The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. Each week, I hope to chat with one of them in a regular feature called Blogger on Blogger. This week, I exchanged emails with Daniel Moroz, who writes about the
MV: The O's entered
DM: Best move was maybe picking up
MV: The Orioles were in the bottom half of the major leagues in most offensive categories last season, with home runs being a very notable exception. Is scoring runs and winning games that way sustainable again this season?
DM: If your team has a bunch of power hitters, then they'll probably hit a lot of home runs. And homers are pretty good at putting runs on the board. It would be good if they could get a few more guys on base for those longballs, though, either by walking more (they were middle of the pack in that area) or hitting for a better average (or hopefully both). As a one-trick pony offense they'd probably remain a touch below average at scoring runs (they scored eight fewer than the average AL team). Getting anything at all from the second-base spot will help, but I'd expect the O's to once again be merely OK offensively -- maybe with not quite as many home runs, but perhaps a little extra in other areas.
MV: Is it reasonable to expect similar results from the pitching staff, particularly the bullpen, this season?
DM: Is it reasonable to expect a bullpen that was historically successful at keeping close games close and finishing off wins to repeat that, despite not even having the best ERA (or peripheral stats) for a pen in their own division in 2012? No, no it isn't. Bullpens can sometimes be fickle -- perhaps even more so when they lack relievers that miss bats (and the O's pen had the 3rd worst strike-out rate in the majors last year) -- so the O's crew might be as likely to see their ERA rise to four as to hit three again. It's still probably the strength of the pitching staff though.
MV: Which player do you think will take the biggest leap in terms of production from last season to 2013?
DM: If he's given the chance to start, I think
MV: Spring training just started and there are plenty of major decisions still to be made, but looking at what the Orioles and their AL East rivals did this winter, what are the best- and worst-case scenarios for the O's?
DM: Best-case is what happened last year, but with the other top teams not being quite as good (allowing 93 wins to take the division). Worst-case is the rotation implodes (not a new phenomenon in Baltimore recently), the bullpen takes a 180, and there are injuries to the O's top position players (Wieters and