Dreadful. Abysmal. Terrible. Rotten. Poor. Foul. Unpleasant. Of all the words I’ve seen describing the 2018 Baltimore Orioles, the one I think is the most fitting is unwatchable. It is honestly difficult to watch them play baseball. Why? A quick recap at where they rank offensively:
Batting Average: 29th
On Base Percentage: 29th
The pitching hasn’t fared much better, with a team era of 6.00, which ranks them 27th in MLB. It is as if last year never ended, and we are just stuck in the mid-May and onward 2017 loop of Orioles baseball. Awful pitching, awful approaches at the plate, and a team that is as unwatchable for their results as they are for their seemingly lethargic approach. I suppose that the word is out on how to get these guys out, as the type of players that have made up the backbone of this team has remained unchanged since 2012.
I do think the pitching numbers will improve (although currently our team ERA is higher than last year’s historically bad numbers), but I don’t foresee much change in regard to what we are seeing offensively. This is who these guys are, and as the rest of the league has obviously adjusted, it appears as if the O’s keep going out there with the same approach. Part of this could have been helped by bringing in players with a different genetic makeup, which is why I HATED the Colby Rasmus signing (1 hit in 15 PA to go along with 8 Ks so far), and I knew that Buck would get him on the roster and into the lineup. Not to beat a dead horse, and it’s a moot point now, but Jon Jay, who cost the same as Rasmus, is currently sitting with a .389 OBP, which would place him second on the O’s just behind Manny Machado and a full 71 points ahead of Adam Jones.
I know that many people will read this and say, well gee this a glum outlook after five games. Which, true enough, it absolutely is. But, I’ve seen this movie before I already know how it ends. This team in years past has benefited from hot starts that have allowed them to overcome the drastic ebbs and flows of this erratic offense. My goodness, on May 9th of 2017 the O’s sat with the best record in baseball at 22-10. Of course, from that pinnacle of ecstasy they proceeded to go 53-77 to finish the year. Now they’ve continued that trend, as they sit 1-4. The implication therefore, to me, is that this performance is nothing new. The 1-4 start is not an “it’s still early” conversation, it’s a “this is the same team that played 24 games under .500 for the majority of 2017” conversation.
I hope that I’m wrong, I really do. Life is so much better when the O’s are in contention.
Unfortunately, I know what I’ve been seeing for the past year, and as I said at the onset, the best descriptor is unwatchable.