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Orioles’ 2018 is Looking up

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Orioles’ 2018 is Looking up

Ian Miller, Staff

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Just for a second, forget the imminent the demise of the Machado-led Orioles, and look ahead to the 2018 season; the Orioles may end up being pretty good. Two significant moves have been made; the Orioles have brought in Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb. Things may be looking up. 

The 2017 season was plagued by the worst starting pitching the entire MLB saw last season. The entire rotations collectively posted a 5.64 ERA; easily the worst in the league. This offseason the Orioles have fixed those issues and things are looking up. 

On February 15th, the Orioles broke news to the Baltimore area that they had signed former-Ranger Andrew Cashner to a 2-year, $16 million contract. 

With this signing, Andrew Cashner reunites with longtime friend Buck Showalter, whom he pitched for during his tenure in Arlington. 

Last year, Cashner posted a 3.40 ERA, along with an impressive 48.6 groundball percentage. In his career, Cashner has posted a 3.80 ERA with 42 won games. 

Cashner provides much-needed depth to an Orioles rotation, which last year contained Ubaldo Jimenez, Wade Miley, Jeremy Hellickson, and Chris Tillman, all of whom pitched horrendously. 

Cashner will most likely fall to 4th in the rotation behind Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, and Alex Cobb. The Orioles have lacked a consistent 3rd and 4th starter for years; and it has doomed them to missing the playoffs and quick exits in the post season. 

On March 20th, the Orioles sent shockwaves through their fanbase, with news breaking that they had agreed to contract with free agent Alex Cobb (the top starting pitcher still on the market) to a four year 57-million-dollar contract; an orioles record for a starting pitcher. 

With only 9 days before the season opener, the Orioles had a massive hole in the starting pitching rotation, one that needed to be filled if they wanted any hope of wild card contention. In the 2017 season, the Orioles starter’s combined for a horrendous 5.70 ERA, the worst in the majors. Alex Cobb effectively fills that hole and will likely find his place at 3rd in the rotation. 

Alex Cobb is a former Tampa Bay Ray who has spent his entire career against the brutal AL East competition. Against his vigorous AL East Competitors, Cobb has posted a strong 21-13 record and an outstanding 3.08 ERA. 

Cobb, now 30 years old, has put up consistent and strong numbers in his entire career; putting up a solid 3.5 ERA in over 700 innings. In his 2017 campaign, Cobb only allowed 2.2 walks and 1.1 homers per 9 innings. He finished with a 12-10 record. 

These moves come at a total surprise. The Orioles have gained a reputation for being inactive and unexciting during the free agency period. In 2014 the Orioles spent big on the free agent market, signing Cleveland Indians pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to a four year 50-million-dollar contract. However, this contract quickly developed into an albatross – arguably the worst in the league. He performed terribly all four years posting a 32-42 record, failing to prevent the long ball all four years. This contract has scared off owner Peter Angelos ever since, making the Cobb signing extremely surprising and unexpected. 

These moves signify a final push for contention this season, as 2018 will likely be the last year of Machado-era Baltimore. At the conclusion of the 2018 season the Orioles will likely lose 2-4 of Manny Machado (almost guaranteed exit), Zach Britton (likely exit), Brad Brach (potential exit), and Adam Jones (potential exit) to larger market teams in free agency. Nonetheless, these are both exciting and unexpected signings, ones that shine a little bit of hope down on the 2018 Orioles. 

Ian Miller, Staff

Hello! My name is Ian Miller, and I'm a sophomore and this is my first year on the school newspaper. I enjoy working at my job, eating sushi, playing baseball,...

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Orioles’ 2018 is Looking up