The O's managed to win in extra innings tonight with an Adam Jones home run against the Rangers. The bullpen pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings after starter Alfredo Simon left with an elbow injury. George Sherrill gave hits to the first 4 batters with a 7-3 lead in the 10th, but managed to pull away with a 7-5 win. That leaves them at a surprising 6-2 record, with a prolific offense, but a lot of other problems.
1. The starting rotation is as bad as expected. The only relief has been Jeremy Guthrie's return to his normal reliable self. Koji Uehara has been decent, as expected, and Hendrickson, a temporary solution, has done well in his first start. Alfredo Simon has given up 5 or 6 home runs in 6+ innings and left with an injury. You can't have a batting practice pitcher as your #3 guy. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go on the DL or go down to the minors soon. Adam Eaton needs to be released, period. Hayden Penn should've got that last spot.
2. The bullpen, which was supposed to be a strength, has been awful. George Sherrill has had some scary final innings. Chris Ray has been hit hard, as has James Johnson. Brian Bass has been the worst; he probably should be released as well.
3. Ryan Freel has no place on this team. They already have Felix Pie, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis, plus Luke Scott and Ty Wigginton. He will not get enough at bats (he's 0 for 7 so far) and will just strike out a lot. Once Melvin Mora comes back, it will get worse. The O's should trade him.
4. Felix Pie needs to work on his defense. Everyone is talking about his troubles in left field and his apparent lack of instinct. If he can't play defense, his offense isn't enough to warrant a starting spot.