Orioles Report Card: First Half of the Season


The All-Star Break comes to a close tonight at 7:05 as the Orioles are back in action at Camden Yards. Before the second half starts, I wanted to grade every Oriole for the first half of the season, like an Orioles report card.

1B Derrek Lee: D+/C- Lee has been very disappointing. Besides a stint on the DL, he hasn’t made much news for the O’s. With a .235 batting average (in the number 3 spot) and only 9 home runs and 28 RBI he isn’t living up to his offensive expectations. The only reason he gets the C- is because of his great defensive play at first. But, I’d rather have Ty Wigginton back (he’s hitting .239 with 13 homers and 37 RBI with the Rockies and it was always fun calling him Wiggy).

2B Robert Andino: C This isn’t the name that’s supposed to be here but with Brian Roberts on the DL (and his return not looking too good), it’s the name that has to be here. While he only has 1 HR and 7 RBI, he has a healthy average of .263 and an on-base percentage of .335. Though he’s not as good of a player as B-Rob, you can’t be extremely upset with the guy. He contributes to the team sometimes.

3B Mark Reynolds: B This was tough because his offensive contributions are amazing and even though it took him a while to heat up, he’s burning shit up now. But, you have to take into consideration his terrible defensive play. I mean he has 20 errors. That’s not good especially since he has to make so many damn throws being at the hot corner. However, he’s young and his defense will improve and he’s hit 20 HR and has 49 RBI so he’s on pace for 40 HR and 100 RBI, which is exactly what he was signed for.

SS J.J. Hardy: A I have to. He’s been better than expected and the best player on the team, arguably. He’s batting .278 and has 13 HR and 33 RBI. Ever since he was put in the lead-off spot, he’s been awesome hitting 4 lead-off HR and a .409 on-base percentage in June. He also has an almost perfect fielding percentage with 1 error that he shouldn’t have been charged with.

C Matt Wieters: B He is having the best season of his young career and made his first All-Star Game appearance; however, he still isn’t living up to half of the hype surrounding him. He’s supposed to be a power hitter and only has 8 HR and 34 RBI. Let’s hope he heats up in the second half of the season. He is one of the best catchers statistically in the league, however, as he’s 2nd in runners caught stealing and 1st in assists.

LF Luke Scott: C- Though he’s on the DL right now and has been playing with an injured shoulder for most of the year, he isn’t having a TERRIBLE year but he isn’t having a very good year either. He’s expected to return July 19 but I have a feeling he’ll be returning with a different team. So far this season, he’s hit 9 HR with 22 RBI and a low .223 batting average. He’s a very streaky hitter. The other 2 left fielders, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold, have been playing pretty well in his absence. I see Pie getting the start in LF almost every day if Scott is traded and the O’s don’t acquire someone major league-ready.

CF Adam Jones: A This is obvious. He has 13 HR and 49 RBI with a .285 average, one of the highest on the team. With that, he’s on pace for about 25 HR and 100 RBI if he remains on the same pace. He could cool down or, even better, heat up and end up with 30-35 homers. Let’s also keep in mind his amazing skills in center, which have landed him on ESPN’s Top 10 and Web Gems numerous times already this season.

RF Nick Markakis: B I’d give him a bit of a higher grade if he had heated up earlier in the season but he got off to a very slow start and only really started to look like the Nick Markakis we know and love in June. He has hits in 23 of the last 25 games and is hitting .292 with 7 HR and 36 RBI with a .339 OBP. He will continue to get hot and have a .300 average by the end of the month as well as 10 HR and 50 RBI (that’s my guess). The only problem is that he’s had some pretty shaky plays in RF this season, which is very unlike him.

DH Vladimir Guerrero: C I’m very disappointed and angry, almost, with Vlad. He hasn’t done anything for the team recently. He has one of the highest batting averages on the team at .291 but only has 7 HR and 31 RBI.

Starting Pitchers

RHP Jake Arrieta: A He leads the O’s with wins at 9 but has struggled taking 2 consecutive losses and letting his ERA reach almost 5.00. With that said, he’s the most reliable in the rotation right now and wasn’t expected to be since he hasn’t pitched 200 innings in the big leagues yet. He’ll be a number 2 starter for the O’s for a long time to come.

RHP Jeremy Guthrie: C I feel so bad for the guy. When he pitches quality starts, he gets no run support. But, when he gets run support, he gets batted around. I don’t know what his deal is but he finds himself with 12 losses, the most in the league and a 4.18 ERA. He’s a guy in the midst of Orioles trade rumors as he’s up for grabs and is a decent back of the rotation guy but I’m not sure he should be traded as he’s the only veteran in the Orioles rotation.

RHP Chris Jakubauskas: C The starting rotation is and has been a mess. He’s a relief pitcher who was forced to become a starter. His first 3 starts, he did pretty well. He went 2-0 in his first 4 starts with the team winning 3 of the 4 he started. Since then, he has 2 losses and 2 no decisions in 4 starts but the team has lost all 4 and his ERA is sitting high at 6.49.

LHP Zach Britton: B+ What a guy. We all know his story: destined for the minors, called up the first day of the season when Matusz was placed on the DL and went on to a 5-1 record in 6 starts. With that said, he’s struggled as of late losing 4 of his last 5 starts. His most recent, he gave up 8 runs and was sent down to Double-A Bowie to make room for Mark Hendrickson. Hendrickson will make a start soon as Britton’s next start is skipped because the club clearly needs fresh arms. However, he’s stepped up far past expectations and deserves some credit.

LHP Brian Matusz: F I don’t want to even get started. He begins the season on the DL then comes back and gets a no decision and a win, in which the O’s won both games. However, he then loses 4 games in a row for an 8.77 ERA only pitching more than 5 innings once. He’s now in the minors to see what the problem is. Everyone knows he isn’t 100% healthy. The fans, other teams, even Rays’ manager Maddon knows it because he couldn’t touch 90 with his fastball.