(American League, East Division)
The Browns moved from St. Louis to Baltimore, and “The Oriole Way” was born – with three straight trips to the World Series (1969-1971) and the stewardship of Earl Weaver and Cal Ripkens Senior and Junior.
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Active 25 Man Roster
Catchers & Infielders:
- C – Gus Triandos
- C – Chris Hoiles
- 1B – Eddie Murray
- 2B – Brian Roberts
- SS – Cal Ripken (3B)
- 3B – Manny Machado (SS)
- CI – George Sisler (1B)
- 3B – Harland Clift
- LF – Ken Williams (CF)
- CF – Brady Anderson (LF/RF)
- RF – Boog Powell (1B)
- OF – Ken Singleton (LF/RF)
- OF – Trey Mancini (1B/LF/RF)
- SP – Barney Petty
- SP – Harry Howell
- SP – Jim Palmer
- SP – Carl Weilman
- SP – Jack Powell
- SP – Mike Cuellar
- CL – Zack Britton
- SU – Darren O’Day
- RP – Gregg Olson
- RP – Jim Johnson
- RP – Eddie Watt
- RP – Stu Miller
On the Farm
Catchers & Infielders:
- 3B/SS/LF/CF – Melvin Mora
- 3B – Brooks Robinson
- 1B – Chris Davis
- 2B/3B/SS – Bobby Wallace
- C – Matt Wieters
- C – Vern Stephens
- CF/RF – Adam Jones
- CF – Baby Doll Jacobson
- P – Tippy Martinez
- P – Dave McNally
- P – Milt Pappas
- P – Mike Mussina
- P – Sammy Stewart
- P – B.J. Ryan
- P – Urban Shocker
Building the Roster: Baltimore Orioles
With every team, we started building their all-time 25-man and 40-man rosters by using the Hall of Fame as a starting point, figuring that a player enshrined in baseball’s immortal Hall would certainly qualify to make his team’s all-time roster. Almost all the Hall of Fame members are easily identifiable with one team so it’s a simple way to start every roster with near-inarguable selections.
The only notable player Baltimore has to fight for is Frank Robinson:
Reds: 10 years, 6 All-Star Appearances, 1 MVP Award, 63.8 WAR, .303 AVG, 1043 Runs, 1009 RBI, 324 HR, 161 SB
Orioles: 6 years, 6 All-Star appearances, 1 MVP Award, 32.4 WAR, .300 AVG, 555 Runs, 545 RBI, 179 HR, 35 SB, 2 World Series Titles
I love that Robinson earned a triple crown, the MVP, and a World Series title the year after Cincinnati traded him away and their owner called him “an old 30.”
I’m sure the 1970 World Series win over the Reds felt great too – but if you compare his time in both places, he made a deeper and lengthier impact in Cincinnati.
Some other notable Orioles that “belong” to other teams include Fred Lynn (Boston), Bobby Grich (Los Angeles Angels) and Doug DeCinces (Los Angeles Angels). Baltimore easily keeps Mike Mussina as his time and numbers in New York are consistently below his Orioles contributions.
As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries. The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame gives us a good start here. Remember that we’re talking about the Orioles FRANCHISE here so they can pull from their year in Milwaukee and seasons as the St. Louis Browns as well. Cooperstown gives us Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., George Sisler, Jim Palmer, Mike Mussina, Bobby Wallace, and Brooks Robinson.
The Hall of Fame gives us 7 of our 40-man roster, and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us with the rest.
We get lots of help here, as in order we find these hitters: Mark Belanger, Ken Williams , Paul Blair, Harlond Clift, Boog Powell, Brady Anderson, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Ken Singleton, Melvin Mora, Brian Roberts, Vern Stephens, and Baby Doll Jacobson.
Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:
CATCHER: Chris Hoiles, Gus Triandos
FIRST BASE: Eddie Murray, George Sisler, Boog Powell (sometimes), Trey Mancini (sometimes)
SECOND BASE: Brian Roberts, Melvin Mora (sometimes)
SHORTSTOP: Cal Ripken Jr., Manny Machado (sometimes)
THIRD BASE: Manny Machado, Cal Ripken Jr. (sometimes), Harlond Clift (sometimes)
LEFT FIELD: Ken Williams, Ken Singleton (sometimes), Trey Mancini (sometimes)
CENTER FIELD: Brady Anderson, Ken Williams (sometimes)
RIGHT FIELD: Boog Powell, Ken Singleton (sometimes), Trey Mancini (sometimes)
That leave inactive roster options Melvin Mora, Adam Jones, Vern Stephens, Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, Mark Belanger, Bobby Wallace, Baby Doll Jacobson, and Brooks Robinson.
Wait – BROOKS ROBINSON!?!?
The infielder crunch leaves Baltimore’s iconic third baseman on the inactive roster. It’s not meant as a slight, and it’s not by much, but Manny Machado’s OPS totals are higher and he’s rated well defensively too, though not at Robinson’s level.
One backup infielder slot goes to Hall of Fame 1B George Sisler (who backs up Eddie Murray) and the other goes to Melvin Mora – whose offenseive numbers don’t quite match Robinson’s, but he’s rated as a positive defender at shortstop, third base, left field and center field, as well as slightly below average at second base where he’s the only sub for Brian Roberts.
Matt Wieters makes the inactive roster as Baltimore’s third-rated catcher, as I made sure every team had at least one catcher on their inactive roster in case of an injury to the starter or backup.
For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive.
The O’s have two spots reserved for Hall of Famers Jim Palmer and Mike Mussina. With the 24 players on the total roster so far we have room for sixteen more pitchers.
Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as an Oriole) we came up with these names: Urban Shocker, Jack Powell, Dave McNally, Carl Weilman, Ned Garver, Harry Howell, Milt Pappas, Mike Flanagan, Barney Petty, Lefty Stewart, George Blaeholder, Scott McGregor, Nels Potter, and Mike Boddicker.
Star relievers under consideration are Gregg Olson, Jim Johnson, Tippy Martinez, and Zack Britton.
We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:
STARTING ROTATION: Barney Petty, Harry Howell, Jim Palmer, Carl Weilman, Jack Powell, Mike Cuellar
RELIEVERS: Eddie Watt, Stu Miller, Jim Johnson, Gregg Olson
SET-UP: Darren O’Day
CLOSER: Zack Britton
You could switch Darren O’Day for Gregg Olson or Jim Johnson as the primary set-up reliever if you wanted to. The inactive pitcher options are Urban Shocker (GREAT NAME!), Tippy Martinez, Dave McNally, Milt Pappas, Mike Mussina, Sammy Stewart and B.J. Ryan.
So how did we do?
If the Orioles are your favorite squad you know them better than us.
What did we get right? Where did we go wrong?
Does Melvin Mora over Brooks Robinson make sense?
Is Jim Palmer the Opening Day starter, or would you slide him down for Howell or Petty?
What batting order would you suggest versus lefties and righties?
Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Orioles for Eternal Baseball.
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