With the dramatic return of Brian Roberts, the contending Baltimore Orioles find themselves in a much better position then they have been in a week ago.
Last week, the Orioles found out that they had lost outfielder Nick Markakis for about a months time and Adam Jones was having an MRI on a possible fracture on his hand. Luckily, Jones needed no time on the DL. With Markakis out, the Orioles relied heavily on Jones, Hardy, and Matt Wieters to produce most of the runs.
Unlikely role players such as Endy Chavez, Robert Andino, and Ronny Paulino had key contributions to the three O’s road wins in Tampa Bay and Boston. Steve Tollesen provided the pop to boost the birds over the Phillies. The Orioles made a solid pickup in outfielder Steve Pearce from the New York Yankees, who seemingly hits every ball on a frozen rope.
Throughout these weeks, Buck Showalter has flip flopped the lineup seemingly every night with new players. The order of the lineups had shuffled tremendously as well with Chris Davis hitting 3rd on occasion and Chavez splitting time Andino at the leadoff spot.
Brian Roberts is the player who takes a lot of pressure off other hitters. His ability to get on base provides Jones, Hardy, and Wieters more opportunities to drive in runs. Roberts has an act for increasing the opposing pitchers pitch count early, and is able to see most if not all of his pitches in an at bat. This helps the guys on deck and on the bench figure him out as well.
In Markakis’ adsence, Chris Davis has shined hitting in the 3 hole. The reason is because he is seeing more hittable pitches. Davis is now being protected by Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. Pitchers cannot throw him as many junk pitches because they want to limit base runners for Jones and Wieters.
Coming off a sweep of Pittsburgh, the Orioles will take their revamped lineup to Atlanta looking to improve on their current 37-26 record.
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