Orioles Preview - Page 16 - A look back at the 2014 AL East champion Orioles (4)

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A look back at the 2014 AL East champion Orioles (4)

C CALEB JOSEPH

 

2014 contribution: The longtime Orioles farmhand made his debut when Matt Wieters went out for the season with an elbow injury. He ended up hitting nine home runs and playing 82 games in his stead. He helped shepherd the pitching staff to a standout second half that propelled the Orioles into the postseason.

 

Why he’s gone: Joseph endured some tough times in Baltimore after2014, including his nightmare 2016, when he didn’t drive in a run all year. But he hung around as a steady hand behind the plate until the new front office deemed his projected $1.7 million too rich for a backup backstop.

 

Where he is now: Joseph signed a major league deal with the Diamondbacks in mid-February.

 

OF DELMON YOUNG

 

2014 contribution: A former first overall draft pick, Young came close to playing to that potential only a handful of times in his career, and his first year in Baltimore was one of them. He hit .302 with seven home runs as a part-time player in 2014, and his bases-loaded, bases-clearing double in Game 2 of the ALDS is one of the most memorable moments in Orioles history for fans below a certain age.

 

Why he’s gone: Young was released as part of a roster crunch midway through the Orioles’ 2015 season, and didn’t latch on anywhere else that year.

 

Where he is now: Young is out of affiliated baseball, but raked in the Mexican League last summer and hit 17homeruns in 57 games for Magallanes in Venezuela this past winter. But a 2016 arrest for allegedly choking a valet at a Miami hotel, even if the charges were dropped, seemed to seal his fate stateside.

 

OF DAVID LOUGH

 

2014 contribution: Showalter deployed Lough as an effective spare outfielder late in games. Lough posted 1.2 wins above replacement (WAR), according to Fan- Graphs, thanks to his above-average defense. He was mostly a spectator in the playoffs, though, appearing in two games.

 

Why he’s gone: The Orioles blew through corner outfielders during this period, and Lough was designated for assignment in August 2015, only to return for the last week of the regular season before he was nontendered that December.

 

Where he is now: Lough played the next year with the Phillies and bounced around some in 2017, but didn’t get a job for 2018.

 

C NICK HUNDLEY

 

2014 contribution: When Wieters went down with his elbow injury, the Orioles acquired the veteran Hundley to supplement Joseph and their internal options. He hit .233 with nine extra-base hits in 50 regular-season games, and had just one hit in 15 playoff plate appearances — one of several Orioles to go cold at the wrong time.

 

Why he’s gone: Hundley was a free agent after the 2014 season, and with Wieters expected back healthy the following year, he moved on to the Colorado Rockies on a two-year deal.

 

Where he is now: Hundley has been a useful major leaguer for over a decade, and signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics trying to extend that in his age-35 season.

 

C MATT WIETERS

 

2014 contribution: The Orioles’ 2007 top pick never hit better than he did in 2014, when he batted .308 with an .839 OPS and five home runs in 26 games before Tommy John elbow reconstruction. He was an All-Star despite playing only into May, but could only watch in the postseason.

 

Why he’s gone: Wieters was meant to be part of the team’s last-hurrah free agent class of 2015, but accepted the qualifying offer to come back in 2016. The following winter, Duquette ended the possibility of a reunion by signing Welington Castillo.

 

Where he is now: After spending the past two years down the road with the Washington Nationals, he got a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals for 2019 in an attempt to stay in the big leagues.

 

C STEVE CLEVENGER

 

2014 contribution: A Baltimore native, Clevenger played in 35 games for his childhood team in their best season of this century, batting .225 and driving in eight runs while spelling Joseph and Hundley behind the plate.

 

Why he’s gone: Clevenger was dealt before the 2016 season to the Mariners for Mark Trumbo—a trade the Orioles won considering Trumbo took the home run crown in 2016 and helped the team to a playoff appearance.

 

Where he is now: Seattle jettisoned Clevenger after a series of racist tweets, and he hasn’t played since suiting up for Lancaster of the independent Atlantic League in 2017.