The Orioles’ playoff chances took a major hit after being swept by the Cleveland Indians and dropping their last four games. The Indians are on a historic run so it was going to be difficult to win the series, but leaving town without a win is extremely disappointing. As much as we want to hope this team can be playoff material, watching the Indians for three games just shows how far the Orioles are away from being a true contender.
The will now turn to the great Ubaldo Jimenez to stop the losing streak and get back to .500.
The Offensive Slide
After an offensive surge in the month of August that helped get the Orioles back into the wild card race, the month of September has been the opposite. We have seen this kind of slump many times from this team, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch.
It would be nice for Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo to snap out of their season-l000ong slumps and pick up the slack after the rest of the lineup covered up their inefficiencies in the month of August, but that has not been the case.
This offseason will be extremely interesting to watch and we will have many months to discuss what the organization will do. After not selling at the deadline, they are committed to one more run before most of the team potentially leaves via free agency.
As it stands now, only two starting pitchers will return in Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. We know the team won’t spend on pitching so any help will come from the hope someone in the minors steps up, a cheap free agent move or a trade. Due to the immediate emergence of Trey Mancini and the potential of prospect Austin Hays taking over right field in 2018, Davis and Trumbo are expendable.
Unfortunately, the team would be selling low, and baseball as a whole doesn’t put a premium on power so any return would be minimal. I think the O’s are stuck with Davis due to his contract, but they could potentially move Trumbo.
Again, would they really get a quality starting pitcher in return? More than likely no. With the surplus of young hitters ready to make their mark at the big-league level in the very near future, plus the potential of many players deserving of a big contract, Dan Duquette and company are probably in full regret mode over the extensions of Davis and Trumbo.
Beckham’s Defensive Struggles
Tim Beckham has been a breath of fresh air since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays. He has given this team speed at the top of the order that they haven’t had in years and his energy has been contagious. There’s no doubt that he was one of the top reasons why the Orioles got back into the race last month.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t state the obvious. He has been below average defensively. The sabermetric community may be more kind to Beckham than the eye test, but he has already made eight errors since the trade and failed to catch a pop up on Sunday night that should have been caught.
Bobby Dickerson is one of the best infield instructors in baseball so a complete spring training will do wonders for Beckham.
There’s a standard for defense under Buck Showalter, so this will be of high importance heading into next season.