Orioles June Report Card

June 30, 2009 | Keith Melchior

Going into tonight’s game against Boston, the Orioles (11-14) finish June with a losing record. They began the month 2-7  against Seattle and Oakland, but rebounded against NL East teams, going 9-6 with the highlight being the sweep of Philadelphia on the road. Here is my Orioles’ June report card;

Brian Roberts- B+..he slumped this month but when he gets on base he’s trouble..single handedly won at least 3 games this month—-

Adam Jones- A-…He has also slumped and his average dropped almost 50 points.. Trembley’s flip-flopping him and Markakis hasn’t helped that much

Nick Markakis – B- …He has slumped a lot this month. I saw at least 5 different occasions where he struck out in late innings with runners in scoring position —

Aubrey Huff – B.. Has continued his cool down and still is viable trade bait . Has played a decent 1st base since that Boston game last month —

Melvin Mora – C-..  Where has all the power gone? And for a veteran player who is supposed to be a leader, why is he still running into outs?  If someone wants him come trade time, let him go —

Luke Scott – B+.. He is under contract for another few years and the Orioles need his power at the DH position, no need letting him play LF anymore…Can he play 1st base, just in case?—

Robert Andino - B.. Has played nicely since the DL trip of Cesar Who?—

Gregg Zaun – C-.. Only a late month hitting binge saves him from repeating his F grade —

Felix Pie- F..  he is nothing but a wasted roster spot and a liability that McPhail will not apologize for. I guess he is out of options to be sent to AAA. Still looking for 1 of those 5 tools that were advertised. Thak God they didn’t trade Roberts for this guy last season.

Ty Wigginton- B.. Knows his role and after a mild slump has improved immensely.  Now if only he didn’t go to the Melvin Mora school of baserunning. —

Matt Wieters - B.. I never bought into the hype. He is not going to be the savior everyone hopes for. He will be a solid catcher for years to come. He belonged here from day 1 so he could grow into the position. If Trembley is going to rest him he can’t be the DH. Let him have the whole day off —

Nolan Reimold - B+.. He still needs to learn how to play LF but his numbers are tops among rookies. He IS the everyday left fielder and completes the outfield puzzle nicely —

Various Pitchers;

Jeremy Guthrie – C..  Still consistently inconsistent … How many 1st inning blowups has he had this month, only to settle down later. Still averaging just over 5 IP per start.. I’d entertain trade talks if someone inquires. —

Koji Uehara - D.. OMG , what a waste of 5 million American dollars!! Koji went from the best the Orioles had in April to the king of the no-decision. He simply has no stamina to pitch more than 5 innings and remain effective. He has as many trips to the DL as he does wins.

George Sherrill- A … Settled down after trying to imitate Don Stanhouse and Armando Benitez. Hopefully Trembley won’t burn him out by using him in non-save situations. I’d entertain trade talks for him as well —

Danys Baez – C.. Showed signs of greatness only to give up a few bombs lately —Trade Bait..

Brad Bergesen- B+.. He has improved with every start and is learning OTJ and learning well. Threw a complete game and should have thrown another but Trembley didn’t think he had enough pitches left in him after throwing 80 over 8 innings—

Jason Berken - C.. He has been up and down but is still young and learning how to pitch to major league hitters. I’m OK with his performance thus far, even after his 8.50 ERA the last few starts. Would you rather have Eaton back?

Jim Johnson, Matt Albers- B+. These 2 have really saved the team a few times. Albers recently getting out of a bases loaded 0 out jam against Washington. Both have done well and  stepped up to prove themselves. Now if only Chris Ray (D) straightened himself out with his short trip to Norfolk, they’d have  nice 6,7,8 inning stoppers since the starters can only seem to last 5 innings… —

Brian Bass- B+… went from a trainwreck to a very valuable long-relief man. He has gotten the job done when called upon more often than not.

Rich Hill-  C… inconsistent. Like Guthrie Hill has his ups and downs but June was the first month he’s pitched without missing a start. Let’s see how he fares against the Red Sox tonight and how July unfolds.

Dave Trembley- D-..  He has become rather complacent the last 2 months. He is the manager of a last place team that is 13 games out of 1st place and is nowhere near being  fundamentally sound right now. Trembley is to blame for at least 10 losses by making questionable decisions. At least now he decides to stagger the resting of the starters over the weekend instead of playing the entire B team. I see no spark and fire in Trembley like he had 3 years ago when he took over for Sam Perlozzo. I have been calling for him to be replaced for quite a while now and it appears that many other fans are getting fed up with his lackadaisical attitude and also calling for his termination.  I’d fire the entire coaching staff after the season and get some fresh blood in here that hasn’t had ANY part of 12 Oriole losing seasons.

Team overall grade- C-.. They should beat teams that are reeling, like Philly was at home. They should have swept Washington and the Mets. They finished 11-7 against the NL, close to if not the best in their history of interleague play.  For whatever reason, they still have trouble winning on Sundays. The top 4 hitters went into various slumps but thanks mostly to Brian Roberts, Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold, the team played close to .500 baseball in June (11-14 going into the 30th against Boston)

Future - July looks like a tough month with a west coast trip, and a 9 game roadie to NY, Boston and Chicago sandwiched around a 3 game home stand against Toronto and the All-Star break. Either they’ll stand tall against the opposition and compete or come home play Kansas City the final week of July with less than 5000 in the stands as Ravens training camp opens up.

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