Baltimore Orioles: How is the team mid-way through the season?
Now that the All-Star Break is on the horizon, how exactly are the Baltimore Orioles doing?
In the first half of the season, the Baltimore Orioles have shown two serious issues: problematic pitching and sluggish offense.
Looking back at a few predictions for the 2017, the Orioles are doing about as well as most experts thought.
One expert, Jonah Keri of Sports Illustrated, published a set of power rankings in on February 24. At this time, Keri made some rather bold statements about all of the teams. He put the O’s in the #15 spot, just ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates and right below the Detroit Tigers.
Keri’s justification for the #15 spot was the re-signing of Mark Trumbo and a whole lot of hope placed on the throwing arms of Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. He also accredited Buck Showalter with the ability to “squeeze[s] the most out of less-than-elite talent.”
So, how do the Birds compare to Keri’s prediction?
Let’s just say that Keri was rather kind. Overall, the Orioles are sitting in the #19 spot out of all 30 MLB teams. The Pirates are #20 and the Tigers are #24. The Orioles have a record of 40-44 and are 8 games out of first place in the AL East.
How’s Trumbo doing?
When it comes to Trumbo, he is nowhere near the hitter he was in 2016 when he lead the AL with 47 home runs. To date, Trumbo has 12 – which put him on par for 24. Instead of Trumbo being the talk of the MLB, all eyes have turned to Aaron Judge, who currently has 29 home runs and is on pace to get 60 by the end of the regular season.
Trumbo’s 2017 batting stats of .255/.318/.410 and .728 are quite close to the .256/.316/.533 and .850 from 2016. He’s getting the same number of hits, it’s just that the power is down. This is evident in his lower slugging and on-base-plus-slugging numbers. He’s actually on pace to get the same number of hits as last year – 157.
What about the two pitchers?
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Gausman has started in 18 games. But his ERA, like Trumbo’s home runs, is nowhere near where he was in 2016. He currently has an ERA of 5.61 with a WHIP of 1.742. He finished 2016 with an ERA of 3.61 and a WHIP of 1.280 Those two runs per nine innings really do add up over time.
Another of the more notable differences between 2016 and 2017 is that Gausman’s walks are way up. In 2016, he walked 47 batters. But, in 2017, he has already walked 43 batters.
Then, there’s Bundy. His season has been better than Gausman’s. He has started in 17 games and has an ERA of 4.11. His ERA is the best on the team; Wade Miley is in second with an ERA of 5.20. Bundy has the most strikeouts (80), the lowest WHIP (1.243), and the most innings pitched (103). It is clear that Bundy has been an asset in a team that has mediocre pitching in a league where pitching is necessary for success.
Next: Baltimore Orioles quiet in international signings
In the next few days, we’ll take a good detailed look at the state of the Orioles at the half-way point. Stay tuned!