by Roy Alan Firestone
The Orioles only hope now is that somehow the Oriole pitching starts to go through a dramatic transformation. I think there’s a chance it could. Maybe not a great chance, but a chance.
I was still impressed with Miguel Gonzalez and his poised effort against a powerful and prolific Tiger offense. That makes two good performances (today was not as good) in a row. If Tillman can stay healthy and confident and deal like he did before the break and Chen keeps pitching well then the Orioles will have a choice of Britton, Arrieta, Berken, Hunter, Matusz, and maybe even Steve Johnson to fill out the rotation for the next five weeks.
I think Hammel's injury is a big blow to this team, dont get me wrong. But it appears he will be back and his knee issues COULD be behind him. I think the problem remains the offense, its futile ability to move runners and drive in runners in scoring position and of course, an absolutely putrid defense.
The Orioles must figure out what they are going to do with Reynolds in the next few weeks. He has been almost a non factor offensively in terms of what he is paid to do…hit home runs.
If the Orioles begin to collapse, I would not be averse to trying out Hoes in LF, giving Machado and or Schoop a taste of MLB in August/Sept (there’s a call-up anyway) and yes, take a limited look at Bundy.
I may be in the minority, but I think the Orioles do have some pretty good talent that could benefit from just a taste of a major league roster. That includes Avery, Hoes and the previously mentioned Machado, Schoop and Bundy.
I don’t believe the Orioles will be in the wild card race after the next couple of weeks so I don’t believe they should be buyers. I also don’t think they need to sell off any player except those who are clearly not in their future plans: Gregg, Reynolds, Nick Johnson, and maybe one or two more. They will get little or nothing in return but they are dead weight on this team and they are holding a roster spot from a look at someone else. I think the Orioles could finish with 83 or so wins…which would still be a 14 game improvement from a year ago, and a very respectable season to build on for next year.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m packing it in, because I’m not. It’s just that so many other teams are better.
It’s been a pretty good year so far and the best chance the O's will have to get fat is on the road in the next couple of weeks.
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