PiR: O’s Start Season with Logjam in the Outfield

Mark Trumbo of the Orioles in ready position in the outfield.
GulfBird Photo/Craig Landefeld

REALITY: Baltimore has a crowded outfield, and even more waiting in the wings.

PERCEPTION: Adam Jones, Hyun Soo Kim and Mark Trumbo were obviously going to make the roster, but after that it was a battle.  Joey Rickard, Seth Smith and Craig Gentry won that battle. Trey Mancini also did his part to make the roster. He and Trumbo will share time at DH, and in the field. Plus Anthony Santander is on the 10-day disabled list.

But then you also have Pedro Alvarez in Norfolk whose bat could earn him a spot at any time. Plus, Michael Bourn and Henry Urrutia are on the roster in AAA. And Mike Yastrzemski is thought highly of in the Orioles Front Office.

It is a classic Dan Duquette roster alignment…put as many players as possible on your roster in hopes that a couple have a breakout year. I think it will work well for the Orioles again this year. As long as everyone stays with the club, they are bound to contribute.

REALITY: The Orioles have a refurbished bullpen.

PERCEPTION: Zach Britton, Brad Brach, Mychal Givens, Darren O’Day, Donnie Hart, and Tyler Wilson return in the O’s bullpen. But Oliver Drake and Vidal Nuno will slide into spots previously held by a number of players rotating in and out last year. The hope is that with another year under their belts that Givens, Hart, and Wilson will be reliable, while Drake and Nuno will shore up spots that had too much inconsistency last year.

In Norfolk, you still have a lot of players that could be on the Shuttle, including Jayson Aquino, Richard Bleier, Parker Bridwell, Jason Garcia, Joe Gunkel, Chris Lee, Logan Verrett, Mike Wright, and Gabriel Ynoa. Most of those players are very young with not much Major League experience, but knowing Duquette and Buck Showalter, at least a few of them will be thrown into the fire.

REALITY: The Orioles starting pitchers will play a huge role in whether the team makes the playoffs or not.

PERCEPTION: We know this team can smash the ball, and will probably shut down games once it gets to the 7th inning, but what about the first six innings?

Ubaldo Jimenez, Kevin Gausman, and Dylan Bundy return as starters. Chris Tillman and Wade Miley will also return, after they spend some time on the DL.

Tillman is the most important player in this discussion. He was, and continues to be, the Ace of this staff. If he misses the first month of the season, the O’s should be okay. But if he misses more than that, the team will really need the rest of the guys to do a better job than they did last year. Gausman and Bundy both have the potential to be top of the line starters, but they need to be more consistent. They haven’t been able to put together a month worth of great starts without a couple of bad outings in there. This year needs to be the year they do it more frequently.

Who the heck knows what we will get from Jimenez and Miley? They both have shown flashes of the ability to be good #3 and #4 starters, but that is rare.

If the Orioles want to be a real contender, and move deep into the playoffs, they will need more than five mediocre innings from their starters.

I really thought Baltimore should have picked up Doug Fister to help their staff, but Buck and DD didn’t. When Tillman went down and nothing was said about the Orioles interest in Fister, then they must know something that I don’t. Because I still think they should have at least given him a look in Spring Training.

But what do I know? Maybe it comes down to money. He made $7 million in 2016. Maybe the O’s think they have enough with Jimenez, Miley, and those in Norfolk to not spend that much. We shall see.

REALITY: Today is Opening Day for the O’s.

PERCEPTION: Today is one of the best days of the entire year. Spring has sprung and the boys of summer return. Everyone has a fresh start and has a chance to make the playoffs and play for the World Series.

There is nothing like walking into Oriole Park at Camden Yards with all the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day, the smell of Boog’s Barbecue, and seeing the stadium packed to the brim in Orange and Black. Kids cut school. Parents skip work. Everyone is excited for the start of baseball.

I have my rituals too. Like wearing orange, even if I am not at the stadium, or watching a couple of YouTube videos.

Let’s start with the Orioles theme of “Orioles Magic”:

Or the 1989 Anthem “Why Not”:

This one came out a few years ago from a local band… the players may have changed, but the chorus is still fantastic… “How Bout Dem O’s”:

And there is nothing better to get you pumped for Orioles baseball like Delmon Young!

So let’s turn off any negativity and let’s get behind this team and fight along with them, pushing them to the playoffs.

Let’s Go O’s!

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Joe Polek. Bookmark the permalink.

About Joe Polek

Joe Polek
Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. In 2001, he moved to Portland, Maine for a job in radio. In 2012, he moved to Columbia, SC for another gig in radio, where he currently resides with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters....more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hot off the street

In O’s Camp, List of Potential Shortstops is Long
In O’s Camp, List of Potential Shortstops is Long

For the Orioles, the shortstop position has always been as consistent as they come. One could rattle off a list of superior talent in franchise history without much effort. Luis Aparicio, Mark Belange...read more

Wave Him Bye Bye – Joe Angel Retires from Broadcasting
Wave Him Bye Bye – Joe Angel Retires from Broadcasting

As if facing the prospect of at least one, if not several, more 100-plus loss seasons wasn't enough here in Birdland, we've recently received the devastating news that we won't even have our favorite ...read more

Who Will Catch On for the O’s in Spring Training?
Who Will Catch On for the O’s in Spring Training?

Orioles’ pitchers and catchers reported to spring training on Tuesday, with Wednesday marking the first workout of the 2019 season for the league’s worst franchise of a season ago. Therein lies th...read more

Thoughts on Proposed MLB Rule Changes
Thoughts on Proposed MLB Rule Changes

We all love change, right? According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are in discussion regarding multiple rule change proposals. Eight of the topics we...read more

Five More Orioles with Plenty to Prove in 2019
Five More Orioles with Plenty to Prove in 2019

Yesterday, I listed five Orioles who have plenty to prove in 2019. Today...five more!   Cedric Mullins GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld Cedric Mullins is entering his first full season wit...read more

View More