The numbers don’t lie. There is a reason the Orioles go into the series against the Yankees with an 8-10 record. Actually, maybe the Orioles should consider themselves lucky they are 8-10 based on the numbers. I wanted to take a closer look at the Orioles individual statistics in this post and I came up with the following…pitching good, hitting bad.
Ok, I will go into a little further detail than that…
Looking at the Orioles pitching, I was actually surprised that their pitchers have put up some solid individual numbers so far. Overall, the Orioles starting pitching and relief pitching as been very inconsistent, but that shouldn’t be a huge shock considering how young their starting pitching is. Three of the Orioles starters actually have ERA’s in the 3’s. Tillman (6.16) and Arrieta (5.06) have ERA’s above 5, but that is because both had one miserable start that ballooned their ERA’s. That is not bad, especially considering two of their expected opening day starters are still on the disabled list. Brian Matusz is expected back in the next couple weeks and hopefully he will be another consistent performer in the rotation. My biggest concern with the starting pitching is the absolute lack of depth in the higher levels of the organization. If the Orioles lose anymore starting pitching they could be in big trouble.
In the bullpen, Uehara (1.59 ERA) Berken (1.08 ERA) Accardo (2.35 ERA) and the recently called up Clay Rapada (1.1 impressive shutout innings) have been superb so far. Meanwhile Jim Johnson and Kevin Gregg have been shaky up until this point (although their ERA’s don’t look too bad), but you would have to expect that they will pitch better as the season progresses. Meanwhile, Josh Rupe has not been good, but he also may be pushed out once the pitching staff gets healthier. Mike Gonzalez has been terrible and at this point shouldn’t even be the number one left handed option out of the bullpen. If you look at the bullpen, the Orioles have 4 guys that are pitching really well, two guys who have been up and down, and two guys who have not been good. That really isn’t too bad. The Orioles team ERA is 4.20 and ranks 7th in the American League.
The Orioles hitting is another story. Fans have to hope that, based on track records, the hitting will come around. However, there is no guarantee, and the Orioles will not win many games this season if they continue to hit this way all season. The Orioles .235 average is 10th in the American League and they are lucky they are ranked that high. With the additions that were made this offseason, the offense needs to be producing at a much higher level.
The only Orioles regulars who have held their own this season at the plate are Brian Roberts and Vlad Guerrero who are both hitting .280 with three home runs. By the way, a disturbing statistic…Guerrero has not walked ONCE this season and has 11 strike outs! Matt Wieters has shown signs recently of figuring it out at the plate with a new batting stance. Wieters is hitting .269 and hopefully this is the start of things to come for Wieters at the plate. The rest of the regulars have been horrendous at the plate. Jones, Lee, Markakis, Scott, and Reynolds are all hitting below .222. I don’t think I need to go into details on this. These guys have to hit better. They have been horrendous so far and the Orioles will not succeed with these guys hitting this poorly. I know some will criticize the Lee signing already, but I will say his defense at first base has been exceptional and he is doing his part to save runs with the glove. The Orioles need to start hitting and soon. The Orioles have a young rotation that needs the offensive support. If the Orioles continue to hit like this there will be too much pressure on this young pitching staff.
The Orioles have yet to consistently hit as a team this season and their pitching has been inconsistent, but they still managed to start the season 6-1 and are still 8-10, which isn’t horrible. My hope is the Orioles hitting will come around. Orioles hitters have been hitting below what their track records show they are capable of. A lot of these guys are proven hitters who should eventually put up solid numbers. If their hitting comes around and their young pitching continues to progress instead of decline the Orioles could be heading toward a .500 season.