Apr 29, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (31) pitches during the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Fans are not allowed to attend the game due to the current state of unrest in Baltimore. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Good (in terms of predictions)
Wei-Yin Chen – Chen is one of the best pure athletes on the team, evidenced by the way he fields his position with such ease. He has been consistently good for the Orioles and improving as experience and time grow in MLB. I said before this season that his 2014 record of 16-6 was a bit better than the 3.54 ERA and 1.228 WHIP deserved; this was due to the great run support he had, which did NOT repeat at all in 2015.
My specific prediction for him was to have about a 15-9 record with a 3.40 ERA while throwing almost 200 innings. Chen’s record was 11-8 with a 3.34 ERA in 191.1 innings. So this was very close, and he deserved a better won/loss record this time around.
Ubaldo Jimenez – Who would be crazy enough to make a prediction about Jimenez?? My consistent line about UJ is that he is always going have streaks of ups and down, and this was true of 2015. I said he would improve over 2014, and he did. Specifically the prediction was for 12-10 with a 4.05 ERA. He was 12-10 with a 4.11 ERA. (I’m looking pretty smart right now, but, it will change before we are done.)
Zach Britton – It really was not difficult to predict a good season for Britton. On April 4th I wrote, “I am predicting he will be one of (if not the very best) closer in all of baseball. Britton’s stuff is that good and is getting better and better. It’s almost unfair. The only way he really loses is when hitters get lucky by dinking stupid little infield hits or flares that can’t be defensed. Britton will set a new Baltimore Orioles saves record well before the end of the season.”
OK, the last part was not true, but not because it was his fault. If the rest of the team put him in more save situations, it would have happened.
Darren O’Day – I talked in April about how many O’s fans do not appreciate just how good O’Day is … that his record before the season was a career 17-6 with the Orioles and ERA of 2.05. My specific prediction for 2015: let’s expect about a 2.00 ERA and WHIP around 1.00. O’Day was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and WHIP of 0.934.
Brad Brach – After his good first season with the Orioles, he built on it in 2015 as predicted, being a valuable part of the pitching staff. I said of him, “Having had a successful season in 2014, I will predict that the comfort of such will enable him to build off it for an even better year. Let’s call an ERA under 3.00 on about 65-70 innings.” He did even a bit better, throwing 79.1 innings with a 2.72 ERA and 5-3 record.
Wesley Wright – This is almost not worth mentioning, as Wright only got five outs in two appearances. I was not actually totally surprised by this and was never impressed, writing that “I am going to punt on this one … this acquisition never made a great deal of sense to me … My expectations of Wright are not high.”
T.J. McFarland – In April I wrote, “T.J. McFarland has had a spring training to forget. He’ll likely get it together again at Norfolk and contribute in some fashion before the season is over.” And this turned out to be true.
Next: Five pitchers who did not live up to hopes and projections …