3. Offensive Inconsistency
The most disturbing thing about this team is how poorly they know the strikezone. Three guys in particular, Adam Jones, Robert Andino and Mark Reynolds swing at some of the ugliest pitches I’ve ever seen. Jones is a little more understandable as he gets the most opportunities out of those other guys and has been swinging more for the fences this year. Andino has never been an offensive juggernaut and this season has just reinforced that belief. Reynolds is the king of going 1-5 with a solo HR and 3 strikeouts. This simply has to end or else the season can’t be saved. There are plenty of other names that can be mentioned. What was Chris Davis swinging at on that 0-2 slider against Seattle that was in the right-handed batters box? Xavier Avery has been a good find this year, but one game he’ll go 3-5, the next he’ll remain absent. Jim Thome can bolster this lineup a little bit, but how much difference can a 41-year-old make at this stage of his declining career? If possible, another bat would help this team possibly trigger some more offense, but that’s no gurantee either.
4. Left Field
Who is going to set themselves apart and grab the position? I’m thinking and hoping Xavier Avery because I think we have a future Al Bumbry on our hands with him. However, as of now, he’s a bit inconsistent at the plate and his arm rivals that of Johnny Damon. Steven Pearce shows some pop, yet exhibits the same inconsistency issues as the aforementioned Avery. As long as Flaherty doesn’t play the position the rest of the season, I think most Orioles fans will be satisfied with an average player that can bring it at least every other day. Hopefully, Avery will separate himself as his speed can be a huge weapon as the season progresses and his ability to be a potential leadoff man is evident.
Let’s get real, the Boston Red Sox will not finish in last place. They have suffered numerous injuries to key players like Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, but manager Bobby Valentine has kept them at .500 with a 43-43 record. The Toronto Blue Jays can smack the crap out of the ball, they just can pitch. The Rays down south can do a little bit of everything and haven’t limped into the break similarly to the Orioles. Finally, the Yankees will not falter and win this division because they are simply better than every team in the division. As for the Birds? I anticipate either a fourth or third place finish as the lack of starting pitching and consistent offense will catch up with them in August. Unless Owner Peter Angelos and General Manager Dan Duquette decide to finally buy at the deadline rather than sell, we’re looking at another season just below or at .500 with no playoffs.