Losing Confidence in Hitting
The title says it all. Who else is losing patience with the Orioles inability to score runs? After adding a number of accomplished hitters this offseason, the Orioles hitting was supposed to be the teams strength while the starting pitching was a question mark. However, the hitting has been a big disappointment this season so far and I’m starting to wonder if it will ever come around.
I may be jumping the gun seeing as we are only 23 games into the season, but the Orioles have a veteran lineup that shouldn’t be struggling from top to bottom like they currently are. It is frustrating to watch Orioles hitters struggle after fans came into the season with such optimism. These are hitters with proven track records and not just one or two hitters, but the entire lineup is struggling. I won’t even begin to speculate on the reason for this. Whatever the reason, the Orioles are going to have another miserable season if they dont’ turn it around quickly. Whether it is their hitting approach or just a really bad coincidence where the entire team is struggling, either way something has to give.
The good news is that the Orioles young pitching may actually live up to its potential. Guthrie is looking more and more like a great workhorse starter. Britton seems like the real deal and could be the ace of the staff for years to come and when Matusz comes back the Orioles could have a solid rotation this season with the potential of it becoming great in the next year or two.
Pitching will win championships, but you have to get to the playoffs in order to win a championship and the Orioles will never get to the playoffs without scoring runs in the AL East. Three of the Orioles offseason additions (Guerrero, Lee, Hardy) are only signed for one more year anyways, but even the players who are supposed to be part of the future aren’t hitting.
I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but what the hell, I will beat it. The Orioles need to acquire a big time hitter or two. Ideally, the Orioles need at least two more big time middle of the lineup hitters in order to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox. However, the Orioles should start small and go for at least one middle of the lineup hitter. I realize the Orioles signed Guerrero this offseason and he is that hitter, but he is also a guy at the end of his career. The Orioles continue to sign one year stop gaps to plug into their lineup. Eventually the Orioles are going to need to take the plunge and spend the money on long term contracts for hitters who can help the team score runs over the long term. If the Orioles continue to do the same thing, will their hitting ever get better? If it hasn’t worked in the past why would it work in the future?