Orioles Preview - Page 19 - A look back at the 2014 AL East champion Orioles (7)

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A look back at the 2014 AL East champion Orioles (7)

RHP BRAD BRACH

 

2014 contribution: Brach became the latest example of the Orioles’ ability to find relief talent out of nowhere, and his acquisition from the Padres in the preceding offseason gave the Orioles a future All-Star who had a 3.18 ERA once he got off the Norfolk shuttle and settled into a trusted role. Brach gave the Orioles two scoreless playoff outings, too.

 

Why he’s gone: Brach was an expensive luxury as a setup man last year for the Orioles, and was dealt to the Braves in late July for international signing bonus slots.

 

Where he is now: The Chicago Cubs signed Brach to a one-year free-agent contract this winter, and he’ll look to regain the form that made him an All-Star in 2016.

 

RHP TOMMY HUNTER

 

2014 contribution: Like Britton, Hunter found a home in the bullpen after some frustrations as a starter, and responded by being a vital piece of one of the game’s best bullpens. Hunter had a 2.97 ERA in 60 appearances and chipped in two scoreless playoff outings for the cause.

 

Why he’s gone: Hunter was a pending free agent in 2015when the Orioles dealt him to the Cubs at the deadline for Junior Lake, breaking up one of the more effective bullpens in baseball.

 

Where he is now: There was a brief reunion with the Orioles in 2016, but Hunter is currently in the second year of a two-year, $18 million deal with the Phillies.

 

LHP ANDREW MILLER

 

2014 contribution: Miller was a revelation after the Orioles sent left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez to Boston for his services. He gave them20 innings with a1.35ERAin the last two months of the season. His 71⁄3 innings of one-hit, scoreless relief with eight strikeouts over five playoff appearances were tremendous, too.

 

Why he’s gone: Miller was so good in the playoffs that year that he set himself up for a massive payday. He got it in the form of a four-year, $36 million contract from the Yankees.

 

Where he is now: New York dealt him to Cleveland in 2016, and Miller signed a two-year, $25 million deal with the Cardinals this past offseason.

 

LHP T.J. MCFARLAND

 

2014 contribution: The Rule 5 restrictions from the year before lifted, McFarland made 37 appearances—including one start—for the Orioles in 2014, with a 2.76 ERA, though he didn’t make the playoff roster.

 

Why he’s gone: Four up-and-down seasons with the Orioles ended in February 2017 when McFarland was cut in spring training. He landed with the Diamondbacks.

 

Where he is now: McFarland had a career-best 2.00ERAin 2018 for the Diamondbacks, and is back for a third season in the desert in 2019.

 

LHP BRIAN MATUSZ

 

2014 contribution: The 2018 fourth overall pick for the Orioles, Matusz was nearing the height of his LOOGY (left-handed one-out guy) powers in 2014, with a 3.48 ERA in 63 appearances while holding left-handers to a .223 average. He allowed a run in his only playoff appearance.

 

Why he’s gone: Even though he posted a sub-3.00 ERA in 2015, Matusz pitched just seven times and couldn’t get anyone out in 2016 before he was traded to the Braves that May. Atlanta immediately designated him for assignment. He pitched once for the Cubs that year, on “Sunday Night Baseball” no less, but that went badly, too.

 

Where he is now: The Diamondbacks gave Matusz a try in 2017, but released him from his minor league contract that May. He hasn’t pitched since.

 

RHP RYAN WEBB

 

2014 contribution: Webb’s only season in an Orioles uniform wasn’t bad statistically, but for a team that got relief contributions from unsung sources, paying Webb $4.5 million for two years wasn’t worth the 3.83 ERA he gave them in 51 games.

 

Why he’s gone: The Orioles went to great lengths to get out from under the $2.7 million owed to Webb for the second year of his contract, and traded a compensatory round draft pick to the Dodgers solely so they could dump his contract in April 2015.

 

Where he is now: Webb tried to make a comeback in 2018, but only lasted two months in the minors with the Cubs before he was released.

 

RHP EVAN MEEK

 

2014 contribution: An All-Star in 2010, Meek was well past that form in 2014 when he had a 5.79 ERA in 231⁄3 innings for the Orioles.

 

Why he’s gone: Meek was outrighted off the 40-man roster shortly after being left off the playoff roster that October, having proved to be surplus to requirements in baseball’s best bullpen that year.

 

Where he is now: A few stints in independent ball weren’t enough to get Meek back to the majors. His last pitch with the Orioles was his last pitch in the big leagues.

 

AND WHAT ABOUT THE COACHES?

 

Showalter was the manager until last October, when his contract expired. Bench coach John Russell is the technical director at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., after he wasn’t brought back for 2019. First base coach Wayne Kirby and third base coach Bobby Dickerson each had his contract expire after the 2018 season, too, with Dickerson latching on as the Phillies’ first base coach. Pitching coach Dave Wallace retired from major league coaching after the 2016 season and took a job with the Braves. Bullpen coach Dom Chiti ended up in the Braves’ front office with him after he wasn’t tapped as Wallace’s replacement. Hitting coach Jim Presley was reassigned after the 2014 season and ultimately left the organization. He coached in Taiwan in 2018.


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