    January 4, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Unless the mindset in the front office changes and MONEY is used to get MAJOR LEAGUE free agents (not waiver wire untradeables) nothing will change and 110 losses will be easily attainable. With no 2nd 3rd and short (the Yanks couldn’t wait to get rid of Odor) and no bullpen we should be prepared for another long, embarrassing, season. Go O’s….

    • WorldlyView

      January 4, 2022 at 3:39 pm

      Norm, Cals, and other critics: If you carefully read the comments from the optimists, you will see the light. Some assert that a jaw-dropping increase in wins is coming this year. Others explain that no matter how many losses this year, it’s O.K.–the sure-thing rebuild strategy is working even though it may or may not have a visible impact by 2023. Either way, chill out and trust the system.

      • NormOs

        January 5, 2022 at 9:11 am

        “Jaw-dropping wins”, you mean like 55, that would be an improvement but it’s doubtful (no infield and as important, no relief pitching).

    • CalsPals

      January 4, 2022 at 3:58 pm

      WV, tell me something Mikey has done to really try to win more MLB games?…not a pessimist, just a realist…go O’s…

      • WorldlyView

        January 4, 2022 at 5:30 pm

        CP, I can’t think of an example right now. Suggest you ask this of No.1Fan, the smartest of all the contributors.

    • CalsPals

      January 4, 2022 at 6:13 pm

      LOL, you are correct there…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      January 5, 2022 at 6:52 am

      Like normal, #1 with no comment there, go Deuce…go O’s…

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