The failures of the previous weeks seem far away after the last six games. The concern over the loss of OF Nick Markakis a week ago has made way for hope surrounding what appears to be the impending return of 2B Brian Roberts. The cries of “#ORIOLESMAGIC” have returned on Twitter and Facebook and as mandatory OTA’s get underway in Owings Mills this week it appears as though baseball season might remain relevant in Baltimore.
It’s been a really great week, a really great week we didn’t necessarily know was coming after a miserable couple of weeks of baseball. It was a pleasant reminder that the stretch of 10 losses in 13 games reflected inly eight percent of the season, roughly the equivalent of one football game.
Perhaps a week ago we needed Allen McCallum to remind us “this isn’t football. There’s 162 games.” Little did we know that one week later the Birds would be right back on track for a playoff spot (if the season were to end today they’d be the first ever second Wild Card in the American League) and we’d be ready to trade trash-talk with our friends from the Steel City ahead of a visit from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Of course…it’s only been six games. It’s only been about 3.5% of the season.
This is the part where Allen McCallum steps in and says “this isn’t football. There’s 162 games.”
The Orioles were a lot of fun to watch this past week, getting theatrics from the likes of SP Wei-Yin Chen, OF Adam Jones, C Matt Wieters, 3B Steve Tolleson, relievers Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson and even the return of SP Tommy Hunter. It doesn’t solve every issue surrounding the team however. Opening Day starter Jake Arrieta remains mired in a terrible slump, forcing manager Buck Showalter to send him to the bullpen. With Zach Britton struggling again in his start Sunday for the Norfolk Tides, it remains to be seen who will fill the fifth starting spot in the rotation. Perhaps 49 year old Jamie Moyer can get his grandson to drive him up from Virginia for the gig.
Roberts’ return represents hope for the Birds, but also leaves Showalter with more decisions to make. OF Nolan Reimold has still not been cleared to resume baseball activity, meaning the Birds could shift current 2B Robert Andino to LF, or could be used in a super utility role. As WNST.net Ballpark Reporter Luke Jones wrote Sunday, the most likely roster move involves sending Tolleson back down to make room on the roster. The team will have to determine how much they can use the returning former All-Star second baseman, as well as whether or not he can return to the leadoff spot in the lineup.
It’s been a good week here in Baltimore. The Orioles have shown us they aren’t just going to slip back into oblivion after a nice start to the season. But it’s only been a week. There’s a lot of baseball to be played.
“This isn’t football. There’s 162 games.”