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2014 Orioles Preview: Wild Card Contender?

Anthony Tynan

Anthony Tynan

Anthony Tynan writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

The Orioles were within a game of the ALCS in 2012, but the franchise failed to take a step forward in 2013 while missing the playoffs with an 85-win season. A number of players matured into stars, while several others showed decline or otherwise disappointed. Chris Davis blasted his way to superstar status by leading MLB in home runs and RBI, Manny Machado emerged as one of the outstanding young players in the game, and Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy delivered another consistent season. Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez held down the rotation, and a bullpen led by Jim Johnson, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day was one of the best in the league.

There were disappointments along the way. Nick Markakis continued his decline and was dropped in the batting order late in the season, and Matt Wieters has not figured out how to hit for average at the game's top level. Jason Hammel went from Opening Day starter to a swift exodus, while Jair Jurrjens, Freddy Garcia and Zach Brit

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