It may be time for the Orioles to make one important lineup change

One small change to how the Orioles construct their lineup could pay huge dividends in 2024.
Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels
Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

In some ways, asking for the Baltimore Orioles to make changes right now feels like nitpicking. The team is winners of seven of their last 10 games as of Wednesday afternoon, are keeping pace in the division, and have one of the better offenses in baseball in 2024. Sure, Jackson Holliday's struggles have been a bummer, but overall things are going quite well.

There is always room for improvement, though, and Baltimore seems to recognize that. Austin Hays' injury gave them the opportunity to promote Heston Kjerstad to see if he can replicate his success from the minors. Bringing up Albert Suarez to help out in the rotation looks like a brilliant move right now.

However, one name that hasn't been talked about much that could need an adjustment is Anthony Santander -- specifically with how the Orioles are choosing to use him.

Baltimore Orioles need to move Santander down in the lineup

Before fans get too up in arms, we are not advocating for the Orioles to fire Santander into the sun here. We know that Santander is beloved in Baltimore's clubhouse and is a nice source of pop in the lineup when he is going good. The problem is that his .714 OPS this season has been more mediocre than good, and he has hit exclusively third or fourth in this Orioles lineup that is loaded with guys who have been a lot better.

At bare minimum, there is no world where Santander should be hitting higher than Colton Cowser, and there is a strong argument that he shouldn't hit higher than Jordan Westburg. Obviously, manager Brandon Hyde really values having the switch-hitting Santander where he is in the lineup, but that only has value if he is producing, and he just isn't. Moving Westburg up against lefties and Cowser against righties, at minimum, feels like a no brainer, even if some feelings are hurt a little bit in the process.

The truth is that Santander would probably be fine with such a change, as he has long been the consummate team player. He has played on some truly bad Orioles teams over the years, and he should strike everyone as a guy that just wants to give the team the best chance to win. If that means moving him to sixth or seventh in the lineup where he can still play an important but diminished role, so be it.

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