Baltimore Orioles: John Means Is Back On Track After Rough Start To Second Half
The Baltimore Orioles all-star left-hander proved his first half was no fluke Saturday night when he shut down the 76-55 Tampa Bay Rays.
Arguably the best thing to come out of the 2019 season for the Baltimore Orioles has been the emergence of John Means.
The 26-year-old rookie left-hander earned an all-star game nod after a dominant first half of the season that saw him take a 2.50 ERA into the all-star break. In the second half of the season, however, Means has had his fair share of struggles. His ERA jumped to 3.76 after having three outings in which he allowed four or more runs.
Thankfully in his last two outings, Means has gotten back on track. On August 19th against Kansas City, the rookie tossed five innings and allowed just two earned runs while striking out four.
Saturday, Means put together one of his best outings of his young-carer when he threw seven innings of one-run ball while striking out seven batters against a Tampa Bay Rays team currently 21 games above the .500 mark. With the victory, Means lowered his ERA to 2.61 and improved his record to 9-9.
Means’ breakout campaign has come with expectations. He is now expected by many to anchor the Orioles rotation for several years to come with prospects such as Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall who will likely be in Baltimore in the next two to three years.
Seeing Means go through a rough patch had some concerned his breakout first half was nothing more than a fluke. Luckily, it appears that concern can be put to bed as the Baltimore Orioles left-hander handled adversity like a pro.
With just a little more than a month left in the season it will be interesting to see if the Orioles decide to shutdown their rookie phenom early or allow him to make a push at the American League Rookie of the year award.