Second-Half Predictions for Every Baltimore Orioles Player

Mark CoverContributor IIJune 25, 2014

Second-Half Predictions for Every Baltimore Orioles Player

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    With just a handful of games left to go until the 81-game halfway mark of the MLB season, the Baltimore Orioles (40-36) are looking for a strong finish to cap off the year.

    Coming off a solid series win over the New York Yankees this past weekend, which included an 8-0 trouncing on Sunday while squaring off against an AL Cy Young Award candidate in Masahiro Tanaka, the O's certainly seem to be picking up steam against AL East opponents.

    The question, though, is whether Baltimore's personnel can sustain or improve upon their first-half statistics or—in some cases—completely rebound from some poor starts to the season thus far.

    Here are some second-half predictions for all of the Baltimore Orioles players who have a clearly defined role on the team or who could possibly see their roles grow with the club in the near future.

Nick Hundley, C

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    GAIL BURTON/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .162/.195/.189, 1 2B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R

     

    Overview

    Baltimore made a preemptive strike acquiring Nick Hundley from the San Diego Padres in exchange for relief pitcher Troy Patton, knowing that All-Star catcher Matt Wieters would more than likely need Tommy John surgery due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which in the end came true.

    After kicking off the 2014 season hitting for a .271 average while with San Diego, the Orioles believed they'd found a solid replacement for Wieters' missing bat. But things have not gone as planned, as Hundley is only hitting for a .162 average and is getting on base at a less than .200 rate.

    Hundley may see decreased action now, as fellow catcher Caleb Joseph is the better glove behind the plate and is slugging for a higher number.

     

    Second-Half Prediction

    .190/.230/.260, 5 2B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 17 R

Caleb Joseph, C

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .171/.264/.303, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R

     

    Overview

    Since being called up, Caleb Joseph has been a solid replacement for Wieters, at least defensively speaking.

    The 28-year-old is throwing out opposing base stealers at a 45 percent rate, which would place him at second in the majors if he had enough games to qualify.

    Joseph is quietly getting on base at a .315 rate in the month of June. Expect more of the same as he gets more comfortable with major league pitching.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .200/.295/.310, 12 2B, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 25 R

Chris Davis, 1B

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    Brian Blanco/Getty Images

    2014 Stats

    .221/.332/.437, 9 2B, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 34 R

     

    Overview

    Going into the season, it wasn't expected of Chris Davis to repeat his 2013 numbers of 53 home runs, 138 RBI and 103 runs, but most fans thought he could at least reach the 30-homer benchmark.

    Things aren't clicking yet for the Orioles slugger, as Davis is hitting for just a .221 average and has only hit 13 dingers on the year.

    Expect Davis to make the proper adjustments and finish out the year on a positive note.

    Monday night's pinch-hit, walk-off, three-run homer is certainly a step in the right direction.

     

    Second-Half Prediction

    .240/.350/.500, 16 2B, 16 HR, 48 RBI, 42 R

Steve Pearce, 1B/LF/DH

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    2014 Stats

    .344/.406/.592, 10 2B, 7 HR, 20 RBI, 16 R

     

    Overview

    Steve Pearce has been on a tear lately, and you can't help but think how much of an impact he'd make if he continues to see regular at-bats.

    So far in the month of June, the righty is hitting for a .420/.500/.700 triple-slash line and has put up an OPS of 1.200.

    Manager Buck Showalter cannot afford to sit Pearce right now, as he is the best option to interchange starts between left field and designated hitter with Nelson Cruz.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .290/.340/.470, 17 2B, 10 HR, 28 RBI, 40 R

Jonathan Schoop, 2B

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .220/.266/.341, 9 2B, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 24 R

     

    Overview

    Jonathan Schoop has been scuffling so far in his debut major league season.

    The young righty is getting on base at a rate well below major league average but has seen marked improvement in that department. So far in the month of June, Schoop holds a .308 OBP and has struck out just 12 times.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .235/.280/.330, 10 2B, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 27 R

Ryan Flaherty, 2B

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .214/.281/.308, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 12 R

     

    Overview

    After putting on an impressive showing in spring training this year, Flaherty quickly reverted to his low-.200 batting average form, which he has displayed over the course of a two-and-a-half-year career.

    The 27-year-old second baseman is in his prime-age season yet hasn't shown any indication that he can hit major league pitching consistently.

    Although he boasts an impressive glove, Showalter will continue to pencil in Schoop at second for the bat potential, knowing that he has solid defenders in nearly all other positions on the field.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .210/.275/.295, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R

Manny Machado, 3B

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .237/.287/.335, 7 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 21 R

     

    Overview

    Manny Machado is in one heck of a slump right now and needs to turn things around at the dish if the Orioles have any hope at performing as a powerhouse offense in the second half.

    Machado is struggling to get on base, evidenced by his .287 percentage, and is finding lefty pitchers extremely difficult, as he is hitting for just a .203 average against southpaws on the year.

    He may find solace in his inevitable five-game suspension, which should help to relieve the mental stress he has faced so far in his second full major league season.

     

    Second-Half Prediction

    .265/.308/.360, 16 2B, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 30 R

J.J. Hardy, SS

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .290/.316/.367, 17 2B, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 22 R

     

    Overview

    The wait is finally over for shortstop J.J. Hardy, as he clouted his first round-tripper of the season on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

    Look for Hardy to have a huge second half of the season for the Birds, hitting for power as well as maintaining a high batting average.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .280/.330/.450, 20 2B, 12 HR, 32 RBI, 30 R

Nelson Cruz, LF/DH

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .295/.363/.586, 14 2B, 23 HR, 60 RBI, 46 R

     

    Overview

    Nelson Cruz has been the MVP for the Orioles so far this season and has torn up the circuit through the first third of the season in the months of March, April and May, hitting 20 homers in that time span.

    Cruz has slowed his pace as of late, though, and has hit just three homers while hitting for an average of just .244 so far this month.

    Cruz won't hit 60 bombs this season, but expect him to surpass his career-best 33 homers sometime in the middle of August.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .285/.348/.530, 12 2B, 18 HR, 54 RBI, 43 R

Delmon Young, LF/DH

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    Gail Burton/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .320/.346/.456, 5 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 9 R

     

    Overview

    Although his playing time may be blocked in the future as long as Pearce continues to swing a hot bat, Delmon Young is an impact bat for the Birds coming off the bench.

    Young isn't hitting for any extra-base power, but he has been making consistent contact against right-handed and left-handed pitching, evidenced by his .300 average or better against both types.

    Going forward, Young is an excellent fill-in for Pearce or Cruz if either needs a day off for rest or succumb to an unfortunate injury.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .297/.328/.432, 7 2B, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 8 R

Adam Jones, CF

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .298/.322/.492, 15 2B, 14 HR, 47 RBI, 47 R

     

    Overview

    Despite a rocky start to his season, which included a .265 batting average in the opening month, Adam Jones has been steadily improving through each month, which has culminated into a .337 June batting average.

    Just like how it was the Cruz show through the first third of the season, Jones is the one making headlines now, as he has hit seven homers so far in the month of June.

    Jones should tally 30 homers this season for the third straight time as well as surpass the 100-RBI milestone for the second time in his career.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .290/.316/.488, 17 2B, 18 HR, 57 RBI, 55 R

Nick Markakis, RF

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    .289/.350/.396, 14 2B, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 34 R

     

    Overview

    Nick Markakis has been all that was needed of him and more at the leadoff spot for the Orioles.

    In fact, he has a .400 OBP in the first inning, which has been extremely valuable in getting the offense started on a positive note game in and game out.

    Going forward, fans can't get too greedy wishing for improved power numbers.

    If Markakis reproduces the same stat line in the second half of the season as he had in the first half, the Orioles and their fans would be content.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    .291/.350/.392, 16 2B, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 42 R

Chris Tillman, SP

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    6-4, 4.45 ERA, 39 BB, 60 K, 91 IP

     

    Overview

    It's been a roller-coaster ride of a season so far for Chris Tillman, as he has shown flashes of greatness such as his seven-inning shutout start against New York on Sunday and moments of futility like his five-earned run, one-inning start just three starts prior.

    Perhaps the most glaring issue for Tillman is his initial innings to kick off a start.

    He holds a combined 8.72 ERA in the first two innings yet seems to find his groove later on, evidenced by his 3.16 ERA in innings four to six and his astounding 0.90 ERA in innings seven to nine.

    If Tillman starts with the same intensity as he finishes, we should see some of his gaudy numbers take a dip in the second half.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    6-3, 3.82 ERA, 33 BB, 76 K, 94 IP

Ubaldo Jimenez, SP

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    2-8, 4.63 ERA, 51 BB, 71 K, 81.2 IP

     

    Overview

    To put it simply, Ubaldo Jimenez has not lived up to the expectations that came along with a four-year, $50 million price tag.

    Poor pitching mechanics have been the cause of his spotty command and his major league-leading 51 walks surrendered.

    The Orioles desperately need Jimenez to not reach, but at least come close to the numbers he put up in the second half of last year for the Cleveland Indians, which included a 1.82 ERA and a 10.7 SO/9 ratio.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    6-5, 3.84 ERA, 40 BB, 85 K, 90 IP

Wei-Yin Chen, SP

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    7-2, 3.84 ERA, 14 BB, 63 K, 89 IP

     

    Overview

    Wei-Yin Chen is tied for the Orioles lead in wins with Bud Norris, and together, those two have been the Orioles' most effective starters in the first half.

    Going forward, Chen will continue to put up solid numbers for a middle-of-the-rotation guy considering his solid K/BB ratio.

    But don't bet on Chen pulling out another seven wins in the second half; he currently sits at fourth in the majors in terms of run support.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    5-3, 3.80, 18 BB, 67 K, 84 IP

Miguel Gonzalez, SP

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    4-5, 4.48 ERA, 26 BB, 56 K, 68.1 IP

     

    Overview

    After a poor start to the season, Miguel Gonzalez has seen his ERA dip all the way up until an unfortunate strained right oblique placed him on the 15-day disabled list back on June 6.

    Since being activated on June 17, Gonzalez has started two games and has a combined 6.30 ERA in those contests.

    Gonzalez will look to get back to his form prior to the injury, where it seemed that he was consistently improving through each start.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    5-4, 4.28 ERA, 21 BB, 51 K, 70 IP

Bud Norris, SP

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    7-5, 3.62 ERA, 28 BB, 60 K, 87 IP

     

    Overview

    With the lowest ERA among the rotation regulars, the case can be made that Bud Norris is the ace of the Orioles starters. 

    Similar to Gonzalez, Norris has improved his ERA month to month, as he had a 4.44 ERA in March/April, a 3.79 ERA in May and currently has a 2.55 ERA in June.

    What is most encouraging about Norris so far is his excellent WHIP of 1.161, which would be a career best by a long shot.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    8-3, 3.52 ERA, 30 BB, 64 K, 90 IP

     

Kevin Gausman, SP

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    3-1, 2.74, 7 BB, 16 K, 23 IP

     

    Overview

    Even though Kevin Gausman was optioned back down to Triple-A on Saturday, he shouldn't be there for long considering his recent performances at the big league level.

    In his three most recent starts, he combined for 19 innings pitched and achieved an eye-popping ERA of 0.95.

    Where others have faltered, Gausman can pick up the pieces in the second half of the season.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    9-3, 3.12 ERA, 34 BB, 83 K, 85 IP

Tommy Hunter, RP

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    GAIL BURTON/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    1-1, 5.25 ERA, 8 BB, 17 K, 24 IP

     

    Overview

    Although Tommy Hunter was the club's initial closer to begin the season, he was relegated several weeks back to make room for the more efficient Zach Britton.

    Hunter currently holds a 5.25 ERA on the year to go along with an equally disappointing 1.583 WHIP.

    It's hard to imagine him turning his year around at this point, but having less pressure now as a middle-relief pitcher may help him from here on out.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    2-3, 4.75 ERA, 7 BB, 22 K, 27 IP

T.J. McFarland, RP

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    0-1, 2.81 ERA, 7 BB, 14 K, 25.2 IP

     

    Overview

    Reliever T.J. McFarland has been very reliable for the Orioles in the first half.

    The 25-year-old lefty has a solid 2.81 ERA to go along with an impressive 1.08 ERA split on the road.

    He'll have to address his issue of pitching at Camden Yards, though, as he holds a 3.63 ERA split at home this year.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    1-2, 3.56 ERA, 10 BB, 16 K, 27 IP

Brian Matusz, RP

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    GAIL BURTON/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    2-2, 4.15 ERA, 12 BB, 20 K, 26 IP

     

    Overview

    Lefty specialist Brian Matusz possesses some of the most extreme splits on the team thus far.

    The converted starter has been dominating left-handed hitters as he should with a .213 batting average against, but he is still finding right-handed hitters pesky, as they are hitting for a .328 average against him.

    Unlike McFarland, Matusz thrives in his home ballpark, pitching to a 1.80 ERA and a .189 batting average against through 10 innings.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    3-2, 3.89 ERA, 10 BB, 24 K, 29 IP

Ryan Webb, RP

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    2-1, 2.65 ERA, 8 BB, 25 K, 34 IP

     

    Overview

    Newly acquired reliever Ryan Webb has been lights out coming out of the bullpen for the Birds this season.

    Aside from his first two appearances of the year in which he gave up two earned runs in each, Webb has only done that in one other instance back in early May.

    Webb has continuously hacked away at his ERA and it now resides at a more than healthy 2.65.

    He certainly can make the case that he deserves to be in the All-Star Game in July and will definitely be living up to that label to finish out this season.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    3-1, 2.54 ERA, 9 BB, 30 K, 40 IP

Darren O'Day, RP

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    GAIL BURTON/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    2-1, 1.45 ERA, 8 BB, 28 K, 31 IP

     

    Overview

    Setup man Darren O'Day has been the glue to hold this bullpen together.

    He has been as reliable as they come in the eighth inning, holding opponents to a .241 average and surrendering just two round-trippers on the year.

    Look for O'Day to build on his career year and post up his third sub-2.00 ERA season.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    3-0, 1.68 ERA, 10 BB, 33 K, 37 IP

Zach Britton, RP

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    9 S, 1.60 ERA, 12 BB, 30 K, 39.1 IP

     

    Overview

    Despite blowing his second save of the season Friday at New York in a four-earned run, two-thirds of an inning outing, Britton has taken the closer's role and ran with it.

    Since taking over for the ineffective Hunter in mid-May, Britton has notched nine saves and has produced a healthy 2.50 ERA in that time span.

    According to MASNSports.com's Zach Wilt, Britton has been relying on one single pitch: his sinker, which he throws between 95 and 97 mph. The hitters know that's his meal ticket, but they still have no answer for it.

    Britton will continue to be the Orioles' answer in the ninth and could possibly attain a save total in the high 30s despite the late start.

     

    Second-Half Predictions

    28 S, 2.28 ERA, 16 BB, 34 K, 41 IP

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.