This Oriole season was a lot of fun in April and May. The birds played like contenders with clutch hitting and power pitching. Starters were getting deep into games. At one point,t he Orioles led the major leagues in home runs. Then the fall started. The injuries began to pile up. The bats went quiet. The starting pitching got really bad and really quick. The Orioles stumbled into the All-Star break with a 45-40 record.
The second half of the season starts with cries for help and hope for contention. With the addition of the one game wild card playoff, people feel like there is a great opportunity for post season play. The questions asked over the last few weeks is will the Orioles be buyers or sellers? The Orioles need to be buyers because they need to get better. In order to buy, the O’s need prospects that other teams want and there just may not be enough to get the quality player (s) the Orioles need.
Do you remember in 1996 when the Orioles featured a lineup with nine starters all having at least 20 homers? That was fun. There are two players in the lineup that I feel have the ability to hit the ball out of the park during every at bat. Those players are Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. Wieters power numbers are lower then expected. Mark Reynolds was supposed to be a home run guy. Now he just can not hit. J.J. Hardy has not discovered last years swing. Let’s face it, these O’s are not capable of hitting enough home runs.
The starting pitching is shaky. Jason Hammel and Wei Yen Chen have played well. They have also shown weakness and gotten clobbered at time. Hunter, Arietta and Matusz are in Norfolk. Tillman pitched well in Seattle but lets face it, this was Seattle.
I think the Orioles will be streaky and finish within five games of .500. That would be nice, The birds need improvement. Can they get the pitcher they need or the power their lineup is crying for? Only time will tell!!