Aaron Gleeman

Power-packed Orioles are going to hit a TON of homers


Baltimore’s defense may not be pretty after shifting people around to make room in the lineup for Pedro Alvarez, but the Orioles are going to hit a ton of home runs this season.

Last year the Orioles ranked third among MLB teams with 217 homers, behind only the Astros with 230 and the Blue Jays with 232. Now take a look at the power throughout the Orioles’ projected lineup following the Alvarez signing:

Catcher: Matt Wieters hit eight homers in 75 games last season after coming back from injury and has averaged 20 homers per 150 games for his career.

First base: Chris Davis led the league with 47 homers last season and led the league with 53 homers in 2013.

Second base: Jonathan Schoop hit 15 homers in just 86 games last season and has averaged 21 homers per 150 games for his brief career.

Third base: Manny Machado hit 35 homers last season at age 22.

Shortstop: J.J. Hardy hit just eight homers in 114 games last year, but has topped 20 homers in five different seasons.

Left field: This is the one spot that doesn’t have a clear-cut starter, but everyone competing for the job has some power. Hyun Soo Kim hit 28 homers in Korea last season, Nolan Reimold has averaged 20 homers per 150 games for his career, and Jimmy Paredes hit 10 homers in 363 at-bats for the Orioles last season.

Center field: Adam Jones hit 27 homers last season and has hit at least 25 homers every season since 2011.

Right field: Mark Trumbo hit 22 homers in 142 games last season and has averaged 28 homers per 150 games for his career.

Designated hitter: Pedro Alvarez hit 27 homers for the Pirates last season, led the league with 36 homers in 2013, and has averaged 27 homers per 150 games for his career.

An injury or two can change things in a hurry, but if that group stays mostly healthy this season Baltimore is going to have crazy power up and down the lineup. Here’s what seems like a reasonable and maybe even somewhat conservative home run projection for each starter based on the numbers quoted above:

Wieters: 20
Davis: 40
Schoop: 20
Machado: 30
Hardy: 15
LF starter: 15
Jones: 25
Trumbo: 25
Alvarez: 25

Add that up and you get 215 homers, which is just two fewer than the Orioles hit in total last season. And that doesn’t include any production from bench players, which will amount to hundreds and hundreds of at-bats–last year 19 different Orioles got at least 100 plate appearances–and a minimum of, say, 20 more homers.

Baltimore adding all-or-nothing sluggers Trumbo and Alvarez to a lineup that already included Davis may not always be the prettiest thing to watch or equal the most all-around value, but the Orioles have a real chance to hit 250 homers this season and no team has done that since 2010.

Marlins reliever Carter Capps needs Tommy John surgery


Carter Capps got a second opinion on his ongoing elbow problems from Dr. James Andrews and the news isn’t good, with Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reporting that the standout Marlins reliever will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Capps missed the final two months of last season with elbow issues and immediately had things flare up again once he arrived at spring training. He’ll miss the entire 2016 season and could be sidelined well into 2017, which is a huge blow to the Marlins’ bullpen (and to everyone who enjoyed the unique experience of watching Capps pitch).

The combination of his high-90s fastball and quasi-legal delivery made Capps one of the most unhittable and highest upside relievers in league. Last season he posted a sparkling 1.16 ERA and 58/7 K/BB ratio in 31 innings and for his career Capps has racked up 177 strikeouts in 135 frames through age 24.

A.J. Ramos is now the favorite to serve as Miami’s closer, with Bryan Morris and Mike Dunn likely to step into the primary setup man roles.

David Wright is confident he’ll be ready for Opening Day

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Mets manager Terry Collins said over the weekend that David Wright is at least a week away from making his spring training debut, but today the seven-time All-Star third baseman reiterated that he’ll be ready for Opening Day.

Here’s some of what Wright told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com about his lack of offseason conditioning work due to spinal stenosis:

You’re still talking about a long ways away. I think that this could be beneficial to me because I’m getting really good work in. … There were some things that I felt I need to work on mechanically fielding, and I wouldn’t be able to do that along with getting ready for a game.

General manager Sandy Alderson has suggested that the Mets plan to use Wright for no more than 130 games this season, which would equate to one or two days off per week. Managing his workload and overall health will be an ongoing issue for Wright and the Mets this season and perhaps for the rest of his career, so getting a late start in spring training isn’t such a big deal.

He played just 38 games last season, hitting .289 with five homers and an .814 OPS at age 32. Wright hasn’t played 125 games and topped an .800 OPS in a season since 2012.