The baseball season is 2 months in and we’ve had some major ups and lots of downs with the Orioles so far. We all know the O’s started off the season with a sweep of the Rays and went on a 6-1 run to start things off, making every single fan VERY optimistic for the season. This was followed by an 8 game losing streak giving them a 6-9 record. From there, we’ve seen sweeps by the O’s and sweeps of the O’s, we’ve seen more losing streaks reaching up to 5 games and some winning streaks of 3, 4, and 5 games. It’s been exciting and frustrating, but here’s what I’ve taken out of the first few months.
(After the jump).
1. The Orioles are better than last season.
This is obvious. While they are not contenders for the playoffs or for 1st or 2nd place in the division, it’s very possible for them to end the season somewhere around .500 either exactly at the mark, a few games below, or even a few games above.
2. The investments that the front office made have paid off…somewhat.
Signing Derrek Lee, J.J. Hardy, Vladimir Guerrero, and Mark Reynolds were huge news in the off season. While they may not be contributing as much as everyone suspected, they are definitely contributing. Hardy spent a good amount of time on the DL so far this season but nonetheless has 3 HRs, 13 RBIs, and a .250 batting average. Mark Reynolds is clearly the one struggling the most batting average wise at .190 but batting average isn’t the only thing that matters. He has 7 homers, good to tie for most on the team, and 24 RBIs. Lee is on the DL but he has been a great presence defensively at first base. In his 40 games played this season, he has 4 homers and 14 RBIs. Vladdy was the player everyone was most excited about and he has been the most successful with 5 homers, 23 RBIs, and a solid .289 batting average. Though fans expected more out of the offense this season, enough credit isn’t given to these players as they’ve done an okay job combined this season.
3. The “raise young arms in the farm system” system that Andy McPhail loves works.
The oldest starting pitcher is Jeremy Guthrie at 32 years old, which isn’t very old. Though Tillman and Bergesen were recently sent down, Britton, Arrieta, Matusz, and Guthrie have proved to be better than expected this season. Arrieta is 6-3, Britton is 5-3, Matusz is 0-0 and just had his first start of the season yesterday, and Guthrie is 2-7. Unfortunately for Guthrie, he has pitched well in all but one outing this season but has had no run support in most of his outings resulting in his 7 losses. He’s much better than the record shows and has a 3.24 ERA, good for 3rd lowest of the starters (1st is Matusz with a 1.59 and 2nd is Britton with a 2.93). They have allowed the O’s to win even when the offense can’t get much going, which is crucial for this team.
4. Brian Roberts is most likely done.
Although this is definitely not set in stone, it seems that the recently injury-plagued 2nd basemen has peaked in his career and will not be able to overcome the injury. He still has a few years left in his contract but his numbers aren’t where they used to be and he will continue to miss a majority of seasons with his injury problems.