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How many home runs can the Orioles hit?


How many home runs can the Orioles hit?

While the Orioles have taken some steps to increase their on-base percentage, the way the team scores runs could be remarkably the same this year.

Even in the Orioles’ best year, 2014, their OBP was just .311, the fifth worst in the American League. Last year, it fell further to .307, fourth worst.

The addition of Hyun-soo Kim could help. Kim had a remarkable on-base percentage in South Korea, but it’s an open question of how his .438 will translate to the United States.

In Korea, he actually walked more than he struck out. It would be nothing short of miraculous if he did that here.

Joey Rickard, who was the Orioles’ selection in the Rule 5 draft, also had a great OBP (.427) in the minor leagues last year, but he’s played just 29 games in Triple-A.

Chris Davis (.361) and Manny Machado (.359) have improved their ability to take pitches, but it’s not likely that J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo are going to be much more selective at this advanced stage of their careers.

If that’s the case, there are probably going to be lots of home runs and many more strikeouts this year.

In 2015, the Orioles hit 217 home runs and struck 1,331 times, third most in the American League.

How many home runs can they hit?

RELATED: Orioles, Zach Britton avoid arbitration

Davis was re-signed for his prodigious home run stroke. At last month’s press conference announcing his return, manager Buck Showalter jokingly promised to never pitch him again, so Davis can concentrate on swatting homers. He hit 53 in 2013 and 47 last year.

Machado easily bested his career high with 35. Jones missed 25 game and fell three home runs short of his third 30 home run season.

Jonathan Schoop was out for nearly half the season, but still had 15 homers. Matt Wieters was on a restricted schedule. In his last three full seasons, he hit more than 20 home runs. Hardy hit 25 home runs in 2013, but he’s been restricted by various hurts the last two years.

And then there’s the quietest big acquisition of the off-season. Trumbo averaged more than 30 home runs in a power packed Angels lineup from 2011-13, and at 30, should be able to return to that form in a hitter friendly ballpark.

If Davis, Jones, Machado and Trumbo all hit 30, and Schoop challenges that number, the Orioles could challenge their 1996 club record of 257 home runs.

That year, they had seven players hit more than 20. Could that happen again?

They would need Hardy and Wieters to return to their form, or additional home runs from an unlikely source (Kim, Ryan Flaherty or Caleb Joseph.)

Kim hit 28 home runs last year, but if he hits half that many here, the Orioles will be happy. Flaherty hit nine in 91 games and Joseph 11 in 100 games.

If the regulars are healthy, Flaherty and Joseph won’t play as much as they did last year, but there’s still the possibility of another outfielder coming along.

While the Orioles were negotiating with Scott Boras about Davis, another of his clients, Pedro Alvarez was also on the team’s minds.

Besides the number of competent outfielders still available, might the Orioles snap up Alvarez if he continues to be unsigned? Alvarez hit 27 homers last year and has two seasons of 30 or more in his recent past.

It doesn’t seem likely, and he’d have to DH and Trumbo would have to play right field. That might compromise the team’s outfield defense, but it could give them a lineup with many more home runs—and too many strikeouts to even contemplate.

MORE ORIOLES: How many Orioles are actually homegrown?

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm