Orioles shooting for October in the second half

First thing’s first; it’s AWESOME to be back in the states! I had a great trip to Italy with my family, and I sincerely appreciate readers putting up with some of the quirks that came with the articles published during that period of time as a result of my absence here at home. Obviously I wasn’t able to include as many of the details in games as I wasn’t physically watching them. However I will say that going abroad always makes me appreciate more the luxuries that we have here in America, not the least among them is the great sport of baseball!

The Baltimore Orioles now find themselves in a strange position as they get set to open up the second half of the season with only 66 games remaining. This of course is due to the fact that the all-star break was a week later than normal this year, being in the third week as opposed to the second week of July. Nevertheless, you still play 162 in some way, shape or form! The main concern for the O’s remains the starting rotation, although that has been bolstered a bit with the return MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Oriolesof tonight’s starter Wei-Yin Chen (who re-joined the team just before the break), and the addition of Scott Feldman. Many fans are still hoping and even counting on Dan Duquette to add a top-of-the-rotation arm to the mix via trade; Cliff Lee‘s name always seems to continue coming up. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen as we get closer to the deadline at the end of the month. My personal opinion is that if the O’s can continue getting by with what they have until then, Duquette might be inclined to make a trade through waivers prior to next month’s waiver deadline.

However that aside, the Orioles are once again building towards October in the second half of the season. Tampa’s winning streak at the end of the first half projected them into second place in the division at the break. The O’s are currently 4.5 games out of first, and two games behind Tampa for second. They’re also a game behind Texas in the second wild card spot, which makes this weekend’s series an important one. However most importantly, they’re within striking distance of first place in the AL East. Texas has not been an easy place for the Orioles to play the last few seasons, although their most recent excursion to Rangers Ballpark was pretty successful: last October they won the first-ever AL Wild Card game there. On the flip side, players such as Chris Davis and Adam Jones (who finished the first half on hot streaks) have an opportunity to allow the Orioles to have a field day at the plate all weekend. Thus the key for the Birds is for their pitchers to keep the ball in the park.

Chen will be opposed by Derek Holland of Texas tonight to get that second half going. The Orioles will make two roster moves prior to this evening’s game, recalling Danny Valencia to the big league club, and selecting the contract of outfielder Henry Urrutia from triple-A Norfolk. Urrutia of course is a Cuban defector and was signed by the O’s this season; he also comes to the team after slaying minor league pitching. It’s unclear what the corresponding moves will be, however the O’s will have to send two guys out in order to make room for Valencia and Urrutia. Keep an eye on my twitter feed (@DomenicVadala) and our Birds Watcher twitter feed (@BirdsWatcherFS) for information as it comes.

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Wei-Yin Chen

  • Jackwriter

    Chris Davis suffered a hand injury during the Home Run Derby.
    Miggy will pass him for the HR title and repeat the Triple Crown.

    • Domenic Vadala

      The “injury” that Davis suffered was a callous being opened up on his right hand. He went on to play in the all-star game, and I have to believe that had the injury been serious enough he probably wouldn’t have played. Nevertheless a callous being opened up on one’s hand is hardly something that will keep someone out, and furthermore it isn’t Davis’ dominant hand (left-handed hitter). But for all I know you might be right, however only time will tell. Thanks for reading!

      • Jackwriter

        His hands are his best tools as a hitter and the RH is critical for a lefthand batter. A nagging injury like his will never heal w/o an extended stay on the DL. Knowing the O’s won’t do that, Davis’s HR production will fall off the table and the HR title and Triple Crown are Cabrera’s, assuming Miggy can stay healthy.

        • Jackwriter

          Once ESPN exposed Davis’s hand injury between his at bats at the HR Derby, fans watched as his HRs fell off and he eventually lost the competition by a wide margin. This should illustrate the folly of such circus competitions at the risk of players and the teams and fans they represent.

          • Domenic Vadala

            Again, the Triple Crown is not the goal; getting to the post season is the goal.

        • Domenic Vadala

          I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here, however keep in mind that the HR title and Triple Crown mean relatively little in the grand scheme of things. What’s important is playing competitive baseball and getting into the playoffs. The Orioles are in a position to do just that, as are Detroit. I’m sure if you ask Miguel Cabrera he’d gladly give back the Triple Crown last year if his team could have won the World Series. Most Orioles fans aren’t concerned about Davis in the least, so I’d recommend following their lead.

    • Randy Buchman

      Yes, Chris’ hand is a bit sore, but the good news for him is that his hip flexor is fine ….. if you know what I’m getting at.