The Orioles are the worst team in baseball, and it’s not even close. Having lost 14 of their last 16 games and mired in a seven-game losing streak, the Orioles’ record sits at 19-48, worst in all of baseball by 2.5 games (the Royals, losers of 9 of 10 games, are 22-46). What doesn’t sit well in Baltimore isn’t the poor record so much as the lack of action taken.
Offensively, the team is in the bottom third of the league in every major category except for home runs. In fact, out of 30 teams, the Orioles rank either last or next-to-last in average, OBP, OPS, runs, and RBI. They are 27th in hits, and 28th in slugging.
Suffice it to say, the offense has been putrid. So putrid, in fact, that nobody is talking about just how bad the pitching staff has been. The Orioles’ 4.92 ERA ranks dead last in all of baseball. So does their .282 BAA and 1.53 WHIP despite allowing the ninth fewest walks. They’ve allowed the fourth most home runs in the league (93), and their 19 wins and 13 saves are last in the league, though you need only look at the standings to figure those last two numbers out.
Individually, a number of players are having the worst years of their careers. Brad Brach and Mychal Givens are posting the highest ERA of their careers. Pedro Araujo and Mike Wright continue to pitch out of the bullpen despite ERAs of 7.71 and 6.11. Alex Cobb has a 7.23 ERA and 1.768 WHIP.
Trey Mancini is experiencing a severe sophomore slump that has left his average at .229 after batting .293 as a rookie in 2017. Jonathan Schoop has regressed so much this season that his numbers look eerily similar to those of his rookie 2014 campaign when he hit .209 with a .244 OBP.
Chris Davis has been so bad that a local Baltimore bar is offering free shots any time the former slugger records a hit. Not a home run; a hit. Even Manny Machado, who could do no wrong through the season’s first two months, is stuck in a 3-24 slump that has dropped his average from .329 to .307 in a matter of just 12 days.
Yet here the Orioles stand, 19-48 on June 15. Davis still starts more often than not. Mancini still plays left field despite defensive metrics that would make Manny Ramirez blush. Scott Coolbaugh still has a job leading the worst offense in baseball, while Roger McDowell still has a job leading one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball.
Buck Showalter is still managing under the stress of an expiring contract. Dan Duquette, who tried using his shiny new Executive of the Year award as leverage to leave for Toronto following an ALCS appearance in 2014, is still employed by the ball club.
We have no idea who oversees baseball activities in the ownership group. Is it Peter Angelos, or is it his sons, John and Lou? Does Dan Duquette even have a role in the franchise? Reports suggest that Brady Anderson was the one pulling all the strings in the offseason and would seem to be the heir apparent.
As bad as this season has been, and as daunting a task as 95 more games may seem to be, the biggest frustration amongst the Baltimore fan base is the lack of action and transparency within the organization. Fans could get on board with a rebuild if ownership were to come out and say that’s the path the team is taking.
Baltimore just wants a visible plan in place.
In a season filled with ugliness, saying and doing nothing may be the ugliest of all.