When a team finishes with the second-worst record in baseball there aren’t many positives to take away. The Orioles are no exception. They went 54-108 in 2019 and are set up to have a similarly miserable campaign in 2020. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t see some level of improvement on the field next summer.
There are opportunities for a leap forward up and down the roster. Austin Hays will upgrade the center field play from day one. With Richie Martin’s Rule 5 requirements fulfilled the shortstop position should see an upgrade. And the team may actually move on from Chris Davis. But the area of the team that may see the most improvement is the bullpen.
The 2019 Orioles had one of the worst relief corps in the league. The 654 innings they threw were the eighth most in MLB. In that time, they compiled a 5.79 ERA (30th out of 30 teams), 8,60 K/9 (28th), 4.06 BB/9 (23rd), 4.97 xFIP (28th) and 0.4 fWAR (28th). Not great.
Some of the “stand out” performers were Shawn Armstrong (0.7 fWAR, 5.21 xFIP over 54.1 innings), Richard Bleier (0.6 fWAR, 4.22 xFIP over 53.1 innings), Mychal Givens (0.5 fWAR, 3.62 xFIP over 63 innings) and Miguel Castro (0.4 fWAR, 4.85 xFIP…