After it appeared the Orioles were getting their season back on track when they took three of four from the Yankees in New York, the team has reverted to the one that started 1-5. Since the big series win in the Bronx, they’ve dropped two of three to the Blue Jays and lost the first three to the Red Sox before the final game of the series (scheduled for today) was postponed.
Offense Continues to Struggle
We can blame the weather, we can blame the quality of starting pitching the O’s have faced, we can blame lady luck, but in the end, the bottom line is that the offense has been sleepwalking since last September. If Jonathan Schoop is sidelined for multiple weeks, it may not get better anytime soon. The problem is, I have no idea what it will take for this to get fixed which is extremely concerning.
Does the organization fire hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and hope that gives the team a spark? Maybe, but will that really be the right solution when the team is filled with veterans? It’s at least encouraging that Buck Showalter has stopped the usual “trust the track record” talk we often hear from him in recent days and acknowledged that the offense needs to start performing.
Outside of Trey Mancini, Pedro Alvarez, and Manny Machado, there is no hitter in the lineup to fear. Right now, I have more confidence that Craig Gentry is going to have a productive at bat than I do with Chris Davis and Tim Beckham. It should be noted that Gentry currently leads the team in pitches seen per at bat at 4.46 and also leads the team in stolen bases with four.
I Miss the Old Tillman
Chris Tillman has no confidence and it appears he will at least have one start skipped due to the series finale postponement against the Red Sox. Tillman looks exactly like he did last year: like a pitcher that should be nowhere near a major league roster.
What I don’t understand is, he worked out in Sarasota while he was a free agent with numerous decision makers around. How did they come to the conclusion that he looked like his old self? It’s unacceptable and someone should explain how they thought he would be able to get big leaguers out.
It remains to be seen if Tillman will get another start. Unfortunately, the track record from the organization suggests he will.
Delmarva Shorebirds Rotation
The big league team may be off to a bad start, but at least there are numerous individuals in the minor leagues who have started the season strong, headlined by the Shorebirds rotation. Delmarva’s rotation is filled with draft picks from the last two years and each pitcher has been effective. Michael Baumann, third-round selection in the 2017 draft, has highlighted the talented group with 19 strikeouts in 11 innings. It appears the organization will have their first-round pick from 2017, D.L. Hall, work three innings to begin the season. In his only start, Hall allowed one hit and struck out two. Zac Lowther is another pitcher to highlight as he was also selected in 2017 and in his only start this season he pitched six innings and struck out 13.
O’s fans should make it a priority to check the box scores for Delmarva every morning, and to stop by Purdue Stadium for a game at some point this summer.