Everyone knows the Orioles are slumping. It is an unavoidable fact that even good teams do go through losing streaks. To this point, the Orioles really have not played their best baseball, and yet they are still very much in the thick of things.
Despite the fact that they are just 3-7 in their last 10 games, there are some positive signs that could point to a change in luck for the O’s.
Pedro Strop is pitching much better
Pedro Strop seemed to lose his way towards the end of last season. While he pitched well in the World Baseball Classic for the champion team from the Dominican Republic, he has been unreliable and wild through the first 4-5 weeks of this season. Strop seems to have turned it around a bit, allowing only 1 run in his last 13 appearances. He’s throwing more strikes, keeping the ball down, and his confidence is clearly up.
J.J. Hardy is finally hitting
JJ Hardy’s bat has been asleep for most of the last year. In the last week he’s gone 8 for 23 (.348 BA) with 3 RBI. Instead of letting out a collective sigh when Hardy comes to bat, lately O’s fans have been excited to see this guy step into the batter’s box.
AAA Norfolk call-ups are making an impact
The bats of Chris Dickerson, Yamaico Navarro (as compared to Ryan Flaherty at least) and most recently Danny Valencia are exciting to watch. With the early season injury to Brian Roberts, and the lack of production from Oriole DHs, a bit more pop has really lacked from the bottom of the order. Perhaps one or more of these Norfolk additions will end up making a solid impact.
Miguel Gonzalez returns to the mound on Tuesday
After being sidelined since May 3, Miguel Gonzalez will make his first start in nearly 3 weeks on Tuesday. Gonzalez had much success against the Yankees last season, and he hopes to return to last year’s form tomorrow night. While he has not blamed the blister on his right thumb for his early season inconsistencies, O’s fans are hopeful for a turnaround on Tuesday night. Gonzalez has looked great at points this season, and less than stellar at other times.
Feeling any better O’s fans? This too, will pass.