BIRDS HOUSE: What we learned about the Orioles in 2013

Written by on October 16, 2013 in Orioles, Sports - No comments

Looking back at the Baltimore Orioles 2013 season, we learned a lot about this team. Even though they missed the playoffs, they still had a great season and taught us a thing or two. Here is what we learned about the 2013 Orioles.

They were the best fielding team. Ever. The O’s made only 54 errors this season, the lowest total ever, breaking the record of the 2003 Seattle Mariners. The O’s have a chance to break the record of Gold Glovers on one team, which is four. I could see Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis taking home the Gold hardware, but we shall see.

Chris Davis is legit. Crush led all of baseball in home runs (53) and runs batted in (138). While I don’t see him doing that again next year (although I wouldn’t mind) even a regression would still have him hitting around 40 home runs ,which is what you would like to see from your first baseman.

Jim Johnson saved 50 games. Unfortunately for JJ and the rest of the O’s, he also blew nine. Not good. The Orioles finished 6.5 games out of the Wild Card, and you can’t help but think that if Johnson hadn’t blown nine saves they would have had a shot to get in the postseason. The good news is that he has saved at least 50 games the past two years in a row, which does deserve some credit.

Chris Tillman might be living up to the hype. When the O’s acquired Tillman from Seattle along with Adam Jones for Erik Bedard, there was a good amount of buildup for the young Tillman.

Before this year, he had not lived up to it. He seemed destined to be a quadruple-A player, too good for AAA, but not good enough for the pros. This year he went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA, and his16 wins were fifth best in the American League.

I’m continually impressed with Miguel Gonzalez. Maybe my standards were lowered by the previous Mike Gonzalez who had no idea how to close a game out, but this Gonzo seems to have it.

In 28 starts, Gonzalez went 11-8 with a very respectable 3.78 ERA. He also seems to be a big-game pitcher too, as we saw late last year while Baltimore was making their playoff push.

Adam Jones hit the best .285 average with 33 home runs and 108 runs batted in that nobody heard of. He can thank Chris Davis for stealing the offensive limelight, but Jones had an amazing season that deserves much more credit. If you top that off with the fact he will most likely win another Gold Glove, we are looking at one of the best players of our generation.

by Andy Mindzak
birds@baltimoreguide.com

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